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Anybody had anything to do with Norwegian Elkhounds? Here is some info on them: Norwegian Elkhounds: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em
I like how this site breaks down "if this behavior drives you insane, don't get this dog" into bullet points for quick reading. I don't believe I've ever been around one of these except for a dog somebody brings to walk around the flea market.

One of the things I'm worrying about is, in an economic collapse or mass scale attack from another country, where will dog food be coming from? I keep a 50 lb bag of Purina dry chow ahead and some canned food as a backup, but I'm guessing if it gets really bad the dogs will be having to hunt for ground squirrels, rats and whatever else they can catch for themselves.
 

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I lived with one for 3-4 months when I first moved to Buffalo. Overall they're good alarm / guardian / protectors but can be very one person dogs. To the point where a family member can tell them to do something simple like move out of the way and the dog will glare at them and almost dare them to make the dog move. If their Person tells the dog to move at that point it will, only because it's person said to.

Their coat can be problematic when they lose their heavy coat twice a year. They can and do mat badly if you don't keep up with it regularly.
 

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Poodles are actually naturally attracted to water. They are German in origin having descended from the German Pfudel hunting dog. The tuft of hair on the head and on the tail was for their owners to be able to keep track of them when they were retrieving downed waterfowl offshore. It was the French who decided to turn them into companion dogs, and they do make excellent companion dogs. But the French went to extremes with the haircut and turned them into the oddities you see today in Kennel Club shows. And poodles are extremely smart, typically in the top 3 when if comes to obedience and work IQ. And they are excellent problem solvers. We've had 2 - Tennessee's Volunteer Smokey (yes, that was his actual name as he had AKC purebred parentage) and we currently have Huckleberry. Smokey lived to 17 and Huck is about 5-6.
 

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I have trained everything from Wolf Hybrids to Rots, to black labs and German shorthairs to the little Schnauzers, we have two now. Probably the best and smartest I had, other than the wolf, was a mutt, looked like a cross between a pit and a bird dog, brindle in color. Got dumped off at our house when it was a couple months old, the snow was 6 foot drifts, somebody dumped it to die.

Any dog can be trained to alert. We live on a dead end road, our Schnauzers sound like gorillas when anyone comes. The downside is we have coyotes and bobcat on the place every week as we live on a game path. So, we do not let them out in the dark without an escort and we do not associate with other people much, so they are sounding aggressive to any animal or person. They kill rabbits and gophers and the occasional slow squirrel and they find every snake and armadillo and racoon and possum that happens by. Pretty funny to watch them bite an armadillo.

Big dogs eat a lot, little dogs do not. Just depends on what you want them to do. I suggest a smaller breed rescue dog, they will all be protective of their space and owners and all will alert to strangers. Smaller dogs are easier to keep indoors and you can place a chair or sofa near the windows and they will learn to patrol every window that has something for them to climb up on. Our young one sits on a bench seat in the kitchen which allows him a view of the entire back of the house and a couple acres. The old Schnauzer climbs up on the back of a recliner where he can see everything in the front of the house and 200-300 yards to the front in about a 180 degree angle. Basically that is their daily snooze location and they can see about 90% of any approach to our property. Not even a squirrel can pass buy without them telling us. Together they weigh under 40 pounds, not much to feed in a SHTF scenario.

There are no dumb dogs, just challenged trainers.
 
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