There are dog people and there are the other people. Either you like dogs or you don’t and I think that it is perfectly fine to hold either opinion. Just like kids, there are some people who really want children and others who would rather not have a child in their lives at any time. There is nothing wrong with either option really and different types of people are better suited to different types of situations in their lives. This is what makes us different, human and interesting. I myself am a dog person though and probably always will be. We have other pets in my family, but none are as important to me as the family dog.
In June of last year, we lost our family dog that we had for 13 years. While it was a sad period of time, there was never any doubt about getting a new dog eventually. Dogs offer so much in the form of companionship and peace of mind to me and my family that we knew we would need to fill that void at some point. We decided to wait until the spring and researched breeds to find the best match. Our last dog was a mutt from the pound, but she was better than any pure bred we have ever seen. She truly was a wonderful dog but we wanted some additional qualities that she didn’t have naturally. Seeing as how I run this blog and my focus is on prepping for events that are unpleasant or unplanned, we wanted to get a dog that would be not only a loyal companion, but great for protection. Essentially, we started looking for the best dog for SHTF.
The day we brought her home – 8 Weeks old
Let me pause right here and state that I am not going to tell you what the best dog is for anyone. There are too many factors that define what the best dog is and you have to evaluate your life and what you are looking to invest (time, energy, emotion) into a dog. I think it is rather dishonest to say there is only one dog that is the best for any situation because regardless of the dog, the owner has to train and control their dog appropriate to their talents or else you just have an out of control animal. You can put the best dog in the world with someone who can’t control or doesn’t take care of it and you will have a mess. Conversely, a mutt from the pound can make an awesome pet that will love and take care of you for years with the right owner.
Back to my story, my wife had heard an interview with the man who wrote a book about the dogs that the Navy Seals use and began to get interested in the Belgian Malinois. Malinois are in the same family as German Shepherds but are a little smaller. They are extremely intelligent, ridiculously energetic and thrive on working hard. We thought that this breed sounded like a great place to look at for our dog of choice for someone to protect our family during SHTF.
Researching the right dog should be first
We read more about the breed and understood the work commitment that would be required for a dog like this to have a happy and fulfilled life with us and started waiting patiently until spring. That didn’t last long.
Sometimes our family can get a spontaneous Jones and we were all sitting around the dinner table one night talking about when we would get our dog. This lead to some internet searches and we quickly discovered that like most pure bred dogs, there was a higher price. For the Malinois and I imagine any dog that could be used as a personal protection dog, the price was much higher. This was a little discouraging because while I liked the attributes of the breed and day dreamed of having our own little Navy Seal dog in the house, I was not shucking out over $1200 for one. We started questioning our choice on price alone and then dug more into the requirements for an animal like this.
Malinois like I said above are high energy. By high energy, I mean they need about 2 hours a day of intense exercise or they will not be happy. You do not want a hyper, bored puppy. Malinois are working dogs and if they don’t have a job to do, they will find one. This will usually be at the expense of something you do not want destroyed. A nice little walk around your neighborhood isn’t going to cut it either, but I told myself that this would be a great time to start running again and between me, my wife and kids we should be able to exercise the dog sufficiently.
Out in the park
My wife then came across an ad for 8 week old Malinois puppies for only $150! That was something I could live with. I also understood from that price that this would not be a pure bred, but I wasn’t hung up on papers anyway. I wanted a great dog for our family, not something to show or breed for profit. We called the person on the ad and set up a time to go out. In my excitement, I purchased a new crate and the food the trainer used just in case. Our other dog had been crate trained but that was years ago and I had since sold the other one we had. We arrived at the home of the person selling the puppies and spent a little time talking to the owner who happened to train Malinois for police and military use trying to pick his brain for any information we could get.
We found out while talking to the trainer that the puppies were 1/8th Presa Canario. We actually met both her parents and her grandfather (the Presa) while we were there. This was not a puppy mill operation by any stretch and he only had the dogs we saw.
The puppy he had left was a female which is what we wanted. She was small and skinny – I expect she was the runt of the litter, but we didn’t care. We had even chosen a name for her of Samantha but we would call her Sam from the Will Smith movie, I am Legend. (Side note: the movie is nothing like the book at all). The kids loved her at first sight obviously and I paid the owner and went home. This was the beginning of our Journey with Sam.
Article Source: http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/01/27/best-dog-shtf/