What land animal a large pack of trained war dogs can't kill?

This question seems like a classic "List of X" problem, but it's scoped so strangely that the list could go on forever, or contain nothing at all.

The question seems to be asking for a list of animals, past and present, that could survive being attacked by a pack of war dogs. Which to my mind seems like an incredibly long list...

But it goes on to say that "Pack size is anything greater than 5 dogs." Which opens up an infinity problem... You could literally smother an entire world with near infinite dogs.

Beyond the obvious scope problem, this really feels more like a worldbuilding puzzle/golf problem than a legitimate question. I could be overthinking that bit, just a feeling.

Is this question really on topic? Seems like "too broad" might fit, but I didn't want to shoehorn it without some discussion.


  • $\begingroup$ I feel if the number of dogs were specified then it would be fine. $\endgroup$ Jun 2 '17 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon There's​ still an incredibly long list of potential answers... $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on the number in the pack. I also suspect, assuming a decent number of dogs, it is shorter than you think. $\endgroup$ Jun 2 '17 at 15:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It wouldn't take a infinite number of dogs. A mole of dogs would be roughly the same mass as the Earth. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jun 2 '17 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I was very tempted to post a hyperbolic answer, but I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be very "helpful" $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ Setting an upper bound on the minimum number of dogs to kill an animal would fit with the hard science tag of the question. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jun 2 '17 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings it would still be incredibly broad $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "What is the minimum mass needed to crush any animal?" is a perfect question for this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @sphennings I see what you did there... $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I'm thinking that you would still have to specify an animal that needed crushing. Expecting​ a list of animals and the required mass for crushing, would be expecting a bit much. $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @apaul34208 "Minimum mass needed to crush any animal", is asking for the lowest mass that will work for all animals, not a list of the lowest masses that will work for each animal. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I got that, just trying to steer things back to the question at hand. $\endgroup$
    – apaul
    Jun 2 '17 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, the way the question is framed makes it borderline on topic (as in the stated frame). The filters/constraints just simply make it at best a very long answer that can be easily negated by more predators. What the question needs to do is establish Herd Prey Stampeding / Defending is acceptable or not. Prey that can outrun the Predator is acceptable or not. But most importantly the Predator needs to have constraints or has been pointed out we might just as well reference the encyclopedia of every animal that has ever existed. $\endgroup$ Jun 2 '17 at 17:58

I think that there are many questions of a similar ilk which, as phrased/stated, are simply Big List questions. That's the very definition of Too Broad, one of our main reasons to close a question. It's a problem we skirt, if not attack head on, with many questions on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. This one, though is sort of egregious. At the moment, I would recommend closure because there really are a lot of answers.

However, I do think there's a solution to the issue. I've seen other seemingly Big List questions salvaged by asking for something more general. For instance, this question could be remodeled by asking about what characteristics an animal would need to successfully fend off the war dogs almost all of the time. This should narrow things down quite a lot, I'd hope. It's certainly worth a try. Obviously, this would invalidate the existing answers, which is frowned upon. Therefore, I'd recommend closing this question and asking another one, rephrased as I suggested.

On a side note, the question does have the tag on it, and so far, all 8 answers (counting the two that were deleted by their authors) have failed to meet its requirements. Some folks flagged the question and some answers, and so I've added the relevant post notice as per my Flowchart Thingy o' Objective Fairness, which is basically my standard for deciding whether or not an answer deserves the notice, in accordance with our established site policy. The overall failure to address the tag may be another worthwhile point of discussion here, but I don't think it should factor into whether the question should be closed or left open.


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