The Difference Between a Guard Dog and a Watch Dog

In addition to providing companionship, most dogs are also hard workers. Some breeds are excellent at herding sheep or cattle, while others use their heightened sense of smell to sniff out drugs. Many dogs, whether they’re trained to do so or not, act as furry, 4-legged doorbells, alerting their humans if they sense something is amiss around their home. So, are these pooches guard dogs or watch dogs? Yes, there is a difference. Guard dogs are capable of acting like their owner’s bodyguard — barking, growling or displaying other intimidating behavior as a deterrent, while holding their ground. Guard dogs are large dogs that always go through special training. They are most often Belgian Sheepdogs, Swiss Mountain Dogs, and German Shepherds. On the other hand, watch dogs have one job: Alert their owner if they detect something unusual. While the ability to bark loudly helps, the size of the dog doesn’t matter. Watch dogs can be anything from a Chihuahua to a Poodle and everything in between. There’s also the more unusual attack dog. Guard dogs and watch dogs are NOT attack dogs. Attack dogs are trained not only to alert their owners to potential danger, but to act — either on command or automatically if a person they perceive to be an intruder enters the property. Attack dogs are most often Bullmastiffs, Rottweilers or Pit Bulls.