Not All Dogs Are Suited For Survival: 5 Suggestions to Help You Choose

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by John Woods

Are you thinking of adding a new canine member to your family? If what you are really looking for is a survival dog, there are a few things you need to seriously consider. Some dogs are more well suited to be just companions, while others are better suited to be protectors. What a prepper really needs is a combination of both.

Canines have been around for thousands of years. They have stuck with us for decades, through wars and natural disasters. They have proven to us that they are true companions and assets.

Which canine breed is most suited for the role of survival dog? Could there be more than one? In a world with over 100 dog breeds, this question may be very tricky to answer and research.

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Together we have created a list of the five best dog breeds for preppers. We have not only selected our five best survival dogs, but we have also detailed our reasons for choosing them to help you decide which dog is best for you!

What makes a good prepper dog breed?

When it comes to selecting an excellent prepper breed; there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Do you have land and/or animals that need protection?
  • Do you require personal protection?
  • Do you require a companion as well as a guardian?

Prepper dogs should confidently protect your land, animals, and especially your family. Protection breeds should have the following traits and abilities:

  • Alert dogs, in which they bark or signal to you that there is a threat nearby.
  • Physical intimidation; a larger breed is more intimidating to intruders or threats than a smaller breed. Larger and physically daunting breeds are taken more seriously
  • Man-stoppers; these breeds can physically fight or restrain potential threats by force

A great prepper dog should offer companionship. A good companion is nice to have around in a world that is ending or under alert levels. For preppers who are solo, having a dog can make all the difference. Man’s best friend can be great company and an amazing asset.

Size is another consideration when it comes to choosing your survival dog. Larger dog breeds indeed offer more physical intimidation. Also, larger breeds are less prone to being attacked by predators such as eagles, coyotes, or larger dogs. No matter how tough a smaller dog may be, they can quickly be snatched up by unwanted predators in crazy circumstances.

Let’s talk about loyalty, work-ethic, and obedience.

Working dogs naturally possess these three characteristics. Even during unexpected or extreme circumstances such as adverse weather conditions or sudden threats . Having a hard-working canine by your side is certainly a plus if the SHTF. Sled-dogs, hunting, or herding dogs are great examples of diligent canine workers.

We understand how frustrating it can be to find a dog breed that covers all characteristics without faults. It can be tricky as not every pup is the same. Just like humans, dogs are individuals with their quirks, personalities, and temperaments.

If your land size allows, we recommend investing in a “dog pack.” Having a variety of dog breeds for individual tasks can be a smart choice for some preppers.

Keep reading to find out which canine companions we recommend.

Kangal Shepherd

The Kangal Shepherd is a giant-sized ancient dog breed that originated in Turkey. This Turkish dog breed has been bred and admired over many years due to its impeccable size, strength, and protective instincts.

PROS

They are strong. Known for their strength, the Kangal Shepherd has the strongest bite force of all the canine breeds. With a bite force of over 700 pounds per square inch, this is astounding compared to a German Shepherd with just 238 pounds per square inch.

Perceptive and intuitive. The Kangal breed is a natural when it comes to perceiving threats and predators. They can sense them a mile away! Rest assured, your home and family will be well-protected long before you can even sense a threat

They are agile and fast. Predators stand no chance. The Kangal breed can reach 30 miles per hour on foot. That is as fast as moving car on the road.

CONS

Dominating. The Kangal Shepherd is a dominating breed that can be quite intimidating to everyone – even other dogs! This breed is known to be domineering over other dogs, cats, or animals. Issues may arise if you wish to have more than one breed on your land.

Not great off-leash. Should the need arise for your Kangal Shepherd to be walked on-leash or in a public setting, difficulties may arise. This breed does not do well off-lead and may not listen when called back. They are known to ignore owners and simply run-off to explore—a trait that is not so entertaining for any owner. Begin leash-training and call-backs at an early age.

A mighty breed, agile, strong, and intimidating, the Kangal Shepherd certainly makes the cut as one of the best prepper dogs. With a Kangal Shepherd by your side, you will always feel well guarded.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is one of America’s favorite working dogs. A breed adored for their strength, intelligence, and obedience – the German Shepherd is utilized throughout both the military and police forces worldwide.

PROS

Intelligent. The German Shepherd is an extremely obedient companion who is not only easy to train, but also thrives in doing so.

Protective. This German dog breed makes a great breed for preppers who require a companion and an asset for the protection of their land.

Perceptive. Not only can the German Shepherd protect land, but their intelligence allows them to perceive any potential threats before they may materialize. They are a very intuitive breed.

Loving and loyal fur-ends. Companionship and loyalty are both important characteristics when selecting a dog breed. German Shepherds may be fearless and protective, but they are also loving and loyal to their owners, which drives them to support and serve.

CONS

Hard to Handle. German Shepherds are one of the best breeds to undergo “man-stopper training.” However, man-stopper breeds may be too powerful. Therefore, applying this training to your pup depends mainly on your capabilities as an owner and handler.

Prone to hip dysplasia. The German Shepherd breed is genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, this is a disease that cannot be ruled out. As your pup ages, their hips may become fragile, and they may not be so great in performing their everyday duties, which may lead to them retiring earlier than expected.

