How To Survive A Feral Dog Attack

Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by David’s book, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, which goes into detail on how to keep improving your firearms skills in a time of crazy-expensive ammo…if you can even find it. If you own a gun, you need this book. It’s less than a single ticket to the movies and you’ll save more than that in your first 5 minutes of training. To learn more, go >HERE< now.

Survival Diva here with advice on how you can survive a feral dog attack. When you take a look at dog statistics, the potential for a bad encounter with a wild dog is certainly there. Americans love their pets! There are 77.5 million dogs owned in America with 39% of households owning at least one dog. For today at least, 75% of owned dogs are spayed or neutered.

Even though most people are responsible pet owners, the problem of feral dogs in the U.S. is growing.  Although many pet owners facing tough times choose to feed their dogs instead of taking care of their own needs, others abandon their pets when shelters won’t take them, or they let them roam free to supplement their diet.

The pack mentality of feral dogs is routinely reported in cities and in rural locations, where they work together as a team to kill livestock. Angry farmers retaliate by killing them, but the problem isn’t going away. It’s estimated feral dogs are at least partially responsible for killing goats, sheep and cattle to the tune of 37 million dollars annually and that number is expected to go up.

(David’s note:  I’ve run into packs of 10+ feral dogs in Texas while trail running in urban/wildland interface areas.  Fortunately, I rarely run with headphones on, and I have always managed to hear them far enough out that I’ve been able to box (land navigation tactic) around them.  It’s important to have a plan figured out in advance for how you will avoid or break contact with wildlife when you’re out on the trail.)

In Detroit, the feral dog problem has become so dangerous, the postal service considered refusing delivery to certain neighborhoods due to their mail carriers constantly being bitten and attacked.

The U.S. does not keep track of the feral dog population, most likely because they are too illusive for it to be possible to get a reliable tally of their numbers as they adapt by living in abandoned buildings and cars, sewers and tunnels, and in rural locations; wooded areas.

Recent Feral Dog Attacks

Listing every feral dog attack would serve no purpose, but here are a few chilling stories that hit the news:

Reported by MSN News, January 8, 2013: Officials say stray dogs killed 4 in a park near Mexico City

Reported by Cibola Beacon An eight-year-old boy, Tomas Jay Henio, was attacked and killed by nine feral dogs on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Excerpt: “A representative from the Ramah Navajo Police Department confirmed the incident.

According to the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office, Henio went outside and minutes later his mom went to check on him only find her child face down, unresponsive, with bite marks on his body.”

Reported by APTN National News, April 12, 2013: Boy lucky to be alive after feral dog attack in Manitoba.

Excerpt: “A six-year-old Manitoba boy is recovering after surgery to repair to his mauled face.

It’s just the latest attack by a pack of feral dogs on a First Nation.”

Reported by abc15.com, October 24, 2012 by Steve Kuzi; Wild dogs attacking neighbors and killing pets in Maricopa, Arizona

Excerpt: “MARICOPA, AZ – When a pack of wild dogs attacked a man in Maricopa, he fought back with his handgun.

Shockingly, it wasn’t the first time Dennis Johnson had to fire his gun at vicious dogs in his neighborhood. The last time was a week ago when a group of the dogs surrounded him. Johnson was saved by his brave border collie, Baby.

“She jumped in the middle of all nine of them to save me,” Johnson said.”

Reported by Associated Press, August 18, 2009; Coroner: Wild dogs killed Georgia woman, then husband.

Excerpt: “LEXINGTON, Ga. — An elderly woman killed by a pack of wild dogs had been out for a walk when she was attacked, and her husband died trying to fight off the mauling animals when he discovered the bloody scene near their rural Georgia home, authorities said Tuesday.”

Note: Cases of dog attacks are on the increase for owner-cared for dogs as well, which during times of stress and food shortages means we should be even more cautious of all dogs we aren’t familiar with, and possibly those we are. You can Click Here for a Wikipedia report, titled Fatal Dog Attacks In The United States, which chronicles owner dog-related fatalities from 1947 to 2012.

(David’s note:  Having been taught in a college Poli-Sci class how to manipulate statistics for press releases, I question and dig into almost every statistic I see.  With that in mind, there may or may not be a TRUE increase in the risk factor for most people at this time.  Here’s why:

1.  Social media has made local events national…so, where people might have only heard about animal attacks in their local media market before, it’s possible to hear about any animal attack across the country.  Incidentally, people who say that we’ve had an increase in earthquakes are misinterpreting this same phenomenon…the increase in sensitivity of equipment, the number of sensors, and the ease of amalgamating data makes it LOOK like there’s an increase in the number of earthquakes when it’s questionable whether there actually has been or not.
2.  Search engine results will interpret #1 as an increase over time of almost any local event.
3.  The encroachment of wild spaces by suburbs and 1-5 acre subdivisions are creating more interactions between people and wildlife.
4.  Lack of trash discipline is rewarding wild animals who brave populated areas.
5.  A population of people who, as a percentage, haven’t spent time around livestock or wild animals, is leading to more negative interactions between wildlife and people.
6.  An increase in “mud races” like muddy buddy, Spartan races, tuff mudder, etc. are giving people a taste of the beauty of running on trails.  They misinterpret the relative safety of running a race on trails with 1000 other people with running on trails that the animals “own.”  The people aren’t doing anything wrong by spending time outdoors, but their eyes and senses aren’t tuned in to the threats that are prevalent in their environment.
7.  Many haven’t seen predators & threats in the wild, so their eyes don’t know how to see predators and threats yet.  Scat is just something to avoid stepping on, spor is completely unseen, and there is no audible sign of threats when people have ear buds in.
All that to say that when you go into the wild, you’re either the apex predator or you’re not.  Either way is fine, but you need to identify and accept where you’re at on the food chain and plan your activities accordingly.  You don’t get tuned to the wild without spending time in the wild, so don’t misinterpret what I’m saying as advice to stay on pavement…it just means that you should look and observe what’s going on around you when you’re on dirt outside of the concrete jungle until you train your senses to identify threats.)

