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. Regardless of what kind of dog you get, proper training is essential.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dobermans have all the qualities you need. Loyal, protective, physical agility, speed, power, easy grooming and more! We have had our boy for 5 years now. He’s the best!
We lost our Dobie last November at the age of 12 and a half. He was oversized at 104 pounds, (big, not fat) but while he was active outside, he never chased any livestock or cats, was the best housebroken dog I have ever owned and was a couch potato in the house. He was not destructive. I’d get another one, but suspect none could meet him on behavior. Good with the grandkids too!
We have 3 dobies. They are loyally trained to watch our acreage and announce anyones presence. They know we are the leaders of the pack and have their own rankings. Each has their own job. Ones a mouser/gopher killer. Ones chases birds and keeps flying varmints away from the chicken coop. The oldest is the lover but is the biggest and the loudest alarm. Loyal, loving, great with people they are introduced to. Only problem is the cardiomyopathy killing them without warning. Lost one couple yrs ago to it at age 8. But they are our kids so we do what we can to keep them healthy and happy.
We own a small farm where we raise grass fed beef. Of course the Mrs. had to have some goats and llamas. Throw in a dozen chickens and 50 guineas and you have our menagerie. Our guardian dog is a female Great Pyrenees.
Not only does she keep the coyotes out but she will run under hawks circling our flock and bark up at them. The key is to minimize training them, they instinctually guard the homestead. You probably want them to come when called and stay when told but that should be all.
Wow, that’s a great livestock guardian dog! We have goats and chickens and our vet recommended we get a llama to protect them from coyotes and raptors. He said the llama would take on a pack of coyotes, whereas a dog could only deal with one. I think I’d rather have a Great Pyr, though :).
We’ve also had a black lab/German Short Hair pointer cross and she was a sight and sound hound. She saw it as her job to constantly keep watch over the property–nothing got past her!
We love our Labrador Retrievers. They are intelligent, easy to train, great loyal companions, and they are protective, barking when they know someone is approaching us or our home.
I can’t believe Labs did not make the list. Instead the author listed dogs that are hard to train and unruly.
My 2 favor breeds, Dogo Argentino and Put B
I have worked with German Shepherds trained as police dogs – they’re great for that kind of thing, but they are pretty high maintenance, and after thirty-five years being away, I am still pulling the hair out of some wool blankets.
I think training of any breed really comes down to training the owner first. If the owner can be trained and is of good character – then the dog will be much the same.
As far as breeds, I’ve owned several dogs, and my favorites have been mixed breeds. It seems to me the purebreds are prone to medical issues while the mixed breeds are sturdier.
Yes. Our mutt is wonderful. She’s 5/8 lab with Queensland heeler, Shar-pei, Mexican wolf. The lab in her keeps the other qualities in check. At 12, she’s not as spunky as she used to be. She never will catch that rabbit. But she still has her 2 mile morning hike. Good with kids and only “smiles” at them when she is annoyed more than any dog could endure.
She doesn’t raise the alarm anymore because she is getting deaf and sleeping more soundly. I think the wild species in her has made her as healthy as she is. Very obedient. Except every once in a while will bend the rules and sheepishly sneak past us on her way to where she’d rather be. DH is the alpha male and she follows and adores him wherever he goes. I’m only second best. :-D)))
We had an Austrailian shepherd for 17 yrs. She was extremely smart, very loyal to our family, great watch dog and loved herding our goat and chickens.
I always miss the malinois in these kind of lists.
I have had Great Pyrenees for 20 years and have no fear of someone coming onto my property without me knowing about it. And God forbid if they walked into the house at night, I am sure Benny would eat them. Yet they are gentle with my livestock and were wonderful with my children.
A good rat terrier. Small easy to feed (Have you SEEN the amount of food a large dog breed can eat?) ALERT and very capable of defending your home from the greatest food destroying and disease carrying problem post SHTF RATS. Most cats only toy with mice and I’ve SEEN mice eating out of a cats food dish. A good Ratter will DIG UP the whole nest and destroy them all. Most are quite good with children and protective of family. Tends to be aloof and thus not friendly to strangers.
All I ask from my dog is to alert me of something odd or wrong.
Rat terriers are also great at protecting chickens from both Rats and most other predators.
He barks and slows them down I deal with the threat. It works.
I’d like to know your thoughts on Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Would also like to see more breeds please?
I am very partial to Rottweilers and Great Danes. I have a rottie/dane mix and he is very alert, big enough to be intimidating, and very protective of me.
