The Government Sets These Cyanide Traps in Rural Areas. Here’s How to Avoid Them

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Every reasonable person is cautious when they go out for a hike. They keep their eyes and ears peeled for any potential predators, and they make sure to watch their step. Unfortunately, being cautious isn’t so helpful when you’re dealing with the unexpected. It doesn’t help you when you don’t know what to look for.

That’s why so many people were shocked and horrified to hear about a recent incident involving a teenage boy and his dog in Idaho. Most people are completely unaware of the device that killed his dog.

14-year-old Canyon Mansfield was out playing with his dog in the backyard of his parent’s rural property, when he saw an object on the ground that he mistook for a sprinkler head. When he touched it, the object erupted in a cloud of cyanide.

The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy’s mother, Theresa Mansfield.

“Canyon said there was a bang like a bomb, then an explosion of an orange substance that covered him and Casey, who was writhing in pain on the ground before he died right in front of Canyon,” she said.

Her husband, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the dog’s chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.

The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.

What the boy encountered is called an M44. It’s a type of trap that is laid in rural areas by Wildlife Services, usually at the request of local farmers and ranchers. It’s a spring-loaded cylinder that is buried partially in the ground, with a bait scented cloth exposed to the surface. When an animal tugs on it, the M44 releases a dose of sodium cyanide into the animal’s mouth.

The device has been widely criticized over the years because it is so indiscriminate. Though it does successfully kill thousands of predators that threaten livestock, the M44 also frequently kills animals that aren’t intended for the trap, including pets and endangered species.

And from time to time, humans are injured by these devices as well. In 2003 a man from Utah was out with his friend, riding ATVs on BLM land. He found what he thought was a surveyor’s stake, and tried to pick it up. It turned out to be an M44, and it blasted him with cyanide. For years following the incident, he suffered from high blood pressure, severe breathing problems, and frequent vomiting.

So you may be wondering how you can avoid these devices. For starters, the M44 is normally laid on or near private property that houses livestock. So if you’re hiking in an area that isn’t near any agriculture, then you should be fine. These devices are often accompanied by warning signs, but it seems that isn’t always the case; or at the very least the signs aren’t always visible. In the cases I described above, nobody reported seeing any warning signs, so you need to know what to look out for. Here’s what an M44 looks like after it’s been partially buried:

That cloth roll is always exposed to the surface, though it isn’t always that color. Sometimes it’s a pinkish color.

You should be especially careful if you’re out walking your dog. These things are often scented to attract coyotes, but what attracts one kind of canine will also attract any kind of canine. So if you’re walking in an area where livestock is nearby, it might be best to keep your dog on a leash and watch where your pet is sniffing around.

And as a rule of thumb, if you ever see anything metallic sticking out of the ground, think twice before picking it up. It’s not exactly clear how long these things can remain potent, and it’s not clear how many of them remain in the ground, unaccounted for. Over time, erosion, corrosion, and decomposition of the cloth could make them unrecognizable.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hiking Essentials for Your Dog’s Backpack

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In a previous article, I talked about the Approach Pack by Ruffwear, which by the way is an excellent pack. Well, okay you have the pack or may have ordered one, so what goes in the pack. 1.) The obvious, of course, is food, water and collapsible bowls for the food and water. These will […]

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The Ruffwear Approach Pack for Dogs

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The Ruffwear Approach Pack for dogs is perfect for anyone that wants to get out with their dogs to enjoy nature together. Dogs love chores and certain dog breeds live to work for their human masters, and what better way than helping to carry their own supplies while hiking, camping or simply out enjoying nature. […]

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack If none of the commercially available dog packs strikes your fancy (or if they’re too expensive), try putting together your own using the pattern and directions provided below click here to get all the info and the pattern you will need

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VIDEO: Man Punches A Kangaroo In The Face To Rescue His Dog

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We’ve all heard that dogs are man’s best friend – and we know that owners will go to extreme lengths to protect their furry mates. That’s especially true in Australia, where an owner recently was horrified to discover a kangaroo had his dog in a headlock. Here is what happened …

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A Few Items for Your Dog’s Bug-Out Bag

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California Mountain Dog If you haven’t considered your pet for bug in and bug out situations, it’s about time you should. We’ve all seen videos of people caught in disasters who’re more concerned about finding their cat than they are about where they’re going to sleep at night. Besides, pets will be of immense value post-collapse when it comes to moral support. To them, all it matters is that you’re still together…

In today’s article I want to focus on dogs and their needs in bug out scenarios. Depending on its size and strength, a dog may or may not carry his own stuff. The rest will either go in your bug out vehicle’s trunk or inside your own BOB.

