The right kind of dog, trained right, can be a valuable asset after a collapse situation. They can help with guard duties, protection, hunting, hauling and other tasks, along with companionship. Dogs are a lot of work and a lifestyle changer, but if you're so inclined, then they can be a worthwhile asset--and yes, beyond the One Second After-style meal of desperation.
We don't have a dog. In about a year, year and a half, we should be in a situation where we could add a dog to the family - big enough yard, no babies on the way and so on. Something I'm looking at. I'd like a companion for walks and hiking, and an added layer at the house to deter break ins and to help protect the family, especially if I'm travelling.
Of course, like all things, not all dogs are created equal, so breed comes into play. Based on my experience, I'm inclined towards a Shepherd of some variety - German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois. I had a friend who trained German Shepherds for Schutzhund and obedience competition, and his dogs were really, really impressively trained. Sport training is of course different from real protection training, but these dogs were eerily well trained. Like you'd tell 'em to lie down and go to sleep, and they'll lie down for hours and not move. I wish my boy was that well trained!
Yep, there are other breeds that might be better in a straight up fight - the Cane Corso, descended from Roman war dogs, for example. But for an all around mix of intelligence, companionship and capability, I think a well trained Shepherd variety (German Shepherd, Malinois, etc.) is hard to beat. There's a reason police, the military and others use these dogs.
I don't have a ton of confidence in my ability to train a dog to the level of training I want from scratch. Maintain training, keep the dog exercised and generally engaged - yes. But train from scratch? I'm not sure. Don't have any experience in that area. So we would probably purchase an already trained dog from a professional trainer--or purchase as a pup and work with an experienced trainer as he ages. Yes, I know you pay an arm and a leg for it, but if I'm going to add a dog to the family - and all that comes with it - I want to do it right.
I'm sure this is a favorite topic for some of you, with much more experience than I can offer. Interested to hear your thoughts & experiences on breed, training and lifestyle in the comments.