Two Letters Re: Prepping with Fangs: Dogs for a Survivalist

As a reformed “slip and fall” attorney, I would like to point out some issues related to dog ownership. I have defended homeowners and sued homeowners relating to dog bites.The article about the decision to pick a certain breed, Doberman Pincher, was well written and informative but I would like to add some additional points, too often overlooked, about dog ownership. For sure, I would check with my homeowner’s insurance carrier to see if you have coverage for a dog bite, and secondly, if there are specific breed coverage exemptions. Often you will be unable to insure the risk of ownership for breeds such as Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dobermans, etc. For me ownership of a breed that cannot be inured is a deal breaker. One quick way to jeopardize your retreat and possessions is to have a dog bite victim sue you, even if the “victim” was an uninvited “guest” or even an invited visitor for that matter. A small yapping dog will alert you just as well as a Pit bull. A couple/few midsize mutts (insurers will consider Pit bull mixes the same as a full blooded Pit bull) would work well. You can’t earn a living breeding mutts but there some perfectly good breed choices that can be insured. Aside from the monetary levels of liability insurance coverage, the best feature of a policy is the contractual right to have the insurer hire an attorney/law firm to defend you. This all relates to basic asset protection and if you are considering buying/breeding a dog consider the ramifications of a dog bite. Also, before you move, check out the homestead protection level of the state you may move to.

The American Redoubt states vary in degree of asset protection via homestead exemptions. I won’t be moving there, but Texas is real good in this regard. Idaho $100,000, Montana $250,000, Washington $125,000, Oregon $40,000 and Wyoming $20,000 (I’m not moving to Wyoming). There is a whole lot more to this. I have been on both sides, plaintiff/defendant, and have seen people lose most of their assets. This is one of the most overlooked areas of “survival.” If you want a pack of Dogo Argentinos, a great defense/offense, make sure you are not going to lose the shirt off your back. Thanks and God Bless. – Attorney John M.


I believe Dale has hit on some great points for taking care of the dogs. But the type or breed is something I need to address, there is another breed of dog to consider, it was breed in China for one and only one purpose to be a temple guard dog of both the building and the Monks who were non-violent believers.  The Chow has a undeserved reputation of being a mean and aggressive animal, as a SPCA volunteer and a part time breeder of chows, its a false conclusion.  The chows in this country have been bred to eliminate those type of characteristics and temperament.  Having said that, a chow has a very high pack mentality as it relates to its family pack (human & critters)  I have a few over the years and those chows have been devoted to even the cats in our pack. 
A chow is interesting in that even though its a med to  large dog, it requires very little “space” its pad will suffice and can exist with a person very well thank you in a small apartment.  It not a high strung or hyper dog, it very seldom barks or growls, but as their nature and training intended when it does you need to investigate. They are great with small children and infants, they will want to be close and have a very social inclination. You do have to watch non-family members interacting with the pack members(your family members) even horsing around and playing will put them into attention mode.    In China as a temple guard they were very respected and with good reason, they fear nothing, including mountain lion, bear or even an automobiles, ( I lost one of my males to a late night visitor who decided to explore my fenced back yard with 3 chows on guard, my male chow was killed chasing this person out on a highway and was hit by a truck).  I acquired a small female chow from the SPCA after her owner turned her in to them because they were fearful of her because she would just stare at them and they were intimidated by it.  I had her in my life for almost 15 years and the only time she even turned into a Zombie killer was the day a neighbors male 110-pound or so Rottie strayed into our yard from its home a mile away with the intention of showing that it was the king of the hill to my 55-pound female Chow.  The neighbors were all fearful of this rottweiler as it had caused problems with the neighbors animals and the owner was proud that his dog had that reputation.   What ensued next made me a believer in a chows capability as a guard dog, the rottweiler attacked my chow and she went ballistic on that male dog, I was sure she was going to be seriously hurt or killed, but after what seemed to be minutes and before I could secure any type of a weapon the rottweiler all bloody and looked like the preverbal jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing, left for anywhere except where it was and into contact with this thing that ate its lunch.  

Chows have a secret weapon, which I came to understand gives it such an advantage in a fight with anything, it possesses a extremely thick double coat of long hair which in a battle protects it from a bigger an even more determined opponent, while the opponent bites nothing but hair the chow is using it massive teeth to rip and shred critters with short hair and thin hide.   The next day I received a visit from the owner of the rottweiler, who was attempting to recover some money for the vets bills from the 50 or so stitches it had incurred.  He tried to sell his story that my chows had attacked his dog, at which time I pointed out it was his dog who trespassed on my property and attacked my female chow (my other chows were with my wife at the time who was out of town)  and my chow was forced to defend herself.  He was in disbelief that my little dog had almost destroyed his  bigger and meaner Rottie, to be honest at the time I was in shock myself that she escape a major injury.   So the lesson is make your own evaluations and choose the dog(s) that fit your family and situation.  Take a look at a Chow that was breed for one thing and it does that one thing very well.  Happy trails, – John in Arizona