So let’s see some of these items that you should make part of your survival plan.

An Emergency Leash

If your dog is anything like mine, he’s going to be really, really scared if and when general panic sets in. You’re going to want to keep him on a leash at all times, particularly if you’re bugging out with your car. If you’re the one driving, you can’t afford Lucky to distract you, so have someone sit with him on the back seat.

Food and Water

Don’t pack too much, because they’re heavy. It all depends on the size of your dog. Store extra food and water in your car’s trunk and beware of high temperatures. Anything inside your car’s trunk that’s perishable should be rotated more often than what’s in your pantry or basement.

A Collapsible Dish

You can use it for other things, such as collecting rainwater or foraging. The more containers you have with you, the better. You never know what you’ll end up putting in them.

A Dog Crate… Also Collapsible

This is something you could add to your car bug out bag and even use it to store other supplies. Particularly useful if you’re going to camp in the woods, if you don’t want your dog to run away while you’re sleeping.

A First Aid Kit

You can opt for those pre-packed ones on the market or you can assemble one yourself. Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between a FAKs for people and those for dogs. If you do decide to assemble them yourself, I suggest you keep them separated.

Body Armor

Come again? Why would your dog need it? Because you’ll never know when a wild animal might attack him… or get hit by a bullet You don’t want him unprotected when he’s trying to protect you. Soft armor vests are lightweight and have lots of pockets where you can fit many of the items given in this article.

Two Inflatable Mini-Beach Balls

This may sound weird but consider the scenario where you all need to cross a large body of water. Even if your dog can swim, can he do it with weight on his back? If you add something inflatable on both sides of the backpack, it’ll be much easier. A couple of small inflatable 5” beach balls will do.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks make great emergency lighting because they have a 5-year shelf life (so long as you don’t crack them open), they pose no fire risk and are powerful enough to light your way. Tie one to your dog’s collar to be able to see him in the dark.

A Few Ziploc Bags

They have numerous alternative uses so it’s always good to have a few. These should be in every survival bag (GHB, BOB, car BOB) and even as part of your edc – they are crucial for survival because they have so many uses.

Vaccination Records

If you can laminate them, even better. If your dog gets lost and someone finds him or if he bites someone, they might help.

Dog Nail Clippers…

…because SHTF hygiene is crucial.

Dog Boots

During a bug out, it’ll be easier for your pup to run and walk on uneven terrain. Boots don’t add too much extra weight on its back. The only thing to do beforehand is getting it used to wearing them.

A Small Toy

A toy might keep a scared dog busy. If you put it in your own bag, you can use it to make him come to you if he strays away.

A Muzzle

A scared dog is an aggressive dog, and you don’t want him biting someone to hinder your bug-out. A muzzle will also tell other people that your dog bites (even if he doesn’t), and some of them will be discouraged to attack you.

A Respirator Mask

…in case Yellowstone decides to erupt, but also useful in case of a nuclear meltdown to keep radiation particles out of his respiratory system, though these respirators aren’t bulletproof; they’re just better than nothing, for larger particles such as dust.

A Few Items for Your Own Use

If you have enough room, you might as well put things that are really for the benefit of everyone. For example, you can put some dryer lint, because it’s a great fire-starter as well as lightweight…

Now What?

One you start getting some of these things, you’ll need to get your dog accustomed to wearing boots and having a backpack on his back. Heck, you can even go as far as simulating a bug out situation just to see how much Lucky will slow you down and see how easy it’ll be to keep him near you when you’re in a hurry.

The writer of this article would like to follow his own advice and remain anonymous.

Why Donkeys Are (Often) Better Than Dogs At Guarding Livestock

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It’s not uncommon to see dogs in pastures with livestock to serve as protection from predators, but many people do not realize that donkeys can be excellent guards, as well. They are typically suited for protecting calves, sheep and goats, and will easily fend off canine attackers, fox or even bobcats.

Of course, as it is with dogs, they should not be expected to take on several attackers, such as a pack of dogs.

Why Use a Donkey?

The donkey’s ability to protect livestock comes from its naturally aggressive nature toward dogs and coyotes. They are known for attacking canines by charging, braying, biting and striking. While most donkeys will try to scare the predator away by charging at it, many also will confront the predator if it comes down to it. They often bite at predators while slashing their front hooves, or they even may turn around to kick their back hooves.

