Choosing a Survival Dog

belgian-shepherd-malinois-on-top-of-tank

Since the dawn of time, man and dog have had an unbreakable relationship. Throughout history, they have served their owners as loyal companions, dedicated protectors, and loving family members.  From their service in police duties and war to assisting the handicapped, a dog is a valuable and helpful friend for a variety of reasons.  This article will discuss purchasing a dog as part of your survival strategy.  Having a well trained dog in the home is one of the most cost-effective home security systems you can buy!  Not to mention you wont have to worry about losing your home security system if the power goes out.

Choosing A Breed

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re selecting a dog breed. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and with so many breeds to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming.  By learning what to expect from each type of breed, choosing your survival dog will be an easy process. First, we will list some of the more common breeds available today, then we will take a more in-depth look our top choices for survival dogs.

Work / Service Dog Breeds

Working dogs are breed for more labor-intensive jobs including sled pulling, search and rescue, police & military and guard duties. Much like the herding group, the working group is full of intelligent dogs that will make excellent companions.

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog
  • Boxer
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Bullmastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • German Pinscher
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Komondor
  • Kuvasz
  • Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Rottweiler
  • Russian Black Terrier
  • Saint Bernard
  • Samoyed
  • Siberian Husky
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Tibetan Mastiff

Herding Dog Breeds

The herding group is comprised of breeds with similar traits as the working dogs.  They are known for their intelligence, hard working and easy to train personalities. Members of the herding group also make great companions.

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bearded Collie
  • Beauceron
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Border Collie
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Briard
  • Canaan Dog
  • Cardigan
  • Welsh Corgi
  • Collie
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Norwegian Buhund
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Polish Lowland
  • Puli
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Swedish Vallhund

Top Picks

German Shepherd

german shepherd

This dog was bred for work, literally. In the 1880’s German breeders wanted to create a dog with outstanding intelligence, herding capabilities and protective instincts.  Thus was born; the German Shepherd dog (GSD). These dogs have been used for every service job imaginable and are still one of the most popular dogs for the job today. But the German Shepherds popularity doesn’t stop at work; they were a favorite among old world royalty and continue to be a popular choice for movies and television. If you want a dog that will be a loyal member of the family as well as a fearless work dog ready to tackle anything, pick the GSD.

Great Traits:

-Loyalty

-Intelligence

-Protective Instincts

-Lack of fear

-Versatile and easy to train

-Athletic Ability

-Powerful Bite (the 2nd most powerful bite of all breeds)

Source

Belgian Malinois

Beligan Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is primarily found  in modern military operations, and for good reason. The Belgian Malinois shares many of it’s traits with the German Shepherd, but is often picked over the GSD and other breeds because of their lack of health problems, extremely high intelligence, amazing physical abilities and high desire for rewards (making them easily trainable). Some organizations that currently use this dog are: Us Secret Service, IDF (Israeli defense force), Royal Australian Air force, as well as several special forces units.

Great Traits:

-Friendly

-Protective

-Hard Working

-Extremely Intelligent

-Energetic

-Long lives

-Easy to train

Source

Doberman Pinscher

doberman pinscher

Car Frederick Doberman, a tax collector in Germany in the 1900’s, bred this dog to protect himself when collecting taxes down dark alleys. The dog that resulted is an amazing and yet very misunderstood Doberman Pinscher. Much like the Rottweiler or the Pitbull, the Doberman has a reputation of viciousness. There is no doubt that a Doberman in attack mode can be lethal if he needs to be, however this dog is disciplined and intelligent – making an unwarranted attack highly unlikely. If trained properly the Doberman would be a perfect dog for hunting, guarding or work purposes.

Great Traits:

-Fearless

-Athletic

-Powerful Bite

-Gentle, loving

-Loyal (said to have a respect and protect attitude)

-Very trainable

-Smart

-Good protectors

Source

Boxer

Boxer

A lot can be said about the boxer breed, but this quote says it all.

