Mastering Wilderness Survival: Dog Training Tips

By | September 21, 2023
Mastering Wilderness Survival: Dog Training Tips


Mastering Wilderness Survival: Dog Training Tips for Preppers and Survivalists


Welcome, fellow preppers and survivalists, to another installment in our series on wilderness survival and bushcraft! One crucial aspect often overlooked in our preparedness plans is the training and inclusion of our four-legged friends. In this article, we will explore dog training tips specifically tailored to helping you and your canine companion thrive in the wilderness. By ensuring your dog is well-prepared and obedient, you can increase your chances of survival and overcome any challenges that may arise.

Why Should You Train Your Dog for Wilderness Survival?

Training your dog for wilderness survival is essential because they can become an invaluable asset during uncertain times. Here’s why having a well-trained dog is crucial:

1. Companionship and Emotional Support

In times of crisis, having a loyal and supportive companion by your side can significantly boost morale and alleviate stress. Your dog’s presence offers emotional support and provides a sense of normalcy, offering comfort during difficult circumstances.

2. Security and Safety

A well-trained dog can act as a deterrent against potential threats, alerting you to the presence of intruders, dangerous animals, or other potential dangers. They can guard your campsite and help keep you safe while you focus on other survival tasks.

3. Hunting and Tracking

Dogs have exceptional senses, including their keen sense of smell, which can be invaluable for hunting and tracking. Trained dogs can assist in tracking wounded game, locating water sources, or even alerting you to nearby food sources.

4. Search and Rescue

In emergency situations, dogs trained in search and rescue techniques can help locate missing persons or even help you find your way back to camp if you become disoriented. Their sense of smell and tracking abilities make them remarkable partners in these situations.

Now that we understand the benefits of training your dog for wilderness survival, let’s explore some essential tips.

Essential Dog Training Tips for Wilderness Survival

1. Basic Obedience Training

Start by teaching your dog basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel.” These commands will be the foundation for more advanced training and will ensure that your dog listens to your instructions in any situation.

2. Leash Training

Teach your dog to walk calmly on a leash, allowing you to maintain control during hikes or in crowded environments. Practice leash training frequently, exposing your dog to different terrains and distractions to prepare them for the unpredictable nature of the wilderness.

3. Recall Training

Training your dog to come to you when called is vital, especially in wilderness environments where there may be potential dangers or risks. Use positive reinforcement and rewards to make coming when called an enjoyable experience for your dog.

4. Socialization

Properly socializing your dog with other animals, people, and diverse environments is crucial for their ability to adapt to different situations. Introduce your dog to various scents, sounds, and sights to avoid fear or anxiety responses in unfamiliar settings.

5. Off-Leash Training

Once your dog has mastered basic obedience and recall training, gradually introduce off-leash training in controlled environments. Practice in safe areas such as fenced parks or large open fields, and gradually increase the level of distractions to prepare your dog for off-leash scenarios in the wilderness.

6. Wilderness-Specific Training

Once your dog has a solid foundation in obedience, it’s time to introduce wilderness-specific training. Consider teaching your dog skills such as scent detection, tracking, and retrieving specific survival items. These skills will come in handy when searching for food, water, or lost resources.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to train a dog for wilderness survival?

– Training duration depends on various factors such as the dog’s age, breed, and previous training experience. Consistency, patience, and daily practice are essential. It may take several months to master basic obedience skills, and wilderness-specific training is an ongoing process.

Q: Can any dog be trained for wilderness survival?

– Most dogs can be trained for wilderness survival. However, some breeds are better suited to specific tasks due to their natural instincts and abilities. Working breeds like German Shepherds, Retrievers, and Huskies often excel in wilderness training, but any dog with the right temperament and willingness to learn can be trained.

Q: How can I ensure my dog’s safety in the wilderness?

– Ensure your dog’s safety by keeping them up to date on vaccinations and preventive medications for ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Use durable and comfortable gear such as harnesses and tag them with contact information. Always assess the terrain before allowing your dog to roam off-leash and be aware of potential hazards or threats.

Q: Can I start training an older dog?

– Yes, you can train older dogs, but it may require more patience and time. Assess the dog’s health and abilities, and start with basic obedience training before advancing to wilderness-specific skills.

Q: Can I train my dog for wilderness survival without professional help?

– While professional trainers can provide valuable guidance, you can train your dog for wilderness survival on your own. Utilize reputable online resources, books, and instructional videos to assist you throughout the training process. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key.


By training your dog for wilderness survival, you unlock their potential as an invaluable companion and asset during uncertain times. Their loyalty, security, hunting, and tracking abilities can significantly enhance your chances of survival. Remember to start with basic obedience training, progress to wilderness-specific skills, and maintain consistency and patience throughout the training process. With a well-prepared and obedient dog by your side, you can conquer any challenges that come your way in the wild. Stay tuned for more survival tips and bushcraft advice in our ongoing series!