Although the donkey’s instinct to fend off predators is a purely selfish motive, it is enough to keep an entire herd safe, provided there is only one attacker. Because of this and the donkey’s larger size, smaller livestock tend to hang around donkeys for protection.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

One of the more notable advantages of owning a guard donkey rather than a guard dog is the fact that donkeys will stay within the fence and not roam. Of course, there are instances in which you may end up with a particularly mischievous donkey, but they are far more likely to remain in the pasture, living among the rest of your livestock. They also tend to live longer than dogs, and you don’t have to worry about them being aggressive toward people.

Choosing a Donkey

If you think you may be sold on the idea of using a donkey to protect your livestock, you’re going to need to know some basics before you get one. Choosing the wrong donkey could not only cause you to waste money, but it also could put your livestock in some danger.

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The characteristics that make a donkey such an excellent guard animal are found in a particular set of donkeys. For example, it is important to make sure that you purchase a donkey that is bred to be of standard size or larger. If the donkey is too small, it will have more trouble defending itself against predators, and it may even choose flight over fight.

It is also important to choose a gelding donkey or a jenny over a jack because jacks tend to be aggressive toward other livestock and are more difficult to handle. With the amount of care donkeys need for their hooves and medical purposes, you do not want a donkey you can’t handle.

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Though baby donkeys are cute, they obviously will not make good guardians. If you can’t purchase an experienced guard donkey, I recommend purchasing one that is at least a few years old. Younger donkeys tend to want to play with the livestock, which becomes dangerous as the donkey gets older and bigger.

Introducing Donkeys to Livestock

Having only one donkey makes introductions to other livestock much easier. They are not very social animals, but they will associate with your sheep, goats and calves gradually if they do not have another donkey. If you are nervous about putting them together right away, you may want to consider fencing off a small section for your donkey within your livestock pasture.

I would recommend that you leave the donkey in its own pen for several weeks. During that time, you should get acquainted and comfortable with it. Animals can sense when you are nervous or anxious, so the more comfortable you are with the donkey, the more relaxed and trusting it will be around you. When you finally do decide to put the donkey with the rest of your animals, I would recommend that you use a halter and lead, so you can have some control over the situation; however, you should still be very cautious and try to make the process as calm and relaxed as possible.

Donkeys can make excellent guardians for your livestock, but some are better at it than others. If you are seriously considering getting a donkey to guard your animals, you should do more research to make sure you choose the right donkey that will become a part of your herd.

Have you ever used a donkey to guard your livestock? Share your thoughts and tips in the section below:

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10 Must-Haves for Your Pet’s Bug-Out Bag

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The problem with emergencies is that we’re almost never prepared for them. They usually incite moments of panic, chaos and everything but rational thinking. Even in a state of crisis, while we’re seeking safety, very rarely do we know what we will do in just a moment’s notice, yet alone after the emergency has passed. Let’s review some quick tips on how to prepare bug-out bags for a special part of your family… your pets.

How many times after major hurricanes or tornadoes do you see images on the news of people stranded on top of their cars just waiting for a rescue squad? Whether it’s a natural disaster, the collapse of government or the end of the world, preparation is always key…

According to FEMA, the kit should be put together well before the emergency. After all, at a moment’s notice, you may have to evacuate your home and you won’t have the time to think about what you need to take with you – especially in a case where you’re running for your life.

Here are the top 10 must-haves to put in your cat or dog’s bug-out bag:


Must-Have No. 1: A Current Color Photograph. In the event you and your pet are split up, it’s important to have a way for you to describe it to people who might have seen it.


Must-Have No. 2: Food/Water. Pack a 72-hour supply for each pet. In a crisis, there’s no telling where the next meal may come from.


Must-Have No. 3: Sandwich Bags. Instead of poop-scoop baggies, normal sandwich bags work just as well. Not to mention, they can come in handy for other things.


Must-Have No. 4: Pet First-Aid Kit. It’s a given that anything can happen in an emergency. A typical first-aid kit would include invisible spray bandage, scissors, tweezers, medical/adhesive tape, several gauze pads, vet wrap, glow light sticks and alcohol wipes.


Must-Have No. 5: Special Medicines. If your pet has any allergies or special medicine that he takes, be sure to pack this. What’s worse than your dog or cat being stranded with you somewhere and suddenly having an allergy attack? Don’t forget to include the instructions, too.


Must-Have No. 6: One Small Blanket/Towel. Depending on the conditions that you face, your pet is going to need something to keep him warm.


Must-Have No. 7: Collar/Leash With ID. Again for identification reasons, it’s important to provide your pet with clear identification in the event that you two are separated from each other at some point.


