What is it?
The Guardsman dog guard is a vehicle-specific barrier that separates the cabin of the car from the boot, which protects you and your pet while in the car. Guardsman has been running since 1964 and is also a long-term supplier of dog guards and cages to both Guide Dogs and The Dogs Trust.
It's durable and easy to install, but at £100 (for the Audi Q2 variant we tested), is it worth your money?
What's it like?
The Guardsman dog guard is very easy to install, taking us around 10 minutes to fully fit the guard into our Q2. Like the Travall dog guard that we reviewed, the Guardsman barrier slots behind the rear seats. It's a simple case of moving the rear seatbacks forward, putting the barrier over the hooks that hold the seats in place and then moving the seats back into place to hold the barrier.
Fitting instructions are supplied and all bolts used to assemble the dog guard frame are tightened using an Allen key, which is also provided. The guard weighs about 5kg, so it isn't heavy — but leaning into the boot while trying to position the guard correctly is easier with an extra pair of hands (although we managed fine alone).
The metal sections, which hold the guard in place, slot into the rubber seal of the boot. We left the guard in place during the six weeks we tested it, but if you do need to remove it then it's very easy. The guard has no sharp edges, so scratching yourself, your car or your dog won't be an issue.
We tested the Guardsman guard with an energetic pup called PJ (who didn't want to stay still for many photos), and a 11-year old Springer Spaniel called Poppy. The guard worked very well for both dogs and, despite a few scratches and bites, proved very sturdy and durable. It never rattles and feels like a quality product.
Guardsman dog guards are made with a strong 19mm steel frame with 50mm steel mesh. The metal is powder coated black and the products come with a five-year warranty. There are dozens of variations of the guards, so finding one to fit your vehicle shouldn't be very difficult.
Our Audi Q2 has a panoramic sunroof, which can sometimes be an issue for dog guards because the roof lining is dropped slightly lower to accommodate the sunroof mechanism. This makes no difference on most Guardsman guard variants, though on some there are different brackets. A few are re-designed completely to fit cars with sunroofs.
One of the best things about the Guardsman guard is that we can leave our parcel shelf in while the guard is in place. This means we can still use our boot like normal when the dog isn't in there (obviously), as well as not needing to keep our parcel shelf on the back row of seats.
One issue is that the guard doesn't cover the entirety of the back seats, but this is quite common with dog guards. If your dog doesn't like being kept in the boot, they may try to scratch at the exposed back of the rear seats though.
Should I buy one?
The Guardsman guard is a very good quality product and does exactly what it says it does. It's lightweight, easy to install and doesn't rattle — but it is pricey (although you get free delivery straight from the Guardsman website). There are various cheaper guard options, many of which are universal for all vehicles and will do the job. But you get what you pay for, which is likely to be a rattling, flimsy guard if you get something cheap.
If you want a sturdy barrier that isn't complicated to install and will keep your dog from jumping over the back seats, this one is the best we've tested. Plus, the fact that it's used by dog charities like The Dogs Trust should reaffirm how good it is.