Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

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Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Strawhat » 05 Mar 2014, 20:22

Jim Goss wrote:everyone,

So in the post zombie apocalypse world what would be the best breed of dog to increase the chances for human survival, and why?

Now same question only this is an apocalypse brought on by humans/natural disaster/aliens and why?


mrinku wrote:There's good eating on a Saint Bernard. But you'd have to FEED it too...

But I'd probably go with a ratting dog like a Jack Russell Terrier. You can always rely on the rat supply.

jack wrote:Mrinku,
You do make a good point, unfortunately, on both. But then again, this also depends and goes on the assumption that unlike the Will Smith film, "I am legend.", when his beloved German Shepard "Sam" was bitten by another "infected" dog and she too contracted the biological agent and "turned". As I said, assuming dogs (God willing) would be immune to what ever 'bio-fubar' humanity lets loose.
Just a side note; I do believe "Legend" was a rewrite of the 70's Charlton Heston film, entitled IIRC, "The Omega Man" But I really enjoyed both.

Ooohh, I've been waiting for this new forum. I kept trying to post on lefora, and it just wouldn't work. :evil: So I hope everyone will pardon me for resurrecting it here.

The "best" breed of dog? Well, that depends on what you want the dog to do. There are just too many possibilities out there, and not all of them are obvious choices. Then there are the real world problems that are inherent with breeding for appearances and not health or work-related abilities. Ultimately, I believe, in a post-apocalyptic setting we would begin selecting dogs for their utility or other capabilities and "breed" would drop in significance. Mutts would abound. Pure breeds that currently do a lot of police/military work would be more likely to retain their distinctiveness.

Mutts are probably not as "sexy" as a Tibetan Mastiff, Rottweiler, or Caucasian Shepherd (seriously, if you don't know the first and last breeds do a Google search :D ), but they're a lot more practical.

Were I designing a supplemental kit to the Dark Futures line, I would probably would not sculpt a specific breed. I would make something somewhat generic. It would have a good size, a somewhat medium to heavy build, and a head that had influences from multiple breeds. A couple poses with a few optional heads (one broader, one more more narrow, one with erect ears, etc.) would go a long way, and much of the rest could be done with paint.

As far as the origin of any zom-pocalypse, I wouldn't worry about aliens. I mean, it could be aliens, but it needn't be (cue Giorgio Tsoukalos meme). I would be more on board with a "World War Z" situation or a bio-experiment gone wrong. And, so far as I'm concerned, any bio-experiment would have had its origins with something that's been here for quite some time already. Experimentation would only have refined whatever it is that causes the zombies.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby bvandewalker » 09 Mar 2014, 03:11

Actually, for a viral Z outbreak, I think a German shepherd (something smarter than the average five year old) would be the best bet since they would be smart enough not to bit the zombies after the first few days or no dogs at all. If zombieites is spread by zed bit than biting a zombie is probably not the best tactic for man or beast.

For everything else (i.e. non zombie apocalypse settings) depends on the job and how breed specific you want it, but for combat I would go for a presa canario.
they are a big strong dog that are breed to kill.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Lonnie » 09 Mar 2014, 06:12

Large, aggressive breeds would not be the way to go; they'd all be dead within a couple of months. I'm basing the assumption on a couple of factors:
1) Assuming that the disease is viral it probably isn't able to make the cross-species jump but, if it is, 1 infected mastiff or German Shepard would ruin everyone's day.
2) Zombie flesh is toxic to all organisms (which is why they wear away rather than rot); eating it or biting into it would kill you. A big dog protecting its master is more inclined to bite than a small one.
3) Little dogs like Shelties and Dachsunds are more agile than larger breeds and able to evade a zombie strike and hide in places a zed couldn't get to. Hearding dogs would be the way to go (Border Collies, Shelties, etc.); they're smart, non aggressive, easily trained and have a natural ability for rounding up large groups of animals and getting them to go in the desired direction.

Just my 2-cents.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Abbner Home » 09 Mar 2014, 14:43

The question of dogs is addressed by leading authority Max Brooks in WWZ. Short version, big dogs are trained not to bite but to headbutt and body slam. They act as escorts to little dogs. Little dogs act as scouts and carry wireless cams and things. Sort of like zombieland search and rescue animals.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Strawhat » 10 Mar 2014, 00:41

I love this conversation (even if'n y'all don't agree with my take). There is just so much ground to cover on this topic, so I'm going to apologize ahead of time if I ramble or wander about. I don't consider myself an expert on dogs. I would say that I know more than the average (non-dog enthusiast/owner) person, but I'm not an expert.

