Livestock Guardian Dogs – TOP 10 Best Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds!

Wanna see the best livestock guardian dogs? Here is the list of the top 10 best livestock guardian dog breeds. As you will see these dog breeds possess amazing guarding capabilities.

There are several types of herding dogs:

  1. Livestock guardian dogs – they protect flocks and herds,
  2. Sheepdogs – they control and move their herd,
  3. Cattle dogs – they guide large, heavy cattle.

While smaller herding dogs will return stray cattle and guide them in the right direction, big and strong dogs will protect your cattle from predators.

Which ones?

Now let’s see a list of the top 10 best livestock guardian dog breeds.

Shall we?

TOP 10 Best Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds

TOP 10 best livestock guardian dog breeds

I made research and concluded which are the world’s best dog breeds for guarding cattle. If you are looking for powerful and physically imposing breeds then you are in the right place.


Various dog traits exist that can either help or hinder guarding capabilities. Of all dog breeds in the world, I selected a list of breeds that possess the best traits for guarding. Which breeds?

TOP 10 best livestock guardian dog breeds:

10. The Maremma Sheepdog

The Italian Shepherd Maremma is a dog that’s been protecting flocks from wolves in Italy for centuries.

Apart from Italy, you can also find them in Australia, Canada, and the United States. How come?

Maremma Sheepdogs are:

  • dignified,
  • friendly,
  • smart,
  • decisive,
  • attentive,
  • loyal.

The Italian Shepherd Maremma is known both for its cautiousness and its extreme loyalty to its pack, which makes these dogs excellent livestock guardians.

They can grow 25 – 29 in tall and weigh 80 – 100 lbs.

As with all sheepdogs, it’s necessary to let them eat and live with their flock from an early age so they can form a bond.

Can they work in groups?

These pups work in groups of 3 – 4 dogs. They perform their duties well and with dedication.

9. The Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is a large and mighty dog breed that protects herds from wolves and other predators in Spain.

Spanish Mastiffs are:

  • self-confident,
  • noble,
  • kind,
  • smart,
  • decisive.

Spanish Mastiffs are 28 – 35 in tall and weigh 130 – 220 lbs. 

They are known for their size, strength, and high intelligence. They always obey owners who are good leaders.

It’s necessary to commence training at an early age.

They react well to treats, but training will quickly start to bore them. Spanish Mastiffs are not the best choice for beginners due to their…

…very independent personality.

8. The Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog (Šarplaninac)

The Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog (also called Šarplaninac) is well-known in the Balkans and excels at guarding flocks and homes alike.

The breed…

…takes its name from the Šar mountains, where they protected their flocks from wolves and bears.


These independent dogs don’t like being bored, and their size and strength tend to make them look a bit fearsome.


…they’re not aggressive toward people, they love children, and they won’t attack without reason.

Šarplaninac dogs are:

  • protective,
  • independent,
  • stubborn,
  • smart,
  • devoted,
  • decisive,
  • brave,
  • loyal,
  • calm.

In short, these dogs like thinking for themselves. While they’re pretty smart, they’ll do what they want to do and not necessarily what you tell them.

That’s also why many owners value these dogs.

Seeing a Šarplaninac at work will quickly make you appreciate them. They guard their flock independently, diligently, and above all, successfully, which is why they’re on this list!

How do Šarplaninac dogs behave as herd guardians?

The Šarplaninac is a well-built dog who will never ignore a wolf that threatens its flock. Although owners have varying experiences, Šarplaninac dogs will usually…

attack the threat immediately upon detection.

In contrast, our next dog breed will assess the situation at hand and not separate itself so quickly from its flock.

Which breed is that exactly?

7. The Tornjak

The Tornjak (also known as the Bosnian And Herzegovinian – Croatian Shepherd Dog) is yet another esteemed shepherd dog from the Balkans.

They are tough dogs with well-proportioned bodies, making them incredibly agile for their size.

Tornjaks are:

  • friendly toward people,
  • protective,
  • self-confident,
  • wary,
  • persistent,
  • calm.

These dogs will act friendly to people and unfriendly to other animals.

Along with their immense strength and agility, the Tornjak’s temperament is also a boon for a livestock guardian dog.

How do Tornjaks act as livestock guardians?

Tornjaks protect their flock a bit differently compared to the Šarplaninac. They stay with their flock and carefully consider when to go after the threat.

They won’t stray too far…

…from the flock, so you don’t have to worry about them walking into an ambush.

Many owners prefer Tornjaks for this reason. However, both the Tornjak and Šarplaninac breeds will do an exemplary job.

Experienced owners will say there’s no point in arguing about which one is better.

6. The Komondor

The Komondor is a Hungarian sheepdog known for its distinctive look.

But don’t let their looks fool you, because they are powerful dogs with an inborn instinct for guarding livestock and homesteads.

They are considered a national treasure in Hungary.

Komondors are:

  • fearless,
  • independent,
  • calm,
  • gentle,
  • loyal.

As with most livestock guardian dogs, they tend to be calm, independent, and good dogs until they perceive a threat.

At that point, they become mighty, fearless guardians.

These dogs are 25 – 30 in tall and weigh 90 – 130 lbs.Their numbers are growing in America,…

…where they protect flocks from:

  1. coyotes,
  2. pumas,
  3. bears,
  4. other predators.

