Five Large Dog Breeds For People That Like to Be Alone

Cane corso.
Cane corso. | Source

I guess I could have made this another list of dogs I would not own. There is nothing wrong with these dogs, though, if you like to live risky and don’t mind going to bed each night and knowing that tomorrow might be the day you are sued. My life is one of solitude but, even out in the isolated area in which I live, I will have an occasional visitor. Sometimes a neighbor will send over one of their kids to surf the internet, once a month the meter reader comes by to read the electricity and monitor my water consumption, and at odd times I have even had a social call. I can count on my dog to bark and alert me, but that is all. I think a watch dog is enough.

None of these breeds are definitely going to bite, but they are all powerful, and if they do bite you are in for some headaches. They are certainly not meant for an apartment. There was a case in San Francisco where a pair of Presa Canarios were kept in an apartment, and of course the owners had to take the dogs out each day on the elevator. One or both of the dogs ended up killing a neighbor. They dogs were not correctly socialized and really needed to be owned by a hermit living alone at the end of a long road.

I´ve noticed that Cesar Millan never has any of these big dogs in his rehab center. Does that mean that none of them need rehab, or that they are so big and nasty that he does not want to deal with them? Descriptions of almost every one of these dog breeds include warnings about trying to establish dominance. Is that the problem?

So what are the five perfect dogs for a solitary life?

Caucasian Shepherd.
Caucasian Shepherd. | Source

Caucasian Shepherd

These big-boned mountain dogs have the heavy coat and the rugged appearance of a bear. These dogs can be any size, as long as it is big, and males weigh anywhere from 110 pounds and up.

They are in that class of guard dogs that does not always listen. That may be okay in a slacker Maltese, but in a 100+ pounder? The Caucasian Shepherd is well known as both a territorial and dog aggressive breed.

If you need a tough livestock guard because you still have wolves and bears running around your property, and don’t mind whatever else your dog might kill, this is a great choice.

Neapolitan Mastiff.
Neapolitan Mastiff. | Source

Neapolitan Mastiff

The “Harry Potter” dog is big and has a terrific growl. They have traditionally been used as guard dogs because of their size (males often reach 150 pounds) and fierce appearance, but some dog fanciers complain that they are so over bred that they no longer get around normally.

This is a guard dog, not a watch dog. They protect their family and are more likely to sneak up on a thief as alert him by barking. They do not care for strangers so, even if your Neapolitan Mastiff is well socialized, he may end up biting just to protect his property.

If you want a drooling guard to maintain your peace, this is the dog to own.

Cane corso.
Cane corso. | Source

Cane Corso

This Italian breed is a little smaller than its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff but it is more athletic and is just as strong. They were used to watch cattle and also to hunt wild boar, and the dogs that survived their tasks have a mouth as wide as it is long.

Like all the solitary breeds, this dog needs early socialization, good training, and an owner willing to spend most of his time with his dog. The Cane Corso will do best if it has a job to do and it is distracted.

This dog breed hasn’t been outlawed yet but it really has not been around all that long. It was only introduced to the US in 1987. If you want one to protect you buy it now, as BSL will probably be coming soon.

Presa Canario.
Presa Canario. | Source

Presa Canario

The Presa Canario is a little smaller than some of the other “solitude” breeds but it has been described as a Pit Bull on steroids; the dog is athletic and moves like a big cat. Males can be up to 160 pounds but most dogs aren’t that big since they cannot do their herding jobs when too large.

They require early socialization, good obedience training, and a household where they can be in charge of the other canine members.

If you can meet all of this dog´s requirements, and need a dog that looks like he can handle anything, a Presa Canario may be right for you.

Fila brasiliero.
Fila brasiliero. | Source

Fila Brasileiro

This is another dog breed that keeps door to door salesmen away. They are large, with a big head and a stocky build. One of the breed characteristics that has been selected for, along with the dog´s guard abilities, is the Fila´s appreciation of solitude. They do not do well in households with a lot of visitors. Like all the guard breeds, they need to be well socialized, but even that is no guarantee. A Fila does not much care for changes.

In the UK and several other countries this dog is already among those affected by Breed Specific Legislation. It is illegal to guard your property with one of these dogs if you live in one of those areas. If you don’t, and need a guard dog powerful enough to run down a jaguar, this is the dog for you!

I expect lots of negative comments. The only dog on this list that I have never worked with is the Caucasian Shepherd, though, and I have several neighbors that own the other breeds. The Fila´s on one side of my house are territorial but meek when they escape; the older Fila female who lives on the other side of my house is like any dominant female, and always in control no matter where she is. None of these dogs should be taken on by a novice dog handler, and if you are looking for a good watch dog for your family I believe there are a lot of other choices.

But are you ready for a little solitude? If you like to be alone, just buy one of these dogs and I can assure you that few visitors will come knocking on your door.

