What Are The Best Dog Breeds For Survival?

Dog Breeds For Survival

Many adventures are never complete without tagging along with your best friends.

With them, you can make turns of memories while remaining safe and aware. Survival dogs make the outdoor experience worth it since they’re trained and made for such scenarios.

Furthermore, these breeds are hardwired to endure harsher conditions and remain energetic for longer than others. In this list, you get the best breed available to help you in your adventures.

12 Dog Breeds for Survival and Prepping Situations

1. The Rottweiler

rottweiler dog

There’s no other dog that’s as pleasurable as the Rottweiler when fully trained. Anyone who’s had these dog breeds around can attest to this fact. Despite their origin as working dogs, most people now keep them as pets and part of the family, no longer existing outside.

Further, it’s worth noting that their survival instincts have made them some of the most loved on forces such as the police. They have natural guarding characteristics and are known to wade off strangers without an ounce of fear showing. Despite many other breeds being used as guard dogs, rottweilers are better suited for the job.

As you seek a survival dog, note that this particular dog breed requires hard training to reach excellence. You can train it on your own or opt to hire a professional for better results. All the training must be geared to awakening its hidden talents as one of the best survival dogs.

More so, it’s an intelligent dog. You can rely on it when out in the wilderness to keep you safe at all times. Also, you don’t have to walk or groom it quite often.

However, you must know that if you want to socialize with other dogs, start this early. The older it gets, the more antisocial it becomes. Additionally, some states have strict rules about owning this dog breed to check what the authorities say about keeping rottweilers.

2. The Bullmastiff


If a big dog is what makes your heart happy, opt to get this one of a kind survival dog. Not only does its demeanor scare off any intruders, but it’s a strong dog. Physical appearances represent what the breed stands for as it’s powerful and can easily take down any animal or person.

As other breeds are known for making lots of noise, the bullmastiff is a silent dog that’s always watching. When it sees any sign of danger, it leaps into action. You want to have this dog close to your home or side when out and about? No one can dare venture near it for fear of being torn apart.

Despite being among the most formidable survival dogs around, it’s an excellent company for the family. Leave it around a child, and you note the immense patience the dog has without any sign of aggression. Besides, it’s low energy levels makes it the perfect partner for toddler and babies as they learn how to be around pets like dogs.

All that’s necessary is training to help the dog master commands and be obedient. After that, you have a loyal dog with a lifespan of about 10 years. However, ensure to keep it in a cool area as it’s highly intolerant to extreme heat.

3. The Rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

As you seek the best survival dogs to have with you out in the wild, it’s essential to consider their home life. Some hunters want a dog that’s fierce while hunting but gentle at home to be kept indoors. It’s where the Rhodesian ridgeback comes in, fulfilling both wishes.

The dog breed is quite adaptable and a great companion for the great outdoors, even if it’s not for hunting. You can bring it along for a walk, hike, or jog, and it’s high energy levels help it keep up. Add to that its aggressive nature and no person or animal can catch you unawares.

However, you must learn to dominate your relationship if you want to breed this particular dog. Why? It’s because it’s a highly destructive dog that needs ample training and a stern master to toe the line. Failure to do so, the dog will walk all over you, which can be quite stressful to handle and energy-consuming.

Furthermore, the fact that it needs extra care and instruction makes it the wrong breed for a first-time owner. For such a scenario, you need a survival dog with less energy and easy to train.

4. The Belgian malinois

belgian malinois

Long ago, cattle ranchers adored this breed as one of the best survival dogs around as they handled large herds. It made it easy to round up the animals and ward off any predators without needing guidance from the owners.

Today, many of these dogs are common in security firms or police establishments. They’re known to fiercely defend and attack all intruders on-site without any fear as guard dogs.

Also, most families breed them for their protection as both outdoor and indoor dogs. Having one around helps you live and sleep with ease, knowing all intruders will be stopped in their tracks.