Fast-Forward To a Long-Term crisis

So, what happens in a long-term crisis to these loved pets when their owners run out of dog food and aren’t able to share people food with them? It’s likely they will be set loose to fend for themselves. In the wild, they will eventually turn to their ancestral ways.

This will be compounded by the fact that spaying/neutering are elective procedures AND that animal shelters are having to refuse animals at an increasing rate.

The origination of the domesticated dog is not known for certain, but what is known is their closest ancestor is the wolf.

Turned loose to fend for themselves, feral dogs will do whatever it takes to survive, just as humans will and they will need to depend upon hunting and eating wild foods.

The aggression of a domesticated dog that was turned loose will likely vary—no different than what we should expect to see in humans.

An important fact is that feral dog’s numbers will increase at lightning speed once spaying and neutering is no longer possible and for consecutive litters that are born undomesticated, their link to humans will be severed.

How to Spot  Signs Of Feral Dogs

It’s likely that the number of feral dogs will be great enough that you’ll know when they are close by. However, there may be locations across the U.S. where the problem may be less obvious, and in those cases, it’s good to know what to be on the lookout for.

The following excerpts were taken from the Center For Wildlife Damage Management:

“Feral dogs are usually secretive and wary of people. Thus, they are active during dawn, dusk, and at night much like other wild canids. They often travel in packs or groups and may have rendezvous sites like wolves. Travel routes to and from the gathering or den sites may be well defined. Food scraps and other evidence of concentrated activity may be observed at gathering sites.

Tracks left by feral dogs varies with the size and weight of the animal. Generally, dog tracks are rounder and show more prominent nail marks than those of coyotes, and they are usually larger than those of foxes. Since a pack of feral dogs likely consists of animals in a variety of sizes and shapes, the tracks from a pack of dogs will be correspondingly varied, unlike the tracks of a group of coyotes.

Here is another excerpt we should pay close attention to:

“Feral dogs commonly kill house cats, and they may injure or kill domestic dogs. In areas where people have not hunted and trapped feral dogs, the dogs may not have developed fear of humans, and in those instances such dogs may attack people, especially children. This can be a serious problem in areas where feral dogs feed at and live around garbage dumps near human dwellings. Such situations occur most frequently around small remote towns.”

How To Avoid A Feral Dog Attack

It’s wiser to take steps to avoid a feral dog attack than to have to defend yourself against one. In some locations, this will be more difficult to do depending upon their numbers and whether or not they have a steady, reliable food source.

Because I have a den of coyotes living only 200 yards from my cabin, along with wolf, cougar, bear, fox and bobcat (one camped out under my cabin this past winter), I picked up a burning barrel. My intention is to burn refuse during a crisis to avoid attracting animals when I’m no longer able to get to the refuse bins located just outside of town. If you’re able, pick up an old metal drum (one without a top) and always remember to store plenty of matches.

(David’s note:  More important than matches, learn firecraft.  And don’t think that just because you have a whiz-bang sparker that you can make fire.  Making fire from a spark is a skill that needs to be honed and maintained.  Going one step further and making fire from a friction produced ember is better, but it will also humble you and teach you to respect fire in a way that only those who have tried, failed, and nearly frozen truly appreciate.)

You will need to watch pets more closely because It’s for sure they will be on a feral dog’s meal plan. There’s another side to this. Pets will draw hungry dogs to your location, endangering you and your loved ones as well.

If you plan to cook food outdoors, either over a fire pit or a BBQ, it is important not to leave scraps and unwashed cooking utensils and dishes outdoors that will attract feral dogs and other wild animals. I learned this lesson the hard way, even though I knew better.

My son BBQ’d steaks for a family get together one weekend. After the dinner dishes were washed and the last person had left, I got back to writing, never thinking to double-check what my son may have left behind near the BBQ…but a hungry resident black bear certainly did. He left his nose print on my sliding glass doors that measured 5 feet from the deck to his nose print. It turned out my son had forgotten to bring in a bowl of marinade and the BBQ utensil he’d used to turn  the steaks. For that black bear, it must have smelled like tantalizing ambrosia. I will never make that same mistake again!

My point here is the bear that visited my wilderness cabin could have just as  easily been a pack of feral dogs who were attracted to the smell of meat, so be sure to be careful about cleanup when cooking outdoors.

