are dogs that alert their owners to strangers approaching or any unusual
activity in or around their homes. They are different from guard dogs
because guard dogs are bred and trained to actually fight intruders,
whereas watchdogs simply let you know there is an intruder. Although
watchdogs can be good guard dogs and vice versa, they are not one in the
same. One of the many reasons people enjoy having dogs around is for a
little extra protection; after all, dogs can hear someone coming from
much further away than we can. So choosing a breed that makes a good
watchdog is a great option for many people. Another factor that plays a
big role in one’s decision making is size, as many don’t want to or
cannot house a large or giant breed. For this reason, we’ve gathered a
list of excellent watchdogs that are small in stature. But don’t worry,
what they lack in physical size they make up for in personality!
#1 – Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is small but mighty and
is typically not recommended for the novice owner. They are very active
and intelligent dogs that are particularly stubborn and will have no
problem taking over your household. That said, a well-trained Cairn
makes an outstanding active companion that will alert to anyone
approaching its home.
#2 – Dachshund
Both the Standard and Miniature Dachshund
make excellent watchdogs. They are alert, active and stubborn but are
affectionate and devoted toward their families. The breed is prone to
resource guarding, even their owners, so it’s important to remind them
that alerting to unusual behavior is acceptable but aggression is not.
#3 – Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers may be smaller than
their Standard and Giant counterparts, but they are no less courageous.
The breed was originally used as a ratting dog and has a strong-willed,
terrier-like personality. They make great watchdogs and take their job
#4 – Schipperke
The Schipperke is a small spitz-type
breed from Belgian, originally used for sheep herding. They are active,
alert and intelligent dogs and getting past one without being noticed is
nearly impossible. They are very strong-willed and are generally not
recommended for first-time dog owners.
#5 – Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher might be a
fraction of the size of the Doberman it resembles, but it is just as
fearless. In fact, many prefer Miniature Pinschers as guard dogs because
they are constantly active and alert. Assertive and independent, this
breed does best with experienced owners.
#6 – Tibetan Terrier
The Tibetan Terrier might look like a
lazy lapdog, but it was actually bred to be a companion to Buddhist
monks and watchdogs for their monasteries. They are deeply affectionate
and loyal to their families, but assertive and wary of strangers. They
have maintained the ability to be excellent watchdogs.
#7 – Toy & Miniature Poodle
Both the Toy and Miniature Poodle are
listed here because their temperaments and watchdog capabilities are
both excellent. The size difference is not huge; Toys being roughly 10
inches tall and Miniatures 10-15 inches tall at the withers. Although
the breed has a reputation of being stubborn and grouchy, they are
actually all active and intelligent dogs that make great companions with
the right training and exercise.
#8 – Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terrier maintains a true
terrier temperament; strong-willed and confident. They are wonderful
watchdogs and typically reserved toward strangers. That said, they
become very attached to their families and make great active companions.
#9 – Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is known for being a
barker, but when properly trained the breed is actually an outstanding
watchdog. Many Chihuahuas get away with yapping, but they can learn to
bark only when needed and can be counted on to be dedicated alarms.
Chihuahuas are generally very sweet and affectionate dogs that make
great companions with the right training.