Large dogs can also be muzzled if biting is to be avoided, and some sort of armor (such as that used for hunting boars) would be a good idea as well. They would have to be cleaned up after any conflict, though, to minimize any potential ingestion. Smaller dogs, in my experience, are usually quicker to nip or bite ("small dog syndrome" and all that) than larger dogs. I loaded cars with groceries for almost seven years, and (perhaps foolishly) I never worried about sticking my head into a car with a larger dog, although one van had a Chow and the owner insisted on loading rather than having me do it. Vehicles with smaller dogs often had the owner loading his/her own groceries. And then, at a hotel, there was this Cairn Terrier that thought it was the boss. Its owner scooped it up before my sense of humor ran out.

Border Collies would require muzzles--those dogs nip at everything they try to herd (sheep, children, and presumably zombies). They're bound to get a couple chunks without trying (unless muzzled). And, interestingly enough, I've seen a couple references about English Mastiffs and how they generally are soft-mouthed and extremely slow to anger (so an infected specimen should be obvious by its aggressive nature). I don't know how accurate it is, but the concept of that particular giant being gentle is out there.

I would suspect that sight-hounds would fare better than scent-hounds--with the idea being to locate and then stall any walking cadavers. Many sight-hounds were bred for dealing with large and potentially deadly animals such as elk, deer, and wolves. While elk and deer are not known for being blood-thirsty, they do have powerful hooves and antlers that can prove dangerous to an unwary dog or hunter.

Ultimately, I believe this is a situation where there's more than one right answer. I can tell you about how I believe I would use dogs in the zompocalypse, and anyone else can tell me how he (or she) might use dogs. In the end, I believe that the true right answer comes from playing to the strengths of the individual handlers and dogs and developing a strategy to maximize returns in that manner. All of which helps not a whit in determining what, if any, dogs to turn into miniatures.

To that end, I would argue that the most popular dogs for military/police service would be the best choices (German Shepherds, the Belgians, Dobermans, Standard Poodles--yeah, I said Poodle, Schnauzers, etc.). These make sense from a logical standpoint (these dogs already perform complex, sometimes dangerous work) as well as being recognizable to the general public.

It can be argued that a sick/infected large or medium dog will wreak a large amount of havoc in a camp or settlement. But I would actually suspect the opposite is true, and that the greater danger comes from smaller infected dogs. People already treat these larger dogs with caution because we know that they can be dangerous (infected or not). Who worries about petting a Dachshund, Beagle, or Cocker Spaniel?
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby bvandewalker » 13 Mar 2014, 21:19

Actually, small dogs tend to be just as aggressive as the larger breeds (if not more so). Believe it or not, there are packs of wild Chihuahuas in Mexico that attack people on a regular basses and small dogs bite far more often.

Regardless of breed, packs of normal dogs gone feral would make interesting non zombie opponents for your survivors, and they would even be realistic hazard in most disaster situations. I was in CERT back when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans so I got to hear all the gritty details, like the abandoned dogs forming packs and attacking relief workers. Another big problem was the number of murders committed by crooked police during and after the hurricane, showing that people can go feral too. So if you want your survivors to face more realistic enemies just remember dogs and police.

(oh and here is Link to update on New Orleans and their stray problem)
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby TheRedRabbit » 18 Mar 2014, 03:54

*****Warning**** long post.

I spotted this thread some time ago, finding only now the time to answer to it.

I am used to playing zombie apocalypse table top games and I noticed that players wanted pets in. So I started to investigate the topic to determine how to do it.

Situation of pets in the general zombie apocalypse pop cultures:
Pets do not feature much in this setting. Two main causes were isolated:

-the survivalist pop culture. Survivalists hold as a firm belief that after the fall, when food starts to turn scarce, people will turn to their pets to eat them. Therefore cats, dogs etc are going to be decreased in numbers rapidly.

-the utility of pets: each setting comes with its own code, its own way to share tension with the audience, repeated patterns that the viewer can relate to, to understand that the protagonists are threatened.
When a dog for example is introduced in such scenes, most of the time, dogs destroy the mechanics, they make the scene appear unbelievable. For example, a group of survivors is moving through difficult terrain with limited line of sight. As a result, they are jumped in by zombies. Put a dog in, and suddenly, while humans might taken off guard, the introduction of a dog annihilates the possibility.
Do that in usual zombies scenes and then, you reach the same conclusion: dogs (or some other pets) destroy the scene.

On to the main question now: what breed of dogs? The answer to that question might surprise people.

In regard to zombies(notice that confrontations with other survivors are nothing different from real world), dogs might be useful for several tasks:
-spotting task
-guard task
-combat task

Zombies as a threat: zombies are slow, attracted to noise, fearless when it comes to dog, immune to pain and might be killed by destroying their brain (usual convention) Another point
is they are rottening corpses walking around. Rottening corpses smell much. Actually, with a favourable wind, even though it is denied by most zombies apocalypse stories, human beings should be able to smell them around from a distance. But that is another question.