How To Survive A Feral Dog Attack

When you are walking, carry either dog repellant or a weapon, which might include a gun, baseball bat, a large stick or a knife. If a feral dog approaches you, your body language should never project fear, nor should you run. To do so sends the impression you are weak, or another words, prey.

Never look a feral dog in the eye. In the animal kingdom this is viewed as a challenge. Turn to the side, as standing in front of a dog tells them you are in the position to attack, and they are likely to respond by escalating their aggression.

Remain calm, holding your position, and don’t wave your arms or hands, as this may invite the dog to bite you if they feel threatened. If you give them a command to leave, do not scream. Stay in command of the situation. If you have an object like a backpack, or a walking stick, that will distract the dog, and they go on the attack, they are likely to bite the object, rather than you.

(David’s note:  In situations where I’ve been confronted by a wild animal who I thought was going to attack, I have taken the role of apex predator, puffed up, tucked my chin, aimed my gun at the animal, and started yelling.  Four things that I do immediately are to 1. pick out my primary target on the animal.  2.  Scan for additional threats. and 3.  Plan my lateral movement in case the animal decides to charge and my shots don’t immediately stop the threat.  4.  Pick what I will offer the animal to bite on if they charge (pack, shirt tied around my waist, fanny pack, stick, etc.)  Your circumstances, personality, and results may vary, depending on your situation and the number of animals you’re facing.  This is NOT a suggestion of what to do…simply an illustration that close encounters with violent animals are chaotic and don’t necessarily follow a script.)

If possible, climb higher such as climbing a tree, to get out of their reach, but do so moving backwards. And remember, whatever you do, never turn your back.

If you can’t get away and do not have a weapon and the dog attacks, all bets are off. Use your thumbs to gouge out an eye, or deliver a hard blow to the throat.

(David’s note:  If you’re going to be in the backyard of wild animals, be smart–carry tools to defend yourself and have a plan.  Whether it’s a firearm, knife, stick, stun gun, pepper spray, or TASER, have a plan.  And, have a plan for what you’ll do if someone’s pet attacks you (or attacks your pet) vs. a wild animal.

As an example, one of my consulting clients told me the following story, “I had a dog that was not wild (it was a pet) attack my dog.  Shooting/cutting it would not have  been neighborly, and I didn’t want to so I decided to use my TASER.  I didn’t want to shoot the TASER and figure out how to get the barbs out of the dog, so I took the cartridge out and did a drive stun.  As soon as the dog broke contact with the TASER, it bit me.  I did the drive stun again, stopped the biting momentarily, and got bit again.  My dog wasn’t getting bit anymore, but I wasn’t having much fun.

I’m a pretty quick learner…and I had a black and white feedback loop telling me my technique was flawed.  So, the 3rd time, I followed through and drove the TASER into the dog, pushed her over, and maintained contact for a few seconds.  This time, when I pulled the TASER away, the fight was out of the dog.”)

Should you be knocked to the ground, roll into a ball on your stomach with your hands protecting the back of your neck—these are the areas a feral dog will instinctively attack because they are the most vulnerable. By remaining still and not presenting an easy target, it may put an end to the attack.

So, have you prepared for your pet by storing extra food? Have you considered the potential danger feral dogs will pose during a long-term crisis, and if so, what plans do you have in place to combat it? Please share by posting below!

Quick Note: Chapter 8 (part 2 of 2) is available. You can Click Here to read.

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva.

Comments

  1. Have an electric mosquito zapper with you. A dog’s wet nose and wet mouth are very sensitive to electric current.

  2. I bought my mother that new smith and Wesson judge revolver that shoots 410 shotgun shells a while back and she wound up having to use it on a crazed pit. She missed with the first shot not the second she said it went down hard with major damage to the left side of the face head and shoulder. She shot it once more to finish it. It’s amazing what a 410 does up close.

  3. Brian E says:

    Training at Ft Dix back in th 90’s we frequently ran into packs of wild dogs. The off duty police officers in our unit would dispatch them if they got to close. The rest of us would take the blank adaptors off of our 16’s and use blanks to launch a section of cleaning rod at the dogs. It finally got to the point where our unit issued a red painted 20 round magazine to several members of our company for protection.
    I still live nearby that area and though we haven’t run into any packs we still go out armed and with pepper spray.

  4. Feral dogs are never going to be pets…

  5. Well Norman, as a missionary, 10 years ago, I was not allowed to be armed. Now that I am a husband and father, I have a concealed firearms permit and carry on a regular basis. My piont was to share something that might be helpful in diffusing a situation without the use of force, if that is what fits the situation.

  6. As a missionary in Texas I would frequently walk from house to house and had many encounters with hostile pet dogs of varied sizes. Being a missionary, I was not armed, so we learned to improvise. One trick that I learned to deter a hostile dog was to reach down to the ground and grab (or at least pretend to grab) a rock. I would keep my hand behind my back so that the dog couldn’t see that I didn’t actually have a rock as I backed away. Ocasonally I would have to repeat my act to keep the dog back. Not ideal, but it worked 95% of the time on pets.

    • Red, since you’re a missionary, you’ve surely read what Jesus told his disciples to do at the last supper haven’t you? Where was your ‘sword’?