The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most solicitous attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty, and is never false or treacherous even in his old age. 1938 AKC Boxer breed standard

Great Traits:

-Smart

-Energetic

-Agile, very athletic

-Loyal

-Fun

-Powerful

-Hard worker (extremely focused when challenged)

-Low Maintenance

Source

Rottweiler

Rottweiler
The Rottweiler boasts the most powerful bite of any dog, accompanied by a surprisingly friendly attitude.  In general, rottweilers are well suited for roles as companions, guard dogs and works dogs. These dogs are dying to please you and eager to participate in any job you find for them. While they are difficult to train, with a little bit of persistence and patience you can teach your Rottweiler to be an amazing all purpose dog.

Note* Rottweilers have a bad reputation regarding human attacks. Most healthy, normal Rottweilers do not deserve this reputation. These dogs are not “natural born killers”.

Great Traits:

-Effective Guard Dog

-Self Asssured

-Calm

-Courageous

-Lovable

-Loyal (do not make immediate bonds with people)

-Strong instincts (with herding and guarding)

Source

Understanding Your Dog

It is easy to assume you understand the genetic traits of a dog, but do you really? Many breeds have mixed genetic backgrounds which give them unique personality traits and health characteristics. One of the easiest ways to find out the exact genetic makeup of your dog is by purchasing an at home dog DNA test. This test is simple, it won’t hurt your dog and provides a complete genetic report of your pet with quick swab of their gum. This detailed report will help you create exercise, play and eating plans for your dog and give you the knowledge you need to prevent possible future health conditions.  The results of your dog DNA test will also assist you in targeting the best training methods to use with your particular breed.

When is a dog, a bad dog?

Bad dogs aren’t born, they are made. With the rare exception of certain dogs that seem to have a nasty temperament from birth, most dogs that may be difficult to train have usually been abused or traumatized in some way. Many times these dogs can be re-trained, however it should be noted that some abused dogs may have lifelong problems with training due to the trauma they have experienced in the past.

Selecting the right qualities

Every family has different needs and that should be taken into account when selecting your breed choice. Carefully evaluate your situation and ask yourself the following questions

-Will my dog have enough room to run and play?

-Will my dog be good with my kids? Or Will my dog bother other peoples kids?

-Do you have time to train the dog?

-Are you prepared to take care of all of the dogs needs?

More Reading

http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f23/best-guard-dog-87/

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=71953

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread295257/pg1

http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php?15159-quot-Best-quot-survival-dog-breed&s

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread289133/pg1

http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/general-survival/11707-dogs-survival.html

About The Author

Survival Spot is dedicated to helping everyone learn to be prepared. No matter what happens you can be ready.

61 Responses

  1. JC in AZ

    As a professional dog trainer/ handler and current owner of a Dutch Shepherd, 2 Belgian Malinois', a Doberman (European bred), and a Rottweiler, I couldn't have written this list any better.

    The only thing to note when dealing with dogs bred specifically for their working abilities is YOUR ability to live with them. Many of the dogs listed are of such high drives that they can often times drive their owners nuts if not tasked with enough mental and physical exercise, especially for Working Malinois, Shepherds, and many Boxers.

    Having said that, once you put them on task they will work themselves to death for you.

    Should you seek one of these breeds for your own, I would HIGHLY recommend you spend time with several specimens of each desired breed before making a permanent decision. In my line of work I see far too many people purchase a Malinois because they know someone on the Police Dept with one, but underestimate the amount of exercise and time this breed requires, and therefor end up having to get rid of it.

    Reply
    • M.3

      should German Shepherds ( as I’m going to have one soon) get spayed/neutered? and what are the advantages and disadvantages of spaying??

      Reply
      • Survival Spot

        The main advantages of spaying/neutering your dog before they reach sexual maturity is to help prevent tumors of the ovaries, uterus and prostate later life. So unless you plan to breed your dog eventually, there is really no reason to allow them to go through that first heat cycle. Having them spayed or neutered will help their overall health which leads to a longer life span. As well as the obvious reason to prevent adding to the pet overpopulation problem.

    • Survival Spot

      Great advice – I really appreciate your input. It’s really impossible to stress enough how important of a role the owner plays in their dogs behavior.

      Reply
  2. JC in AZ

    As a professional dog trainer/ handler and current owner of a Dutch Shepherd, 2 Belgian Malinois', a Doberman (European bred), and a Rottweiler, I couldn't have written this list any better.

