Doug Goodman

Texas Horror Writer. Cadaver Dog Handler.

Doug's Blog

Lesser Known Working Dogs

Posted by douggoodman on June 20, 2009 at 4:09 PM

The Next Dog

Even before Princess died, I talked about "my next dog."   I have eventually settled on German Shepherd, but for a while I was looking into some lesser known working dogs.  Since Princess died from bloat, I was looking at lesser-known dogs because my theory was that with less breeding, there was less risk of genetic problems, which are often found in overbred (popular) dogs.

 

Black-Mouthed Curr

http://www.americanblackmouthcur.com/bruno1.jpg" height="92" style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: 1px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px solid" />

Black-Mouths are used to tree raccons and hunt pigs. 

What I liked:  These dogs were bred to track down animals, so the prey drive is strong. 

What I disliked:  Baying dogs.  Think Copper from "The Fox and The Hound."  I didn't know if my neighbors would appreciate the sonorous sounds of my BMC.

Something wicked cool:  This is the dog from Old Yeller. 

 

Australian Blue Heeler

http://www.nextdaypets.com/directory/breeds/images/1100018.jpg" height="111" style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: 1px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px solid" />

My brother owned a Blue Heeler, and it was a great and loyal dog.  Mojo is half Blue Heeler.

What I liked:  These cattle dogs are the only other dog besides Border Collie that I have seen consistenly excel at sheepherding trials (when I have been to one or seen one on television).  They are smart and curious dogs.

What I disliked:  Blue Heelers have a limit to what they can do and when they will do it.  They take an owner who can keep them interested in the game.  Mojo has this personality quirk.  I'm sure it doesn't affect all blue heelers, but I have seen it enough to think they are for a more advanced owner.

Something wicked cool:  Ancestry from Australia.

 

I just recently found this one:

Lundehund

Lundehunds are Norwegian working dogs bred to hunt puffins (not to be confused with puffer fish).

Puffin:

http://www.birdsasart.com/iceland.htm

Puffer Fish:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/pufferfish.html

Puffin-Hunting Lundehund:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Lundehund-2003.jpg" height="103" style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: 1px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px solid" />

What I liked:  Lundehunds hunt along rocks and craggy shores, which to me makes them ideal for looking for dead bodies in say...a disaster zone area.

What I disliked:  Hair.  It's not horrible, but due to the heat and climate of Houston, I don't know how well the dog would do if tasked to search for bodies in August for hours on end. 

Something wicked cool:  There are sooo many.  Six-toed dog (for handling rocks and puffins).  They are freaks of flexibility, too, which would be great for parties...

 

There is an irony in my decision to bypass these rarer (at least in America) dog breeds and go with a German Shepherd.  WIth the German Shepherd, there will be the risk of hip displasia.  But to me the most important factor in this decision was to find a proven working dog, and while all these breeds make great working dogs, I grew up around German Shepherds and know a lot about how to train them (from my parents).  In getting a new cadaver dog, I wanted an animal that would take to training quickly and efficiently.  I have already spent 3 years training dogs for cadaver work only to be back at square one.  Hopefully a German Shepherd will be in my future, but first we have to finish house repairs.

 

Categories: Search and Rescue, Dogs (General), Finding A New Dog

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