The combat task: it is a difficult one because of various points. Zombies shall not be scared by dogs, they are immune to pain and dogs must squash the head to kill them. Secondly, the virus might affect dogs. In this case, it adds to the difficulty. But in some other cases, it wont therefore dogs might feed off zombies. In the latter, it is likely that run away packs will sooner or later find ways to isolate a zombie, knock it off and crush the skull.

The spotting and guard tasks: because of the nature of zombie as a threat, dogs will easily perform at them.

From that point, there is no way to make a pick. Dogs are all good for duty.

We need to refine the criteria.

Combat is off screen. When it comes to spotting, since zombies are attracted to noise, when on a scavenging run for example, survivors might want to be signaled of the zombies presence in the surroundings or in a house silently. After speaking of it with dog trainers, vets, hunters or some other dog specialists, it appears that most dogs can be trained in doing that, they will perform the duty differently though.
Guard task is a bit trickier because guarding might happen in different contexts. For example, a small group of survivors, sleeping rough, might prefer a dog able to wake them up silently whereas survivors living in a shelter wont mind as much dogs waking them up by barking.

At this point, it appears that dogs qualify for the basic tasks and the difference between them might not come from breeds but from their training and what they were doing before the fall.

It wont be much a matter of breed but mostly of training and trainers. A proficient dog trainer might be able to train a dog into performing the basic tasks.
On the other side, some dogs will go prepared in the apocalypse.

For hunting dogs, the most obvious are setters. Setters by nature are used to signal a prey silently and they are trained to do that. Again, a proficient trainer will be able to teach zombies as a prey and therefore switch the silent behaviour to zombies.

Investigation dogs, those who are trained to signal drugs, missing people or suspects. Contrary to setters that work out of instinct, those dogs are trained to silently signal by sitting down, usually near their findings. Different breeds of dogs are trained that way.

The final answer: it wont be a matter of breed but taking the couple dog/trainer as a whole. Trainers who go into the apocalypse with a trained dog will be able to use it favourably. Proficient trainers will be able to train dogs to perform the duties. As they wont be able to be picky (like wishing they had a setter), they will train the dog they find.

From that analysis, the only distinctive dog breed shall be setters. They know the drill before going into the apocalypse and were selected for that drill on the base of their breed.
As they are many other types of dogs trained to perform a similar duty, it might not be worthwhile to focus on other breeds. They will be after the apocalypse because of the training they receive.
For example, you might find german shepherds or wolfhounds trained to mark silenty their findings. They are usually not trained because they have a natural leaning (contrary to setters) but because their scent is superior to some other breeds'. As dogs might usually spot zombies (it takes no specific breed to do that), the reason wolfhounds or german shepherds might appear in the post apocalypse world is because of the training they receive before the apocalypse.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby bvandewalker » 01 May 2014, 01:27

speaking of old Zombie Apocalypse questions by the powers that be, Jim also asked if anyone had seen an army of survivors face off against an army of zombies, the answer most us gave at the time was No. I have seen stuff that suggests someone had played a campaign like that on a paper craft sight, but the more common scenario is a survivor army vs. survivor army. To be honest the first time I saw this on the gaming "table" it was more mad max than a week into it, in fact the big places I see this scenario in fiction works than table top gaming. The possible exception to this is the "Twilight 2000" rpg which was supposed to be near future Apocalypse.
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Darq » 01 May 2014, 17:02

Its a matter of training - not breed. A poorly trained dog would be little to no use, except possibly as a warning. A well trained dog, won't bite unless told to - though nothing I am aware of in ZOMPOC fiction states Zombies are poisonous - nor does it make sense that they would be. Me I would go with a medium sized mutt or three. If you are talking a mini set, I would expect some mutts, a german shepherd a pit bull and then maybe some variety iconics (poodle, bull dog, chihuahua).
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Re: Reposted: Zombie Apocalypse Questions

Postby Strawhat » 01 May 2014, 22:36

bvandewalker wrote:speaking of old Zombie Apocalypse questions by the powers that be, Jim also asked if anyone had seen an army of survivors face off against an army of zombies, the answer most us gave at the time was No.

This should be changing, soon--hopefully. I backed Zed or Alive on Kickstarter and there's also BioSyndrome (which I did not back) and who knows how many more coming out or recently released.

Right now the ZoA crew are waiting for the PDF (some of the pledges that purchased their name being included with the rules have not responded), but BioSyndrome is free for download (or was). I know I'll be looking to get some games of ZoA in.

Darq, I like your choices for breeds, although I disagree about chihuahuas. :mrgreen:
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