    The only thing to note when dealing with dogs bred specifically for their working abilities is YOUR ability to live with them. Many of the dogs listed are of such high drives that they can often times drive their owners nuts if not tasked with enough mental and physical exercise, especially for Working Malinois, Shepherds, and many Boxers.

    Having said that, once you put them on task they will work themselves to death for you.

    Should you seek one of these breeds for your own, I would HIGHLY recommend you spend time with several specimens of each desired breed before making a permanent decision. In my line of work I see far too many people purchase a Malinois because they know someone on the Police Dept with one, but underestimate the amount of exercise and time this breed requires, and therefor end up having to get rid of it.

    Reply
  3. Clarke

    I Love Maltese Dogs. Maltese are very lovable & adorable dogs. Maltese dogs are naturally small and yet they are playful and intelligent as well as a loyal companion.

    Reply
  4. bax

    The German Shepherd has nowhere near the second most powerful bite. You don't seem to know what you're talking about.

    Reply
  5. drew

    Yea, a German shepherd does not have the second highest bight not even close they have a bite force equal to 240 pounds of force plus they have the softest jaw of any dog sure there good at fight humans but a wolf or a cougar i don't think so. Kangals and Anatolian shepherd dogs have a average bight force of 550 pounds of force or more, there was even a kangal from the Sivas line that a a 746 pound of force bite. in my opinion a Anatolian shepherd dog is the best survival dog ever period.

    Reply
    • Lynne

      Ya know I have to say that I love mine, but you have to be carefull about makeing them mean. They will do what ever makes you happy. But make no mistake if they think that you are being hurt or are afraid, they will be right there to defend you.

      Reply
    • William

      nope, they are descendant from dogs used by nomadic cultures and therefore have very little sense of personal ownership over territory.

      Reply
  6. Bill James

    As a long time admirer and owner of Australia Shepherds, you have been right on target as to whether a herding dog is the right choice for your family. You will need to provide ample time to allow these breeds to get the exercise that they need. They are so intelligent and become bored very easily and must be allowed to work, or become challenged with their daily activities.

    I suggest the prospective owners take the time study what the breed you are considering expects from you and what you can expect from him.

    Reply
  7. james roland

    Im a sucker for labs. however, for security and safety I would go with a rotty. They are extremely loyal and know hoe to throw down when they have to. Not so good when it comes to hunting but I'll take security over that any day.

    Reply
  8. Bill

    As a long time owner and trainer of the Australian Shepherd, I find this breed to be the most loyal, trainable and best companion of all breeds.

    Bill Kreh

    Reply
    • John

      I agree. I own an AS and an Anatolian (for my goats). But are loyal and mild-tempered. The AS guards the property and the Anatolian, the herd. And while they love each other…they do so from either side of the fence. ;)

      Reply
  9. Joshua

    Oh wow. People just assume they know everything about dogs because they have seen some video. I have seen back to the future. Does that mean that i know everything about time travel? Drew I am going to have to give you mad props here. Very well said. And I will add to your comment by saying all of the Flock Guardian breeds out there are the best at survival. Why? because they do it every day and every night. Living on there own withought anabody to feed them or anyone to shelter them. The Flock Guardian breeds consist of the Anatolian Shepherd / Kangal, Caucasian Ovtcharka / Caucasian Mountain Dog, Kuvasz and the Central Asian Ovtcharka / Alabai. These dogs are all able to kill anything from rabbits to bears. If you do not believe me then do your research. Wait you don't do that anyways. And yes the Anatolian Shepherd does have a bight force capable of these pressures.

    With all of that said I will change that subject to the German shepherd.

    The german shepherd is a police dog because of its trainability heart of a lion and work ethic. That is all. They have really bad health as a breed. And a week bight in the dog world. The german shepherd is actually getting replaced in police and military units across the world because of health and temperament issues. Ok that is enough ragging on the german shepherd. They can still be good dogs given you can find one thats not falling apart yet.

    And now to bight force.

    I know of many dogs that weigh half as much as the german shepherd and have the same strength of bight. Bull Terrier, Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heller, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pitt Bull Terrier and the American Bully.