  7. Richard says:

    I have been attacked by dogs before and the biggest problem are the ones that get behind you. In my experience, if you can keep them from doing this by using cover of any kind, a tree, a car, a wall, fence, etc, you have a pretty good chance of not getting bitten or worse.
    I was attacked in Maryland by about six dogs that were running in a pack. I worked for a vacuum cleaner company and was carrying the vacuum with me as I was knocking on doors, and I cut the cord from the cord winder and used it as a whip and eventually a noose.
    I just started swinging the cord with the plug end as a weapon. It is pretty amazing what a heavy electrical card will do when you hit a dog, The thing acts just like a whip, and when you make it “crack” and hit the dog, the cord is exceeding the speed of sound. It hurts like crazy. I used the cover of a five foot chain link fence to keep the pack from getting behind me. Most dogs won’t pursue a frontal attack if you stand your ground.
    I managed to drive mist of the pack off except for a big, mongrel dog. I eventually “noosed” the dog and threw the cord over the limb of a tree and hung the miserable sucker. I killed him right on the spot.
    The best way to not get hurt is to:
    1. Use cover so the dogs can get behind you; and
    2, Use anything you can find as a weapon. A belt with a heavy buckle, a piece of wood, anything you can find. If you can’t find anything, a mighty kick under the chops will do a good job of making a dog think twice about continuing the attack. But you have to really kick them as hard as you can, and if you can break their jaw, so much the better.
    The main thing that you have to do is to protect your “six.” That is when they do their damage and can get you down on the ground.
    The only dog that will attack directly from the front is if they have been trained to attack in a frontal assault, or if an animal is rabid.
    Just so you know, I worked with animals for several veterinarians over a ten year period. I’ve handled every kind of canine you can think of, even a wolf one time. He was a challenge, but as long as you faced him, he would growl and bear his teeth, but he wouldn’t attack. He was a one person pet.

  8. I was bitten by a dog when I was 8. My uncle who raised dobermans did not want me to be afraid of dogs so he gave me a survival technique. He said dog’s teeth are made to stop a meal from getting away. So if a dog bit me, I was to force my hand/arm into the dog’s mouth until it choked. I have revised that some in the intervening years to grab the dog by the throat with the other hand and squeeze until the dog is dead. A dead dog will not hurt anyone else. Granted, this will not work with a pack, but it gives me something to do if I get attacked again and I am unarmed.

  9. I always carry a walking stick, and SOG fusion tomahawk or a good bush machete no matter how far in the woods I go. I have been attacked by domestic dogs that were running wild. The walking stick helped but adding a good cutting tool to my kit will make me more effective and also add a use of force option. In case I am questioned I can say the stick failed to deter the attack so I switched to the blade (upping my level of force)… It’s nice to have options! … And be able to articulate your situation in a logical manner just in case the police get involved!

  10. Big can of bear spray and sturdy walking stick would hopefully discourage the attack until I can return with my shotgun.

  11. Wasp spray. Shoots 20 ft. The back up is a 9mm

  12. I am very disturbed by all of these reports. Although I have had a goat killed by a neighbor’s pack of dogs I have never even thought about my own safety. I walk in a large wooded area and on back gravel roads and two tracks. I am 60 yrs old and my running days are long gone. In my area you get into big trouble for shooting a dog. If it is just one dog…..SSS. Shoot, shovel, shut-up. A good friend of mine was deer hunting during gun season last year. He was charged by three dogs that looked to be well fed, family pets. This was on state land and miles from the nearest house. He is an excellent marksman, with a deer rifle. One shot to each dog. No ID or collars on the dogs. He plied some brush over them and left them for the coyotes to clean up. And even though I knew about my friends encounter I have not been concerned about my own safety. Now after reading this report and all the feedback here I am going to make some changes. I am not sure about carrying a hand gun. Only because I lack the experience to handle a gun properly. But pepper spray and a good sturdy walking stick, that I can handle. Thanks, I needed to be aware of this problem.

    • Patty, it’s not all that hard, and even a lot of fun, to become competent with a handgun. And please bear in mind that the wild dog you may need to defend yourself against one day, with truly lethal force, may move on only TWO legs!

  13. I spend a lot of time walking in the SoCal desert hiking and walking. In the areas near housing developments the dog pack issue is a serious. Being close to resident vision makes the carrying “serious” weaponary awkward as i become an object of “see something say something.” I carry a walking stick (industrial push broom handle) with one end sharpened, And a squirt bottle full of ammonia. Over the past three years I’ve had two attempted attacks from packed dogs, the staff keeps them at bay but a good squirt of ammonia in the face sends them running. I haven’t tried it but i’ve been told that commercial “bear spray” will work and also has a longer residual oder time.

  14. Pet rabies vaccination programs have been very successful but it is woth reminding people that any animal (wild, farm, or pet) acting exceptionally aggressive, attacking without provocation, or exhibiting otherwise uncharacteristic behavior (such as not acting afraid of humans when it would normally) could have rabies. Warm blooded and even some cold blooded animals can be infected though it is normally mammals that spread the diesase to humans through their salava entering a wound. Symptoms (flu-like in the beginning) don’t show up in humans for usually 2 to 12 weeks but sometimes much longer. Early treatment is imperative as the disease is almost invariably fatal without treatment. [I think most everyone knows this stuff but some urban and younger folks have probably never had to give it much consideration so I thought a reminder might be in order. ]

    Some children are naturally attracted to animals. Strays can turn out to be feral or diseased. Teaching children not to approach animals without an introduction from a trusted adult and how to behave around animals they do not know well is just prudent. Kudos to the person in a previous comment who teaches children not to inadvertantly act like prey (squealing and/or running away). It might just save their life.

