3 Dog Breeds to Consider for Homesteading

Dogs have the reputation of being man’s best friend for good reason.  The possible benefits of having a dog on your homestead, whether it be urban or country, are virtually endless.  But domestication of dogs has led to a wide array of physical and behavioral traits.  Over breeding for desired traits has also led to genetic issues, for this reason a “mutt” is always preferable since it will have less health issues.  For this reason, when selecting a dog that is right for you, you should consider what breed you are looking for, and search for a mutt that has that breed’s characteristics displayed.  This will allow you to have a dog that has the traits you desire, and a healthy genetic code, saving you vet bills, and promoting “rescue” over “financially motivated breeding”.  These are 3 breeds that have excellent traits for a homestead dog:


Probably the breed with the most undeserved bad reputation is the Pitbull.  But the reality is that Pitbull owners deserve the bad reputation.  A well cared for and loved Pitbull has no greater tendency to attack its owner than a Golden Retriever.  That being said, when a Pitbull feels threatened, or feels that it’s owner and family are threatened, it is much more capable of offering physical protection than other breeds.  With a ridiculous bit strength, high pain tolerance, and intimidating appearance a Pitbull is one of the best breeds for physical protection, which should be a consideration for a homestead in any setting.


Heelers, or Australian Cattle Dogs, are a great option for a working dog on a homestead.  Heeler’s a robust breed, with high levels of intelligence and trainability.  Guarding and herding come naturally to a Heeler, but with high intelligence and high energy Heelers can be trained to do whatever task you have for them.  For those who want only one dog, a Heeler is a great option, they do not always get along with other dogs, but bond well with their owners.


Terriers have become a popular breed for people with small spaces, but the reality is that Terriers will do better in an open environment with room to roam.  With a Terrier on your homestead, you are unlikely to have a rat problem or strangers approach without a load warning.  Being a smaller breed, Terriers require less food and will have less joint issues as they age.


This is not at all the only dogs that could offer benefits on a homestead, but only a short list of some common favorites.  Remember, not only are you helping out a creature that can’t help itself when you get a dog that would otherwise end up at the pound only to be euthanized, but by avoiding a dog that has been breed for sale, you are avoiding a dog that will likely have genetic issues that will lead to high vet bills and shorter life span.


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5 thoughts on “3 Dog Breeds to Consider for Homesteading

  1. Rottweiler is more imposing than a pit when viewed from a distance & up close plus has the strongest bite. They also can be used as herders and draught dogs making them a great overall choice. More effort must be employed in training admittedly. Irish terrier would be the second dog to keep vermin at bay and to wake the sleeping Rott when the SHTF.

  2. At 90 I have gone through a lots of dogs, breeds and mutts. The half Lhasa Apso half Scotty that we have now is amazing, no doubt mostly due to the excellent training he got from my wife..While not a great fighter like a larger dog, I think that aspect of having a dog is over rated, considering no dog is much of a challenge when up against an armed human. A large dog can make a mistake and badly injure an innocent stranger, leading to no end of problems for the owners.

    I think what is more important in a dog is to maximize the use of its natural abilities, hearing, smelling, and herding. Our Buckley has learned to identify, while he is sleeping, who the people are as they turn into our driveway, and if a stranger, bark a warning. We have a little bird sanctuary and he keeps the stray cats off the property. He is so tuned in to my wife that he seems to read her mind and anticipate what she wants him to do.

    1. Have you considered a Samoyed. They are so mellow but protective. They do not jump on people, especially when grown. We’ve had 4 Samoyeds, they have a smile on their face most of the time. They intimidate because of the curled tail over the back like a husky. They hold or used to hold the single dog pull of over 1800 pounds. They have been used as sled dogs, but are not fast. Most of them are completely white and have a double coat.

  3. The best dog I ever have had is my mutt rescue dog. He can “read” people, guards me and rounds up the chooks .I rely on him. Different barks, mean different problems. He is always with me and rarely lets me out of his sight. This means a lot to me as am in a wheelchair, He is a big 60 pound dog which is enough to scare most people. I can’t imagine life without him,


  4. The Caucasian Shepherd or Russian Bear dog is a great breed to have in a homestead. They are great if you are raising livestock and are NOT fearful of wolves and mountain lions. This is the dog to have on your property if you will be in a remote area, where wolves and large predators live. This dog, kills wolves, and stands up to mountain lions and bears…no problem. check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nlb1fGDLzA

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