    And now the Belgian Malinois. Friendly? They are not friendly.

    Now the Husky question. Huskies are not naturally protective of there property and owners. They were not bred for this and simply do not posses the natural instincts to do so. They are protective of themselves. They do not generally bark because of odd sounds and do not really care to defend there property and owners. It would be very difficult to train them to actually defend. I bet you could teach them to bark at unusual sounds. But then they would just be barking to bark. Not to defend and protect.

    Reply
    • kiboko

      I don't know how reliable this info is, I tend to trust more in people that can spell four letter word properly…

      Reply
  10. 357chaos

    Don't forget about hunting breeds. Labs, retrievers, and pointers. I have and know friends that have had labs and pointers that were just as loyal and protective as german shepherds. And yes I had 2 German Shepherds that were obedience and attack trained. Being able to trail wounded game and point on rabbits or quail is a bonus as well.

    Reply
  11. Explo

    I very much disagree with this article. It takes a purely defensive view of what to look for in a survival dog. If all you want from your "survival" dog is to guard and protect then yes, these breeds are great choises. And don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from any of these breeds. Infact Rotts are my favorite breed. I've owned 3… well, I should say, 3 have owned me. They will forever hold a special place in my heart. But as a survival dog? I'd have to say no. In my opinion, Rotts arnt a viable option because of their food requirements. Lets face it, looking at this from a true survival point of view, you will need far more from your pet than what these "Top Picks" have to offer. When you're looking at a dog to help you during a survival situation, you're first question should be "what do I actually need this tool to do". And make no mistake, in this situation, a dog is a tool. A tool to be used to aid you in completing your objective. Survival.

    Reply
  12. Explo

    Although everyones requirements will differ, In my opinion there are 3 primary uses for this tool 1. food 2. protection 3. pack animal. I choose to put food as the number one priority, because most all dogs are protective by nature. Even more so if they're not introduced to alot of people while they're being raised. Makes them wary of strangers.
    Considering how long a colapse could last, in my opinion the most important thing my dog can do is help me put food on the table.
    As far as size is concerned, look at it from a combat perspective. What is the minimum size of dog that would cause you to take notice. Look at it this way, If you were out scavaging and happened upon an dog that began to act aggresive towards you. Would you really care what breed it is?
    I say the "Best Survival Dog" is the dog that fits your particular requirements the best.

    Reply
  13. rich

    I've owned boxers and pyranees.

    The boxer has no fear and has a great protective instinct.

    It has done real guard duty against real assailants with full intensity,when push comes to shove they will not back down.

    I often think the muzzle type gives perspective on things.Dogs with boxer/pit/mastiff mouths are just different,does anyone else sence this?

    Our pyranees is 10 times intimidating but truth be told i think he would run away in a fight.

    Reply
  14. Service dog

    Many breeds have mixed genetic backgrounds which give them unique personality traits and health characteristics. One of the easiest ways to find out the exact genetic makeup of your dog is by purchasing an at home dog DNA test. This test is simple, it won’t hurt your dog and provides a complete genetic report of your pet with quick swab of their gum.

    Reply
  15. Samir S. Halabi

    I was attacked by two north-african Arabs in Antwerp while i was visiting my elderly Uncle.
    before the two thugs had a chance to attack me, my Black Russian Terrier dog turned on them and brought them both crashing down to the ground, when they tried to get up he leaned on them anf growled deeply they never moved an inch till the police arrived, I didn't even have to explain anything to them, the police were fully aware of Muslim fanatical extemists attacks on the jewish community.
    They were handcuffed and thrown into a police wagon.
    My BRT weighs in excess of 70kg and stands around 83c/m to the withers.
    he was especially trained for me in self defense tactics as a bodyguard-protector canine by the Russian-Military.

    Reply
    • bob

      oh gee I bet Black Russian Terriers are easy to find huh…a breeder on every corner /sarc

      Reply
      • henny

        gee I bet Black Russian terriers are easy to find huh.

    • dkoriss

      I just wonder how he manage to lean on both of them until police came over?
      Also breed standards deiscribe its weight 36-65 kilos, you mean that your BRT is about 10 kilos out of the upper limit standard?

