Today we are going to be discussing how to make your dog part of your tactical plan. In my recent post on “How to deal with roving gangs”, I had one of my readers ask about what they should do with their barking dogs in the event roving gangs were to show up at their home. This made me start thinking about the importance that a dog plays in tactical situations and what we can do now to prepare them. I love dogs and if you have one then you should put forth the effort to make it a part of your plan to survive. All dogs have a keen sense of hearing and smell. They are loyal and trusted friends that you can depend on in a crisis. So start to train them now if you haven’t already.
Dogs make great scouts when you are travelling to your retreat or bugging out. They can warn you of trouble ahead, as well as ambushes and other attacks. If you are traveling alone then a dog is a great companion and can keep watch while you get some greatly needed rest from time to time. Dogs are brave and fearless but can be vicious when the need arises. Many bandits will think twice about attacking you if they are afraid of having to deal with your dog when they attack. This can go a long way towards helping you survive. While large dogs are best in tactical situations, even small dogs can have their uses. While a small dog may not be very intimidating, they can still warn you when danger is near. I happen to believe that all dogs are great judges of character and can tell a person with ill intentions, from those that pose no threat.
The key to all of this of course is training. They must be trained to follow your commands and know when to attack and when not to. They must also know when to be quiet and when to sound the alarm. All of this comes from good training that needs to be started now if they are not already trained to follow your commands. Training them to heal, sit and lie down as well as to be quiet are critical to any tactical operation. There are tons of good books, videos and articles on training your dog available on the internet. Take advantage of these and train your dog right from the beginning if possible. I know the old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but I am here to tell you that just isn’t true. I have trained dogs that were several years old when I got them and had no trouble at all.
The biggest challenge with training older dogs is breaking them from old habits by rewarding good behavior and not bad. Dogs instinctively want to please their master and it only takes a little love and patience to get them behaving like they should. There are a few things to remember when you are training your dog; like keeping training sessions to 15 minutes and never associate their name with something bad. Commands should be as short as possible consisting of only one syllable when you can. Some trainers actually use code words to train their dogs so that others do not know how to control them. Some even teach their dogs to respond to their commands in a different language for this reason. However you choose to do it, remember to be consistent and remember that they are doing their best to understand what you are trying to show them.
There are a few commands that people don’t normally teach their dogs that you might want to consider for use in survival situations such as “Find” (find someone or different objects). Another might be to growl on command or attack. Just be careful not to get anyone hurt in the training process. It is impossible to predict all of the commands that you may need in a survival situation, so any thing you can teach them now will be a blessing when the time comes. Keep working with them every day and don’t stop just because they have mastered a few commands. Training your dog should be an ongoing process. This will keep the commands fresh in their minds and they will perform much better when the time comes and you really need them to obey you. Please note that I am not a professional dog trainer by any stretch of the imagination, but having had and trained many dogs as a boy, I have learned a few things. In my time in the Military and as a Deputy Sheriff I have seen the importance of a well-trained dog over and over. Dogs are great friends to have and make excellent partners in tactical situations. Start training your dog now to be a part of your tactical solution and you will be glad you did! I will put a list of links at the bottom of this post that you might find helpful in training your dog for when SHTF happens.
Well, I hope you have found this short post entertaining and educational. Hopefully it will get you thinking about additional things you can do now to prepare. Until next time, keep on prepping!
Tactical Dog training website: http://caninetactical.com/
You-tube Video on Tactical training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XGs6xoQYto
Dog training tactics: http://www.slideshare.net/boardcave2/proven-dog-training-tactics-that-everyone-should-know
Dog Training DVD: http://leerburg.com/111.htm
Military dog training books from Amazon
One of my favorite books on dog training: How to Train Your Dog-the Navy SEAL Way