Must-Have No. 8: A Pair of Women’s Stockings. These can be used as an ace elastic bandage, a filter to drain dirty water and a muzzle for a hurt animal.


Must-Have No. 9: Pet Carrier/Crate. If you’re able to evacuate your home via driving, a pet crate can come in handy. Again, remember to keep ID (both yours and your pet’s) on the crate as well.


Must-Have No. 10: Bowls With Lids. It’s good to have containers that your pet can eat out of… something that can also be sealed and packed up should you need to change locations.


Bonus Must-Haves: Some other extra essentials include a compass, a small flashlight, extra batteries, 12-hour emergency glow sticks, long-term hand warmers and a reflective dog/cat vest.


No one can ever be 100 percent prepared for a crisis. But 0 percent preparation will leave you susceptible to failure. This guide will help you get on the right track. In fact, preparing a bug-out bag for your cat or dog can be the difference between saving them or never seeing them again.


Remember, preparation is key. Your pet is worth it.





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10 Reasons Why a Dog is a Perfect Companion for Bugging Out

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When you are in danger, it is natural to get stressed. However, the way you handle your stress and respond to the danger make a huge difference to whether you will come out a winner. And, your odds improve if you have a well-trained dog at your side. So if there is a bug out situation, you definitely want a dog at your side. It will give you peace of mind and also ensure you come out unscathed from the SHTF situation.

If you are skeptical about taking a dog as your companion for bugging out, here are 10 reasons to allay your fears and change your opinion.

1. Early Warning System

Remember, when you are bugging out, resources will be scarce. There will be other survivalists who may not be as prepared as you are. So you will need to protect your resources and stake claim to them. Under such circumstances, your dog can function as an early warning system to make you aware of possible threats, be it humans or animals.

Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense threats, and as a pack animal, their instincts are to protect the pack – meaning you and the rest of the family. So your dog will sound out the alarm let you know that a threat is close at hand. This will buy you time to get prepared or reach out for your gun to protect yourself and your loved ones.

2. Protection

In a bug out situation, your personal protection becomes paramount. A well-trained dog can protect you from all kinds of threats. If you are attacked by a bear or mountain lion, you can command your dog to deter the animal. Similarly, if you are attacked by a person, a single command from you will be sufficient for your dog to attack the person and protect you – well if your dog is trained to do so of course.

It goes without saying that you would have to train your dog for situations like these as just stated. This training should be ongoing so that your dog understands. You can use a combination of words and signs to train your dog to protect you if the need arises. But most dogs will naturally do so anyway.

3. Livestock Gathering and Protection

Many preppers prepare for the long haul. When a situation arises, such as natural disaster or terrorist attack, you never know how long you will have to bug out. So it is best to be prepared. Under such circumstances, you may want to raise livestock to supply you food regularly. Having a dog as a companion for bugging out can help you with the livestock.

Your dog, if trained to follow commands, will prove to be extremely useful in not just gathering livestock, but also protecting them. In the wilderness and in a survival situation, livestock will become extremely rare. So you need to go guns blazing to protect your cattle not just from other survivalists, but also from wild animals. Your dog will be able to do all this and some more to ensure your livestock is safe and secure.

4.  Help in Tracking

Dogs are inherently fantastic trackers. You may be put in a situation where you have to go scouting for water or food. If you get lost, you will be extremely happy to have your dog with you. He will be able to help you retrace your steps.

Also, dogs can prove to be extremely useful if you want to find something or someone. In fact, your pooch could be your only hope during a bug out.

5. Good Hunters

If you are ill-prepared for a bug out situation or your rations are running low, your dog can truly be your best friend! He can help identify small game in the forest and also help you corner it. You can also rely on your dog to fetch the shot small game to you. Of course, once again, it all boils down to the right training.

If you have a dog at your side during a bug out, you can increase your chances that you will not run low on protein sources!

6. Excellent Foragers

Having access to fresh water is the key to your survival in a bug out situation. Your trusted, four-legged companion will be able to find natural sources of water that you may not be able to find. Also, dogs are prolific foragers. So you can use them to find natural sources of food, including edible plants.

This quality of a dog could mean the difference between surviving and dying in an emergency situation where you don’t have access to food and water.

7. Warmth in Cold Weather

In a survival situation, you will not have the benefit of having central heating. Depending on the type of bug out shelter you have built, you may be exposed to the elements. Having your four-legged friend with you will allow you to cuddle up with the animal and stay warm through the night when you cannot light a campfire.

This warmth from your dog can prove to be a lifesaver in situations where you are injured or you are lost while trying to make your way back to your shelter.

