It has long been said that a dog is a man’s best friend. For those in the prepper movement who may have a mountain survival property, a dog is likely to be much more than just a friend and companion. Dog’s have the ability to serve their masters in ways that no other animals can, and in an off the grid situation, their capabilities could make or break you.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tam Cordingley while in the process of listing a new property in Rutherford County. Tam considers herself a “dog columnist” rather than a trainer as she writes and consults but also trains dogs for protection and defense of their masters. She shared four types of dogs and their suitable uses and benefits for us humans. Most of the commentary that follows has been provided by her.
As Tam stated, prepping more often than not involves dogs. But dogs can be more than just pets and companions. Like any other part of your survival gear, a dog deserves thought in the selection process. If all you seek is an alarm system that doesn’t run on batteries, then a small Fox Terrier will get the job done. An important thing to remember is to praise them when they bark at an intruder/stranger, then quiet them down, but don’t scold them. They need to know they have a job to do, and that is to alert you when someone strange is approaching.
If you keep livestock and need a helper in herding, then a Border Collier, Australian Shepherd, and German Shepherd are all excellent choices. Most of the herders are also territorial, and the German Shepherd is of course an excellent guard. One caveat is that the herding breeds can and will kill livestock if not trained and supervised. It comes from their natural born instinct. Training a herder involves using that natural herding trait, but stopping prior to the kill.
For serious guard duty, then look to the Anatolian Shepherds, Maremma, Komondor, Pyrenees, etc. Large, loyal and independent, these are the breeds you want protecting and defending your home. Unfortunately, many people undo these natural instincts by over socializing the dogs with humans. These dogs should be allowed to bond with YOUR FAMILY and not others down the way. They are part of your family and shouldn’t be allowed to be too friendly with the neighbors. Their natural suspicion should not be blunted. This does not mean a dog should be viscous and bite, but rather his instincts should be honed and kept in order to keep you safe.
A fourth classification of dog is that of the hunting companion. Squirrel dogs, rabbit hounds, bear and boar dogs are all helpful hunting companions. They can help you hunt and harvest game. But keep in mind that these dogs tend to roam and are less territorial than a guard dog, so they often need to be kept in a fenced area when not out hunting.
I am very appreciative of Tam for sharing the above information. I’d never given it much thought, but if you have a prepper property or mountain survival property, it would be a good thing to have the right kind of dog to help you along. Just remember to have plenty of food for our four legged friends.