We are reader supported, we earn a small commission when you buy something using our retail links.

Are Labradors Good Watch Dogs?

At A Glance

Labradors are kind, affectionate, and loving dogs that’ll always greet people with wagging tails and sloppy kisses. And it’s because of this friendly temperament that most people wouldn’t think Labradors would make good watchdogs. However, Labradors are also easy to train, and with the right obedience training, Labradors have the potential to become excellent watchdogs.

Last Updated on: Mar 23, 2022

If you’re particular about home safety, you have probably already looked into various forms of security or surveillance systems. And one of the most practical ways to ensure your safety is having a watchdog by your side.

Also called “alarm dogs,” watchdogs essentially warn their owners of potential danger. But since all dogs are protective of their owners to some extent, can any breed of dog be a watchdog? What about the loving and affectionate Labrador?

If you already own a Lab or are planning to adopt one and are wondering whether it will make a good watchdog, this article will answer your question and more.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

An image of a Labrador watching a baby

Can Labs Good Watch Dogs For Protecting Their Owners?

Yes, Labradors can get quite protective of their owners, but it also depends on a few factors.

Every Labrador will have its personality and temperament. Not all Labradors will leap to their owners’ defense. Labradors don’t pick fights with other animals or people unless provoked due to their sociable nature.

And if you’re wondering, “will a lab attack an intruder,” there’s little chance of that happening. It is simply not in a Labrador’s nature to attack. But in case of danger, a Labrador will try to protect you.

Can Labs Good Watch Dogs For Barking Intruders?

So, if you’re thinking, “do Labradors bark at intruders,” the answer is yes. Especially if your Labrador has been trained to do so.

However, you must note that Labradors do not have very strong territorial instincts. And most Labradors are socialized to be friendly toward strangers. But Labradors are also quite intelligent animals.

If an intruder shows aggression or violence, your Labrador will probably also react with aggression and attack the person if it finds them threatening.

Another point to note is that dogs that were trained to serve as working dogs are more likely to be protective and defensive of their owners than those who were trained to be show dogs.

Also Read: Relationship Based Dog Training

An image of a woman and its labrador

Do Labradors Instinctively Protect Their Owners?

It depends on your Labrador’s personality. Some Labradors can get quite protective of their owners and show aggression against a threat, but it is not a common occurrence.

So, do Labradors defend you? Probably not. As mentioned before, Labradors are trained to be friendly towards humans. They are highly socialized and love being around people, constantly trying to please them. So, even if they perceive danger, it is unlikely that a Labrador will rush to defend you.

But, can Labs be trained to protect? Yes! You can train labradors to protect. Like all dogs, Labradors also have a protective instinct towards their owners. This protective instinct can be further developed through proper training involving obedience training and positive reinforcement.

A yellow lab standing

Labradors Temperament And Personality

One of the most popular breeds of dogs in the US, Labradors are renowned for their playful, energetic, affectionate, and sociable temperament.

Their loving, sensitive, and easygoing nature also means they are perfect for first-time dog owners. Highly sociable, get along splendidly with adults and children, which is also why they are so sought-after as family pets.

Bred to be a working dog, the Labrador’s high energy trait can be traced back to its lineage. This also means that Labradors require a lot of attention and plenty of exercise every day.

Although each dog is unique, Labradors are typically very gentle and even-tempered and least likely to be aggressive, though they can get a bit boisterous.

All these qualities make Labradors the perfect companion dogs!

A woman training labradors outside

Can A Lab Be Trained As A Guard Dog?

It depends on the Labrador. Guard dogs are different from watchdogs. The two terms are not interchangeable. The job of a watchdog is to alert the owner and stand back until help arrives. On the other hand, the job of a guard dog is to sound the alarm as well as attack. Guard dogs must be more aggressive and be able to take action.

Since they are naturally less aggressive, training Labradors to be guard dogs will be difficult. But it’s not impossible. Almost any dog breed can be trained to be a guard dog. However, this doesn’t mean that every dog breed should be or is fit to be a guard dog.

Dogs that have huge bodies and are aggressive can be great guard dogs. A large aggressive dog is also more intimidating and thus more effective at keeping intruders away. Here are some of the best breeds of guard dogs:

  • Bulldog
  • German Shepherd
  • Collie
  • Doberman
  • Rottweiler
  • Swiss Mountain dog
  • Giant Schnauzer

If you’re planning to train your Labrador to be a guard dog, remember, Labradors have always ranked low when it comes to canines that would attack and serve as guard dogs. The first instinct of a Labrador will always be to greet a human. So, even with training, don’t have too high expectations.

An image of a black lab

We all would love to have a dog that is a perfect family companion as well as a fiercely protective partner. But, we need to remember that not all dogs are fit to play the role of a guard dog. Labradors, especially, are a gentle and loving breed for whom aggression is rare.

Hopefully, we have answered your question “are labs good watchdogs” and have provided you with enough information on Labradors. With the right training, your Labrador can be your greatest sense of security.


Labrador are labs good watch dogs labrador

Previous Article

How To Train A Puppy To Pee Outside?


Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.