    Add feral animal control to your plans. Be aware. Take no chances.

    • Lo_Profile_Mike says:

      Stone – Thanks for the heads-up on rabid animals. For a real horror story about an attack by a rabid raccoon, and the indifference of th civil authorities, listen to this piece from “This American Life.” It’s “Act One. The Hills Have Eyes” at thisamericanlife. org/radio-archives/episode/319/and-the-call-was-coming-from-the-basement

      The victim was on her own residential property in a semi-rural area.

  15. Realist says:

    I’ve been in two situations involving dog attacks. I was attacked by a rottweiler and a had one of those small North American Arms 22 single actions in my pocket. The dog bit me in the right arm, without warning. I tried to cock back the hammer on the gun to defend myself but couldn’t. My entire forearm was just numb. The amount of force the dog bit down on my arm prevented it from being able to function correctly. It was just the one bite and it backed off. When it bit me I yelled for help with some other people I was with. It might of been the yell that surprised the dog. I will never know why the attack stopped. BTW it took three weeks for the wound to close.

    The second time was a neighbor’s two rottweilers and three Newfoundlands came at me dog and I were on my property. I still carried a small North American Arms 22 LR with me. As the first dog came at us I stepped aside and shot him in the back of the head. All the dogs then ran home. Needless to say the neighbor and I had words. It was amazing the dog I shot the bullet lodged in the back of its skull and did not penetrate. I do not even think it was taken out.

    All these dogs were pets yet they still attacked without provocation. The weapon used was a 22 LR only because it was small and easy to carry, both times I was in shorts. I know if I am up on my ranch I always carry a 45. I would not hesitate to use it if I ran across a feral dog. I would not hesitate to shoot a feral dog on site I have seen what they will do to our calves. I do not know why someone would take the chance of getting bit and go up against a dog with a can of spray if they had a choice. I have seen dogs deterred by spray and others that were not. I would not take the chance.

    • Realist says:

      One other thing there is an article in the paper today of a 60+ year old lady who was out on a trail and was killed by some pit bulls in Southern California today. Not a pleasant way to die.

  16. Shrieking, squealing young children sound like wounded prey to wild animals. I taught my own children and all my day care charges to YELL, scream and carry on, but do NOT use a high pitched shriek while outdoors. Time out was the penalty for that high pitched sound the little girls are so fond of and they did learn to keep their voice modulated in the lower range. (At least while outdoors, indoors, not so much. Ouch) Just something for folks with young children in their lives….and it does seem that it is children who are attacked most often….I am sure there is a correlation between their vocalizations and who the dogs choose to attack.

  17. Wasp spray would be a good thing to carry for self defense. It’s supposed to be effective in deterring physical attacks from humans, so I would think it would work great on critters. Big cans are fairly economical and can be found on sale from time-to-time.

  18. If a critter had its teeth on me, I’m thinking a knife to the clamping muscles at the base of the jaw would be effective to getting free. Then whatever else I can reach with the blade.

  19. A lesson from experience: if you have the choice, shoot an attacking or marauding dog with something larger than a .22 LR. I once shot a larger-than-average German Shepherd, who was totally immersed in killing our ducks, 7 times with .22 LR HP shot from a semi-automatic rifle at 70 to 25 feet (I was advancing rapidly as I fired) before dropping him. . I could see where I was hitting him, mostly in the head (he wouldn’t stand still for a between-the-eyes shot), and he wouldn’t go down. I actually had to reload to put him out of his misery. Life Lesson: use a bigger gun to shot a hyped-up dog.

    • george M says:

      Hah – bringing a knife fight to a dog fight? if you let a pack of dogs get close enough for a knife fight you sir are already dead.

  20. Conservativesniper says:

    I think a .22 LR round will solve the problem permanently. Scaring the dog off only means it will attack someone else, like say a elementary school kid walking home from the bus stop. This is why leash laws were instituted. Dog running loose? Bang, problem solved. Keep your precious little bundle of fur under control or be prepared for someone else to do it. If some dog attacked my family I’m going hunting for the owner of said dog for a heart to heart chat about responsibility/public safety.

  21. Well written and to the point… Very good… Two thumbs up…!!!

  22. Casey Math says:

    Those “dog whistles” that children grow up so enamored with are absolutely useless against an attacking dog. Their sole use is as a training device by a skilled dog trainer and most haven’t used a “dog whistle” in years.
    Got one for protection from predatory dogs? Try choking to death with it before the damned dogs eat you alive.

