The Top 10 Adventure Dogs

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Karelian Bear Dog
Tracy Morgan / Getty Images7/12

Karelian Bear Dog

This Finnish breed was designed to hunt dangerous game — we're talking moose, boar, and bear. Rangers in some U.S. national parks use Karelians to keep cougars and bears away from campgrounds.

Weight: 40-50 lbs.

Best Qualities: Cojones. The Karelian bear dog is basically fearless, and unlike many of the other truly bold dogs (like mastiffs or Leonbergers), they're not massive. You can fit a KBR in the backseat of your Outback.

Drawbacks: Karelians can be aggressive with other dogs and require committed training and socialization. Heed this warning from the Wind River Bear Institute, one of America's best Karelian breeders: "The Karelian Bear Dog has been bred as an independent hunting dog." And once they find that game, these dogs raise a ruckus, so expect some noise.

What to Do With Them: Backcountry hike, fish, and ski. They're perfect camp dogs.

Buyer's Guide: The two most established U.S. breeders are California Karelians and the Wind River Bear Institute.

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