8. Emotional Support

Many people, when forced into a bug out situation, tend to give up emotionally rather than physically. It is this that causes their downfall. However, dogs are wonderful and soothing companions. When you have nothing else to do, you can play with your dog and even talk to him to keep you sane and emotionally strong.

If you have children, your dog can keep them entertained so that they don’t get cranky and whiny without their PlayStation, toys, playing cards, cable TV, and so on.

9. Detect Changes in the Weather Pattern

Dogs have an uncanny ability to detect changes in the weather. Dogs are extremely sensitive to any drop in barometric pressure, and this drop is an indication of an impending storm. Also, it has been suggested that dogs have the ability to sense changes in the static electrical field. Coupled with their excellent hearing, your dog will be able to warn you about an approaching storm long before you will realize that it is coming.

If your dog starts pacing and acting anxious while you are out hunting or foraging, take it seriously. It is an indication that a storm is approaching, and you should make your way back to the camp before it hits you.

10. Good Judge of Character

Dog seem to have the ability to discern friend from foe. You will find that your dog sometimes wags his tail at complete strangers and other times, he is snarling and baring his teeth. In a survival situation, this ability of your dog could save your life.

If your dog is unfriendly to people who approach your camp, trust your dog and get rid of them as quickly as possible. There could be a threat to your life or these individuals may have plans to raid your stock.

Once you understand the benefits of having a dog as your companion while bugging out, you may be tempted to get a big dog, who has the ability to carry his own bug out bag, offer better personal protection, and also be better equipped to withstand the rigors of the elements. However, don’t forget a big dog means he will need a lot of food, and you can never predict how long a disaster situation will last.

Hence, you will have to stockpile large amounts of food not just for yourself, but also for your dog. In comparison, smaller breeds tend to require less fuel, but the drawback is they may not be intimidating enough or at all and may also be overly sensitive to cold.

However, it is critical to remember that both large and small breeds can be trained for a bug out situation. While some breeds are bred usually for disaster situations, remember the skills your dog acquires will reflect your ability and skills as a trainer. Your dog will be of no use if you don’t train it properly. Hence, make sure you put in time and effort to train your dog so that he can turn into the perfect companion for bugging out.

Qualities of an Ideal SHTF Dog

When you are scouting for the perfect dog for a disaster situation, you should be looking for certain qualities. Usually, these qualities are breed specific, and include:

  • Naturally alert
  • Courageous
  • Intelligent
  • Athletic
  • Strong sense of duty to protect you and yours
  • Good genetics (this means a healthy dog that requires low maintenance)
  • Not too big, but large enough to stop a man and small enough to get into small spaces

The best breeds for survival situations are a German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, and a Belgian Malinois. Even crosses of these breeds are judicious and ideal dogs for bugging out. In fact, crosses of these breeds are used by the military and police.

There are other breeds and crosses that make wonderful protection dogs that can prove to be useful during a bug out. However, you should consult a dog trainer to help you identify these breeds so that you find the perfect fit for your personality. Also, request the trainer to customize a dog training program that is suited for you and your dog.

Refrain from using poodles, huskies, Labradors, and great Danes. They are not the best dogs for preppers. Instead, these breeds are more suitable as house pets and companions. They are too playful and loving to act as protection dogs. But if you have seen the movie Old Yeller you will know a Labrador can be a fine dog for protective purposes. Some people have different opinions one what one dog is appropriate for and so on.

The Key is Training

If you want the perfect companion for bugging out, you need to invest time, money, and effort in training your dog. Your dog should be trained to follow your commands and be aware of when to attack or sit by you quietly. The dog should also know when to stay quiet and when to make a noise to raise an alarm. He will learn this only when he receives this type of training, and there is no time better than now to begin this process.

Train your pooch to sit, lie down, and heel. Also, teach him to stay quiet, as you will need complete silence during a tactical operation. The last thing you need is a rambunctious dog in a stressful survival situation. The Internet is a treasure trove of dog training articles, books, and videos. Use these resources to start training your dog right away.

You can reach Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog which a fantastic dog book.

While it is best to start training your dog the moment you adopt him, it is never too late to train an old dog. However, you will first have to break their old habits by rewarding them for good behavior. Remember, dogs have this instinct where they want to please their masters. So with a little bit of love and patience, you should be able to get your dog responding to your commands.

Keep each training session short, about 15 minutes, and make sure the commands are short, if possible of a single syllable. You can use code words to train your dog so that no one else has the power to control him. Remember, you can choose how to train your dog, but focus on being consistent so that he remembers what you are doing and saying.