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Comments 14 comments

Dargo84 9 months ago

Well, I'm a few years late to this party but I agree with your comments. There are too many stupid people who think all dog breeds are generally the same and don't do ANY research prior to choosing a dog. Thus over 30% of all dogs in American shelters are pitbulls and pittie mixes. The dogs on the page should NOT be owned unless they really know what the hell they are doing. Anyway.

I have personally met a Caucasian Ovtcharka and it was the only time in my 50 years I thought, "This dog could easily kill me." I couldn't believe how big he was. As long as his owner was around he was a sweetheart and loved a good scratchin. But they are not to be trifled with. She told me of the numerous times her CO chased off both bears and wolves (she lived in the mountains of Colorado with some alpacas). He was fearless. I have been a life-long chow-chow owner and until I can retire back at the family farm, I wouldn't think of owning one of these dogs.

I've posted a video I found taken during the 1930's Soviet-era. It is from a village that used some of the C.O.s to protect their sheep from wolves.

TRIGGER WARNING: wolves graphically kill a few sheep. CO's graphically kill the wolves.

Clarissa09 15 months ago

I own a cane corso and hes actually very cuddly and lovable. To everyone and everything. Very even tempered with minimal training. Hes very intelligent and a quick learner. Great with my 7 month old, 2 year old, 6 year old, and 10 year old daughters. He lives with two cats. Hes 1 year old. Pure bred. Oh and all the dogs at the breeder were just as friendly. And they arent new they are ancient. Almosr wen extinct but was brought back in the 80s. I think chihuahuas are more vicious than ANY of these dogs and i hate the stigma against them because they are large breeds.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 22 months ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks for that comment, Omar, I did not realize you were in the hallway of that apartment building when the dogs got loose from the owner. No, they were not chained; the dogs lived in an apartment.

Omar 22 months ago

You moron you should do your research before claiming that the two presa canarios attacked a female neighbor by using the elevator . The owners were going to start a dog fighting ring and they decided to use presa canarios. Any experienced or knowledgeable dog owner would that chaining a dog up up would cause them to be overly aggressive. And that's what they've done. They chained up their whole life . So they broke loose and killed the neihbor.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I like several of them, but as you point out, they just are not right for me.

Nettlemere profile image

Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

Definitely not breeds to select on a whim and not the breeds for me either. But it was nice to see the dogs in the bottom video who clearly got a lot of the right sort of attention from their owner.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks. Cane Corsos are actually pretty decent dogs, and I train some really nice ones, but I would not really want to have one running around my front yard (I have a small fence and have too many kids popping by to use my computer.).

Farmer Rachel profile image

Farmer Rachel 4 years ago from Minnesota

Great hub. I haven't had any personal experience with any of these dogs as far as I know, but my father does have a dog that we adopted from the shelter that looks like some kind of a pit bull/Staffordshire terrier and, now that I see one, maybe Cane Corso too. The dog is stripey and has a white chest blaze like that, anyway. We named him "Cujo" - should tell you about his temperament with strangers! I thought this was a great hub. Voted up etc.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks for the comment. I laughed out loud reading your alternative title! Yesterday I started training a Cane Corso that fit none of the stereotypes, but, as you mentioned, a lot of it has to do with his owners. I still have not met a Caucasian Shepherd, though, so I have to reserve my judgement on that one.

Little two two profile image

Little two two 4 years ago from Canada

I am not going to be negative in my comments. I can appreciate the warning you give 'newbie' dog owners. But I think you did a disservice to each of these breeds by only mentioning (or focusing) on their negative aspects. I have owned a number of 'hard to handle dogs' and quite frankly it boiled down to the owner and how the dog was taught. Every breed of animal has its faults and risks, and if owners would educate themselves before bringing animals home, we would have a lot less 'solitaire', 'dangerous', 'ferocious' branded breeds. Risks are only risks so long as you ignore them. Education and training of the animals and proper training to pet owners, would go so very far in preventing attacks and negative labels.

Personally this article should have been called, breeds of dogs that are to smart for the stupid pet owner. It's owners that create these problems, not the dogs.

DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

Thanks for the comments. tillsontitan, someone wants them, but, as much as I love dogs, I admit they are not for me.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

An introduction into some strange breeds. I can't imagine anyone wanting one of these dogs, especially after reading your hub. Job well done.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

I am not going to give you a negative comment. They all look like courageous creatures. I didn't realize the mastiff was sneaky! I always thought this would be a great dog to have(oh I know, not know, not with the 3 I have). Well, guess I can admire, but most likely the mastiff is really not for me.

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

If you are not an experienced dog handler, you should heed Dr. Mark's advice here! I have had interaction with two Presa Canario dogs, and both were very intimidating moments, and I am pretty darn dog savvy-- having over 40 years of k9 experience. But, this breed had me looking for an escape route, and pronto! Good advice for those looking for a life of solitude, DrMark1961! Voting up, sir.


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    DrMark1961565 Followers
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    Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He also trains dogs, mostly large breeds and dogs suffering from aggression problems.

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