9 Best Dog Breeds for Protection and Hunting in A SHTF Survival Situation

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Looking for a survival dog? What breed will offer the most protection and will help you the most? We have the answers with these 9 suggestions!

A few months back we decided to add a new pet to our family. We knew it would be a good lesson for our children to learn to take care of their animals and will help them learn about responsibility.  We decided to find a breed that would help us out when the SHTF.

Dogs offer a variety of great things to help with survival like being a superb early warning system, companionship, threat deterrent, and can help you find and catch food.

Now the question is what kind of dog can make the greatest survival dogs? These dogs are in a random order and are all beneficial to your survival if some way.

Best Dog Breeds for Protection and Hunting

Best Breeds For Survival

1. Labrador Retriever

Also know as a Lab for short, it is a kind of hunting dog. Lab’s are great swimmers due to their large webbed paws, helpful for the breed’s initial purpose that was retrieving fishing nets. This along with their subsequent use as legendary hunting companions gave the Lab the name retriever.

The dogs of this particular breed are extremely loving, compassionate and kind to their master. The Labrador Retriever is considered the most popular breed of dog worldwide.

Labrador Retriever

Pros – outstanding hunting dogs, all weather coat, outstanding endurance, powerful swimmers, extremely trainable, smart, great sense and hearing of smell for early warning, good work ethic (can bring their very own bug out bag), dedicated to family members.

Cons – can overheat in intense weather, is often clumsy and loud, questionable protection ability because of their lovable characteristics, high prey drive means that they could often run off, moderate fear factor.

2. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are a big size breed of domestic dog which originated from Rottweil, Germany.

The dogs have been recognized as Rottweil butchers’ dogs since they were put to use herding domesticated livestock and pulling carts filled with other products and butchered meat to the local store. It’s a hardy and extremely clever breed.


Pros – for individual safety they’re second to none, all weather coat, very trainable, smart, great hearing and sense of smell for early warning, dedicated to family members.

Cons – can overheat in intense heat, questionable endurance, poor hunters when compared with other dogs, as a result of their protective nature they could become a liability.

3. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Ridgeback is a distinctive dog breed created in Southern Africa where it would hunt lions and also serviced as a general homestead dog. As a result of the Ridgeback’s history of hunting lions, this particular dog is renowned for its bravery.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Pros – This particular dog is made for stamina along with speed, exceptional hunters by themselves, intelligent, great sense of smell and hearing for early warning, trainable, higher fear factor, ability going long stretches with no water, adaptable coat for many environmental conditions especially heat, dedicated to loved ones, can transverse virtually any surfaces because of their athletic build.

Cons – Because of an excessive prey drive, this particular dog can run off of, questionable coat for severe cold weather, moderate to low protection ability, and can be stubborn.

4. German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepard is a breed of large sized dog.  As a member of the Herding class, the German Shepherd is a working dog created initially for herding sheep in the hinterland.

Due to its abilities, intelligence, and strength in obedience training, it’s commonly used in police & military functions around the world. Because of its protective and loyal nature, the German Shepherd is among the most registered of breeds.

German Shepherd

Pros – Great stamina, higher fear factor, outstanding private safety, extremely trainable, very good all weather coat, dedicated to loved ones, exceptional sense and hearing of smell for early warning, and clever.

Cons – may overheat in intense heat, and have a questionable overall health.

5. Akita

The Akita is a Japanese breed of large dog originating from Japan. This particular dog is a distinctive mix of dignity, alertness, courage, and devotion to its family members.

It’s extraordinarily affectionate and loyalty to friends and family and territorial about its home. And it may be down right nasty with strangers.


Because it’s a sizable, powerful dog, the Akita is definitely not a breed for everyone. Their background provides a strong independent streak which can make Akita’s unreliable off lead and even more difficult in obedience activities.

