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#224470 - 05/27/11 09:23 PM Well-trained dogs as survival aids
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Should one or more well-trained dogs be part of your survival strategy?

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#224476 - 05/27/11 09:49 PM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
My dog has ears like a bat. If there is an opossum tiptoeing along the top of the fence, she knows about it.

DOG = EWS (early warning system).

If you were planning on breaking into a stranger's home, would you choose one with or without a dog?

Herding dogs can help round up food. Guard dogs can help catch predatory people (aka 'dog food').

Dogs can dig for water.

Dogs can guard gardens.

Dogs can keep you warm (three-dog nights).

Dogs are far more useful than weird in-laws.

Sue

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#224482 - 05/27/11 10:21 PM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Eric Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
No - if that is the only reason you are considering getting a dog.

Yes - if you have or want a dog as a companion/partner and understand the commitment you are making in this ages old partnership.

-Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#224486 - 05/27/11 10:57 PM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
I find that most dogs belong to the endless money pit - financial strain of survival. I love dogs and owned a few over the years, but they can be expensive over their lifetime that now often exceeds 10-12 years (depending on breed and size) due to the advances in veterinary care.

If were to own a dog again, it would not be ownership based on a supposed survival aid.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#224490 - 05/28/11 01:30 AM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Russ Online   content
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5169
Loc: SOCAL
Well trained at what? Personal protection? Home security? Search (& Rescue)? I agree with Susan and Eric. "DOG = EWS (early warning system) . . . Dogs are far more useful than weird in-laws" and "Yes - if you have or want a dog as a companion/partner and understand the commitment you are making in this ages old partnership".

I really like dogs as walking sensor systems to alert me to potential threats early. Don't want a guard/attack dog per se.

A dog can help in searching, making more use of that sensor system. Excellent nose, very good hearing and their eyes are okay but canines see differently. Dog sensors complement human senses very well.

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#224494 - 05/28/11 03:00 AM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
There are the very real morale benefits. You walk in the front door and the dog is beside herself with joy. Dogs are always glad to see you. Always there with a gentle touch and sympathy. You can tell a dog anything and it won't run away or gossip about it. A dog will knock itself out getting you up in the morning and do it without complaint or resentment.

In the field a good dog will stay alert enough, even when asleep, to keep a camp site secure.

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#224496 - 05/28/11 03:41 AM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: Art_in_FL]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Dog can be injured quite easily. Thank goodness my dog's never had an injury on the trail cause I know it would be a major exercise to evac a large dog. Dogs are far higher maintenance than most people realize.

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#224518 - 05/28/11 04:38 PM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
If you want high maintenance, try children. And they're not of much use for survival purposes, either.

Sue

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#224523 - 05/28/11 06:21 PM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
No question dogs are an ongoing resource comittment: time, money, attention, etcetera. Like all family members, it's always something.

Could a well-trained dog help avoid violating the Rule of Threes? I suppose a dog might be able to haul or assist you out of water or a smoke / particulat cloud to enable you to safely breathe no longer than three minutes after such unfortunate encounters.

A dog's body and body heat might make enough shelter to avoid death in three hours in a hypothermia-inducing environment. More than one dog might make a favorable outcome in such situations more certain. Not sure how this would work where the challenge was a hyperthermia-inducing environment.

Dogs may be trained to help you follow the scent of water, I suppose. And they could help dig to a water source if so trained. This could enhance the likelihood of finding water within three days. Of course, they form competitors for any water found.

Hunting could be enhanced by dog use. Perhaps they could be trained to hunt on their own and bring the prey to you. I hesitate to mention that if you find yourself three weeks without food, dog might be find its way on to a survivalist menu [also freeing its components for other survival uses].

For those who wish to avoid testing the potential lethality of three months without human contact, it is not unreasonable to think a dog could substitute to at least extend endurance to loneliness beyond three months.

Dog potential against my current survival categories of First Aid, Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, Navigation, Light, Signaling, Self-protection, Hygiene, and Morale?

Shelter, Water, and Food have been brielfly considered as Rule of Threes categories. I do not see how dogs could assist with Light, Signalling, or Hygiene [except as water plays a role in hygiene]. I suppose dogs could aid an injured person to move and so play a First Aid role.

Dogs could aid in self-rescue type navigation in finding the scent of other humans, their byways, vehicles, livestock, and habitations. Self-protection and morale do seem naturals for dogs.

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#224562 - 05/29/11 05:55 AM Re: Well-trained dogs as survival aids [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
In addition to the list of potential survival positives listed in the last post, which pretty much defines most of the "well-trained" bit would be for survival, I have been trying to think about how you would want a dog or dogs to otherwise conduct themselves.

I do not know if I have ever even seen a well-trained dog, and I have never owned a dog, so bear with my undoubtedly ignorant ramblings. This would be the start of my how-I-need-my-dog-to-behave list.

Quiet except when we are threatened or on command, including a command for play.

Eliminations when and where commanded, with agreed behavior to indicate pressing need. I have been reading that SAR dogs are trained to do their business on command in garbage bags, for example.

Calm but alert attention to everything around me - not startled or frightened into action or reaction by any of the normal loud noises of the urban environment. Perhaps trained to be steady in the vicinity of gunfire.

Well-socialized, friendly, and patient with non-threatening others.

Primary focus and concern on pleasing me.

Obedient to me, only.

The more I look at this list, the more it seems I would have to go through good-owner training to be able to competently train any dog to be the companion animal I want.

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