As well, the survival dog is energetic, which means you have a perfect partner for working out outdoors. By bringing it along when running, you can venture further and into new areas. Also, it’s easy to train and calm around the family.

However, as a first-time dog owner, it’s advisable to skip this breed since the amount of training it needs is extensive. Also, it requires early socialization to interact well with other dogs and pets. Furthermore, it makes it difficult to keep inside as its coat continually sheds.

5. The Labrador retriever

different colored labrador retrievers

Who doesn’t like a lab? You’ve probably heard it mentioned numerous times among the best survival dogs around today. Across the world, the lab is among the most famous and populous dog breeds.

Despite its origins as a working dog in Canada, most people breed this dog as a pet today or a companion while hunting. Canadians used it as a net retriever back in the day, but its role has mostly changed.

Today, the Labrador retriever is among special dogs used by people who are licensed companions or guides for those who are disabled. With its incredible versatility, the dog can play numerous roles without getting confused, and he has a high intelligence level.

Furthermore, the breed is among the chosen few that police and other enforcements enjoy working with. With vigorous training, they become powerful guard dogs with a keen sense of hearing and smell. It can easily follow a trail using its sense of smell, especially to detect drugs and explosives as a guard dog.

They can also swim well for a long distance and are great retriever dogs when hunting, especially for waterfowl.

6. The GSD (German Shepherd Dog)

german sheppard dog

Few other breeds represent trainability and intelligence like the beloved German shepherd that’s grown in popularity. You can find this breed in all corners of the world despite its origin in Germany. Besides, its initial role as a herding dog has shifted to guard.

As a pup, start training it and help it be social with other pets, and it transforms into one of the most reliable dogs you can ever own. It comes with a generous coat that can withstand most weather, suitable as a survival dog while hunting in the wild.

Moreover, its build means it can endure long walks and even carry some load along the way. As you enjoy the great outdoors, it gives you comfort having the GSD around since it has the world’s 2nd most strong bite. Add its protective instinct to the list, and you have the best companion.

Also, always keep an eye on it on hot days as it can quickly overheat and is prone to some health conditions common in dogs. Making a regular visit to the vet is one of the best ways to ensure its longevity.

7. The Airedale terrier

airedale terrier

Among the top survival dogs, you can own, the Airedale Terrier is considered for its larger built. While other terriers tend to be smaller, this breed stands out for its bigger body and renowned for its sporting capabilities.

Even though its looks are quite classy, let this not fool you as it is among the best working dogs you can own. Not only are they outgoing and enjoy being outside, but they are also a confident breed, which makes them an excellent company.

Besides, they have immense energy and prefer areas where they can be free to jump about or have regular walks to burn off steam.

As a first-time dog owner,  be ready for the energy bursts or perhaps opt for another breed with less energy. As soon as you’re within sight, the retriever will jump on you and immediately want to play.

Still, it’s gentle nature makes it a perfect breed to have indoors as a companion for the whole family. They’re nicknamed ‘reliable babysitters’ for their ability to be gentle and caring towards babies and kids.

8. The Giant schnauzer

giant schnauzer

While other breeds are good survival dogs for intelligence, the Giant Schnauzer relies heavily on its instincts. It explains its inclusion in this list as one of the best guard dogs. Not only are they trainable, but they also master skills faster than many other dog breeds around.

While opting for this breed, note that its temperament is complex, making them a bit unpredictable. Apart from that, the dogs have high spirits and remain alert at all times, no matter where they are. All these are qualities of an excellent guard dog that you can trust to keep you safe.

Furthermore, the dog exudes a lot of intelligence, is an aggressive breed, and courageous, meaning you can’t easily spook him. To top that off, you can bring it along no matter the weather since it comes with an all-weather coat. Train it well, and you’ll have one of the most obedient companions with a lifespan of up to 12 years.

9. The Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell

As much as most survival dogs tend to be bigger and more formidable, don’t overlook the smaller Jack Russell Terrier. It’s a fierce dog that can hold its own and be a great companion while out in the wilderness. If in doubt, it’s worth noting that it traced its origins to when fox hunting was a favorite sport for many nobles and royals more than two centuries ago.