  23. Charles Fitzgerald says:

    The statement-Closer than you Think- is right on. We had a pack of wild dogs in our area(probly still there) around 10 years ago in South Arkansas. We were in city limits, but they operated about 99% undected and killed the all of the animals spoke of by other posters. They killed our goat that my children raised on a bottle, I didn’t know what happened to her till someone clued me in about ‘the pack of wild dogs’.
    I didn’t have any luck finding a main trail to ambush them, I would have shot and killed every one if I had found them.
    Folks, this is a serious issue, they are more cunning than you may think and more dangerous too. When you are focused on everyday cares, its quiet easy to be lax and unsuspecting about this type of danger. Stay in Condition Yellow even concerning animals.
    All the best, Farmer

  24. joseph L M says:

    Good Article give me some things to think about with my preps.
    The problem that I see is that alot of poor people get these large dogs to show how important they are and how macho they are .A poor man standing on a street with a large pitbull that can intimate most people that walk by, make this man feel important. These are the same people that will be braking into your house if the SHTF happens to rob or kill you for what you have. They also will most likely turn there dogs loose because they can’t care for them any more.I guess one think a prepper can do is keep a count on who in your area that you live near by has dogs and be minefull of what breeds they are.
    I have prep for my cats ,cat food is easy to store , but dog food I would rather not store . Do anybody has a easy recipe for a simple but health dog food that I can make to use as a barting item if the time was needed?

    • Heather says:

      Joseph, got to www. happydogfood. com for natural and nutritious dehydrated dog food packs that you just rehydrate and add meat to (meat optional if you decide to go the vegetarian route) They sell them in small packs or in bulk sizes too and their prices are very reasonable in my opinion.

    • Conservativesniper says:

      Just bone out a few feral dogs you’ve shot and run ’em through the meat grinder. It’s a win-win.

    • It is not hard to store dog food. Plus, why would I want to share the food I need for survival with my dogs? Much easier to have their own supply. I purchase canned dog food and rotate just like I do with canned veggies, etc. I also keep several bags of dry food and rotate. Canned food has a 1-2 year shelf life and dry has 8-12 months. My goal is to have 1 year of food storage for me and my dogs.

      If TSHTF I will gladly share the fruits of my hunting success with my dogs, but when it comes to my long term storage I want mine and they can have their own supply.

  25. Stargazer says:

    Our family prepares for our Rottweiler “best friend” just the same as we do for ourselves. Training is a large part of preparing. Food, medicine, vitamins and entertainment are also part of the mix.
    The Rottweiler is a part of our “security plan” along with civil defense items like NBC equipment, firearms, ammunition, security fencing and etc.
    I can recommend the book, “Principles of Physical Security” for planning your shelter in place environment. The book is also useful in securing your home and business facility. It is available a alibris. com as are other used books, CD’s and DVD’s.
    Yours in Liberty,
    Leon C. Gall,
    Oath Keeper

  26. Pepper spray is extremely effective against dogs, probably more so than against people. I have only had to use it once while out for a walk against a barking snarling dog that had moved within a few feet and actually missed his face with the main stream, but the misting off the side of the stream was enough to instantly turn him into a whining yelping coward trying to run blindly away from me. Just be sure to have a pepper spray container big enough for at good number of one second sprays in case there are several dogs. Also having the pepper spray prevented me having to use the concealed firearm I had which would have resulted in extra hassle and problems since this was in town.

    • Small fire extinguishers can be filled with red pepper and/or chinese mustard powder, and a harbor-freight air-compressor.

      • Is Chinese mustard powder available commonly, e.g., at grocery stores? Is it more potent/irritating than red pepper to dogs?

        • Homestead12 says:

          I’m not sure about more effective, but if you can’t find it at your local grocers, you should be able to get it at a wholesale (Cash & Carry) outlet which supplies restaurants.
          I am growing Ghost Chiles (Bhut Jaloka) for he purpose of making potent pepper spray. I’ve also considered Horse Radish & Wasabi, but haven’t experimented with them.

  27. We have coyotes, cougars, bobcats in our town. Right. When we moved from San Diego, 45 miles away, we discovered our new animal neighbors. However, we also breed great danes. The coyotes would not come any closer than 1500 feet of our property. We also maintained a 6ft chainlink fence. The fences, like ours, didn’t stop the coyotes. They simply climbed them. The coyotes & bobcats ate the neighbors chickens, cats, (both feral & house if they got out) young goats, would kill calvs and single dogs except great danes. People don’t realize that danes are bred for protection and hunting. They can and if necessary to protect you easily jump a 9 ft. fence.

  28. If I have to fight a pack of dogs, wild or otherwise, all bets are off and I will not hesitate to use lethal force. It’s either them or me.

    • David Morris says:

      Yup…and to be clear, I didn’t do a good job in what I said about force continuum options. A single neighbor dog (or even a single wild animal) is VERY different than a pack of wild animals…whether they’re dogs, coyotes, hogs, etc.

      In the cases where I have encountered packs of dogs, it has been in semi-wildland areas between newly built subdivisions and a city–it was wild enough to run into deer, hogs, dogs, skunks, and/or porcupines, but not an area where I could have shot the dogs without legal complications. It was always better to avoid the fight than roll the dice with the dogs and possibly the courts.

  29. Growing up on a dairy farm we had two packs of ( neighbors dogs) come together. They were not feral but town dogs that formed a pack…Each time they attacked our milk cows and it is not a pretty sight to see a Holstein cow weighing 1000 pounds, bag full of milk trying to run away from 7 to 9 attacking dogs.