Be careful of pure Rottweilers. They are aggressive and not smart. Dangerous combination. Just ask the roman army that thought they good harness this and failed abysmally.
i once read that of the non tiny/small breeds, the siberian husky was the most likely to bite. but the real biters are those small ones that think mama will come to the rescue.
A well-bred Siberian will never bite. AKC Siberian Husky exhibitor/breeder of 30 years.
We won’t get another dog after our German Shepherd dies; none could compare to her. Service dog, companion, intimidator, guardian, comforter–our fierce, beautiful, gentle giant.
We have a small dog, a Bichon Frise. He looks like a poodle, often mistaken for one, but this little dog is FIERCE!!! He attacks and kills snakes, if he gets out of the yard, he will round up cows into a small bunch, and if he thinks you are attacking me, he will seriously hurt you. He is very protective, and he won’t quit until you kill him. We have watched him attack things that he considers a threat. He will not give up and walk away. That’s why he stays in the yard. I worry about him. He may be small, but he is mighty!!! We live out in the boonies. He barks at any car coming down the drive, so he alerts us to any company.
We have Pyratolians: Half to 3/4 Pyrenees, 1/4 to half Anatolian. Nice balance, a little easier to handle than full Pyrenees. BTW, they aren’t stubborn. They need to be independent, because they need to make split second decisions when they’re out guarding the herd.
We also have working farm collies. Our older boy is Border Collie/English Shepherd, and his new apprentice is full English Shepherd. Great with herding, as well as loyalty to humans and stock.
The “yard dog” is Anatolian mixed with God-only-knows what, but she is LOUD and she has incredible hearing. Big enough to be intimidating, and will do what it takes to protect “her” farm, while very manageable.
Training is the most important part of any dog’s fit on the homestead. If you don’t take the time to train a pup in how to live with stock and humans, don’t blame the dog. It is time-consuming, but it is critical to consistently work with your pup so that it grows into a great dog.
When a dog becomes unruly and unmanageable, t is almost always the fault of humans who won’t put in the work on the front end, then blame the poor animal and destroy or re-home it.
Would like to hear about some medium sized dogs that might fit the bill. These large dogs will also require a large store of dog food and a way to produce it in a SHTF situation.
I’d love to hear about that!
Try a Sheltie for mid size. Mine tried multiple times before it got the tomcat that was calling out his ‘cats’. That was fun! He also would alert when someone walked by on the sidewalk. Just a rise in his back hair. If they were to begin walking to the house he would alert to the front door. HE knew car sounds and could sense if the person was known. How I doo not know.
I was the alpha male. I went overnight on a work trip. After being gone that evening he took it on himself not to let anyone (friend or foe!) into the house with me gone. My brother in law came to the house the day after I was gone. My dog would not let him in the house!!
We had babies and cats in the house. All were family and taken well care of by the Sheltie. Excellent family and alert dog.
I had a rescued orphaned Lab-mix from the time she was about eight weeks old to just past age 13, when she passed away from cancer earlier this year. She was a great friend. Very intuitive and attentive, not destructive, and extremely smart and trainable. Her only shortcoming was that whatever breed mix she was, it caused her to lose her brain when she was younger and saw squirrels or cats, and she’d forget her otherwise excellent behavior/training and chase, even if that meant jerking the leash right out of my hand. I’ve been considering another companion pet now that might also be protective, or at least sound the alarm. I’m a single, retired, and middle-aged with some physical challenges that limits my activity level. It would also need to be a breed or mix that doesn’t require a lot of extra exercise or expensive grooming, and can manage in a small, suburban back yard with neighbors close by. With the way things are going in the country/world now, living alone without a dog to sound the alarm has become a concern. Any suggestions for a good breed or mix for such a scenario? Thanks!
Based on your scenario head to your local shelter and look for a small or medium small alert breed mix. Sounds like you need a watchdog not a guard dog. Provided you train them right most small dogs are excellent at sounding an alert from a Chihuahua to small smart Poodles and small terrier breeds. I’d not suggest a true lapdog breed as some are to placid. As the author points out — a poorly behaved dog is on you. Read up! Dogs are for life, yours or theirs!
I’ve had several of these myself and they are excellent. I’m also partial to Dobies, but not only do the larger dogs eat a lot, require more exercise and care, but they often don’t live as long.
For younger active folks larger dogs are Fine — but medium size can be fierce.
Thanks for the input! Much appreciated.
