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9 Best Homestead Dog Breeds | Essential Homestead

A good dog can be a valuable member of any homestead, especially if you choose one of the best homestead dog breeds. We’ve put together a list of great dog breeds to consider when choosing the perfect pet for your family. Whether you are looking for a dog to help you with herding or wanting one that will help your family feel safer and more secure, you’re sure to find a dog worth considering in this list!
homestead dog breeds

9 Best Homestead Dog Breeds

Labrador Retriever

When it comes to great homesteading dogs, Labs are at the top of my list. After all, I have one! Incredibly smart, and possessing a gentle nature that makes them great around children, Labradors are simply great pets. But they can also be excellent watchdogs and no dog can beat them at swimming. If anyone in your family happens to hunt waterfowl, they need a good Labrador Retriever in their life.

Australian Cattle Dogs aka Blue Heelers

For anyone who needs help with herding, the Australian Cattle Dog is definitely one of the best homestead dog breeds around. The Australian Cattle Dog is an incredibly smart medium-sized dog that is an excellent companion on a busy farm or homestead. These dogs are born to work, and they are so smart that if they get bored, they can easily get themselves into trouble. They are very loyal to the ones they love, but distrustful of strangers, making them good watch dogs who will alert you to pending trouble. Heelers are well-suited to herding livestock or working as a hunting companion. Make sure they have plenty to do and you will have a loyal companion for life!

Border Collies

Border Collies are incredibly smart and loyal, and they are excellent companions for children, too. But one of the best reasons to have them on your homestead is because they are excellent herding dogs. If you happen to have goats, sheep, or cows, a good Border Collie can help you round them up and get them where you need them to be. And after a hard day at work, they’ll still have plenty of energy to play with the kids!


While a small dog like the Dachshund might not be the first to come to mind when thinking of the best homestead dog breeds, you might be surprised at how useful a Dachshund can be. These dogs are very smart and they pay attention to their surroundings, which makes them a great watchdog that will alert you to anything amiss. But they are also great hunters! Dachshunds were actually born and bred to hunt fierce opponents like the badger. Their small size and shape is perfect for digging into the den of fierce animals and dispatching them quickly. If you have a problem with small predators going after your chickens and other livestock, having a Dachshund around to reduce their numbers just makes good sense.

Great Pyrenees

Beautiful and majestic, Great Pyrenees are large white dogs that can grow to be nearly 100 pounds. Their size and calm intelligence make them perfectly suited to protecting your homestead and livestock. They are strong enough to protect against formidable opponents such as bears or wolves, and they are excellent guard dogs against ill-intentioned humans, as well. Great Pyrenees have calm, even mellow, dispositions, but don’t let that calm fool you. When the homestead needs to be protected, a Great Pyrenees is a really great dog to have around.

German Shepherds

Smart and beautiful, German Shepherds are also excellent protectors. They love children, especially if you raise them from puppies, and will protect the ones that they love. Well-trained German Shepherds are strong enough and fierce enough to protect against predators, as well – both the animal and the human variety. Knowing that your family is protected by a fierce and loyal companion is absolutely invaluable, especially when you live in a rural area outside the reach of readily-available help.


Excellent scent hounds, they are perfect for hunters, especially in pursuit of rabbits or other upland game. If you are using them as hunting companions, however, Beagles work best in a pack, so you’ll want to have room for three or four, at least. Beagles are also friendly and fun pets for children, making them a great addition to any family farm!

Bernese Mountain Dog

When it comes to protecting your home and family, the Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the best homestead dog breeds. These dogs are large, strong, and beautiful. They bond tightly with those that they love, and they are great with children. But when strangers come around, they are dignified but can be imposing and protective. They are also happy to do their part with the chores. They will protect your family from predators and even helping to move livestock from place to place.


One surprisingly great homestead dog breed is the Shar-Pei. Many people are less familiar with Shar-Peis, a breed of dogs from China, but these dogs are strong, smart, and incredibly loyal. It is best to get them as puppies and raise them around your family and the other animals you want them to know. This way, they learn their place on the homestead and are less likely to be problematic as adults. But Shar-Peis were bred to act as working dogs for farmers in China. They are great workers with many abilities – from guarding and herding livestock to protecting your homestead from predators.
Having the right breed of dog on your homestead can make all the difference to your quality of life. Do you have a favorite homestead dog breed? We’d love to hear about some of the best dogs you’ve had on your family farm!
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If you are interested, make sure to check out the Homesteaders section on Amazon. Here, you can find books and guides on how to easily homestead and tips on how to do it better.


Thursday 29th of November 2018

I have a lab/husky mix (perfect for Minnesota) he doesnt get cold outside, loveable, only barks when someone or something is there or off, chases and kills mice, and keeps me warm at nights when my husband works nights. We also have a mini schnauzer he hunts mice too, keeps us in snuggles, non allergenic and no shedding!! I think it depends on wjat you do on your homestead. We dont have big animals inly poultry and bees.

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