Hello my friend and welcome back! In the past I have done a couple of post on the significance of having a dog when SHTF hits and many of you have taken my advice and gotten a large dog for just such an event. The question is, what should you train it to do so it’s an effective survival dog. This is the subject of today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
Taking on the responsibility of raising a large breed dog is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication as well as a significant amount of your time. It’s time well spent however and you will get more out of it than you will ever put in. If properly trained, they will dramatically increase your chances of survival, but just what do they need to know how to do? This is a question I have been hearing a lot lately, so hears a few suggestions for you.
The most important (in my book anyway) is to teach them to be able to focus on you and ignore other distractions such as birds and rabbits, etc. If you’re in a situation where you need him to be watching you for cues, you wouldn’t want him to run off chasing a bird that landed close to him and ruin a surprise attack. The ability is one of the most important skills you dog can have in a survival situation.
The normal commands that most people teach their pet like “sit”, lay down”, “stand,” “heal,” and “stay” are all commands you dog will need to know as well. Be sure to teach these commands first and then move on to the more complex commands.
Silence is golden, or so the saying goes, and it’s especially true when it comes to combat. You need to train your dog to know when to bark and when not to. Surprise works best when it’s on your side and you wouldn’t want to lose it because your dog barked when he shouldn’t have.
Teach your dog to socialize so they are not afraid of people they don’t know when they shouldn’t and yet know when not to trust someone. This can only happen if they are exposed to a lot of people from time to time. A good example is if you need to go to town to barter for supplies, then you’re going to want to bring him with you. This would be a recipe for disaster if he isn’t properly trained on how to act in a crowd.
Another thing he will need to know is how to crawl. You wouldn’t want to be sneaking up on someone and have your dog just walking behind you would you? He would not only give away your position, but he would become a target as well.
He will also need know how to go through tight places such as tunnels and ditches or under a building. Simply put he has to be able to follow you wherever you go without giving your position away. Something I think is really important is to teach them to find things for you using a scent, or a word that represents the object. If a member of your group is taken by members of another group, you will need your dog to be able to track and find them.
Now some of you may disagree with me on this point, but I believe you should not use your survival dog for hunting wild game. Having your dog take off after a rabbit during a conflict could be embarrassing at best and get you killed at worst. Use a different dog or group of dogs for hunting and your survival dog or they should be kept apart. Simply put, they have two different agendas and you wouldn’t want them picking up bad habits from each other.
Training your survival dog should be fun and the payoff is in drastically improving your survival odds. As to how to train them to do these tasks, there are a ton of books on the internet as well as articles and videos on how to do it . Look and you shall find my friend. I love my Survival dog and the time I spend with him. If you don’t have one, but do have the room and time to train one then by all means do so. It’s a choice you will never regret.
Well that is it for today my friend and I hope you have enjoyed this post. Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Bless America!
10 thoughts on “Survival Dogs and what they need to know to help you survive.”
Sarge if you’re serious about this then I’d suggest doing some research with people who work with working dogs. There basic advice, like familiarization as a puppy with loud noise i.e. gunshot. You talk about dog specialization but it conflicts your ‘big dog’ message.
Man breed dogs for specific roles but when it comes to survival the ‘dogs’ in the real world – wolves, African spotted dogs – show how its done: the pack is their greatest asset. Dogs can do loads of cool things but its not one size fits all.
So please do suggest dogs for specific stuff but don’t over sell any one breed for survival. And please be cautious recommending big dogs. They have bigger care demands for owners and health issues / shorter life expectancy.
Lastly, its kinda of been said but I want to say it directly: dogs bring stuff we don’t have: pace, hearing, sense of smell, being small enough to enter prey hideouts. If you want to compliment your skills, think about what you lack and really need.
You make some very good points. Thanks for the input. 🙂
Excellent post! I concur..a dog is a Must! And YES it has to be a big one! No smaller then pit bull…in my opinion your dog needs to put the fear of God into people..even people who are not afraid of dogs..but has to be controlled…
I have had German Shepherds for over 20 yrs & have trained them for my family’s security & something I would strongly suggest is do not let others train your dog. You train them. If need be get help on how to train them but do it your self! When training with your dog both of you will learn how to read each other. You will know what your dog is telling you just by reading it’s body language. Example, if my dog looks at you with a open mouth your ok if she looks at your & shuts her mouth you’ve just became the target. If she looks at you & shuts her mouth & then picks up 1 front paw she had just told me she is attracting. She may have seen or heard something I missed. Many times dogs have saved people’s lives by people learning this valuable skill.
While training with your dog both of you will learn to trust each other. You will learn what your dog is willing to do. Some dogs are afraid of 1 thing while another might not think a thing of it. When this happens you can work & train on the problem to get the best out come. If your dog does not trust you it will not do its job well if at all.
You also build such a strong bond that both human & dog will go to amazing lengths to protect & save the other.
Even if you choose not to train your dog for your protection do spend time learning how to read their body language. Before I learned how to train a dog I learned this valuable skill. It saved my life 3 times.
Animals know things before we do. Teach your self to be aware of what they are telling you. We have all read about stories of people telling you before a earthquake how the animals behaved. God has given them special gifts to know what’s about to happen and we humans can learn to work with them for our protection & safty.
1 thing else you should teach your dog. Hand signals. Very easy to do. As you teach your dog commands give the hand signals as well. They will soon learn them. Also make sure everyone who will be working with the dog use the same commands & hand signals. Very often humans use different command & the dog gets confused or will not obey then they blame the dog when clearly it’s the humans fault.
Sarge, my pup is getting there, he is 9 months old and most people think he is a full grown dog. He can fly through the air catching Frisbee or chase down an unsuspecting moth,fly or bee. Lol He is great at commands and can crawl under anything especially if food is involved. He is going to be a huge GSD and has found his voice. Funny thing, ordered a pizza the other day and the guy didn’t even knock, he heard him from the back room and started barking. Hmmm Lol.
I know just what you mean Thor. The mail lady knocked on the door the other day and mine went nuts. He let out a couple of barks that even startled my wife and I. I think it’s safe to say he has found his voice as well. 🙂 You know Thor, I really pity anyone who doesn’t have a big dog now, let alone when SHTF hits. They have no idea what their missing. Stay frosty my friend!
I have a highly trained survival dog. In the evening it sits with me in the recliner while I watch the evening news. It’s constantly on the ready to spring into a good nap. I call him my attack poodle.
I know exactly what you mean. My wife had a Chaweeny dog which is part tea cup Chawa and Dutch hound. She stood less than a foot tall and insisted on sitting on my lap anytime I’m at home. never made a sound until someone knocked on the door and then you would sware she was 10 feet tall. We had to put down a few weeks back but she was our “attack” dog for a long time. LOL Now we have a Boradore which is a mix of a Lab and a Border collie. He’s only 5 months old right now, but he is turning in to a great Survival Dog. Take care brother and God bless!