You may also want to focus on teaching your dog certain commands that you can use in a survival situation. These includes:

  • Find – To find an object or person
  • Growl on command to act as a deterrent
  • Attack on command

It is critical when training your dog you take measures not to hurt yourself, your pooch or anyone else. While it is not possible to list down all the commands you will need in a bug out situation, it is best to focus on some of the basic commands. Keep training your dog until he masters these commands, and thereafter continue practicing them so that he does not forget them and responds to them when the need arises.

The Bottom Line

Dogs are wonderful friends and when trained properly, they can become excellent partners in a tactical or bug out situation. Start training your dog now and you will be glad you spent the time and effort on it. Your dog can turn into an asset when you are pushed into an off-grid survival situation, whether it is to alert you about intruders, predict the weather, keep dangerous animals at bay, or offer you warmth and companionship when you feel low and when you need it.

About the author:

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). He grew up camping and loving the outdoors. He loved to fish and shoot guns as a child. He joined the navy and survived two tours to the Persian Gulf and one to Central America. He now writes about survival and reads a lot about surviving and thriving in the wilderness. He has gone on white water rafting trips, hikes, camped all over the place, operated fishing boats, and so on. If you want to read more of his work, check him out on Survivor’s Fortress. Make sure to follow us on Twitter.

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VIDEO: An Armed Robber Entered A Store. Then A Guard Dog Showed Him Who’s Boss …

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Dogs are a staple of self-defense for many homeowners in America, but rarely do we get to see them in action, chasing away the bad guys. This July 1 video, out of France, shows a 4-year-old canine named Hobby helping his owner disarm a bold criminal who suddenly became fearful when the dog appeared. The robber got away, but the owner and the dog were safe.


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What Breed Of Dog Makes The Best Survival Dog?

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What Breed Of Dog Makes The Best Survival Dog? I personally have 3 dogs right now. We have 2 chocolate labs and 1 miniature pinscher. Don’t laugh at the min pin, they may be small and not able draw blood when biting but they have excellent hearing and can inform you of anyone approaching your house/campsite …

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Home Security: How to Protect Your Most Precious Possessions

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Everyone has valuables and keepsakes that they do not want to lose. While you may never have someone break into your house, it is still best to be prepared for everything. If you take these four home security steps, then your most precious possessions will remain safe no matter what happens at your home.

Home Safe

There is no better way to keep your precious possessions safe at home than with a secure, metal safe. If a burglar is able to get inside your house, then they will not be able to access anything you put inside the safe. Bolting the safe to the floor will ensure that they can’t take it to another location. They will move on to something else once they realize the safe is not going anywhere because burglars are looking to get in and out extremely quickly. Most home safes are fireproof too, which provides even more protection for your valuables.

Get a Dog

Nothing provides amazing and cheap home security quite like a dog. Most dogs will bark anytime they hear something abnormal going on in the home. This barking will alert you in a timely manner if you are asleep. If you are not home, then the barking will most likely keep the burglars from entering your home. Barking not only brings unwanted attention to the house, but they are also risking a dangerous bite by entering your home. Even if the dog is extremely friendly, the stranger entering your house does not know that.

Alarm System

The presence of an alarm system is usually enough to deter a burglar from entering your home. The loud alarm and the fast response of the local police department provided by an alarm system gives you a level of home security you can’t get with anything else. Reviews of alarm systems can help you learn more about security systems to protect your home and family. People tend to get relaxed after owning an alarm system, so you need to make sure to set the alarm each night to maintain your high level of home security.

Ample Outdoor Lighting

Dark homes are prime targets for burglars because they can get in and out without being detected by any of the neighbors. Keeping your yard well lit with some nice outdoor lighting is a great way to add style to your home while also adding an extra layer of security.

You never know when your home can be the target of a thief, so you want to have a decent amount of home security at all times. You work hard to get your precious possessions, so make sure you protect them using adequate home security measures.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Prepper Courtesy Wake-Up Call

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My dog is an a-hole. Seriously, she is. Just before midnight last night, my wife and I are awoken to the sound of her barking from the lower level of our house. It wasn’t the kind of bark that indicated an intruder or stranger on the property, just a sharp, shrill teeth-on-edge bark that she […]

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Choosing A Homestead Dog: Why Conventional Wisdom Often Is Wrong

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Choosing A Homestead Dog: Why Conventional Wisdom Often Is Wrong

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When it comes to a good homestead dog, the breed doesn’t matter as much as some people think. There are just as many mutts out there doing work on the farm as purebred dogs, but there are some advantages of the latter.

