Are Goldendoodles Protective: Are They Guard or Watchdogs?

Protective dogs can be great, but they can also be a nuisance. You might want your dog to alert you if there is a stranger at the door. But that doesn’t mean you want them to growl and snap when you get too close to their food. If you want to get a Goldendoodle, this is the place to learn more about if they are protective.

Two Goldendoodle Dogs Together
Two Goldendoodle Dogs

Goldendoodles are not particularly protective. They will probably give an intruder a toy before they bite them. However, they are very vocal, which can make them relatively good watchdogs.

Let’s delve a little bit deeper into the reason why Goldendoodles are not very protective, as well as some exceptions to the rule. What are the signs your Goldendoodle is being protective and can you train your Goldendoodle as a watchdog or a guard dog?

Genetics of Goldendoodle Protectiveness

Standard Goldendoodle
Standard Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle is a hybrid breed by crossing a Poodle of any size with a Golden Retriever dog.

Historically, both Poodles and Golden Retrievers were used for similar purposes; retrieving birds on hunts. This means that they are incredibly energetic and have high endurance.

However, they never actually needed to do any hunting themselves, or look after other animals.

In other words, they were never bred to be guard dogs or watchdogs. This has carried through to the Goldendoodle.

But, even though the Goldendoodle is not necessarily bred to alert or defend, it does come from two breeds that are very good at human interaction and are relatively vocal.

This means that they are quite trainable, and can be vocal in certain situations where the basic protective instincts of all dogs may appear.

Reasons why Goldendoodles Make Bad Watchdogs

Goldendoodle - Golden Retriever Poodle Cross Dog
Goldendoodle with his ball

Let’s look at some of the reasons why Goldendoodles make bad watchdogs or guard dogs. For the sake of simplicity, guard dogs and watchdogs will be used interchangeably and will refer to a dog that may alert you to the fact that there is danger.

It is not the same as an attack dog, although in practice there may be some overlap.

No Genetic Background

As mentioned above, there is no genetic background that makes the Goldendoodle a suitable watch or guard dog.

Genetics can play a very big role in the personality and characteristics of an individual animal, as well as the breed as a whole. Although it is still possible that your Goldendoodle may be a good guard dog as an individual, the chances of that happening are extremely slim.

This is true for all generations of Goldendoodles.

Too Friendly

Goldendoodles are very friendly dogs, and most of them do not display anxiousness when they are around strange people or animals. This is especially true if they have been socialized regularly.

This is not a trait that you necessarily want in a guard dog.

Golden Retrievers will probably run to the door when they realize that someone is coming in, but regardless of who it is, they will give them a friendly greeting. If your Goldendoodle is especially friendly, they may even try to play with the intruder, before they try to alert you to the fact that anyone is there.

The same is true if you are out on the street. There are some characteristics that are shared by all dogs, such as violent reactions to being hurt or afraid. But, you do not want it to get to that point.

Not Overly Protective

Goldendoodles love people in general. They may be protective of your family, but they will very rarely act protective outside of the home.

If you want a watchdog who can give you an alert out on a walk or while in the park with your kids, then this is definitely not the right fit for you.

Reasons why Goldendoodles Make Good Watch Dogs

Goldendoodle Dog
Goldendoodle sitting outside

Now that we have addressed some of the reasons why you might not want to get a Goldendoodle as a watchdog, let’s look at some of the reasons why yours might make a good one.

Remember, every dog is different, so some Goldendoodles will portray the characteristics below a great deal, and others not at all.

Easily Trained

Goldendoodles are easy to train in comparison to other dogs. This means that it should be simple to teach your Goldendoodle to heel off leash and walk calmly with you when you are feeling uncertain.

Some Goldendoodles may even be trained as service dogs.

Although this does not make them good watchdogs by itself, it means you can teach them commands that help can benefit your personal safety.

One such example is barking or speaking on command. If you are unsure in a situation, having a relatively large dog bark next to you may be a sufficient deterrent. If you fear an intruder, commanding your dog to bark may make them change their minds about entering your home.

This is just one example of many.


Goldendoodles can be territorial. This does not really have anything to do with their genetics. It is thought that it may be attributed to the early development of the Goldendoodle, although it is very difficult to tell.

Territorial behavior definitely isn’t present in all Goldendoodles, but when it is it can make them great guard dogs.

They tend to bark rather loudly and will do so when their territory is, in their opinion, threatened.

This is not always great though. And there are many reasons people try to avoid this territorial behavior whenever possible.


A lot of Goldendoodles are reasonably vocal. When paired with other characteristics, such as territorialism and being trained to bark at a given command, this can be extremely beneficial.

If you want a Goldendoodle as a watchdog or guard dog, consider encouraging their barking in the correct circumstances.

Goldendoodles as Trained Attack Dogs

As mentioned above, there is a big difference between watchdogs, who alert you when there is a problem, and attack dogs.

So, are Goldendoodles good attack dogs?

The answer to this is definitely no. They just do not have a violent background. A lot of them rarely growl in uncomfortable situations, never mind bite.

However, you may still be able to get them to rush at an attacker and jump up on them.

Overall, Goldendoodles make very poor attack dogs though, and only mediocre watchdogs.

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