In a time of zombie-driven cataclysm, when living human beings are few and far between, “man’s best friend” may be of greater value than ever. Offering far more than mere companionship, well-trained dogs can be fast-moving, hard-hitting extensions of your will. Here are some of the pros and cons of dog ownership in a world infested with undead:
Pros1) Immunity – In most of the zombie canon, animals are not susceptible to the effects of the undead pathogen.
2) Loyalty – Facing desperate scarcity of resources, other human beings may be difficult to trust. With dogs, once their loyalty is won, it is never again in question.
3) Commitment – A well-trained dog will attack with everything it has, striking with its full mass and velocity.
4) Elusiveness – Dogs are quick and have a low center of gravity, making it difficult for zombies to grab them with their hands. (You ever try to stop a dog from getting out your front door?)
5) Perceptiveness – With their hyper-acute senses of hearing and smell, dogs will perceive a quietly approaching zombie long before you do.
6) Hunting Ability – Dogs can assist in the acquisition of food in the form of wild game.
Cons1) Barking – What serves as a useful warning to you can also become an inconvenient betrayal of your position.
2) Mouths to Feed - A single 50-pound dog requires 1500 calories of food and 1½ quarts of water every day.
3) Lack of Lethality – Since a zombie’s brain is it’s only vulnerability, killing them would be tough and time consuming for a dog.
4) Training Difficulty – It takes time and expertise to train a working/attack dog, and not all dogs have the mentality for it.
If I were a knowledgeable trainer in this scenario, I would teach dogs to disrupt groups of zombies by repeatedly knocking them down. Considering a zombie’s poor balance and reflexes, a single German Shepherd may be able to preoccupy three of four of them at a time, taking down several before the first can stagger back to his feet. With a pack of dogs and a sharpened shovel, a single man might take out twenty zombies at a go without ever firing a shot.
Check out this video of an attack dog leveling his trainer during a demonstration. The dog commits his body with unbelievable intent.
Pat Kilbane is best know for his three-year run on Fox's Mad TV, and recently authored The Brain Eater's Bible, a zombie field manual available in hardcover from Amazon and as an iPad app from the iTunes Store.