Mixed breed dogs tend to be:

  • Healthier than purebreds and overall more hardy/resilient.
  • Far less expensive.

But you get the downside of:

  • Not knowing the genetics behind the dog.
  • Working ability is fairly unknown until you start working with the dog.

The average purebreds are often:

  • More expensive.
  • Susceptible to genetic health issues/temperament issues.

But you get the benefit of:

  • Knowing what the dog will look like as an adult.
  • Having a pretty good idea of how the dog will act temperament-wise.
  • Having a much greater guarantee of the dog being able to perform the tasks you need it to perform.

Many novice dog owners make the mistake of believing that a registered purebred puppy means it is guaranteed to be of good health and temperament. This is absolutely incorrect – unless, of course, the breeder has a personal guarantee on the stock. Also, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between working breeders and show/pet breeders.

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The majority of breeders who focus on showing their dogs aren’t going to be producing working dogs, as they are focusing on conformation and outward appearance. This is fine if you want to show your dog or simply have a pretty pet, but it is going to leave you frustrated if you expect that dog to perform as a working animal. If you want a working dog, go to a working breeder — plain and simple.

Overall, mixed breeds can work perfectly fine for a number of rural activities, like property or livestock protection, hunting, ratting, herding, etc., but you really won’t know until the dog matures. Purebreds from working lines will be a better choice for activities like herding, protection and hunting.

Livestock Guard Dogs vs Property Protection

One of the most common reasons for having a dog on the homestead is for protecting livestock, serving as a watchdog and helping to guard the property from wildlife. A dog doesn’t need special breeding to work as a watch dog. Most family dogs tend to bark when they hear something out of the ordinary or see a stranger approaching the home.

Choosing A Homestead Dog: Why Conventional Wisdom Often Is Wrong

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A lot of dogs will also start up a ruckus if they smell/see a bear or coyote wander onto the property. Some dogs are much better at this than others, so if you have a real predator issue, you should keep that in mind. Livestock guard dogs (LGDs) tend to be very good at sensing predators naturally, and other breeds like the Karelian Bear Dog have strong instincts to repel predators without getting themselves in harm’s way.

A good dog for repelling predators should ideally have a good nose, be quick and agile, persistent yet smart. It should have a sense of self-preservation, however. It wouldn’t be much use to you if your overly brave dog ran right up to a bear just to get itself mauled.

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When it comes to livestock protection, many people go with a purebred dog, with some of the most popular being Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, Maremmas, Akbash, Kuvasz, etc. Crosses of these, for example, Pyrenees x Anatolian, can also work out just as well if they are from working parents. Many other breeds of dogs just don’t have the instincts to properly protect livestock omr the patience to live with them on a daily basis. If you have a lot of money and time invested in your livestock, invest in a well-bred dog or pair of dogs for protection.

Even with LGDs, you still need to do your research very carefully when looking for a breeder. Although these dogs haven’t had their genetic work ethic damaged as much by show breeders, you still should be wary. Also, even if you purchase a puppy or dog from immaculate working lines who was raised right out with livestock, don’t just put any new dog out with your livestock without supervision. Always monitor a new LGD for a while before allowing him or her to be trusted alone with them, regardless of whether that dog was working without a problem in its previous home.

Consider Adopting

If you are looking for a homestead dog who primarily will be a companion but also work as a watch dog, I highly recommend you consider adopting. There are a lot of dogs, especially adult dogs with nothing wrong with them, which could easily adapt to homestead life. Depending on where you live you may even be able to find nicely tempered purebreds that ended up at a shelter due to no fault of their own. I’m in a rural area and the shelters around here often get purebred cattle dogs, border collies, some LGDs, Labradors and more.

If adopting isn’t for you for whatever reason or you are looking for a specific breed, you can start by asking around in your local area, searching online for breeders or posting wanted ads in classifieds. As stated above, be very careful when it comes to choosing a breeder. Backyard breeders often post online or in newspapers, charging a hefty fee for a purebred, registered puppy who could very well develop health problems down the line.

What are your favorite homestead breeds? Do you have any stories to share about your beloved canine companions? Post your thoughts in the section below:

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Prepping For Dog Owners

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How would I outfit my dog for the end of the world?

Molly and Maynard

 Would I buy a doggy flak jacket or some stupid useless crap? Or would I be able to focus on the actual fantastic resource my dog will be to me. If I was to take my dog and set her free in the middle of the woods alone with no food or water and did the same to an average citizen with no survival skills to speak of (besides an episode here and there of naked and afraid or whatever fake survival show is popular now) and left that person in the same conditions as a dog, who would fare better after 3 days? My money is on the dog; basically what I’m saying is we would need the dog more than the dog would need us.