The Akita was in no way bred to follow or even work in organizations like many dogs. Rather, they lived and also worked alone or perhaps in pairs, a choice reflected today. Akita’s have a tendency to carry a socially dominant role along with other dogs, and hence careful attention has to be used in cases when Akita’s will probably be around many other dogs, particularly unfamiliar ones

Pros –  Great endurance, higher fear factor, outstanding personal security, teachable, outstanding winter weather coat, dedicated to loved ones, great sense and hearing of smell for early warning.

Cons – Doesn’t play nicely with other dogs and animals, unreliable and spontaneous sometimes, will overheat in intense heat, stubborn and much harder to teach.

6. Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell terrier is a little terrier that’s got its roots in fox hunting. Because of their working nature, Jack Russell terriers continue to be popular as they have been some 200 years back.

They’re tenacious, tough, and sturdy, measuring somewhere between 10″ – 15″ at the shoulder and weigh 14 – 18 lbs. The Jack Russell is a high energy breed which needs a high level of stimulation and exercise and doesn’t have many serious health complaints. Pound for pound, the Jack Russell may be the toughest dog on this list of Survival Dogs.

Jack Russell Terrier

Pros – Unbelievable stamina because of its size, excellent hearing for early warning, tenacious barker at strangers, lower health problems, good all weather coat, easily transportable on account of weight and size, minimal food consumption, great little game hunter, fearless, they will fit into any shelter you have to keep them in.

Cons – Low fear factor, minimal personal protection ability, significant prey drive means this particular dog can run off, can bark too much, won’t travel very well in snow that is deep, questionable coat for weather that is cold.

7. Pitbull

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium sized dog. It has a short coat and well-defined muscle structure, smooth. The dog was bred initially to bait bulls and bears.


The Pit Bull is a breed that’s dedicated to family and friends, and is usually friendly towards strangers. Many people are known to be fearful of them due to their bad reputations.

They do display a greater percent of aggression than other breeds, and also an extremely high prey drive toward small animals including little kids so socialization at a young age is a necessity.

Pros – Great endurance, dedicated to owner, higher fear factor, trainable, excellent warm climate coat, long life span and also generally healthy dogs, medium protection ability, great little game hunters.

Cons – Doesn’t play nicely with others, questionable history around children that are small including the owner’s own family, unreliable and spontaneous sometimes, bad winter weather coat.

8. English Mastiff

Distinguishable by huge size and substantial head, the Mastiff is noted for its mild temperament. The average male can weigh 150-250 lbs and the average female can weigh 120-200 lbs!

While calm and affectionate to its master, it’s effective at protection. If an unknown person approaches close to the Mastiff’s perceived territory or its master, usually it’ll instantly place itself in between its master and the stranger. If the approaching person is regarded as a risk, the Mastiff usually takes immediate preventive action.

English Mastiff

Mastiffs are generally good natured, easygoing, calm, and surprisingly gentle for their size. It’s a well mannered house pet if it gets regular activity and exercise. The Mastiff is commonly an incredibly devoted breed, exceptionally dedicated to its family and great with small dogs and children.

Pros – High personal protection, all weather coat, highly trainable, smart, great sense and hearing of smell for early warning, dedicated to loved ones, high fear factor.

Cons – can overheat in hot climate, very questionable endurance, huge food consumption.

9. The Mutt

The mutt is often some combination of the characteristics you would like in a dog and maybe not any of the qualities you’d want to do without.

With a mutt it’s difficult to know what you are going to wind up with but often if you raise them starting from a puppy and also train & treat them effectively, they are going to be much more likely to become an advantage compared to a liability.

The Mutt

Pros – Can be the very best attributes of many dogs stated above, have lower health issues than pure breeds.

Cons – Could be the worst attributes of the dogs stated above.

Final Thoughts

Just like you do research on other survival gear and items, do research on which dog will be the right fit for you family. A pitbull may be out of the question if you have younger kids and a Jack Russell may not be what you are looking for if you want a larger dog.

All in all, it comes down to which breed will fit into your family the best and will be best at helping keep you alive in a SHTF situation.

And in case you are wondering…. we went with a Jack Russell and a German Shepherd.

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