I have not owned a Queensland heeler, but I hear they are wonderful at guarding whatever needs guarding. They may be polite to your friends, but are not seriously interested in anyone outside family, generally speaking. They are intelligent, active (tireless) and somewhat stubborn.
They are medium sized at around 30 to 40 pounds, have a short but double coat, so are able to deal with the vagaries of weather. They do need training, not the type of dog you can get away with just letting them grow up.
I know a truck driver who has a blue heeler, and she’s lovely. She comes in our office and is quiet and well behaved, if called over she will saunter up and accept petting with just the slightest wag in her stubby tail. But when one of the guys hopped into the truck to talk to the driver, she met him before he made it all the way in – her teeth met his chin. Her mouth was closed, and he was not injured, but it scared him. She was completely silent
I think in close quarters that might be preferable..
We have chow-chows. They are a great breed for protection, because they have a reputation for being aggressive.
They are large enough to be intimidating, but small enough to handle.
They were originally bred to be work animals, like Huskies, and they can be trained to pull a cart or a sled.
They also have a double coat, and shed profusely. They have long fur, that can be spun into yarn. In fact, I have a scarf made from chow fur.
As a prepper breed chow-chows could make the top 10, because they’re good for protection and they have that added value of having fur that can become clothes and blankets at no loss to the animal (i.e. they don’t have to be sheared. A regular grooming is more than enough).
We recently adopted a chow chow mix and I couldn’t agree more. Chow chows can be stubborn and sometimes will pick and respond to only one owner, but we got lucky with our girl. She has a sweet docile temperament with us both, but if she doesn’t know you, look out!
We have a Collie-Lab mix named Max. Max is very intelligent, loyal, and protective. He is a big boy at over 70 lb, so he has the intimidation factor as well. We rescue dogs and usually have several dogs in residence with us, usually hounds, Labs, Newfies and now and then, a Corgi. They are the best alarm system in the world.
I’m currently living off grid, mid BC Canada. Basically almost on top of a mountain, surrounded by forest. My dog/companion/pack-member/guardian etc. is a 3 yr. old intact female Wolfdog, which I bought from a First Nations res, almost as far north you can drive to here in Canada. I know there are so called reputable breeders of the Wolfdog here in Canada but… Having been a registered breeder of dogs myself, I know way to much of what some, not all, do behind the scenes and… I did not want to risk getting one of those dogs so, I opted to buy one from someone I trusted and that knew exactly WHAT is in my dogs lineage.
Nova, my Wolfdog is one quarter Arctic Wolf and three quarters (straight backed) working stock German Shepard. Mom is a guardian German Shepard and dad is half Germans Shepard and half Arctic Wolf. I have not DNA tested Nova so, I don’t know the percentage of the Wolfs DNA is dominant or not. She definitely has the best traits of both the GSD and the Wolf. Highly guarding, especially me, since she’s been by my side 24/7 ever since I brought her home as an 8 week old bundle of fur. She wasn’t more than about 10 weeks old when she showed that she had inherited her mothers guardian instincts and alerted/barked when someone/something would come onto our property.
Wolfdogs ARE high maintenance, need a strong pack leader but NOT a harsh one. Take no crap but, don’t let them get away with small things either, cause those small things however cute they are when they’re puppies, grow into much bigger problems as they GROW… That can be said about many/most breeds but, a Wolfdog and especially a high content Wolfdog needs to learn from day one that you ARE the pack leader/Alpha.
She guards the property, livestock and even the wild mama duck that flies in every summer to raise her babies in our pond…. LOL She’ll chase off everything that doesn’t belong be it bears, coyotes or whatever. Only animal that she doesn’t go after are the wild Wolves. But, then, she’s grown up with them close by and loves standing outside late evenings or early mornings with me, “singing” together with the Wolves. The Wolves out here have never bothered either her or us two-legged. It’s more like we have a mutual understanding, with the added bonus that they get what’s left, that I don’t use, when we’ve butchered or harvested an animal….
