Having a dog—especially one with a threatening bark—helps protect your property. Even dogs with barks that would be described as “cute” can deter burglars simply because they make enough noise to attract attention.
But if you want a serious watchdog that will frighten the living daylights out of anyone who even comes near your property, you’ll want to get a dog that produces louder, more menacing sounds.
Here’s a list of dog breeds with scary barks:
- Dogo Argentino
- German Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Scottish Terrier
- Tibetan Mastiff
12 Dog Breeds With Scary Barks
Here’s a list of dogs that sound scary. Not all are effective guard dogs but will be enough to scare intruders with their frightening sound. Additionally, some might sound scarier than they look or act.
Nevertheless, just the bark of these breeds will be an effective burglar deterrent.
Size: Extra Large (70 to 130 pounds)
The Akita is a breed known for strong protective instincts and several other traits that are ideal for a watchdog. They are not very vocal but will bark to alert, and their bark is as menacing as you would imagine such an enormous dog to have.
Not surprisingly, these dogs are wary of strangers and will need plenty of socialization to accept guests and the presence of other animals.
Loyalty is among the best traits of the Akita. They may not be as affectionate as many other breeds but will look after and defend their home and family no matter the cost.
Size: Large (80 to 110 pounds)
Bloodhounds are not considered very good guard dogs because they are not particularly protective. They aren’t territorial and don’t have the instincts to defend property.
However, their loud, slow, and low-pitched bark is often described as blood-curling. And, they’re one of the world’s most vocal breeds.
These dogs are effective enough watchdogs just by using their voice to alert you of a disturbing presence or something unusual going on.
If you’re interested in a Bloodhound with a stronger work ethic, check out the traits of the German Shepherd-Bloodhound mix.
Size: Extra Large (100 to 130 pounds)
Bullmastiffs are known for their large bodies with dense musculature—a build enough to deter anyone that might mean harm. They are excellent guard dogs because they are vigilant to things going on in their environment and they will only bark when they sense danger and to alert of potential threats.
When they bark, the sound is thunderous and intimidating. Nevertheless, these are excellent household pets that are affectionate and eager to please.
Want an even more frightening guard dog? Check out the Bullmastiff-German Shepherd mix.
Size: Large (60 to 100 pounds)
The sight of a Doberman is frightening enough. Their loud, terrifying barks combined with their lean bodies and threatening expressions make them good guard dogs.
Their strong protective nature is combined with a fearlessness that will make them engage threats when needed. They will not be afraid to approach and attack should the situation call for it. But to their humans, these dogs are playful, affectionate, and patient even with young children.
Doberman Pinschers are like German Shepherds in many ways. Check out how they compare: German Shepherd vs Doberman.
5) Dogo Argentino
Size: Large (88 to 100 pounds)
The Dogo Argentino was originally bred as a hunting dog, so they are naturally athletic. They are courageous, watchful, and naturally protective. And when they bark, the tone and volume are enough to garner shivers.
When the Dogo Argentino isn’t sensing any threats, however, they are delightful companions. They are loyal and affectionate to their family, friendly to strangers, and playful to anyone who will engage.
6) German Shepherd
Size: Large (50 to 90 pounds)
In terms of barking, they can be trained to bark discriminately and warn only against potential threats.
GSDs have a distinctive sounding defensive bark that can deter any unwanted presence. If that doesn’t work, just the sight of these instantly recognizable guard dogs is frightening enough to approach a property.
To their family, they are sweet and even gentle with children. Though they’re not too keen on having strangers around, they are often wonderfully playful once they warm up to you.
7) Great Dane
Size: Extra Large (110 to 175 pounds)
The Great Dane’s collective traits make them a good guard dog for first-time dog owners. Their gigantic bodies are enough to deter threats but they also have a loud, roaring bark that is scary enough for people to challenge.
Great Danes are also naturally protective of their home and family. But they are excellent family dogs because they are happy to lounge around and switch off at home once they’ve burned off their excess energy. They also tend to be sweet and playful.
Size: Large (55 to 80 pounds)
It might be surprising to see the Labrador on this list because the breed is universally loved for its even temperament. But according to surveys led by UK’s Churchill Home Insurance, the sound of a Labrador is menacing enough to stop Britons off their tracks.
In fact, almost 40% identified the bark of the Labrador to be the most frightening while approximately half of all respondents thought the Labrador’s bark belonged to the more frightening Rottweiler.
Knowing that the Labrador is an effective intruder deterrent means you don’t need a working breed for protection. You can at least enjoy the safety of your home even while having a jolly, affectionate family dog.
9) Rhodesian Ridgeback
Size: Large (70 to 85 pounds)
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have athletic bodies and a dignified stance. Apart from their size, they are intimidating because of the ominous bark and howl that hounds are known for.
These dogs are very vigilant but not very vocal so, when they start barking, you know it’s a situation that needs checking out.
Ridgebacks were originally bred to track and bay lions. But despite their courage and willfulness, they are known to be loyal and affectionate dogs that are good with children and trainable to behave properly around other animals.
Although they aren’t very common, a Rhodesian Ridgeback-German Shepherd mix might also suit your needs and preferences.
Size: Large (80 to 135 pounds)
The Rottweiler is often associated with aggression but they are actually sweet-natured and playful dogs. They are also remarkably smart and easy to train.
They are, however, incredibly protective and have the confidence to engage potential threats.
They also have loud, frightening barks that are often accompanied by terrifying throaty growls. If that’s not enough to deter burglars and trespassers, the sight of these large, muscular dogs surely will.
To learn more about their guarding abilities, check out how Rottweilers compare with German Shepherds.
11) Scottish Terrier
Size: Small (18 to 22 pounds)
The Scottish Terrier’s size makes it an unlikely addition to this list. However, the breed is actually well known for being very vocal. In fact, they rank among the top breeds for alarm barking and share the top three spots with GSDs and Rottweilers.
Although their tiny bodies might make their barks shriller than large dogs, they’re enough to keep strangers away. This breed also has a strong protective nature and will alert you to anything they might perceive as a threat.
Nevertheless, these dogs are also very affectionate with family and can be a delight to have around the home.
12) Tibetan Mastiff
Size: Extra Large (70 to 120 pounds)
No person in their right mind will try something stupid in the presence of a giant dog like a Tibetan Mastiff. The sheer size of these dogs along with their imposing stance already make them very frightening.
This is especially true when they start to bark and seem to put all their power and might in their voice.
But apart from their scary bark, Tibetan Mastiffs are excellent protection dogs because they are naturally vigilant and watchful. They are reserved and aloof to strangers but are affectionate to their humans.
Why Do Large Dogs Have Louder Barks?
Larger dogs have longer vocal folds, which allow them to take in larger breaths of air. They also have larger lung capacities, skulls, and chests. All this contributes to louder barks in comparison to smaller dogs.
Apart from volume, the anatomy of large dogs makes them better at producing lower pitches. So apart from being louder, they are also more menacing because of the lower frequencies.
The growling that often accompanies defensive barking will also be more audible in large dogs.
Having a dog at home is usually enough to make you feel safe. This is especially true if they can intimidate unwanted presences just by the way they sound.
Keep in mind, however, that dogs offer much more than their barks. Make sure you know how much care and attention having a dog will require before committing to one.
These dog breeds with scary barks are all excellent choices. But if you’re mostly after having a dog with strong protective instincts but are relatively low maintenance, consider low-energy guard dog breeds.