In survival situations we often have to be concerned about how much we can fit into the car or the backpack when we bug out. Dogs do take up space in the car and their food can take up space in the backpack but do their benefits out weigh their drawbacks? Here are some of our thoughts about the benefit and drawbacks of the dog when bugging out.
A quick disclaimer here… not all breeds of dog are created equal and even with the perfect dog often their ability to assist or be a deterrent to someone depends on their level of training. For the purpose of this article we are going to just pretend that you have a perfect dog… combining the various traits of different breeds and trained to do anything you need.
The Greatest Benefits to A Survival Dog
Dogs have amazing senses. They act as a perfect early warning system to many different types of threats including people, animals, and even natural disasters. This could come in really handy in a survival situation both when bugging in or out.
Dogs are good at gathering and protecting livestock. Livestock will become both more rare and far more valuable in a survival situation. Protecting it from predators will become critical.
Dogs can be great deterrents to various types of threats. Recent surveys among law enforcement cite the dog as the greatest deterrent to home invasions. Dogs are also effective at deterring animal threats like bears, mountain lions, and the like.
Dogs are great trackers. If you are trying to retrace your steps or find someone/something that is lost the dog could be your only hope.
Dogs are man's best friend. In a survival situation experts suggest that people tend to give up emotionally long before they give up physically. Having that furry dog to cuddle with and talk to could be the only thing that keeps you sane.
Dogs are good hunters and foragers. They can readily identify small game and help the hunter corner it or fetch it. Dogs are also good at finding natural sources of food and water like edible plants. Do I dare also mention that in a worst case scenario the dog itself is a source of food?
The Greatest Drawbacks to A Survival Dog
Sadly dogs can sometimes pick the wrong times to make a lot of noise. If stealth is your game you better learn how to keep the dog quiet.
Dogs do have to be fed and you may be limited on food resources. The dog will eventually have to eat from your food storage if you aren't in an environment where they can forage.
Dogs also have to drink water. If the environment has limited water resources you will be sharing them with the dog.
While dogs are generally fast, have good endurance, and can swim there are some terrains which they cannot handle as well as people. They are not as good as climbing up rock faces for example.
What are your thoughts about the dog? What did I miss? I look forward to hearing your comments below.