Unfortunately, Nova is not very fond of children but, since we don’t have any, since mine are all grown up, she really doesn’t know what the heck they are. She has never bitten anyone, growled warnings YES, bitten no. Her size and warning growl is usually quite enough to stop most people in their tracks. Contrary to many Wolfdogs, I can have her off leash and roam free on our property without her taking off to explore. She is so bonded to me that, if I close the door when I’m in the ehhh… “ladies room”, she’ll be sitting outside the door waiting for me to come back out. She’s leash trained and walks calmly next to me when we drive into the small town closest to us. I do however keep a muzzle on her when in town and she’s not happy about people wanting to pet her so… She will also not allow anyone other than me to hold her leash… Once she gets to know someone that is “approved”, she’s a lap dog, even if she won’t obey them…. LOL If not approved, stay away…
I used to breed pedigree Great Pyrenees Mountain Dogs for quite a few years, while I was living in Sweden and I truly LOVE the breed with my whole heart! They say, once you’ve had a Pyrenees, you’ll always have a Pyrenees or several… They are wonderful gentle giants, that will without question or slightest hesitation give it’s life for you, family and whatever else belongs to the family. In my opinion, they are the best of the large mountain dog breeds, as they are highly intelligent and they don’t use more force than necessary. I’ve also had other mountain breeds such as the Hungarian Kuvasz and Maremma. I’ve found that both of those breeds, at least the ones I’ve had and others that I know have had, they have a much faster tendency to bite first and ask later. Not all, but many. To be honest, there are Pyrenees Mountain dogs that have got mental issues too but, in my experience, they are perfect for every aspect of guarding as well as being loving and gentle with children and small animals.
You wrote about the coats of Siberian Husky’s… The Pyrenees coat is triple layered and IS a real pain in the rear twice a year. They don’t always do well if the climate is to hot, they are more of the breed of dog that loves to bury themselves in a big pile of snow. They are highly independent dogs, that make decisions on the fly. They will obey, BUT they want to know WHY you want them to do this or that. You throw a ball for it to fetch, it might fetch it once. You throw it again, it will most likely just look at you and say, go get it yourself if you want it back.. LOL They do tend to roam and it is important that they have a job. Guarding a flock, they will stay with the flock but they need to be bonded with the flock from an early age but still, loved and tended to by the family.
Unfortunately, I will never be able to have a Pyrenees again. Reason? I had what I deem to be the best, most loving and faithful Pyrenees boy which I opted to keep from the last litter I’d breed. I kept him because he’d got hit in the head by a car when he was a very young pup, up to no good… Result was that he had lasting damage/seizures/epilepsy so, I kept him and even if he passed away after having a very serious seizure when he was only 5 yrs old, I don’t regret having kept him. More love and comfort when I needed it, I’ve never got from any of my other dogs, except from Nova perhaps. I tried to bond with another Pyr a year after he had passed but… I couldn’t stop myself from comparing him to the new Pyrenees so, when my then partner and I broke up, She (new new Pyr) moved with him since she had bonded more with him that me. I love the breed but, 10 yrs. later, My old Pyr boy is still dominant in my heart. No problem with my Wolfdog, since she’s not a Pyrenees.
But, ending this here… A pack of Pyrenees dogs when SHTF… would in my opinion be the best combination for all situations…
I have had Great Pyrs in the past and they are my absolute favorite breed – it’s not so much that they are “stubborn” but they are bred to think and make decisions independently. If you are a control freak obedience driven dog owner they are not for you. When you live with a Pyr, you sort of come to a mutual understanding about what you expect of each other, and you have to let them make their own choices. If you can do that, they are the ideal dog.
The dog I have now – the dog I am so grateful for now that the world has turned upside down – is half Great Pyr and the rest is a blend of Shepard, Malamute, Rottie, and “other” per the DNA test, but Pry personality is dominant. He is very protective (I am a single woman) and he thinks social distance is the best thing ever (no one gets close to mom). He is completely confused as to why other dogs chase balls and he is very serious and “rules oriented ” (imagine a dog with a hall monitor tattle tale personality). I had originally thought I wanted a mini Golden doodle but ended up with him… the dog really needed. He has avery very laid back Pyr personality & is very very pretty but if anyone wanted to hurt me i think he would fight to the death. Pyrs are the best, hand down
We’ve got whippets (working whippets) They can bring down a deer and catch rabbits as well as keep rats at bay, they dont eat a lot and should be able to catch their own food. They are alert to danger and will bark at intruders. Only problem is they are prone to hurting themselves and wouldnt survive in a cold environment (as they dont have an undercoat) without human protection – but on the plus side to that they were also bred as bed warmers!
I had 2 Great Pyrenees dogs when I lived on my farm and they are all that you say they are. And second the motion on being stubborn and tough to train! Still, great dogs for those able and willing to invest in training and handling them. Not for those unwilling or unable to put the time in; you need to be able to be the alpha or they will rule the roost!
Anatolians! They are giant, but don’t eat as much as even smaller dogs and traditionally they were fed grains soaked in fermented dairy. We have to watch to not feed them too much protein. The breed has more genetic variability and so are healthy and live a long time.
