Animal Control Post-Collapse
As a devoted hiker and Nature lover, I've spent more time in the meadows and woods than most of you could possibly comprehend. Because of that, my respect for animals has vastly increased, because I've seen so many, watched them silently, followed them along, and come to realize the intricacies of their place and roles in the fabric of Life. Life persists because each creature comes to limit another species through competition for resources and yet it's existence and eventual death also foster and sustains other species.
How wonderful is that special relationship between dog and mankind. There is a closeness there that cannot be defined, for it becomes a companionship and a real love and friendship.
Despite that, when whims fade and when economic decline happens, those people who once were the companions of dogs will abandon them. They will turn them out of their home, or simply take them to be destroyed, because it no longer benefits them or the person must struggle to provide for them.
When the SHTF, because food supplies may be quite limited, many people will abandon their “beloved” pets. Those they named and spoke to with such care and tenderness, who once were almost like children, will be “freed” because they think that dogs have an innate sense of hunting and stalking, so those animals will make their way as best as they can.
The reality is far different, and most people know it. Their tamed companions don't have survival skills, any more than most children don't possess them. They've been taught to eat from a can or dry dog food, and this is what is food to them. They live on cushions or curled up at the foot of a bed or on a bed. They rely upon a human to provide them with water.
Some dogs are involved in hunting. They have a built-in instinct, and then coupling that with a human with a desire to hunt, and a lot of training, then they can be quite adept at hunting and stalking prey. Many are used to retrieve prey in bird hunting.
Other dogs have a “working dog” instinct, and so they're used by ranchers. Those dogs have an innate ability to be taught to round up animal herds that are used for livestock. Some of these then can learn to watch over animals that stray too far from the herd. However if left to their own devices and without food, such dogs could eventually become predators of those same creatures...mostly sheep.
Other dogs have an instinct to dig. This behavior may lead to either burrowing for rodents or creatures cowering in a hole or tunnel.
Other dogs like to swim. Those around these areas may connect that desire with their natural instinct and may on occasion take creatures from riverbanks, lakes, or streams like spawning fish like carp, waterfowl, mammals coming for a drink, etc.
These make up a small amount of creatures among the many species of dog. Most of them have been so tame for so long that they either are too out of shape for hunting, or too docile, or too old to hunt or stalk. Yes, a slow moving young mammal might be taken, and so at certain times of year they catch one. Notice that many won't eat the creature, only knock it down and play with it until it's dead.
In dogs, the main means of catching meals is by pack behavior. They're fast creatures and agile especially when young. If they see another dog hunt or run along side, then they begin to assume a superior/inferior relationship based upon which dog is the Alpha. Those other dogs will do things like groom the Alpha or each other. They urinate based upon the markings of the Alpha. They'll sniff the scat of the Alpha. They'll arrange their resting places based upon the Alpha. They'll eat a kill based upon what the Alpha leaves behind.
If abandoned, some creatures will be more intelligent, mature, strong, and fast. They'll become these Alphas. Then other dogs will hear them and will join up with them.
As a prepper, you need to prepare for feral dogs. Many will alternate friendly behavior with feral behavior. They will have been abandoned for a time, but remember being domesticated. Others are born feral by from those dogs that survived and mated. Still, when young, if caught they can be more tame, but if they live with the pack for long, they can be quite fierce.
Dogs are naturally curious. They smell and see things far beyond our range as humans. They'll note your presence and the presence of cooking smells and garbage and fire. They'll come around to investigate. They'll be a nuisance.
Even now, neighborhood dogs will come and visit, for usually a dog will seek affection wherever it can find it, that or a treat, or an opportunity to play. Some will see you as a potential friend and in a way you become a member of their pack.
These behaviors that make dogs close to us now, will make dogs very dangerous in a collapse. Their friendliness, intelligence, strong senses, kinship with humans, etc will mean they will naturally come visit looking to fulfill their desires.
Your children have been raised with the ideas of dogs as faithful friends. They trust them usually. They expect them to be benign.
Depending upon the length of a collapse, and how long it's been since that dog became feral, it poses a threat to both your family and your pets. You have to consider all strays in a collapse as dangerous. You won't know how they'll respond until you observe them for awhile.
While they can be fast, most in the early days can probably be caught by means of a snare pole. It's merely a hollow tube like a piece of PVC with an end cap. In the end, two holes are drilled, and a loop is thread, then one end is secured, and the other end is loose. This loose end is in the hand of a person wielding it. Quietly and calmly the person will then bring the loop around, and then animals will struggle. The human draws the loop tighter and the length of the pole governs how close the animal can approach the human. Another person working in tandem can bring a second loop around a strong dog. Either way, the animal can then be lead to an area for penning them up.
[link to www.wildlife.pro
This method works on slow moving creatures like opossums too. It can work on some raccoons, but they are very clever and can be quite dangerous.
It is certainly possible to use a snare trap, or steel jaw trap on a dog if the trap is baited. Many might be caught that way, though these means are cruel. An injured dog can bite even its owner for it will instinctively strike out.
[link to www.salon.com
[link to www.salon.com
There are many many feral dogs now. Their population is controlled by your municipality, lack of food, injuries, and bad weather. For every dog you see, perhaps another ten are not. Since they hunt at night or early morning when other mammals look for water or food, then you might not ever witness their actions. There will be far more numerous amounts of them post-collapse, and you should be making some plans on how to deal with them, for they will be a common problem.