They are not only tall and athletic but also pretty quick and agile. Their corded coat works as a sort of camouflage,…

…making them appear like sheep to wolves.

5. The Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a dog known far and wide for its strength, hardiness, and excellent guarding characteristics.

Tibetan Mastiffs are:

  • protective,
  • stubborn,
  • smart,
  • relaxed,
  • strong,
  • hardy.

They protect herds from wolves, bears, tigers, and other predators, especially in the Himalayas.

Tibetan Mastiffs are 24 – 30 in tall and weigh 75 – 160 lbs.

They’re not dogs for first-time owners. As guardians, they are independent, smart, extremely protective, and expensive dogs.

4. The Akbash

The Akbash is a Turkish shepherd dog traditionally used to protect livestock from predators on uneven terrain.

This breed demands that they be given a job and are very committed to it.

Akbash dogs are:

  • protective,
  • smart,
  • independent,
  • brave,
  • loyal.

As a real livestock guardian dog breed, they are not only independent and stalwart but pretty smart as well.

One only has to give them space for them to express their individuality.

Akbash dogs grow up to 26 – 34 in tall and weigh 90 – 140 lbs. In just a few moments, you will see the top 3 best livestock guardian dog breeds.

Let’s take a look!

3. The Kuvasz

The Hungarian Kuvasz is a large and beautiful white dog that was known as a guardian of kings.

Thanks to their reputation as great protectors, they nearly died out after the Soviet invasion of Hungary during WW2.

Sources indicate that fewer than 30 dogs remained alive.

Thankfully, the population of these magnificent guardians has been steadily increasing in recent years.

Kuvasz dogs are:

  • protective,
  • smart,
  • independent,
  • patient,
  • loyal.

They are also known to be highly capable overseers and protectors of their flocks.

Unlike many other…

…shepherd dog breeds, they are very loyal to their owners and can make for excellent pets. However, as guard dogs, they are seemingly always distant and suspicious toward others.

Would you agree?

2. The Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees has a reputation for being a highly capable big guard dog.

While they tend to be aggressive toward big and fearsome predators, they are nonetheless gentle and protective with smaller animals.

These gorgeous working dogs also love all members of their family.

The Great Pyrenees are:

  • self-confident,
  • fearless,
  • smart,
  • polite,
  • patient,
  • strong,
  • gentle.

Apart from their excellent character traits, they possess outstanding physical predispositions. Great Pyrenees dogs stand 26 – 31 in tall and weigh 85 – 160 lbs.

And now for the best livestock guardian dog breed.


1. The Kangal Shepherd Dog

With their incredible strength, courage, and (for their height) agility, the Turkish Kangal Shepherd Dogsare the ideal livestock guardians.

Treated as a separate…

…breed in the past, they now belong to the same breed population as the Anatolian Shepherds.

Why the best?

Thanks to their outstanding guarding capabilities, they can protect livestock from predators of all shapes and sizes.

Turkish Kangal Shepherd dogs are:

  • protective,
  • independent,
  • sensitive,
  • attentive,
  • calm.

They live with their flock and do their utmost to defend it from predators.

Kangals are 28 – 32 in tall and weigh 90 – 145 lbs. They used to protect livestock from wolves, bears, and jackals in their native Turkey.

After getting exported…

…to Africa, they started taking on lions, cheetahs, and other large predators. Shepherds tend to point out a particular noble trait of the Kangals.

Which one?

Kangal Shepherd Dogs will not separate from injured flock, remaining with them to protect them no matter what happens, until their owner returns.

Aside from their reputation of fearless guardians, they are also known as gentle family dogs. Today, they enjoy popularity all over the world, not only as shepherd dogs…

…but as very protective pets.

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs

As you’ve been able to see throughout the list, livestock guardian dogs tend to be large, independent, smart, and stalwart.

Even the mightiest predators give up when confronted with them.

In the previous part, you could see the top 10best livestock guardian dog breeds and now follow a quick overview.

Which are the best livestock guardian dogs in the world?

  1. The Kangal Shepherd Dog.
  2. The Great Pyrenees.
  3. The Kuvasz.
  4. The Akbash.
  5. The Tibetan Mastiff.
  6. The Komondor.
  7. The Tornjak.
  8. The Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog (Šarplaninac).
  9. The Spanish Mastiff.
  10. The Maremma Sheepdog.

Are you surprised by the list? Livestock guardians are big and strong and leave neither predators nor animal lovers indifferent to their presence.

They are also irreplaceable as livestock protectors.

Final Words

In this article, you could see the list of the top 10 best livestock guardian dog breeds. This list is made by research.

I know that there are many other dog breeds.

However, it provides a great view of characteristics and breeds that are most known by their physical capabilities and strong instinct to protect the flock from predators of all sizes.

I hope you enjoy the list and that you will share it with others.

About Author:

I'm a dog food judge. I specialize in examining dog food nutrition so that I can recommend you food that will preserve your dog's health and extend his life. Good food will help you prevent dog health problems like obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, nutritional imbalance, and many others. Also, by preventing serious illnesses you won't have to pay huge veterinarian bill later.

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