posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 10:22 PM
This is my first thread in the Weapons and Tactics Forum. I searched through the last few years of threads and read all the ones concerning K9's.
This isn't about whether or not a Canine is a benefit or hindrance in a SHTF scenario, that's a decision you each make for yourself. This for those
of you who have decided that you either want one or already have one and will keep it with you. I do want to make a distinction between a pet and a
working dog. A pet is a pet, that's all it is. A working dog is a working dog, it's not a pet. That doesn't mean you don't love it any less
than a pet and I'm not saying a pet can't be trained to do working dog tasks.
I have over 20 years experience breeding, handling, training, and evaluating working dogs and Handlers for the US Military, US Federal Law
Enforcement, and as a Civilian Contractor. I have lived, worked, deployed, and been stationed in an Arctic environment, to a Desert environment and
everything in between. I'm not claiming I know everything (no one does) but I have seen a lot of what works and what doesn't when it comes to
OK first things first, regardless of what type of K9 you have, these items are essential.
1. First Aid Kit specific for a K9 (good ones can be found at RayAllen.com and other professional websites) Also talk with your Vet about
getting prescription meds in advance that don't come with the Kit. Antibiotics, Anti-inflammatory, pain relief, etc. Be advised these will have to
be replaced before expiration date.
2. Food-assuming you have a bug out bag for each member of your family, each bag should contain a few days worth of dog food in each bag.
Reason being it does no good to have all the food in one bag, if something happens to that bag or families members get separated the dog is SOL. Zip
lock sandwich size bags each filled with one days amount of food will work well. My K9's are on dry food and it keeps for long periods of time. I
also suggest getting your dog used to eating “Human” food for when the supply of dog food runs out. My K9's eat fruits, veggies, and anything
else I do. What ever I eat they get a small portion and I adjust their dog food intake accordingly as to not over feed. This will help their
digestion when they switch to exclusively human food. Water supplies must include the dog.
3. Protective Gear Booties, I suggest having them made or do it yourself if you can sew. Canvas bottoms with cloth leggings that go past knee
joint utilizing Velcro strips to hold in place. Reason being the paw booties fall off all the time. Get 5 per dog so you have a spare. Make sure to
get the dog used to wearing them, don't try and put them on for the first time in an emergency. The canvas pads must be water-proofed and thick
enough to protect against broken glass, gasoline spills, and other hazards the dog might have to walk through. Also a vest for the dog. Have it made
out of the nylon used in military molly type protective vests. Have it measured and fit snug but comfortable, attach Velcro packs for storing
collapsible bowl and leash. Have a sturdy handle type loop sewn on back center. In case dog needs to be lifted over obstacles. Use quick release
clips for getting the dog in and out of vest.
4. Other Items-Muzzle. GPS Tracker, can be in collar or on vest. (If the system is still operational) Brush.
For those that are planning on getting a K9 please consider these options. The climate you currently live in may not be the one you end up in if you
have to Bug out. You may find yourself living outside in a cold weather situation for extended period of time and although a Pit bull might be a bad
ass, he's going to freeze to death. Likewise a St. Bernard might be able to haul a lot of supplies for you but he's going to heat stroke out in AZ
in July. Certain breeds excel at single tasks. But a couple of breeds are useful in several tasks. Multitask breeds include: Shepherds,
Retrievers, Malinois, research breeds for traits and overall usefulness and climates.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are not a qualified K9 trainer, don't try and do it yourself. Research Trainers and check references, most suck, I'm
sorry to be so blunt but it's true. You can also buy a grown and certified adult dog. Again research and check references. Please get the K9
adjusted to gun fire. If you haven't done that before, get qualified help, doing it wrong can ruin a dog as far as being near gunfire.
Getting, keeping, maintaining, and using a trained working dog is time consuming and expensive. It's also rewarding as hell. And if properly
maintained and used, can be just as valuable as a good firearm or quality knife. If you have a Pet, don't assume it will do working dog tasks:
track, attack, long range alert, detection, hunt, retrieve, negotiate obstacles, or swim ( I once watched a bulldog sink like a stone and the handler
had to jump in and rescue it before it drowned). I am not saying your individual pet won't do some of these things, but if the K9 hasn't been
properly trained and practiced these skills there is no way to count on it in an emergency. Would you trust your life to a weapon you've never
fired before ?
Any general questions I'll answer here in the thread. If there is something specific or private you want to ask, go ahead and U2U me, I don't mind.