Dogs are great companions and many people ask which breeds would be great in a survival or apocalypse situation. Okay – I’m using the word “apocalypse” very loosely here. I’m using it as a metaphor for any man-made or natural disaster that may occur, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, terror attacks, and any similar catastrophic event. Also, scenarios like getting lost while camping also counts.
Having a dog with you in any of these situations can offer you a great deal of protection and a healthy mental mindset. They’re excellent companions and many breeds were bred specifically for hunting. These qualities allows dogs to have a special place in our hearts. A dog is man’s best friend, and here are 7 breeds that would live and die by your side in order to protect you. This list is not in any order of best to worst.
You are probably reading this post because you are interested in which dog breeds would be good protectors. Some of the factors that this list takes into consideration includes the dog’s size, energy level, trainability, and protective instincts.
Size – We’ll stick to large dogs for this topic, since smaller dogs most likely won’t be able to offer ideal protection to you and your loved ones.
Energy Level – A relatively high energy level is ideal since in a lot of these survival situations you’ll most likely be doing a lot of walking, hiking, hunting, scavenging, and perhaps even fighting.
Trainability – Very important. If you have a stubborn breed you’ll be in for a hard struggle when it comes to training them. You don’t need them to be able to do backflip while catching a milk-bone, you just need them to be able to learn the basic commands.
Protective Instincts – Having a loyal dog that never leaves your side is every outdoorsman’s dream. We’re going to look at those loyal breeds that are very protective by nature.
Three words that describe the Bullmastiff are strength, endurance, and alertness. This breed is normally a gentle and quiet dog that does not easily get riled up. It is a very faithful companion and is fearless when threatened, using brute strength to overpower its enemy. Though generally good with other household pets, the Bullmastiff can be aggressive towards strange dogs. It is good with children but may not be as playful as some kids would like.
Height: 25″-27″ (male), 24″-26″ (female)
Weight: 110-130lbs (male), 100-120lbs (female)
Experience Level: Not for fragile or timid owners, needs a firm but loving home
This breed is a very compact, muscular dog that combines speed and endurance with elegance and strength. The Doberman is intelligent and is constant on the alert and ready to protect its “pack”, making it a great guardian. It is used throughout the world as a security, military, and police dog. It is very loyal and adventurous and enjoys being challenged mentally. Good at obedience, the Doberman Pinscher is sensitive and responsive to its owner’s wishes. I can be aggressive with strange dogs and is usually reserved with strangers. It has high energy and low grooming needs. A great dog for those with a large backyard or property that needs to be protected, since the Doberman’s speed can allow it to catch up to an intruder extremely quickly.
Height: 26″-28″ (male), 24″-26″ (female)
Weight: 65-90lbs (male/female)
Experience Level: Dedicated owner who is consistent in training
Looking more like a mop than an animal, the Komondor is large and muscular dog that is heavily boned and is slightly longer than tall. Originally bred as a protector of sheep and livestock (hence the strange coat – to better blend in with the flock), this dog is a natural guard dog. It can be an independent thinker and stubborn or domineering, sometimes reserved with strangers and aggressive to strange dogs (though good with other household pets). This means that socialization is essential from an early age. This breed is the happiest when it has something to watch over – property, livestock, or it’s human family (very protective of children in it’s own family). It is normally quiet and calm, though fearless when the need arises.
Height: 27.5″ (male), 25.5″ (female)
Weight: 80lbs (male), 70lbs (female)
Experience Level: Not for meek owners who can be dominated
The Kuvasz is a large, light-footed dog that is slightly longer than tall. It is powerful and agile, traits that originate from its roots as a hunter, herder, and guardian. It is a tough protector that fearlessly defends its family and home, but at the same time it is gentle with children in its own family. It may, however, misinterpret a child’s rough-and-tumble games with other children as an attack on its child. It is normally very gentle with other household pets and livestock, though can be reserved with strangers and aggressive towards strange dogs. While sometimes domineering, it is a devoted and loyal family dog.
Height: 28″-30″ (male), 26″-28″ (female)
Weight: 100-115lbs (male), 70-90lbs (female)
Experience Level: Easy to train, must have a dedicated owner
The Stafford is a wide dog that is slightly longer than it is tall, giving it a low center of gravity and firm stance. The smallest dog in this list, it’s size gives it great agility as well as strength. This bull terrier loves fun and playing with it’s family and friends. Normally playful, amiable, and docile, it is responsive to it’s owner’s needs and wishes. It is also friendly towards strangers. Normally very good with children and usually gentle, it can sometimes be boisterous and rowdy. The Staffordshire Terrier is a tenacious fighter when it needs to be. Make sure to properly socialize and train at an early age.
Height: 18″-19″ (male), 17″-18″ (female)
Weight: 35-40lbs (male), 30-35lbs (female)
Experience Level: Moderately easy to train, good family dog with dedicated owner
Bred to hunt lions (and yes you read that right – lions), the Rhodesian Ridgeback combines speed, power, and endurance and is slightly longer than tall. A determined and versatile hunter, it is powerful enough to bring down large game and is a loyal guardian. It is good with children, especially those in it’s family, but can be too boisterous in play for small children due to it’s size. It can be strong-willed and domineering, reserved with strangers and aggressive towards strange dogs/animals. They are known to be very selective in their barking, so when they do bark it needs to be taken seriously. Since they are not naturally obedient (due to them being independent by nature) they need to be properly trained while young. That being said, they are very loving and enjoy cuddling to the point that they often think they are lapdogs.
Height: 25″-27″ (male), 24″-26″ (female)
Weight: 85lbs (male), 70lbs (female)
Experience Level: Moderately easy to train, but needs to be trained early
This dog is among the most intelligent of breeds and is so intent on completing its mission, whatever that may be, that it is unsurpassed in working versatility. This makes them the highly popular choice for police canine units and military dogs. It is a strong and agile dog that is utterly faithful and devoted. It’s bite is second only to the Rottweiler in terms of power. It is suspicious of strangers and very protective of its family and home. It can be domineering at times and aggressive towards strange dogs, though it is generally good with other household pets. You could have a German Shepherd in an apartment, but you would have to exercise them regularly. They are a fearless dog that would be the first one to take a bullet for you and make a loyal family dog.
Height: 24″-26″ (male), 22″-24″ (female)
Weight: 75-95lbs (male/female)
Experience Level: Requires early training and plenty of exercise
So there you have it – 7 dog breeds that are very loyal, protective companions. There are many other dogs considered “guardians” that are definitely worth looking into, you’ll have to see what breed would best suit your needs and situation. Maybe you can’t have a large dog where you live or can’t afford the amount of food that a 100lbs dog would need to consume.
Also, take the weather into account. Depending on where you live is another big factor when selecting the appropriate breed. It wouldn’t be fair to own an Alaskan Malamute in Florida during the sweltering summer, or a Chihuahua somewhere that experiences annual freezing winter weather.
Above all, selecting a dog is like adopting a family member. They will be a loyal part of the pack and will love you, so treat them accordingly.