Can A Pet Dog Survive In The Wild?

Dear Doggy,

We absolutely love our dog but he runs away sometimes. It makes us wonder, can a pet dog survive in the wild?

Just Wondering

Dear Wondering,

Many people wonder if their pet could live in the wild because their dogs are such sweet, gentle animals. Let’s set the matter straight…

Pet dogs have an amazing ability to survive in the wild for a long time. It is a common thought that the ancestors of our pet dogs were the South Asian wolves, so they still have those wild instincts. They will face problems but can survive.

Although I’m certain that nobody would want to actually find out if their pet dog could live in the wild, there are some ways for you to tell that they are more likely to survive. It really boils down to their hunting instincts, and you can learn a lot about your beloved pet by watching them around the home.

If your dog is able to sniff out rodents, bugs, and any squirrels outside of your window, it’s likely that they have good hunting instincts. Dogs also have a heightened sense of smell and hearing that would allow them to live in the wild as well.

Of course, the fact that your dog has been domesticated and living the good life by eating table scraps and sleeping on your bed is not necessarily going to work in their favor. Given time in the right conditions, however, your pet is likely to live out their life in the wild quite easily.

How Far Will a Dog Run Away from Home?

Dogs are capable of traveling long distances. We sometimes hear of fantastic tales that involve a dog traveling dozens or perhaps even hundreds of miles to get back home after being left somewhere accidentally.

Although that may be true, most dogs are not going to travel very far from their home. The general suggestion is to begin looking in a 2-mile radius, especially when you are first starting out on the search.

A lot of the traveling that your dog may do is when they are first lost and are trying to find their way back home again. A lost dog is likely running scared so they are less likely to trust people that they come across and are more likely to be in danger from passing traffic.

Another danger that you need to be concerned about is the possibility of wild animals. Of course, we just talked about the fact that a dog can live successfully in the wild, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to be in danger, especially when they first leave the comforts of home.

If you are looking for your dog that has just run away, begin casting a wide net. Put everything that you have on your schedule on hold and start looking intensely. Enlist the help of others through social media and by posting flyers with a good picture, a contact phone number (not everybody has email), and consider offering a reward.

What Dogs Are Most Likely to Survive in the Wild?

This is a rather interesting question, because most dogs are capable of surviving in the wild but some are more likely to get by.

Larger dog breeds are likely to be a better candidate for surviving in the wild, simply because they will not be a target for other animals. That being said, certain animals in the wild are going to attack any dog when they feel threatened, but they are more likely to think twice if they are facing a large, aggressive dog.

Some breeds of dogs tend to think better on their feet, such as those who are known for their skills of guarding, hunting, and herding. These tend to be some very intelligent animals so they can think their way out of the situation in many cases.

There are certain breeds that are also favored by those who are preparing for living in the wild for various reasons. These are dogs that don’t necessarily survive on their own but rather, they complement their owners by helping to protect, hunt, and be their eyes and ears.

It also has a lot to do with the area of the world where you live, weather conditions, local wildlife, and the availability of fresh water and a ready supply of food.

Can Domestic Dogs Turn Wild?

There are dogs that exist around the world that are known as feral dogs. You can think of them as being like a feral cat, only they are canines. Feral dogs are very similar in appearance to domestic dogs, but they are referred to as free-ranging and wild dogs for a reason.

A number of different breeds can make up packs of feral dogs, and they can be various colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of the more common dog breeds that become feral include Doberman pinschers and German shepherds. In most cases, feral dogs are descendants of dogs that were, at one time, domesticated.

Domestic dogs are accustomed to living with humans and they rely on humans to a large extent. That isn’t the case, however, with feral dogs. They are often skittish around people and avoid contact with them. If they are put in a position where they feel threatened, they will typically exhibit aggressive behavior, even toward humans.

Like any dog that lives in the wild, feral dogs are social and will often run in a pack. At first, they have a close appearance to the breed of dog they were when they were domesticated but eventually, crossbreeding will lead to more of a general mongrel that has the appearance of a husky or German Shepherd.

In Conclusion

To sum things up, it is possible for a domestic dog to survive in the wild and they may live out the rest of their years. That being said, a pet should never be dropped off in the wild with the thought that they will simply survive.

Wild dogs face a number of problems, such as dangers from other wild animals, traffic, severe weather, dehydration, and starvation. Take care of your furry friend, because they need the help and comfort that you provide in your home and family.

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