 Get a doggy saddlebag setup and portion the minimum amount of food per day your furry friend requires to be a useful team member. Now keep this in the back of your head, for example I have a pug and he is basically a hairy ball of attitude and Twinkies, he may not be able to carry his own food and water. But what’s a little more weight when a companion is in the mix. My second dog is a pit/pointer mix, she will carry a car if asked to do so, I have no concerns regarding her carrying her own supplies and maybe even some extra when it’s called for. Why put this much thought into have a fluffy friend along? Ask any armed service member if they had a pet overseas, when they say yes ask them how important it is to have the pet during times of extreme stress and long days. Anyway, use your dog to your advantage because that smiling wagging buddy of yours will be a priceless asset if you choose to employ your friend in the proper manner. Dogs can be trained to do anything from sit to sniff for illegal drugs with the smallest bit of discipline and training. Seeing both extremes of the amazing capability of your dog you can easily take a few simple steps to start to see what an asset your domestic pet could be, plus it gets you and your dogs some exercise and time to bond. An example of what you could do is just fill up the saddle bag and go for a walk once a week at least and have treats in the bag so eventually the dog will not only willingly put the doggy back pack on but the dog will be excited to cooperate. Get the dog acclimated to riding in the car; trust me this is key, you don’t want dog puke all over your backseat like mine did and the stains won’t come out. So keep that little guy/girl/fat pug in mind when you are buying your next prepping guidebook or wasting money on a GPS when you are prepping for a solar flare. Spend 20 bucks on a stupid doggy saddle bag and get your dogs ready for the zombie Nazi’s from the Amazon or whatever it is you are getting ready for. On a serious note, your dog will serve as a dependable sentry, companion, hunting partner, etc. and all you will have to do in return is feed, water, pet and repeat in that order.

Granted there can be risks involved with having a dog as your copilot in a survival scenario, I think if you analyze it and weigh the pros and cons of having a dog as your battle buddy you will see that having a dog is a great advantage, while there is some negatives overall it will be a wise choice. With all of that being said, when you are making your apocalypse first aid kit makes some room for your animal too, dogs can get sick just like us and it won’t take much effort to be able to provide a decent level of care for your dog. Just do a simple search of common dog ailments and see if there is a particular cure or method to heal the ailing dog, if you wanted to go a step further; next time you speak with your dog’s vet ask questions about your dog’s health, now don’t run in there talking about zombies or the collapse of the American dream because most likely you will be tossed out and probably visited by the police. But seriously just be a genuine concerned dog owner and just mention things like camping and hiking not prepping or end of days, you want to be taken seriously. So based on the answers you receive from this vet will decide if you are able to provide the care needed to have your furry friend be happy and healthy.

Harnessing your dog’s natural prey drive

Molly! Stop rolling in turkey shit for the love of god! That phrase unfortunately is yelled by me far too much in my life, what I tend to overlook is the purpose behind her foul smelling habit, I sometimes chalk it up to her being a sicko and find myself cursing her for some time after. The real purpose behind this something she can’t help, it’s her natural prey drive. Smelling like turkey shit is a horrible thing but the reason that my dog does this is by instinct, she does this to better adapt to become less noticeable to her soon to be prey , the turkey. Covering herself in that pile of turds is her version of a ghillie suit. She will no longer be considered a threat enough for the turkeys to run and attempt to fly away. Granted this is completely useless information in a non-survival scenario but play along there is a point to this. Say you are in a survival situation for an extended period of time and food is running low and it is the end of autumn, That bird could mean you having a nice warm meal and some feathers to use as stuffing for added heat form the cold ground. Your dog in this scenario could be of great use to you while you are searching for your next meal in time of need. If you see your dog out in the woods rolling in crap chances are you are near the trail of an animal so depending on the level of training you have given your dog you could be eating some turkey in no time. Your dog is a natural hunter and will lead you to dinner most times, just do simple things to evaluate your dog’s level of prey drive in everyday life to see the habits and traits your dog possesses, if your dog eats its own poop and just is a sick bastard, chances are you probably don’t want to hire him as your tracker. I know I don’t want to resort to becoming a 5’ 7” walking pile of turkey poo so I’ll leave that part to the dog. This may sound dumb to some of you but also keep in mind of your dog’s dietary needs and what foods are not good for them to eat. No one likes a dog with Armageddon farts in a tent. Onions, grapes, chocolate are just a few of the things to avoid giving your dog.

I would love to have some additional tips submitted in the comment section below and thanks for reading!