    In each case we killed (shot) all attacking dogs. These dogs were well fed, well groomed. The breeds were mixed from Lassie and Rin tin tin types to hunting dogs, etc. Not one dog made it back to its home. We were lucky in that we were home when the attacks began but if we had not been close by we would have lost some expensive milk cows to a pack of dogs. Dogs will pack up even if not feral….I do not try to placate the situation and if a dog is on the attack I willl kill it. Not run it off..Shoot the damn thing!

  30. Where can I buy an air horn?

  31. Chris. G. says:

    I have always kept a 6 month supply of all animal feed onhand. Now I’m wondering if that will be enough. My spouse recently (a few months ago) got a half grown puppy, to replace his beloved outdoor dog, who died of cancer. Bulldog puppies eat alot! He (the pup) will be two years old in August….and considered full grown. Does any one have suggestions, for me, of how much this little nut might eat in…..say 6 months or one year?

  32. Yes, we have dog food in our food storage. We also have human food the dogs can (and do) eat regularly– and we have the means to cook it up even if we can’t use our stove/slow cooker.

    Protection– 5-6′ tall, solid board fence all around the back yard. Previous attempts by coyotes indicate that it is reasonably secure; dogs are inside at night, anyway (outside pets are known as “coyote chow” here, even though we’re in the city). Our walks are during daylight hours, and not during the usual hunting periods, and we stay out of the “green belt” sections of the neighborhood.

    • Chris. G. says:

      Kaytee, thanks. We store our dogs’sealed bags of dry food in a -not used anymore-
      refrigerator. It’s easy to empty and refill, plus just right for the 40 lb bags, laying
      flat. We also buy buckets of “Dinovite” sp? to supplement. Any opened feed bag is
      stored in an airtight, sealed barrel, to keep bugs and critters away.
      The solid wood fence would be financially prohibitive for our acreage. We use livestock
      fencing there and 6′ chainlink around the orchard and house/yard/outbuildings.

  33. Carrying a small air horn is also effective. A short blast will hurt the animal’s ears to the point that they should become either distracted or run away. These air horns are light weight, very portable, and relatively inexpensive (less than $15), especially compared to hospital bills.

    • Chris. G. says:

      Bob R., I have one of those dog whistles, they advertised, to keep barking, snarling dogs away….. Except to break up fights at home and at the flea market (once) it’s more for my peace of mind. Also it fits well in the back pocket of my jeans. Tell me more about the air horn,,,,,i.e. size, where I could purchase…ect?

    • Margaret says:

      Where do you get the air horn? I am an old hen and don’t know about these things!

      • air horns can be purchased at marine supply stores (boat supplies)

      • Chris G & Margaret;

        I got mine at the local Cabela’s store, but you can find them cheaper at WalMart, etc. Here is one similar to what I bought (more expensive at Cabela’s – an impulse buy). walmart. com /ip/Attwood-1.5oz-Safety-Sport- Airhorn/16351012

        • Chris. G. says:

          Bob R., thanks. I checked Walmart – they’re only about 8 miles away. The two they had were way too big for a pocket. I work on our farm and need my hands free. I often (when I remember) used my old ratty service shoulder holster. It’s designed for a .45, and I own a glock .40 so the fit isn’t great, hard to maneuver in and out – i.e. not an emergency plus.- but better safe than sorry.

          • Chris. G. says:

            ok come on now, I ment the air horn would be too big to fit in my pocket while I’m working…..not that I tried to pocket (steal) an air horn while there

      • try the sporting goods/ marine section of any big box or even sporting goods stores

      • They sell air horns at boating stores like West Marine.

    • Johnny Geetar says:

      Air horn? Humane, but risky. Not to be a wiseacre, but what if you’re attacked by a hearing-impaired dog? Unfortunately, during times of crisis, the animals with medical conditions, expensive or no, are usually the FIRST to be unloaded by pet owners. It’s a hypothetical, but also a possiblity, however remote. And candidly, I don’t care if it’s a neighbor’s dog or not; if it attacks me or mine, it’s fertilizer. If it gets to you and injures you, it opens the door to insurance liability and lawsuit scenarios. Been there, done that, and you do NOT want it. It doesn’t have to be YOU that sues the negligent homeowner, either. After your insurance company pays your claim to the hospital for your injuries, your INSURANCE COMPANY will sue the neighbor to recoup their outlay. This one is NOT hypothetical…… And it will strike a glancing blow to the subject of community relations when neighbors all take sides on it. A clean kill is infinitely more pragmatic, and certainly easier to both explain AND justify.
      I would urge all to take not the most necessarily humane way to deal with this problem, but the SUREST way to deal with it. For my money, a decent caliber handgun with a decent magazine capacity is what is called for here. A revolver is risky if you run into a pack with multiple dogs. 6 shots may not do it, and time to reload a revolver will probably NOT be available. A quick mag change to a semi-auto handgun however, IS. Remember, attacks such as these have been proven to be deadly. And in a survival situation, you are not much value to your loved ones OR their survival cause if you are dead, injured or missing. Gnome sane?
      As far as stockpiling food for your pets, I would say 6 months minimum. It is an unbelievably nasty cash outlay to secure all of this up front, tis true. But infinitely better than the alternative. Depending on what you buy and how many pets you have, it can easily top a grand! We’ve got 6 cats and 2 Huskies. So for those with multiple pets, you are looking at 6 months worth of;
      1) Wet dog food
      2) Dry dog food
      3) Dog treats
      4) Medications if needed
      5) Flea and tick treatments

