Man’s Best Friend.

When securing a homestead, having a good dog is essential.

Unfortunately, even though some dogs can be good guard dogs, they can also be vicious attack dogs that are more trouble than they are worth.

In addition, many breeds with excellent qualities should be avoided due to potential aggression and other issues. This article will explore some of the breeds that should be avoided by homesteaders and discuss why these breeds may not be the best choice for security.

Giants Are Out

When preparing for an SHTF situation, it is essential to select a breed of dog that will be a reliable and efficient guard dog and one that can be cared for without too much difficulty.

Giant breeds are often short-lived due to health problems, require a lot of food, and are not ideal for homesteads in an SHTF situation. These breeds are expensive to purchase and maintain, and in an SHTF situation, they may become a liability due to their size, health issues, and need for a large amount of food.

Furthermore, their short lifespan means they may be unable to serve as reliable guard dogs for an extended time. It is vital to choose a breed that is healthy, long-lived and can survive on minimal food to ensure that the homestead can remain safe and secure.

working dogs to avoid

Small Breeds Are Out

Small breeds are not the best option for an SHTF situation, as they often lack the strength to deter trespassers or criminals physically.

Additionally, their small size and nervous disposition can make them prone to excessive barking and yelping, which can be more of a nuisance than an asset in protection. Furthermore, small breeds may not have the energy or endurance to stay alert for long periods, making them unsuitable for guarding a homestead.

Related: 6 Best Guns To Have Around Your Homestead

working dogs

Avoid All Beautiful Giants

Mastiffs are beautiful and powerful animals with great historical and sentimental value, as they have fought in numerous wars alongside humans for centuries.

However, most people today do not have the time or resources to train and keep mastiffs as kennel masters did. Furthermore, many mastiffs bred today are selected for docility, so you don’t get the same type of vicious war dogs that existed in the past. While they can still do damage if provoked, they are often gentle giants that should be treated with respect.

Old English Mastiffs, Neopolitan Mastiffs, French Mastiffs, and Tibetan Mastiffs are all large and powerful breeds, but their size and strength come with a downside – they eat more than most humans! On top of this, their large size can cause physical issues such as hip and joint problems, as their size can strain their joints.

Additionally, mastiffs can be challenging to train and stop once they have committed to an attack, and if they accidentally get hold of livestock, they can wreak havoc. I had a mastiff that once ate 18 Rhode Island Red pullets in one go! For these reasons, mastiffs should be avoided in a homestead setting.

working dogs to avoid

Chow Chows And Akitas

Chow Chows and Akita Inus are breeds that should also be avoided on your homestead. While they can be good guard dogs and even used for personal protection, their large size and difficulty in training make them less than ideal.

Additionally, their size and need for a lot of food can make them a liability, as they may not survive on minimal food.

Rescue Dogs

Saint Bernards are another breed that should be avoided on a homestead.

While they can pull a sledge and are impervious to cold, they also eat a lot and have difficulty handling extreme heat. They can be trained, but not with the same precision as other working breeds, making them unsuitable for a homestead in an SHTF situation.

Furthermore, their large size and need for a lot of food make them a liability in an SHTF situation, as they may be unable to survive on minimal food.

working dogs to avoid


Hounds, particularly Bloodhounds, are not ideal for a homestead in an SHTF situation. While they have excellent noses and can be used as gun and hunting dogs, they can be challenging to train and are easily distracted by smells.

Additionally, they are very vocal, making it challenging to remain stealthy in an SHTF situation. Furthermore, other breeds can be trained as tracking dogs that have less discipline and distractibility issues than hounds.

working dogs to avoid


Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, and small vermin dogs are great companions and guard dogs, but they can be difficult to train to a high level of precision.

They are brave and protective of their family, which can be their downfall. Additionally, they can be challenging to withdraw once they have committed to an attack, as they can be very eager to protect their family.

I once lost a Jack Russell Terrier who ran after a pack of baboons. He was well-trained but was too over-exuberant that day. I only heard a few yelps in the thick bush before he was gone, and I never saw my dog again. For these reasons, these breeds should be avoided in a homestead setting, especially in an SHTF situation.

working dogs to avoid

What Should You Get?

Herding dogs are often the best choice for homesteads.

They are medium-sized, so they don’t eat much and can be physically handled if injured.

Additionally, they are natural workers who can work with livestock and be highly trained. Furthermore, they can keep predators at bay and physically harm humans that threaten you or your family.

working dogs to avoid

Related: Best And Worst Livestock For Homesteaders

While most dogs make great pets and companions, it is essential to remember that many breeds excel at one thing only, making them unsuitable for multiple tasks.

A SHTF dog must be hardy, highly trainable, and easy to sustain on limited rations. Furthermore, acquiring dogs using your brain, not your feelings, is essential. Therefore, it is important to research breeds and select one best suited for your homestead in an bad situation.

With careful consideration and research, you can find the perfect dog breed to protect your homestead.

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