What Role Should a Dog Play in Your Survival Strategy?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States, with 39% of U.S. households owning at least one dog. Most dog owners have two dogs.

It’s sad when we hear of people giving up their pets for financial reasons. It’s disturbing to note how many animals are left behind in the wake of disasters like hurricanes or floods.

But I’m not merely thinking of a dog as a pet, though that certainly has its merits. What about service dogs of various kinds? What about watchdogs or guard dogs to protect you, your family and your property?

Dogs have been important to us since the beginning of time. It seems there are countless breeds, and they serve a number of diverse purposes. Have you considered dogs as part of your preparedness and survival strategy?

A yapping terrier or Chihuahua can serve as a watchdog and warn you of intruders in your apartment building. A German Shepherd may keep you safe while you stroll through the park.

Sometimes just the mere appearance of a dog can be helpful. A dog, such as the miniature collie our family had as I was growing up, can make unsolicited visitors wary. Our dog never bit anyone, but he was quick to approach strangers while barking loudly.

A trained guard dog can protect by physically harming an assailant.

Some dogs will pull a cart, a wagon, or travois for you, which can be handy if you’re on a long hike or have to evacuate your home for a while.

As you may know, different breeds exhibit different characteristics. Whether you want a Rottweiller or a Poodle, there’s a dog to meet the needs of your situation.

Dogs may be loyal, obedient, courageous, territorial or aggressive. Even shyness in a dog can be helpful because that dog won’t be attracted to strangers.

Incidentally, dog attacks aren’t usually common occurrences. Often dogs are aggressive because of abuse or improper training.

That brings up a very important point. It should go without saying, but dogs are living creatures. They need proper care, including feeding, grooming, and visits to the vet. They have feelings, too, and need love and companionship. Also, puppies need different care than grown dogs.

Don’t take these considerations lightly when choosing a dog, whether for a pet, personal security or other service. While dogs don’t come with instruction manuals, there are numerous books and videos on care and training. Three highly recommended books are:

Together these books will help you understand your dog’s behavior and give him proper training. Though they’re each excellent, I’ve chosen The Power of Positive Dog Training as this week’s DestinySurvival Pick.

Giving your dog positive reinforcement, rather than creating fear, is widely recognized more and more as the best approach to dog training. Knowing how to relate to your dog and how he relates to you is instrumental in giving your dog proper training.

But training your own dog to behave well might be just a beginning for you. Have you considered the possibility of training dogs for others? This could be a valuable service in these economically down times and in the future. If you love dogs, give it some thought.

To get any of the books mentioned above, click on their highlighted titles, and you’ll be taken to the page where they’re featured.

Only you can decide what role a dog should play in your survival strategy. I encourage you to get all the information you can for making the best decision.

If you already have a watchdog, guard dog, or other kind of service dog, what breeds would you recommend? Why not leave a comment below?


Click here for an overview of watchdog and guard dog breeds.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.