Note from JWR: The following letter is a reply to the excellent series of informative letters on various dog breeds that ran in December of 2005. Refer to the SurvivalBlog Archives for those letters.
I would like to mention the cur breeds as dogs that could be useful in a retreat situation. The Blackmouth cur, mountain cur, catahoula, and blue lacy would all make good choices. These were the original homestead dogs, used by the pioneers to work livestock, hunt and trail game, and to protect the family from Indians, bandits, and wild animals. These breeds are still common in many parts of the rural south and are used by many people to hunt wild hogs and work cows. They range in size from 30-50 pounds (blue lacy and mountain cur) to 60-100 pounds (blackmouth). Because they haven’t been used in show breeding programs these dogs are relatively free from most health problems, although the catahoula is becoming popular and starting to develop problems in some strains. If I didn’t have a dog and was looking to get one for a retreat I’d ask around feed stores and sale barns and find somebody who’s dog had puppies. You could get an idea of it’s parents demeanor and what it was used for. Don’t restrict yourself to purebreds, I have a heeler/border collie mix that can blood trail, work cows or goats, bay hogs, and is willing to fight anything that walks if it threatens my family or any child. He also stays alert and as long as he’s around nothing can sneak up on me. Thank you so much for your website, I am fairly young and have learned a LOT from it about topics I had never even considered until recently. I just got Patriots in the mail yesterday and this is the first time I’ve put it down, between that and reading [the shareware novel] “Lights Out” I have really changed my mindset a lot in the last few weeks. Keep up the good work. – K.I.