Draught Dog

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Draught Dog

This is a discussion on Draught Dog within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I've been looking up working dogs to find a good breed for my future situation. I am hoping to get some opinions from people that ...

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Old 02-13-2014, 12:26 AM
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Draught Dog

I've been looking up working dogs to find a good breed for my future situation. I am hoping to get some opinions from people that know/own the ones I'm looking at.

The dog MUST:

1. Be able/willing to pull heavy loads/me long distances in various weather conditions including deep snow.

2. A good watchdog with the ability to scare large predators until I get my gun.

3. If not a livestock dog than one who can be trained to ignore many small prey animals.

PREFER:

4. An independent, standoffish personality.

5. Not drooly

6. Not insanely big (100+ lbs)

7. Average lifespan of at least 10+ years.

I haven't found one breed that satisfies all of those but the breeds I'm considering so far are: Anatolian Shepherd, the Bernese Mountain Dog and its cousins, Samoyed, Akita, Leonberger.

I am basically needing a dog that will guard, if not livestock, than the property against large predators. Warning me of strangers or something suspicious. Pulling water, firewood and hay in a cart when needed, and me for long trips or weather that using a bike would be ill-advised.

Since I have such a small space to work in I need to multi purpose the animals as much as possible. It seems goats are not the best cart animals (sad face) and even a Mini Horse is too space consuming.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:59 AM
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Berners tend to not have long life spans, last I paid attention?

Pretty much any of the LGD breeds would fit that except that they'd push your 100lb mark.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:32 AM
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Well, a lady in our obedience club trained her anatolians to pull. Once Quest's draft harness get here, he'll be trained to pull a work wagon. Pulling a cart is mainly training. You may new to adjust the load weight due to your dog's size. Like, I can't ask Quest to pull me or my husband. We'd need either a bigger dog or another dog (well, two more dogs for the hubby).
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:51 AM
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Oh, and I'll add that with proper training and workup it doesn't actually take that big of a dog to pull several hundred pounds. The IWPA records the weights pulled by dogs in its competitions and its not at all unusual for a 50lb dog to pull upwards of 1000 pounds for competition purposes. Of course, there's a difference between pulling in competition and carting in real life, but a grown dog in the 75lb range, who's healthy, and properly trained and with the right kind of cart, could be realistically expected to pull a 200lb load a reasonable distance.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:08 AM
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@ruthcatrin The Bernese do have unfortunately small lifespans. I was looking at some of the other "Bernese" like Appenzeller. The Bernese has more fur which would be awesome for cold weather.

I thought the LGD's were the best choice. I really like the Anatolian's and have been looking into rescues/breeders. I was just making sure there wasn't another dog that would be better suited for my purposes. The LGD's are big but I'm willing to overlook that for everything else :/

Is it better to have one or two dogs? CAN you train two non-sled dogs to pull together (relatively easily)? Is there a dog poundage/weight pulled formula so you don't overload them?
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:09 AM
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarkingPup View Post
Is it better to have one or two dogs? CAN you train two non-sled dogs to pull together (relatively easily)?
Absolutely yes. The individual dogs' personalities, ability/willingness to get along with and work with another dog, and willingness to pull are far more important than breed. Many traditional sled dog breeds have been selected for those traits (at least traditionally and in working lines still), but any dog can do it. My little hound is a much better "sled dog" than my Alaskan husky mix, and they are a good team.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:30 AM
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Depending on the prey drive of the specific dog, I think you could find a husky that fit everything easily. Koda is husky/GSD mix and fits everything but that, but has learnt to ignore at the very least my rabbit. And you don't want a mix, but that's just my experience
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:35 AM
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I was thinking Akita. Some lines are smaller than others, and if you get a girl she may not get super huge. Our old gsd x Akita had exactly the personality you described. She was only around 75 pounds and lived to almost 16. She was great with small animals though she didn't always ignore them. She wanted to mother then lol
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:25 PM
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I was thinking Akita too. Champ had a work mode and could be affectionate but was also content to be solitary. He also didn't bother the various smaller animals on the property and would alert the BF when a bear or mountain lion was nearby.
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