We absolutely love their personalities. They can take care of any threat, but start with the lowest amount of aggression and only work up if needed. They are very intelligent and independent- which means you have to do some intensive training in their first 3 months. They are imitators and will learn whatever they see at that early age. Then they follow the rules very strictly after that! They make great companions dogs, but are wary of strangers so will need lots of socialization early if they will be companions. I even know of an Anatolian who is companion/guard to a gentleman with dementia. The dog learned what was needed without being trained!
My only wish is that they were better at listening for strangers coming down the road. They are definitely sight hounds!
2 dogs minimum. It helps them and you. They don’t need to be of the same breed though and IMO, need to have some wild in them. They need to be well trained, obey every command but at the same time know when and what to do in a situation. Large dogs leave large trails. They have intimidation factor for sure, weight, speed etc. Little ones have the noise and are tenacious. 50-90lbs breeds are just about right. They need to be of mixed blood.
Depending on your location, primary/secondary etc, they need to be used to each. Familiar sights, smells and sounds.
As for feeding, they should be able to fend for themselves and not rely solely on you. That’s where the wild part comes into play. Should not fight each other for food either or snap at your hand if feeding.
You can name off several species but I think your environment will play the most crucial role in determine the selection.
I run 6 Great Pyrs and adore them….obviously! ???? They are tough enough to protect us and our entire farm yet so gentle with my two young boys. I’m so thankful for my pack!
Well… I never thought I would fall in love with a little MinPin. I call them, yep – I have two, my little Hollywood dogs as there seemed to be no shortage of celebs carrying around their micro dogs a few years ago.
Alert day and night. Any little sound and they are up and letting me know.
Great first alert dogs.
They don’t eat that much. A ten pound bag of chow lasts close to a month.
They like to hunt rats.
They don’t need much room to get a full gallop going.
They still bark at me when I get home. So I don’t have to worry about them getting chummy with a bad guy.
They really like to bark. Forget keeping them quiet.
Forget them as protection dogs.
Difficult to walk as they will wrap the leashes around my legs.
Difficult to train.
Their courage is bigger than their brains. The older pup took on a racoon and her two babies. Lets just say the racoon showed mercy.
Bottom line: nothing beets a full size dog, but I wouldn’t hesitate to have another MinPin.
Rottweilers, I have 2.
Excellent alert dogs, they get alerted way before me. Intimidating bark, almost a roar really. Defenders at my gate, I have no doubt they will fight.
Excellent trail dogs, they lead about 20 yards then they turn around looking back to see where I am. Even off trail they don’t run off, they stay close. They respond and come back immediately when I whistle for them.
They get along with every other dog here, no problems at all.
Easy to train, I love them Rotts.
Something I didn’t see in the article, but you may want to consider: there are certain breeds that will affect your homeowner’s insurance; some will not insure your property with certain breeds. My brother has Rottweilers, & his insurance company told him they wouldn’t insure him any longer because they were considered a dangerous breed.
I have a Lab/Great Dane mix. She is protective, always alerts me to company before they arrive, gets on well with the cats & chickens. Most of my dogs have been mixed breeds in the medium to large size; except for 1 of my brother’s Rottweilers that bonded with me rather than him.
You’re forgetting the dog that has proven invaluable in the harshest conditions – the Afghan Hound. Only 55 lbs, so they won’t eat all your food, they successfully hunt everything from rabbits to snow leopards. They’ve even been known to take down full-grown lions single-handedly. Don’t reinvent the wheel – go with the dog that’s already been doing this for thousands of years. Con: they think they’re better than you.
I’ve had Labs and St Bernards and a lot of other breeds. Right now we have a Kelpie that we thought from an ad by a rescue group was a Golden mix. She has issues from bad shelters she was in as a puppy in NM. But she is smart, her hearing is amazing, when she was younger she could leap 8 feet. She ran very fast and she is very protective . The first dog I’ve ever had that would not consider a treat if her owner was in danger or the situation was questionable. The cons are that she could hear a car start two blocks away in the middle of the night, she didn’t trust anyone until meeting them three or four times and with my assurance.
She was very hyper as a puppy, but she responded really well to puppy training (treat-based). Another con is that if I’m gone for more than a day she gets very nervous.
I wish I could post a picture of Zira! She looks like a red German Shepherd!
Most informative. I wonder how the biden administration will collect all of the guns in America? When LEOs are defunded, how are we expected to defend ourselves?