It’s built to endure rigorous outdoor conditions as a survival dog and comes loaded with energy to help them remain active longer. Add tenacity and sturdiness into the mix, and you end up with a perfect survival dog. As an owner, know that the dog requires plenty of outdoor time to burn off most of its energy.

Being cooped up indoors for long can make it destructive, and it’s best to walk it often or let it run around in the backyard. You can rest easy knowing it comes with few known health issues and won’t require constant vet visits. Also, it has immense levels of endurance that surprises many people due to its size.

However, unlike other survival dogs, the terrier can be easily spooked by larger predators or intruders. It lessens its ability to be a formidable guard dog, and it also backs excessively.

10. The Akita

Japanese Akita

A little research of the top survival dogs lands you on the Japanese Akita, that’s unique and intriguing. Many call it the perfect dog as it embodies every character you seek in a survival dog. It’s alert, courageous, and an excellent family dog to have, especially around children.

As an indoor dog, you note how it can look after the babies and small kids. Also, it’s fiercely loyal and knows how to be territorial. Intruders are always kept at bay, noting its formidable appearance and stern demeanor.

Given their origin in the mountainous regions of northern Japan, this breed has mastered independence. Such a quality makes it a more challenging breed to train, especially when it comes to obedience.

Its instincts are always that of a loner and don’t tend to fare well in group scenarios. Take extra caution with the Akita when living with other dog breeds as it tends to be dominant.

Furthermore, its aggressive nature makes it the ideal companion while hunting or hiking outdoors. Also, it has a heavy coat that can withstand tough climatic conditions.

11. The Pitbull

pit bull

American Pitbull is one of the most masculine survival dogs you can find. It has a clean, smooth, and defined coat that makes its appearance fiercer, to top that off.

The American Pitbull traces its roots in violence as breeders used it as bait for bulls and other creatures. Despite this being a despicable act, this went on for some time and even evolved to include dogfighting. Despite this aggressive origin story, Pitbull is quite different from what many people believe.

Pitbulls are affectionate dogs that remain fiercely loyal to those they are around. Also, strangers need not worry as the dogs are quite friendly and easy to pet. Still, they’re good as protection dogs to guard the home and have massive endurance levels.

Nonetheless, it’s essential only to keep Pitbulls with their kind and avoid socializing with other breeds. They don’t have a good reputation for mixing well with others. Also, Pitbulls aren’t excellent outdoor companions as they can easily wander off and don’t like cold conditions.

12. The Beauceron

Beauceron dog

Like many other survival dogs, the Beauceron makes an excellent guard dog. Originally from France, it’s was mainly used to guard or rescue during the First World War. It was also a perfect companion for soldiers out in the trenches, helping them remain energetic as the war dragged on.

Today, it’s a favorite of herders due to its high intelligence and energy levels, which means it can keep up with animals. Also, it gives off a warning of any approaching intruder or predator. Also, it has a tough demeanor and is a powerful dog breed that can guard your home. 

As you seek a great hunting dog, consider the Beauceron, which has an all-weather coat that’s also waterproof. Now you have the perfect partner for waterfowl hunting and other outdoor adventures. It is a muscular dog with lots of endurance and can be a great indoor dog for the family.

Despite all the positives, one negative to keep an eye on is it’s highly susceptible to bloat. For this, it requires a particular diet and constant observation.


Seeking the best survival dogs is necessary only to obtain the best and most adaptable breeds.

From this list, you can find your perfect companion who also doubles up as an indoor dog. Not only that, most are great as guard dogs that ward off predators and intruders.

Greg - Prepping Insider

Hey, I'm a prepping enthusiast. Prepping for me is simply something of a passion. I have personally lived in many different rural properties that have given me a wealth of knoweldge and experience in practically living out survival and preparation situations. It’s not about getting the latest survival gadgets or buckets of food as its more of a lifestyle.

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