Letter Re: Bug Out Bags for Dogs

SurvivalBlog reader K.D. wrote in to question the need for a BOB for a dog in TEOTWAWKI, believing that most dogs will be more of an OPSEC liability than anything else and envisions large packs of roaming dogs fending for themselves as they are abandoned by their owners.

HJL’s Comment: While I might agree with your sentiment if it were to apply to the family pet (easily the vast majority of dogs today), it most certainly does not apply to what I would term “working” dogs. Working dogs are readily used by both police and military to handle dangerous situations. A well trained dog has capabilities that even the best of humans lack. I have personally observed a multi-million dollar project that attempted to replace a simple bomb sniffing dog with technology, and after five years of work it was retired as impractical. It was easier and less expensive to train a dog, and the accuracy of the dog was far higher than the tech.

Working dogs extend into the non-police/military/security realm as well. A “hearing” or “seeing” dog may be the only chance a deaf or blind person has during a TEOTWAWKI situation. A working dog is much better at discerning diabetic emergencies than continual BGL tests.

A well trained working dog will not damage your OPSEC but will enhance it and will be the exact opposite of a liability. Even in the case of “protection”, if the “one bullet” is used against your dog, that’s a few extra moments of warning that you gain than without the dog. Shooting a well trained security dog is not as easy as it sounds either.

Because of the various laws that ensure any dog can be considered a working dog, you will have many that cannot perform the function and do become a problem. But very clearly, a properly trained working dog performs its intended function, enhancing safety and security.

Not planning to take care of your working dog is planning for failure and guaranteeing that you will not have that force multiplier (or medical/physical help) when you need it most.