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Best pound per pound dog for a wilderness man ?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by pitdog, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. pitdog


    Apr 13, 2007
    What dog do you think think pound per pound would be the most usefull to a man living off the wild ?

    Having a little Jack Russell ...


    I think they would be a mighty fine addition with their ability to take down Squirrells, rats, birds etc and requiring little in the way of food by return.
    In saying that I have been reading up and Patterdale/Fell Terriers and Jagdterriers both seem like they they might have the edge in all round dynamite dogs in small packages, I also think Border terriers are a great bang for the buck and have spoken with an old guy whose Border had taken down many critters including Raccoons, numerous cats and even a Beaver......pretty impressive given their size !

    So if you were living off the grid and needed a good canine companion to help keep you company and also provide a little meat for it's upkeep what would you choose and why ?

    My little girl with a bird she caught last year...

    By pitdog2010 at 2011-04-05

    Yeah the Snake was too small to bother with !

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  2. Sturubu

    Sturubu Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 16, 2010
    I've heard some pretty convincing arguments for Jagdterriers but have yet to spend any time with one or anyone who owns one. I had a rat/russell mix that was a good in-the-wild dog, always willing to share her catches (birds, rodents, other snacks)...


    Jul 14, 2000
    Chocolate Lab. And mine is the best dog ever.
    I am sure your dog is the best dog ever, too.
    Isn't everyone's?
  4. bigghoss


    Jul 27, 2011
    A large breed would have more meat on it. :D Just kidding.
  5. shockjockey24


    Jan 2, 2011
    a large breed would be better for beast of burden type chores (pulling carts/sleds) but a smaller dog can move easier, requires less food and they usually live longer with less health issues. In a perfect world, I'd have one of each :D But I'm very happy with my beagle/coonhound-of-some-sort mutt! Shes big enough to help out, but small enough to find her own trail if need be (and I can carry her no problem if she gets hurt).
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  6. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson

    Jul 17, 2006
    I think I agree with the idea of having a smaller dog. You would have less to feed. My friend's Bernese Mountain Dog can put away a lot of food!

    Maybe an Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler would be a good choice. A friend has two and they are superbly smart, well trained (not always the case with dogs this smart) and hardy as hell. They shrug off livestock kicks and butts and love to work.

    Another breed that I've never run across in person that might be a good choice is a Canaan Dog. Interesting breed.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan_Dog

    One's choice might be related to the climate and terrain and particular jobs you'd like it to do, but I think that smaller might be better when you are supplying your own resources.
  7. panzertroop

    panzertroop Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I am going to be working my Boston Terrier into hiking. I think she will make a nice companion. Always enjoy seeing pics of your JRT!
  8. Odog27

    Odog27 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    I currently own a mix that I call a "badassett" - he is a pitbull/Bassett hound mix. He looks like a sawed off pitty. His prey drive is phenomenal. Just in our yard he has killed multiple squirrels, birds, and even a skunk without getting sprayed. The latter has to do with how he hunts. Already low to the ground, he stalks and then runs full bore at the prey. Without breaking stride he snatches it up, shakes it violently a couple times, throws it into the air and then circles back around to claim his prize. The preys necks or backs are usually broken and death is quick. I attribute this to his strength. I have no doubt he can take a coon, ground hog or even a beaver. He has that pitty tenacity. Down side is water.
  9. Odog27

    Odog27 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    Maybe a jack/pit would be good.
  10. 555

    555 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    I'd pick a mid to large sized Mutt. They can be trained easily and tend to be low maintenance, staying in good health, better than pure breeds.
  11. diced


    Sep 26, 2012
    smaller cur dog (60-70 lbs) would get my vote. Australian Sheppard can also do a lot of things. I would think the best dog for human survival would be back to the roots of dogs. I would want a friendly to me wolf.
  12. glubse


    Aug 21, 2011
    Jack Russell, definitely. My little Nelly is 13 now and still full of live, can't say the same about our 10 year old great dane. But Canaan Dog was something that I wanted to suggest as well.
  13. jill jackson

    jill jackson Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2006
  14. plumberroy


    Jan 27, 2007
    A mountian fiest would be a good choice for a living off grid dog kinda like a jrt bred for hunting
  15. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Jill beat me to it, but I agree that a mid-sized dog would be more suitable. Also a dog with a double coat will be more protected from weather(hot & cold) extremes and natural pests. A healthy mixed-breed is always a good choice for a companion. One group to look hard at would be Mountain Curs. From reports I've read, they seem to be an overall healthy group of outdoor dogs that haven't yet been adversely affected by human breeding tactics the way many others have.
  16. baldtaco-II


