Guard Dog Vs Watchdog (Breaking Down The Differences)

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

In many ways, both of these dogs can be a “Man’s best friend”.

But, It all depends, whether you want a dog who is capable of doing anything to save you. Or a cuddly buddy, who will always be alert, and let you know if anything is wrong.

Furthermore, below you will find information about both breeds, and their abilities to better help you. And, although they could have similar abilities, there is a difference between the two.

So, let’s see some of their differences and traits between a guard dog Vs watchdog.

And let see which one works better for you.

Guard Dog Vs Watchdog

Guard Dog Vs Watchdog Which One Is Better?

In short, a guard dog is capable to neutralize any threats just as a gun would. While a watchdog will only warn you of any threats, think of it as having an alarm. Also, Guard dogs have a more aggressive demeanor than watchdogs.

Another important pointer is, whether you are willing to put the time, effort, and money training a dog for guarding. Because, they sure do need tons of training, and a dominant master to be able to handle the power a guard dog represents.

What Does A Guard Dog Do?

what's the difference between a guard dog and watchdog

A guard dog is known to be more aggressive than an average dog. It is originally designed to watch and keep alert in order to protect.

What does that mean? a guard dog has been given the tools to not only be able to warn you about any possible threat. But, also to be able to attack on command. And, keep people and whatever there guarding safe. By all means.

And, with that being said given the opportunity, they will corner you, bark aggressively, and if you make the wrong move, they will charge at you and bite you without letting go, until they get a command from their leader, to release the intruder.

What Are The Uses Of A Guard Dog?

Because, of their natural enhanced abilities, there are able to be put to work in many different ways.

Some of these ways are:

  • Police and military work, such as drug sneezing, rescue, catching a thief, finding weapons.
  • Ranchers have used them for herding, and protecting the animals from predators
  • Home security
  • Personal bodyguard
  • Car security
  • Business security
  • Hunting, etc.

What Makes A Good Guard Dog?

what is the difference between guard dog and watchdog

Besides, the fact that they are so lovable and cute.

Been, protective, intelligent, courageous and loyal, it is a must when it comes to guarding. Certainly, size, speed, ability, and their ability o obey their master as well.

And, none the less to be able to let go of the pray on command is a must. So, obedience and training play a big role. Because you don’t want a dog that will kill something you don’t want them to. Or becomes too aggressive and may turn on you.

A good guard dog is connected and attached to its owner or family. And, is able to sense everything its owner is feeling. Including fear, which triggers its protection mode.

I mean this dog is a powerful weapon. It will do anything to protect its family or pack.

Can Guard Dogs Be Pets?

In short, no. Guard dogs are not pets. Although, many of them are very loving and sweet. They tend to be aggressive. So, they need special work and training.

If you are not planning to use this dog for work. It will probably not be a good idea to own one. Since, if not given proper training and leadership, could hurt your loved one or destroy items in your home.

What Does A Watch Dog Do?

Have you ever owned an alarm or a camera in your home?

Well, a watchdog is much like that. This breed works to provide surveillance over a person, property, or activity.

For example, these dogs will use their barking ability rather than force.

In other words, if someone is at the door it will most likely bark at the door, to let you know someone is coming. But, won’t use aggression or intimidation.

These dogs tend to be somewhat protective but without aggression. So, they can still be loved on and played with.

What Makes A Good Watch Dog?

Let’s start by saying that they possess excellent king alertness. And, for a good reason.

Since, you don’t want them missing the threat, by distracting themselves with a toy or such.

Another important ability they have is their sense of hearing. They can at a higher frequency than we can, and are able to focus on one specific sound.

This is not the regular couch potato dog, this dog will absolutely, warn you of any threats, even if those threats are a small rodent.

What Are The Uses Of A Watch Dog Uses:

Watchdogs are generally used for surveillance. They generally have jobs such as:

  • Companionship
  • Assisting police

Can Watch Dogs Be Pets?

Absolutely, watchdogs can also be pets. They can be, that cuddly buddy you yearn to have.

They are gentle, playful, and nonetheless loving. ‘And, the good thing is that they will let you know if there is something wondering around that shouldn’t.

Guard Dogs And Watch Dogs Senses

Although, we know that dogs in general have a few better senses than humans.

Watchdogs and protection dogs have quite a few more enhanced abilities than the average one.

But, what enhancements do they possess?

For example, a dog’s scent receptors are 10,000-100,000 times more acute than ours. So, if you probably hid a burger somewhere, and out of a sudden is gone! chances are doggie found it.

Below, are some examples of natural enhanced senses that guard dogs and watchdogs have.


Although, dogs are smaller in size than we are. Some of them tend to be much stronger.

Especially if it is an aggressive breed. Just think about the force of their bite.

In fact, some dog bite forces can be as strong as 250 psi and more. Basically, they not only can pierce the skin of a human but also break a bone. This is an excellent ability for guard dogs.


Have you ever wondered, what would it be like to be able to see out in the dark? Well, dogs can do that. They see moving objects better than humans can.

And, not to mention ghosts and more. It is no wonder why they are so capable to be good watchdogs at night.


Dogs’ nasal membrane is larger than human’s, their sense of smell can be much higher than human’s.

For example for every 5 acute receptors we have, dogs have 50 times more.

There is no wonder why they can be used to sniff out things like drugs, or able to find prey or people. And, not to mention cancer cells and even explosives. That alone is amazing.


According to the AKC humans have 9000 taste buds receptors cells, while dogs have about 1700 in the average dog. However, a dog’s sense of taste is more sensitive than ours.

Especially, when we give them sweet treats, no wonder why they tend to gulp them down.


Not only do they have larger ears, but also an amazing sense of hearing.

According to the austinfitmagazine, dogs and humans can hear from the same distance.

But, dogs can hear at a higher frequency than we can. Think of it like superman, although, it hears many noises at once. It has the capability to focus on one, the one that matters to them.


Although, some breeds can reach more than 200lbs. There are some dogs that are tiny and can weigh as little as 10 lbs or less.

So, when it comes to guarding, the bigger the dog, the better, and stronger.

While some small dogs could still be considered watchdogs.

What Is The Difference Between A Guard Dog And Watch Dog?

For starters, watchdogs don’t need to be aggressive as guard dogs are. Also, watchdogs can have much more jobs than guard dogs.

Such as companionship, rescue, drug sneezing, search, aid, etc.

What Are The Similarities Between A Guard Dog And Watch Dog?

There, is quite a few similarities between these dogs. Certainly, playing is one of them. Yes! guard dogs like playing too. Another, a similar attribute they have regardless of their size, food, and speed. Is there the ability to love unconditionally.

Both of these types of dogs can be attached and bonded to their family.

Especially, when it comes to being rewarded with treats. Both these breeds can learn tricks, be obedient, be loving, and be your best friend.

And, sit next to you when you are watching your favorite movie. Or simply, be next to you, whether you going for a run or fishing. etc.

Looking For Watch Dog Guides?

If you’re looking for more guard dogs resources, consider checking out our other post on guard dogs.

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

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