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If you don’t have one, get a properly trained protection/guard dog. My wife and I have always been dog lovers and with the inclusion of our two female Doberman’s to our home we feel a lot safer.
Dogs will provide you with several things in a collapse. First and foremost is their hearing and sense of area. They will perceive quickly (more quickly than we humans) when something is off in an area. I believe this is a combination of their keen hearing and sense of smell.
When our Dobies stop and start growling towards our wooded area I know it is time to grab the old .22 and go check things out. Rarely are they wrong as I will flush out a fox, armadillo, possum, coon, or other critters. When people approach the property you know right away.
Secondly, our dogs are intimidating to strangers approaching the property. They are the biggest puppies to everyone they know but if you approach the area and they do not know you, watch out. They will start by growling and then, of course, barking furiously. That gives us a really good sense that a stranger is approaching. Usually the strangers will stand a good distance away from the fence out of fear.
In a grid down situation we feel they will be invaluable to our safety and our farm’s well being. They will warn us when predators are approaching our farm animals. They will also warn us when the two-legged variety of predator is approaching our farm stead. Woe to the person who decides to enter without our permission. They are always on duty, even when they are sleeping. We have been amazed at the times they have jumped up from a sound sleep to alert us something that does not belong on the property.
If you have not considered adding a properly trained dog to your retreat, I think you should rethink this. I know some people will say there are negatives, but I strongly believe that the positives they add greatly outweigh the negatives.