      Reply
    • dkoriss

      I just wonder how he manage to lean on both of them until police came over?
      Also breed standards deiscribe its weight 36-65 kilos, you mean that your BRT is about 10 kilos out of the upper limit standard?

      Reply
    • joe

      II. say amen to that.I have two Brazilian mastiffs that will do the job. I have looked into the breed , they seem impressive

      Reply
  16. Guest

    I have owned several German Shepherds, a Doberman, a Rottie, and even a Pitbull. They are great breeds and are great for protection. A kuvasz takes the role of protection to an entirely different level. I cannot even compare them with the other breeds I have owned. They are fearless, huge, fast, and very intimidating. Actually the first time they "guard" you from a threat you will probably seriously consider taking it back. They are way too much dog for security, and most owners, but if someone needs serious security, nothing will get past one. Nothing. They are used for protect animals from wolves and bears. They need no training to guard, in fact you cannot stop them from guarding. They watch and protect anything or anyone they think is theirs like the secret service. One of mine actually laid on me when we had tornadoes. The breed is not for most people at all, but they cannot be beat for protection. I believe the Flock Guard breeds are all good for protection. Since most people have no need for as much protection the kuvasz gives you, maybe another dog of this group would protect, just not as aggressively.

    Reply
  17. OMER

    THE AIREDALE TERRIER THE MOST VERSITILE DOG EVER BRED, PROTECTION, AND HUNTING ALL IN ONE DOG THE BEST SURVIVAL DOG PERIOD/

    Reply
  18. John 2 in Kalamazoo

    I have raised and trained police dogs for many years. All breeds of dogs have their disadvantages as well as advantages. The malnios, while currently very popular for police and military can be a terrible family dog. For many reasons. The jackwagon that was hammering on German Shepherds has limited experience. It’s evident in his post. ANY dog can have genetic problems. It all depends on who you acquire your dog from. Do not buy any kind of show animal. They are bred for the show ring first and foremost. Buy a dog from someone who competes in working trials with their dogs, preferably doing the tasks the dog was originally designed to perform. (agility is not a working dog sport, btw) Puppies from these working dogs have the best chance at being what you expect in the specific breed. However, when breeding animals there is no 100% guarantee. You’re not buying a Ford, you are buying a live animal and no one has perfected how to produce the perfect dog every time. But a puppy from someone who competes in working dog sports with their own animals and you will increase your chances of getting a good dog regardless of the breed.

    Reply
  19. Kevin

    This is my favorite breed of dog. I have been in love with German Shepherds since I was a kid. I now have two of them and love them very much.

    Reply
  20. Explo

    I chose a German Shorthaired Pointer. It's a dog with great versatility that can track game, point instinctively with the strength and fortitude. It's intelligent and learns quickly, typically less then 10 repetitions. It's affectionate and good with children and has a mild disposition. It's jaw is powerful with a scissors bite. It's a taller breed of dog which will help with the intimidation factor and being 55-70 lbs makes it a formidable dog.
    My dog is 15 mos old now. He's been farily easy to train, although in attempting to shorten his range, especially the outer limit, I've had limited progress.

    Reply
  21. Explo

    Something else I noticed as I read through these posts, is the lack of importance put on food gathering in this discussion. How many of you actually feel that only thing you'll need your dog to do is guard you and your property?
    After all this is an article about choosing a "survival" dog

    Reply
  22. petlover612

    You should check out this new web-based animal reality show called Animal Movers. It is about a pet transportation company that moves animals all around the world. They move many different types of animals. The last episode was about moving a German Shepherd to Italy. It was very interesting and family friendly. You can find it at http://www.animalmovers.tv

    Reply
  23. Solyd

    The massive molars and powerful jaws of a wolf are used to crush the bones of its prey. The biting capacity of a wolf is 1,500 pounds of pressure per square inch. The strength of a wolf's jaws makes it possible to bite through a moose femur in six to eight bites. In comparison, a German shepherd has a biting pressure of 750 pounds per square inch. A human has a much lower biting pressure of 300 pounds per square inch. Rottweilers, Pit bulls and other common breeds that are "legendary" for biting are no match for a grey wolf or wolf hybrid. My hybrids can also jump a 12 foot fence……..I also find it hilarious that no one here has mentioned the largest breed of all….Caucasian Ovcharka and the formidable Tibetan Mastiff, which would easily deal with a Pit or similar breed.

