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Choosing a Survival Dog

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.

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.

Top Picks

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:



-Protective Instincts

-Lack of fear

-Versatile and easy to train

-Athletic Ability

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


Belgian 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:



-Hard Working

-Extremely Intelligent


-Long lives

-Easy to train


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:



-Powerful Bite

-Gentle, loving

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

-Very trainable


-Good protectors



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:



-Agile, very athletic




-Hard worker (extremely focused when challenged)

-Low Maintenance



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




-Loyal (do not make immediate bonds with people)

-Strong instincts (with herding and guarding)


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?

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