    Feb 28, 2006
    Definitely something with a mind to the old school. I have a big problem with the legacy of what the Victorians started with their eugenics and the weaknesses that inhere in show breeds as a consequence. So even on a health basis alone I'm going with some sort of cross. …..........That cross needs to have a number of features 1] athleticism on a dynamics to weight ratio. 2] tenacity without being over hard eg: a terrier working underground that doesn't stop and give tongue at a quarry it can't overwhelm is a liability, or worse, dead. 3] it's got to be smart – smart enough to work from it's own initiative but also tractable. [kids can be taught to fetch and carry, that pretty basic, I require better from a dog]............I have a huge fondness for lurchers and longdogs so whatever it is it is going to be some kind of build drawing from that pool. A pure sight hound is no good to me, they have a canine version of bird brain. Whilst the flat out catching-up-to prowess of a greyhound is awesome to behold, and so effective under some circumstances that in the dark ages they were banned for all but nobility, or hobbled by having toes cut off, they arent very well rounded. The commoner's ban defeating version crossing a greyhound with a cattle dog, the lurcher, has been the typical poachers dog that filled the pot during the long affray between the stuffed shirts and the hungry. It would be quite acceptable to me to stop at this point, cross a greyhound with a Welsh Hill Collie and call that good......................That said, I'd meddle will the recipe further. The dog I lost two weeks ago was truly excellent. He was a mix of lurcher * deerhound. Too big to fulfill the brief here as accurately as I can but offers an excellent gist. He was extremely intelligent and gave nothing away to well known smart dogs like German Shepherds in that respect. [I grew up surrounded by German Shepherds because of stuff my parents were into, and I've meddled with a lot of dogs since so I have very high standards and a low tolerance for idiocy]. He'd fetch and carry like a gundog if that's what I wanted him to do. Although he was too big to be optimized for bunny bagging he'd take those reliably enough. In fact as a testaminet to his skills in that department if I can be bothered I might post up a pic of one he took two weeks after having a front leg amputated. And that's massive surgical for a dog of his size. As the vet said at the time “it's not like a small dog with their little chicken wings that just pop out”. Never the less there he stands with his kill, shaved down one flank and with a row stitches in like a shark got him, loving his work. And here's a key too, he learned real quick to work smarter 'cos he could not be as fast as he was. Anecdotes about lurchers becoming extremely sagacious in their senescence as they loose speed are legion. Seeing it happen in such an accelerated way over a period of a few weeks was phenomenal. Back to the plot though and I can say that he'd take small deer if the law was irrelevant, no doubt about it. I've never encouraged him to do it because I like them but seeing him hit into foxes at full tilt isnt something you easily forget. Harder to forget was a mistake on my part during his early training – he hit into a sheep a full power, both rolled down hill out of sight into a river, only he came out. If he'd ever worked as part of a brace or trio with others of his ilk I'm confident they'd take a stag. The stag would just break it's own neck. It came as no surprise to me to see some Australian dogs similar to him but with a bunch of mastiff wound in hunting pigs..................That said, if we were down to the “you can only have one” type scenario I'd say go smaller. As anthropologists tell us, it's all very well the men going off for their trophy kills and some chest beating on the trapline, but it is her indoors doing the daily grind of feeding the kids that's doing the real donkey work. She is catching small stuff successfully over and over again day in day out with certainty and once every so often he snags a giraffe and claims the bragging rights. Same thing applies to my opinion of rifles come to that. I could go out from here with a pocket full of 270 win everyday for a week and not guarantee coming back with anything more significant than badly battered rabbits. And supposing I did get a deer kill every time it wouldn't take long before I had exhausted all the available and needed to relocate. Similarly, there are pitfalls in loading up a dog's attributes to shine mostly at the big kills only. I'd want something that was good for modest sized stuff but was also a good vermin grabber.........In conclusion, if I were to custom build something on a pound for pound basis it would be something like a Collie * Greyhound * Bedlington. The Collie provides the brains and the stamina. The Greyhound [or Whippet] gives it the vision and the speed. The Bedlington is no slouch on speed, fantastic round water, not too stupid for a terrier, and has the heart of a lion. That would give a compact package that would feed me more than I fed it. Yeah, I want a superfast cunning jackal that can adapt more than a wolf that looks good in the poster. Rogues and running dogs, they've got hundreds of years of proven.
  17. Grease


    May 10, 2012
    I own an Australian Cattledog/German Shepherd mix that would make a perfect wilderness dog. (Or, well, she would have earlier in life. Now she's old and fat and lazy after giving birth to pups :p)

    She's caught rats, moles, a couple birds, and even a rabbit before. She does better than the cat (who also catches stuff and brings it to show off :p)
  18. baldtaco-II


    Feb 28, 2006
    Mah dog before last was German Shepherd * Greyhound. She was a privilege to have too. Worked great with ferrets.
  19. jasonp


    Oct 7, 2002
    This one:
    I grew up with Rott's as we lived in a bad neighborhood. The local thugs fears the "Big Black Devil" in our back yard. They served their purpose and in truth, we couldn't get them to bite anyone if we wanted them to. They did look intimidating though :) Way back about 20 years ago, a friend was going away to the first desert storm and left me with his blue heeler. At first, I thought what an ugly dog. Well, shortly thereafter, we moved to the west Texas desert for work. It didn't take long for that heeler to prove his worth. These healers (Australian Cattle dogs) are as smarter than your average democrat and tough as nails. He hiked hundreds of miles with me hunting, wildlife photography, exploring, artifact hunting, etc. He found and killed two rattlers (without getting bit) and listened to every word I said it seemed. I lost him once in Dell City, Texas for 1.5 weeks. A rancher in New Mexico found him 50 miles north in the desert. When I picked him up, he'd been in a fight with something (coyote or badger I suspect) but none-the-worse for wear. He lasted another 6 years until he passed. When we went looking for a new dog, my wife, son and daughters knew exactly what they wanted; another heeler. This time, we just picked a different color, a Red Heeler. This little guy eats nails and craps pancakes; as tough as they come...He'll stay right by your side out in the sticks and fight anything (regardless of size) that he thinks is a threat.
  20. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    I don't know about best. I like Lab's and German shepherds. However I believe any old mut might do.

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