      For the cats, same thing.
      1)Wet cat food
      2 Dry cat food
      3) 6 months of cat litter (That was the big money killer right there)
      4) Flea and tick treatments if they go outdoors
      5) Cat treats ( Wife insists. Eesh….)
      6) Cat medications

      Trust me; a $1000 dollar outlay is easily attained here. Further, you’ll need a cool dry, preferably BIG climate-controlled room or closet for all this. Do NOT leave this stuff to bake in your garage, or you WILL shorten the expiration on it considerably, and just be throwing your money away.
      Note; to save money, you do NOT have to go buy the most expensive or exclusive pet products out there! Remember, this is for a RATIONING, SURVIVAL scenario. YOU are going to be forced to eat far below your usual quality standard, so do not feel bad making them do the same. That’s not being cruel, that’s being pragmatic! If they turn their noses up at it for the first day or 2, tough! They WILL eat it and adapt to it shortly, same as you. They’ll survive! THAT’S the point of the whole exercise, no?
      If you love your pets, then this MUST be done. A bad crisis will turn infinitely WORSE for you if you have no more pet food, and are forced by circumstances to begin considering feeding them scarce or limited food earmarked for your FAMILY’S survival. This is the point where owners will dump pets to fend for themselves. Don’t find yourself in that position. Fact; you will NEVER justify doing what you have to do to your young children. YOU become the turd by default for dumping Roscoe the dog, or Misty the cat, even if it was the RIGHT thing to do. Head THIS one off at the pass, and spend the money…..

      • Johnny Greeter;

        I totally agree that a gun is more effective than an air horn, but not all states, localities , etc, permit carry — concealed or open, and not all folks are comfortable with carrying a gun, even when allowed. Thus, a suitable alternative is needed. Believe me, even a deaf dog, unless it is TOTALLY deaf, will hear the sound of the horn and be distracted. THEY ARE LOUD! It may not totally deter an attack, but in the absence of a gun, it is far better than standing there and doing nothing.

      • David Morris says:

        I know this will upset some people, but most dry dog food is overcooked, overprocessed human food or remnants from human food production.

        If you’re going to store pet food, you actually DO want to store higher quality food. The reason is that high quality food will be more bio-available and will allow the pet to convert more of what they eat into energy and building components rather than poop.

        In fact, a good test of the quality of 2 dog foods is to feed your pet each of the 2 foods for a week and see which one results in smaller, less stinky scat. Chances are that your dog won’t need to eat as much of the better food and you might find that you pay more per pound, but less per day as a result.

        Once you find a good food for your dog, an approach you could take is to look at the ingredients and stock up on them (We have LOTS of rice and canned chicken). This won’t just be for your dog….it will also be food that you could easily eat if needed.

      • Jenny Clemons says:

        I’m a nurse and I frequently have to visit my clients in remote rural areas where meth labs and pit bulls abound. I carry a can of hornet spray in the cup holder of my car. I usually wait a bit before I get out of my car and will open and shut the door before I get out to see if a dog is going to show up. I recently had to use the spray when I was in a hurry and didn’t follow my routine, I always stick the spray in the outside pocket of my computer bag where I can reach it, well a big old mixed breed bull dog of some sort came sliding and snarling around the corner of the house and I pulled the can out and squirted him pretty good and it worked, that stuff sprays for almost 40 feet. It stopped him in his tracks and I had time to jump back in my vehicle. I carry something in a bit bigger caliber for human predators that I might run into out in the boondocks. But always always be aware of your surroundings and what might be lurking in the vicinity.

        • I have 4 dogs. I use an electric buzzer that only dogs can hear to stop barking and other bad behavior. It works on two dogs and the other two look at me like I am crazy. I also have an electric dog fence. It works for two dogs, one is scared to death of it so I can not use it with him and the last dog is not phased by it.

          You can not depend on electronic devices as a deterrence because they are not 100% effective for all dogs.

      • @ Johnny G– storing wet food is not needed for dogs, nor for cats unless they have certain kidney problems. You’re paying a lot to have water added, and wasting space for “MREs” that could be used for more concentrated dry food and/or ingredients to make their food.

        I also disagree re: buying cheap pet food to store. Yeah, they’ll eat it if they are hungry enough– but so will hungry people. Buy the best you can– it will keep them healthier, and probably happier, as well. There’s a lot of nasty stuff in cheap dog food, low-grade protein and questionable fillers.

        As for not feeding them food intended for family survival… well, my dogs ARE family members. Useful family members. Why wouldn’t I feed them out of family supplies, if their other food runs out? Especially, when some of the “human” food in those supplies are ones the family humans either can’t eat (allergies) or seriously dislike… but the dogs can and will eat?

    • I wonder how those silent “ultrasonic” whistles might fare?

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  1. […] worse as people run out of dog food and turn their pets loose. You can read an earlier post,  How To Survive A Feral Dog Attack , or follow the life-saving tips […]

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