First, let's settle the background.

We're in a middle of a virus-induced zombie apocalypse. Infected people don't return from the dead, but have their brain capacities cut to a basic minimum and their only urge; eat humans, and only humans. They will grab, they will bite.

The virus will suppress any survival instinct, pain or fear from infected people. Meaning they will chase you until their heart can no longer feed their muscles and brain, no matter how badly they are injured (broken bones, vital organ failure, muscle tears...).

So two options to kill them: brain injury and bleed them to death.

You are a survivor but you have a very hard time dealing with these starved zombies and merciless thugs. You choose to take a dog as a companion to help you to survive.

QUESTION: What breed would be best suited for this environment?

  • It would need to be able to spot enemies
    Very good hearing and smell.

    • Bonus points if it can find food, water and drugs.
  • It would need to be intelligent
    Can a dog understand the concept of stealth? Is there a breed that can just freeze when it spots enemies and doesn't just bark at it?
    Would it be possible for the dog to find a secure path by getting around troubles?
    Can you give it a mission, like staying close to your injured mate in a secure location while you go outside to look for a first aid kit?

    • Bonus points if it can hide itself during a gun fight.
  • It would need to be able to injure a zombie
    Since dogs are invisible to zombies, that would be a very good way to bleed to death an isolated zombie.

    • Bonus points if it can aim for the throat.

For example:

German Shepherds were used as scouts in Vietnam

British Springer Daniels are used as detection dogs for the police

Dobermans are used as guard dogs

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    $\begingroup$ bonus points if it can find (...) drugs. We can't go through the end times without a joint here and there. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ A little tip about markdown: you can create a soft linebreak by placing two spaces at the end of a line before hitting Enter. There is a little box at the top of where you type your posts that can be expanded and help you with markdown. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ "no matter how bad they are injured (broken bones, ... muscle tear,...". Even with your pain sensors eliminated, you won't walk very far on shattered femurs, kneecaps, sliced leg/buttocks tendons. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 21:28
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    $\begingroup$ "Is there a breed that can just freeze when it spots enemies and don't just bark at it?" The English Pointer was bred to do exactly that. vetstreet.com/dogs/pointer $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ This Q was in the VTC queue as "primarily opinion-based." I wholeheartedly disagree. All quesitons have an element of opinion, but dog breeds are well enough known and the issue well enough defined that participants can readily argue their preferences and a logical "best answer" identified. I'm guilty of swinging POB around too often, others are too. Remember that POB is only when insufficient information leaves the OP unable to objectively judge a best answer. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 23:03

7 Answers 7


Well, I believe we can establish that you'd need a big dog for the purposes listed. A small dog may be a good sniffer and so on, but it just doesn't have the mass and bite force to take on a human. A small dog would not be able to cover as much ground, either.

It would need to be intelligent, have good pain tolerance, have a good nose and be attentive.

Among the large breeds, there are several who are traditionally used as 'work dogs', and those are a safer bet than other breeds. why mess with an option you know works?

First, you can consider the German Shepherd, as you said, or some of its close cousins from the Shepherd family like the Belgian Shepherd (Malinois). As you can see here, they are very intelligent, very trainable, are used as both service and attack dogs and can be trained for complex jobs. they are also trained as sniffer dogs, so that's a bonus. Their bite is fearsome and they can be trained to let go as well, which is just as important.

Another choice is a Husky or an Akita. Both are powerful dogs, are used as attack dogs, hunters and work dogs, and have a powerful bite and tenacity. The downsize is that they are very independent, are harder to train and would probably be more prone to do as they will.

You can also go for the power of a pit bull, bulldog or Cane Corso. They have a very powerful bite, very high pain tolerance, they can be massive, they are intelligent and according to this and this, are almost as trainable as Shepherds. The only problem would be their prey drive, which means it would be harder to train them to release once they bite, but all in all a Pit might be as good a choice as a Shepherd.

A Doberman may be added to the list here. they are very intelligent, sleek, powerful and they are used both as guard and work dogs. My only hesitation is due to the fact they have a lot of energy and may be less tolerant of holing up and hiding for large amounts of time. They can be quiet, though. And, well, I feel they just don't have the mass, that tank look a dog in the described environment would need.

Last, I believe a Rottweiler is in the same spot as a Pit or a Corso. They are massive, intelligent, have a powerful bite, are used as guard and police dogs as well as herders and even used to pull carts! they are trainable and have the same prey drive as Pits.

Use the site in the links to get more info and browse through breeds. I believe all of the above are good choices, it just remains to be seen which fits your exact needs better.



It would need to be able to spot enemies Very good hearing and smell, bonus points if it can find food, water and drugs.

This pug earns the bonus by finding a stash of cocaine.

cocaine pug

Can a dog understand the concept of stealth?

No-one knows this pug is here...

cough pug

It would need to be able to injure a zombie

pug puppies attack

Like a school of piranha.

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    $\begingroup$ this answer made my day $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ Nice. However, no up vote. Sorry. It's funny but it doesn't really answer the question. $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ C'mon, @ShadoCat, no upvote for the ridiculously creative here? Style has to account for something, at least sometimes ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ @PaulTIKI, Sorry, no. Willk gets enough of my up votes that he can survive without this one. I've never been the pedantic type but Judge Dredd: "The Law is the Law!" $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." - Willy Wonka. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 17:41

For hunting zombies with my shotgun, I'd go with one of the various Pointer breeds, since silently pointing at the prey is what they do.


