A dog is a versatile pet. Different breeds are meant for different purposes. Some breeds are absolute couch potatoes which make for great cuddle-buddies, some dogs are excellent travel companions, and there are breeds that are perfect for protecting your home from intruders and other dangers.
If you’re a prepper with a homestead, your bug-in home won’t be complete without a dog. Specific breeds are trained to enhance their instincts as guard dogs, livestock guardians, or herding dogs. (h/t to TheSurvivalistBlog.net.)
In any SHTF situation, there’s always the threat of looters that will try to take whatever they can, even trespassing onto other people’s properties. Your supply of food and water, in particular, will become a primary target.
Preppers will have a type of defense system for their homestead, but it pays to have your own guard dog for additional protection. Invest in a pair of quality guard dogs and their training; your dog has to be trained well with the family members that will be their primary handlers. If you want to ensure your family’s survival, proper training will help your dog do its job of protecting you efficiently.
Below are some of the best breeds of guard dogs:
- Akita – This breed is one of the easiest to train; they’re incredibly alert and intelligent dogs, as well as extremely loyal and well-suited for families.
- German Shepherd – This breed is the top choice for canine law enforcement and military agencies; these dogs are known to be extremely loyal and fiercely protective of their handlers. They’re intelligent dogs that exude confidence and rarely show any rebellious demeanor during training.
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog – These massive watchdogs are family-friendly, but will viciously defend their owners/handlers or their territory. You may need to consider your location when deciding to get a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog; they tend to struggle when working or training in warm weather or typically hot climates.
- Norwegian Elkhound – If you have a rural homestead with a lot of room around your property, a Norwegian Elkhound is a good choice for a watchdog. These dogs have seemingly boundless energy and are known to be generally healthy and hardy. They’re family-friendly dogs and require a lot of space to roam.
- Boxer – Boxers are popular with families as they’re strong, alert, smart and loyal. Moreover, boxers are generally regarded as easy to train.
Your livestock will also need protection from predators or raiders that may want to steal your food source. Here are some of the best dog breeds for livestock guarding:
- Anatolian Shepherd – These dogs have stocky builds that can intimidate small- to medium-sized predators. They’ve been regarded for their intelligence and agile bodies.
- Great Pyrenees – This is a popular livestock guardian breed in America, known to tolerate working in warm weather and strenuous activity during summer months despite their thick fur.
- Maremma Sheepdog – They may be one of the smallest of all livestock guardian breeds, but Maremma Sheepdogs are effective guard dogs, never backing down from any predator. These dogs need constant socialization to further a protective and not aggressive bond with the owner and the family.
- Komondor – These dogs are best suited to cold climates and will not tolerate extreme heat well. Komondors must be sheared at least twice every year to prevent their thick coats from becoming entangled. They’re extremely social dogs and are known to behave well with families and other dogs.
- Tibetan Mastiff – Most types of mastiffs are excellent livestock guardians. Tibetan Mastiffs are massive dogs and hardy in extremely cold conditions or on rugged terrain. They’ve largely been used to protect livestock from leopards, wolves, and tigers in their native Mongolia and India.
Unlike livestock guardian dogs whose job it is to watch out for predators and protect your animals, herding dogs are trained to control the herd to go wherever the owner wants them to go. Here are some excellent herd dogs:
- Australian Cattle Dog – These dogs nip at the heels of livestock to herd them, earning them the nickname “heelers.” These dogs come in two basic colors: Red and blue.
- Rough Collie – The largest of all collies, Rough Collies seem to be the easiest of all herd dogs to train. Rough collies are affectionate dogs and may sometimes demand attention and nearly constant companionship to maintain their calm demeanor and focus.
- Australian Shepherd – This breed is closely related to the Australian cattle dog. These dogs are full of energy and are very agile. They’re highly obedient and thrive when offered both positive reinforcement and affection.
Like in any endeavor, it pays to do your homework before jumping into dog ownership. Visit trusted breeders and interact with different dogs to gauge their health, personality, and level of obedience. It’s ideal to buy your future watchdog as a puppy so you can ensure it has been trained well, and bond with you and your family while it’s growing up.
Visit NaturalNewsPets.com for more tips on choosing the perfect best friend for you and your family.