Are Labrador Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? 

Interested in getting a Labrador retriever? If you decide on getting this breed, you might wonder, “Are Labrador retrievers good guard dogs?”

Labrador Retrievers are well-known to be friendly and fun-loving dogs. This might be the reason why some dog lovers worry about leaving their Labradors alone at home.

What if there was an intruder? Will your Labrador be happier to welcome someone, or will your dog stand its ground?

Learn more about how Labrador retrievers fare as guard dogs.

It’s important that you know what kind of dog you are getting and what their strengths are. This is also to protect your dog from facing any harm in the future.

Read more below to find out what makes or doesn’t make a Labrador an effective guard dog.


Does Temperament Have Anything to Do with a Labrador Retriever’s Guarding Capabilities?

As dog-parent, you need to understand that every dog has his own temperament. There will be good Labrador retriever guard dogs, and there will be those that won’t.

One thing to note though is that Labradors also have specific temperaments. These temperaments are unique only to their breed. You also need to watch out for these if you are considering a Labrador as a guard dog.

If trained in a proper way, a Labrador can be an effective guard dog. But plenty of Labradors will be too friendly with children and, on the downside, strangers. These dogs are extroverts and may not be the best option to guard one’s home.

What you want is a Labrador that is friendly to children, but at the same time can control himself to be a good guard dog. It might be too much to ask, but it’s not impossible to find.

When your Labrador doesn’t have the ideal qualities of a guard dog, don’t lose hope. There are still ways that can help mold your pet into a responsible furry companion..

How Can Your Labrador Retriever Be a Great Guard Dog?

One of the most popular qualities of a Labrador retriever is their loyalty. They will make sure that they do everything that you please. This is why they’re amazing at fetch, easy to feed, and will stay still when you tell them to.

You can take this loyalty and make it into an advantage. Loyal Labrador retrievers are also protective of their home. Compared to other breeds, there’s loyalty and protectiveness engraved into the Labrador’s attitude. These can be effective forces to drive your pet to act as a guard dog.

Cultivating the Loyalty and Protective Behavior of the Labrador Retriever

Loyalty is part of breeding Labradors. This is why this breed is always part of the law enforcement. When your dog can look at you as the leader, he will follow what you’ll teach him.

Labradors also have the instincts of working dogs and guide dogs in their breed. When trained as puppies, they can even help assist their senior owners later on.

Once you can work into your dog’s loyalty, you can turn it into effective guarding techniques. Labradors will not be timid about protecting their owners. They will show strength and resilience.

Your Labrador can be aggressive to strangers when trained. The good part about this is this breed will never show aggression towards its family.

Labradors will always be:

  • Gentle to its family and children
  • Bark as much as they can
  • Oversensitive if not familiar with the surroundings
  • Alert of the smallest things around him
  • Protective over his owners
  • Understanding with what his owners want him to do 

Note that they can stop barking at command if trained early on.

What If Your Labrador Retriever Is Not Keen on Guarding Duties?

Let’s say you have a Labrador that is too friendly with everyone. No matter how loyal they are, there will be Labradors that succumb to being extroverts.

This is why there are owners that can’t turn their Labradors into guard dogs. A huge factor comes from the attitude of the dog itself. If your pet can’t help but be friendly, you have to work around the situation to correct it.

if you can’t make your Labrador a guard dog, he might be better as a watchdog.

The next question would be, what’s the difference?

A Labrador Guard Dog vs. a Labrador Watchdog

Labrador guard dogs are those that have undergone training. These are dogs that have instincts to guard against strangers or other animals. They watch out for unwanted and unexpected visitors in their territory.

Guard dogs:

  • Protect their homes
  • Are trained to be aggressive
  • Can attack or restrain in command
  • Do more things than barking
  • Will bite and attack without hesitation
  • Undergo training to protect specific locations or even livestock
  • Can go on patrol at night and sound an alarm when there are intruders
  • Bark when seeing strangers, but at the same time attack them until the owner shows up
  • Taunt intruders by growling and even charging

A Labrador watchdog is more like a guardian. They can guard against theft, loss, waste, and practices that are undesirable. Watchdogs are more of lookouts, and they observe a lot in their surroundings.


  • Will keep an eye out and start barking when strangers approach
  • Can alert you when they see trouble nearby
  • Do not attack or go near the intruder
  • Will not deal with the problem themselves but will only alert you
  • Call their owners to take care of the situation
  • Do not need any special training
  • Will observe and bark out of instinct

So are Labrador retrievers good guard dogs? Yes and no could be the answer. Whether you want to train your dog as a guard dog is up to you. If you are already happy with having them as watchdogs, then that would be easier for you and your doggo.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.