The name pointer comes from the dog's instinct to point, by stopping and aiming its muzzle towards game. This demonstrates to the hunter the location of his or her quarry and allows them to move into gun range.

The problem is for them to determine zombie human from normal human, and only point at the zombies. A specific odor given off by the zombies can be the differentiator.

As a sentinel, the Lhasa Apso, since it was bred as an indoor sentinel.


a non-sporting dog breed originating in Tibet.1 It was bred as an interior sentinel in the Buddhist monasteries, to alert the monks to any intruders who entered.

I would not want my dogs attacking the zombies, because the blood that gets on the dog's face could cross-contaminate me.

http://www.pawculture.com/uploads/pointerdog.jpg enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ "I would not want my dogs attacking the zombies, because the blood that gets on the dog's face could cross-contaminate me." Very good point here... You don't want your dog to lick your fingers after it slaughtered zombies $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 5:06

If you have the time and inclination to train them, you could use Caucasians!. The are Loyal, Huge, smart, huge, great guardians, huge, and really really big! And did I mention they are huge?

Caucasians can get up to 100 Kilos. That's plenty big enough to deal with infected humans.

They were bred to be guard dogs and have some natural aggressive tendencies. They also have jaws that could easily hamstring a zombie or even crush it's head.

They have a heavy coat that makes them really resistant to cold conditions. You could also use the shed fur to make felt for a yurt if you are getting really primitive.

One of the breed traits is that they tend to be aggressive with strangers, making them good for taking on zombie hordes.

It's kind of like keeping a tamed bear. (You might guess I kind of like the breed)

For specifics: Stealth. Their coat type lends itself to good camouflage. Humans are sight driven predators, and I see no reason why infected humans would be significantly different.

Intellect. These dogs are pretty smart, but they are stubborn. Lots of intensive training would be required.

Strength. Should be self explanatory. I mean look at this guy! Full grown Caucasian They were bred to guard things.


Great Danes fill most of your requirements.

They can be very protective.

I don't know how good of a "sniffer" they are but they are smart enough to tell a threat (zombie or scum bag) from their body language.

They are also big and have the body mass and height advantage to knock someone over and pin them.

Their jaws are pretty strong if that's needed but I agree with RonJohn that I'd rather not have my dog bring zombie cooties back with him.

I don't know if it was just ours or if it is a general breed thing but mine was really quiet. I remember a time when I was in the yard with Puppy (ironic name) when a stranger tried to open the back gate. Puppy just sat himself on the other side of the gate, looked the stranger in the eyes (sitting they almost had the same eye level), and showed his teeth. Not a sound. The stranger decided that he had other things to do that day. Puppy was no longer in a playing mood and spent a while walking the fences.

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    $\begingroup$ Good For Puppy! $\endgroup$
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulTIKI, Yep. $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 17:05

Standard poodles are also very intelligent and were used for hunting. I will admit that the silly "snowball" cut for their fur would look ridiculous in a TV adaptation.

Though most standard poodles are rough-cut. And they are fairly large dog.

The major problem that I see is that poodles don't shed, so the owner would need to trim their fur.


I do think you're background is quite, EASY TO OVERCOME, SO EASY I can use your Zombies for the next Olympics, Hows that? Your environment said that your Zombies eats Humans AND HUMANS alone, and Basically, You also pointed out that A dog IS invisible, so is a Tiger, Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Bulls, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Cougars, Crocodiles, Alligators, WOLVES, etc...

So to make your story short, I'll Go to the wilds in a car, get my guns with tranquilizers, Hunt for a pack of Wolves, Return to the City, Unload Wolves, Repeat(I'll be Wearing a full plate armor for my sake). Or Better yet, go to the nearest Zoo, Open ALL Cages, Sit Back, Drink my beer and be a Hero.

But in all seriousness, If you really want to survive YOUR zombie apocalypse, if you can manage to tame a pack of wolves, that's it! Wolves are part dogs, and with a pack of them you're protected in a very large radius. You'll be using your guns for enjoyment perhaps, and as long as you have a good bond with the alpha male, You're set to go.

I'm thinking also that this question is a bit easy to answer because it does not indicate how the zombies can differentiate a human and a dog? What if a Human walked using his hands and feet? does your zombie consider them as a dog?

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    $\begingroup$ Taming a pack of wolves is not easy. Yes, they are genetically the same as dogs, but they haven't been bred for harmony with humans for the many thousands of years. $\endgroup$
    – NomadMaker
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ Why would the wolves attack the zombies? They're naturally shy when it comes to people who don't smell of rotting sickness... they'd just slink off to somewhere that there were more undisturbed hunting grounds. $\endgroup$
    – Doomfrost
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Doomfrost That's when you are wrong. Wolves, Piranhas, Sharks are attracted to one thing, and that's blood. Put hungry wolves to a city full of bloodied corpses and they get a feast. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ @NomadMaker There are a plenty of ways on how you can tame your own wolf pack, maybe kill the adults, feed the pups with meat, pups grows, knowing that you're the one that feed them and just like dogs, they might consider you their alpha, that's why maybe wrapping yourself with thick clothes can protect you as long as the wolves gets fed. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 6:43
  • $\begingroup$ I could give you plenty of answers for my defense seriously, but maybe I'm really not into the point of "Taming" my wolves, I'm just releasing them into a feeding festival if you may. My main problem might be if wolves are not available in my place, that's where the problem start. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 6:48

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