    Reply
    • hound

      first. your hybrids are psycho and untrustworthy. second. its not about overall strength. its not a sled pulling competition. ego dogs are not survival dogs. lol

      Reply
  24. Solyd

    The size of a wolf's track is dependent on the age and size of the wolf, as well as the substrate the track was made in. A good size estimate for a gray wolf's track size is 4 1/2 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide. In comparison, a coyote's track will be closer to 2 1/2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. Only a few breeds of dogs leave tracks longer than 4 inches (Great Danes, St. Bernards, and some bloodhounds). Great Danes=The Ultimate Balance of Size, Power, Grace, Athleticism, Fearlessness and Incredible Intelligence. The APOLLO of dogs. Saint Bernards are an incredibly hearty breed known for their phenomenal rescue ability. Bloodhounds are fearless tracking dogs with incredible guard dog potential. In fact they are legendary in this.

    Reply
  25. Laura

    I had a wolf hybrid 15 years ago. 1/4 wolf, 1/4 siberian husky, and 1/2 rottweiler. She looked like a wolf and was as protective as a rottie. Someone came in to my home once while I was asleep (mistake, not a break-in) and she woke up me growling. I got up, opened the bedroom door, and she shot out and ran to the door. The people were still standing in the doorway and she "treed" them there, growling, while I demanded to know what they were doing there and they explained themselves. Then I said her name and she stopped growling and backed off. I had taken her to basic training courses, but nothing for that kind of situation.

    I think I will want a dog which is a good herding dog as well as a protective dog next time around, though.

    Reply
  26. Notavictim

    We have Great Danes and German Shephards, both great multipurpose dogs. They seem to compliment each others strong points and pick up the slack where the other is weak. My only comment that is negative is the short life span of the Great Danes. Our fawn colored animals seem to be healthier and more robust than the Harleys and blacks. As with all family protection animals training and personal attention to the animals truely makes them what the are.

    Reply
  27. Jaap

    I had boxers all my life. Fantastic loyal lovable maybe stubborn dogs. But when I need something guarded. I'll choose no dogs but geese.

    Reply
  28. Yarko

    I happen to own an Anatolian who guards my goats. I don't need NG to tell me he can crush about anything with little effort. These amazing dogs come from Turkey (where I purchased him) and most canine experts support the postulation that they were breed as late as 6000 years ago. They are graceful, eager to please, fiercely loyal…to the herd-master and the herd. They do take some training and the master must assert himself while with the dog within the herd. He is great with my cat and will let her mingle inside the fence with the goats but no other animal or person may enter. I don't support that an Anatolian would be great as a survivalist unless you plan on traveling with sheep or goats. But it can be done. This is not a dog to trifle with, though. Just last not a pack of coyotes started howling nearby and King George came out, let out one howl and they all scattered. Enough said.

    Reply
  29. William

    …because national geographic is the only authority on testing dog bite force? There is no recognized standard for such tests…

    Many figures posted on this topic may have been measured in PSI, whereas other tests are conducted in Newtons, and then converted to pound-force.

    Furthermore, bite force is not solely (or even primarily) dependent on animal size. It depends on a whole range of factors, most importantly the shape and size of the skull and teeth. Measuring the bite of a animal that is accelerating towards the target in mid air will obviously factor in the weight of the dog, however not all bites occur with this dynamic. A stationary bite will not be amplified by body size in the same way as a flying attack.

    Lastly, physical performance measurements are always difficult to calculate because so much of the equation is variable. Since muscles perform work on electrical and chemical signals, the stronger the signals the more work can be done. This is why you hear stories of people (or children, or animals) who achieved unthinkable feats of strength due to sufficient motivation. Psychological state plays an immense role in physical potential.

