THE SUR­VIVOR’S DOG: PROS AND CONS

American Survival Guide - - GUIDE GEAR -

Labrador Re­triever

Hands down, the Lab is the world’s most pop­u­lar dog. Its webbed feet make it an ex­cel­lent swim­mer. In fact, its orig­i­nal job was to re­trieve fish­ing nets in Eng­land in the early 19th cen­tury.

Pros: Ex­cel­lent hunt­ing dogs, they have high en­durance and are strong swim­mers. They are very train­able, in­tel­li­gent and pos­sess ex­cel­lent hear­ing and sense of smell.

Cons: Labs can over­heat eas­ily in ex­treme heat and can be loud and clumsy at times. Their lov­able na­ture makes them ques­tion­able pro­tec­tion dogs. They lose fo­cus eas­ily when around prey in the field.

Ger­man Shep­herd

Orig­i­nat­ing in Germany, the shep­herd line of dogs is only 120 years old and was de­vel­oped to ef­fi­ciently herd sheep in the fields. It is the fore­most po­lice and mil­i­tary dog and is ex­tremely pop­u­lar among those want­ing a dog for pro­tec­tion, per­sonal as­sis­tance or search-and-res­cue.

Pros: Ger­man Shep­herds ex­hibit high en­durance, speed, agility and strength. They have a very strong work ethic and pose quite a for­mi­da­ble pres­ence when used as pro­tec­tion. They pos­sess the best hear­ing and sense of smell and are very in­tel­li­gent.

Cons: Thanks to their pop­u­lar­ity and breed­ing, they can be plagued with hip dys­pla­sia and other health prob­lems.

Rot­tweiler

Orig­i­nat­ing in Rot­tweil, Germany, the Rott is a very old line (from the Ro­man era). They are a very strong and in­tel­li­gent breed.

Pros: They are the best dogs for per­sonal pro­tec­tion, given their rep­u­ta­tion and in­tim­i­dat­ing ap­pear­ance. They are very in­tel­li­gent and eas­ily train­able. They have a very strong body and can carry/pull a great deal of weight.

Rotts have ex­cel­lent senses of hear­ing and smell.

Cons: They do not have a great en­durance and can over­heat eas­ily. Rotts are not good hunters/re­triev­ers, and their breed isn’t re­spected for be­ing a “safe” dog around strangers/public.

Jack Russell Ter­rier

The Jack Russell was de­vel­oped for its abil­ity to hunt foxes. The breed hasn’t changed much for the last 250 years. These dogs pos­sess a high level of en­ergy and re­quire a great deal of ex­er­cise. They are tena­cious and per­sis­tent, mak­ing them won­der­ful hunt­ing/track­ing dogs.

Pros: One of the best char­ac­ter­is­tics of Jack Rus­sells is their en­durance level. They have ex­cep­tional hear­ing and smell, and their small size means they eat less and take up less space.

Cons: They aren’t very in­tim­i­dat­ing, and they’re not very quiet—due to a high amount of bark­ing. They are not cold­weather dogs, and their drive makes them dif­fi­cult to con­tain.

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