Mentally and Physically Demanding. The German Shepherd breed is a worker who requires mental and physical stimulation every day. Without proper stimulation, they may become destructive. This dog should not be left to their own devices. They need interaction and a change of scenery. That ensures they do not become bored or develop any unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking. Barking is an “alert” tool, and excessive or unnecessary barking can be unhelpful and misleading for owners.

The German Shepherd is one of the most hard-working and loyal breeds known to man. Remember, Chips? A military pup hero who defended soldiers against active shooters during World War II. A great example of how protective, perceptive, and intelligent the German Shepherd breed is.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees originated in the Pyrenees Mountain Ranges located in between Spain and France. This breed was originally used for livestock guardianship. And, they are still admired for their guardian skills today!

PROS

Natural guardians. Instinctually they are protective and natural guardians of other animals that may live on your land. They have loud and deep booming barks which are sure to alert you of intruders while also scaring them away.

Giant. Their large size (males 100 lbs. +, females 85 lbs. +) makes them intimidating to predators or intruders. (Daisy has Thor, a Great Pyrenees. That should be proof enough they are a great choice!)

Docile and gentle. They make a great companion for family members, including families with smaller children. A prepper dog should be protective yet affectionate towards their loved ones. Trust works both ways!

CONS

Stubborn. The Great Pyrenees is a naturally independent dog. They tend to be quite stubborn and are not so easy to train. Training your pup may take longer than expected, and even then, they may decide to ignore you. That can be a problem for a prepper breed as you will preferably desire a hard-working and obedient breed.

The Great Pyrenees is a keen guardian. Additionally, they have extraordinary working abilities as they were known to secure flock, deter predators, and even pull-carts. They make great working companions.

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German Short-Haired Pointer

German Short-Haired Pointers were bred in Germany in the late 1800s. The German Short-Haired Pointer is one of the world’s most adept hunting and sporting breeds.

PROS

Master Hunters:  Prey doesn’t stand a chance. German Short-Haired Pointers are renowned for their hunting skills and their fearlessness against predators.

Faithful. Hunting is not their only desirable trait. Above all, they are faithful companions who remain loyal and affectionate towards all family members.

Agile and Energetic: Running, swimming, long hikes. You name it, these guys can and will partake. And you will want to make sure they get enough of these activities daily!

CONS

People-orientated. The German Short-Haired Pointer is “a breed of the people.” They adore attention. They don’t do well solo and don’t like being too independent. Some German Short-Haired Pointers may even develop separation anxiety. This trait may be their downfall as a prepper dog as you will need to invest plenty of time by their side instead of guarding the property alone.

Boisterous. The German Short-Haired Pointer is known to be a boisterous breed. Sure, this causes no problems when they are outside. However, if they need to be indoors for prolonged periods, then this may cause some damage. During an emergency such as a natural disaster, the last thing you want is to worry about further damage caused by your “tornado puppy.” A prepper dog should be adaptable to both the indoors and outdoors if need be.

They can be obedient and low-maintenance so long as their exercise demands are met.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized sled dog who hails from Siberia. This breed is known for its athleticism and agility. Huskies are born pack dogs and get along well with others. Siberians are valued for their work ethic in even the most adverse weather conditions.

PROS

Can pull their own weight: Literally! These dogs were bred to be sled-dogs. Siberian Huskies are raised and bred to be hard-workers who never give up when the going gets tough.

Naturally protected from the elements. Their coats can withstand even the coolest of climates. Siberian Huskies double-coats are weather-resistant, which means they can handle the harshest of environments.

Active and Energetic: Siberian Huskies thrives on activities and exercise such as walks, hikes and even bike rides! They make the perfect companion for preppers who are adventure seekers or who live in the great outdoors.

CONS

Extremely friendly: The Husky is a friendly breed, even to strangers! Therefore, we do not recommend this breed as a sole prepper dog. If you require a dog for personal protection, then perhaps you should look elsewhere.

High maintenance coat. The Siberian Husky’s coat has always been critical to their survival. As mentioned, they can withstand even the coolest of climates. However, a double coat like the Husky’s is not always easy to care for. They require regular brushing and blow-outs – this takes time, and in worse case scenarios, it requires professional help.

Notorious escape artists: Known for their naughty antics, Huskies need an owner they respect who will train them properly. If your prepper dog is continuously breaking free and escaping from your property, you may become frustrated. If they aren’t around to help when you need them, then there may be a slight issue!

Remember, the Siberian Husky is renowned for being stubborn and a little naughty if given a chance. We recommend this dog breed for preppers who have the time and dedication to earn their pups’ respect!

What’s your favorite prepper breed?

Man’s best friend is definitely an asset during a disaster and to aid in our survival. The canine can provide us with protection, hunting skills, working abilities, friendship, and companionship. Our top 5 breeds have been well-selected due to their ability as working dogs, their loyalty as companions, and their devotion as friends.

About John

John Woods is a graduate in animal welfare and behavior, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

Not All Dogs Are Suited For Survival: 5 Suggestions to Help You Choose
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