    Reply
  30. Cryo

    Something I think that has been mentioned in the comments here, but not so much in the article itself is that added expense of owning a dog, which is non-negligible if you intend to take decent care of it, especially German Shepherds. A big dog like that (75-100lbs) is going to eat about a pound of food a day, which costs about $1.00-1.50 for something premium. German Shepherds, being prone to hip dysplasia, really ought to be on a premium diet, or have joint supplements, and this is before vet bills. If survival prep is a major budgetary concern, how would that $700-800 (average annual cost of ownership) be better spent? If it wouldn't be, then a dog is a solid investment.

    In a survival situation, having a dog there to guard you is great, but a 100lb dog is going to eat and drink as much as a similarly sized person (small adult, teenager). So it's again down to utility vs cost. Is the utility of a dog going to equal out and exceed it's cost to maintain? Especially since dogs are not the same as humans and need a mostly meat diet, and will almost certainly suffer through several days of stomach upset and diarrhea if suddenly switched to a survival diet.

    Reply
  31. walker

    this should be "which breed is the best junkyard dog". if its about survival then i want nothing more than a hound. put your big ego breeds on the porch and let a real dog do the work. hounds can hunt anything large or small.i like the breeds that were chosen but i want something that can put fur on my back and food in my belly. i'm not sure how many hounds you know but the one i know, the ones that actually hunt, are tough as nails. so many hounds to choose from and most are able to do it world wide and in any climate.

    Reply
  32. Thai guy 15

    My choice is one of the many Ovcharka Shepherds ( Kangal, Central Asian, Alabai, Boz or Caucasian) They are breed for their true working ability and used almost exclusively for work still today… Which is more than I can say for most of the breeds on this list… As flock, livestock and personal protectors they are unsurpassed… Because of their job descriptions they are extremely hardy and able to withstand extremes in Temp.( from very hot to very cold climates)… They are also able to work on little food and water but then again Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia are all hostile environments.. And covering long distances

    over harsh terrain is all in a days work for them. All the demands of being a Flock Guardian translate very well to a dog for survival situations.. Not impressed at all with the list above, IMO it is pretty short sighted and covers some breeds that have NO history with any kind of work that translates well to survival!!!!

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  35. Polston

    Wow how one sided a list this is. All AKC breeds. For a survival dog you would want one that is smart, one that can SOLVE problems and is kind of a smart ass. You will also need a dog that can protect you and hunt for you and earn his own keep and get his own food. One that will watch your kids and also play with your kids. One that will work on your homestead herding your sheep or cattle. Only one breed comes to mind and I believe a book has been written about this bread and even a movie was made. He was the original survival dog for the American settlers heading west. Some may have already guessed on the book or movie but many don't know the breed. The book and movie is "Old Yeller" the bread is the Blackmouth Cur. This dog is not an AKC breed (thank God) he will heard your sheep or cattle, hunt squirrels (best squirrel dog in the world) or hogs, babysit your kids and protect them from bad people. Most people won't ever hear about this breed and that is ok by me. You all go ahead and get your Shepherds and Malinois I'll stick to a good old American breed the Blackmouth Cur.

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  38. SusanK

    Hey, I have always been interested in many dog breeds and this blog covers a lot of great information and guidance. Thank you for providing some great information.

    Reply
  39. Guy

    I've had 2 German Shepherds that were raised with my daughter….. I could not have asked for a better family dog. The motherly instincts of the female were so strong that she needed no training to "protect" my daughter. She would instinctively place herself between my daughter and all strangers that came anywhere near them.

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  40. Kim

    I have to disagree, although I loved our German Shepherds, if your wanting a dog that does more than protect, all the German Shepherds I've had and dealt with have issues with livestock. YES to your breeds being great in protection, BUT you can't have your protection killing the few chickens, lambs or even horses that you've struggled to take alone or keep. I suspect people with a lot of experience like yourself and I would be able to control most of these breeds, many people starting out will not have the knowledge or ability to train them as well. Personally I found my Rotties dealt best from the working class when it came to livestock. (except for cats) If I was looking for a survival dog, I would go mixed Rottie and a nice Collie or Australian Shepherd. Best of both protection and the herding to keep them from eating your stock.

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