I did not have a pet when SHTF, I did not have it later, most of the people who had it when SHTF let them go or in some cases probably ate them.
Just to clean up with some things I believe are myths. Dogs for protection did work but not that a dog guards you and fights for you. When human life matters little nobody has problems shooting a dog. Dogs were sometimes shot for fun.
So leaving family at home with dogs as protection is bad idea.
In civilized times somebody who breaks in house and never killed a human might wait long enough before shooting dog and get attacked, but in our case, nobody waited.
People who waited and did not shoot, did not live more than first few weeks after SHTF, or if they were and if they could not get themselves to shoot at living beings, they were just hiding somewhere.
Some families just locked dog out and never let in again. Food was only for humans after some point in time for most.
About eating dogs, not much to say about this. Dogs are animals and hunger can make people go eat everything. There were some people who nobody knew what they ate and how they got food. Most “exotic” meat I had was rat, some sort of big water rat, not sure if I would have touched dog.
I say not sure because of course I’m against eating dog now but once it is matter of your life or that of a dog, opinion can change.
One of the guys from my street had and kept his dog trough all of that, dog lived few years after all was over with them. I did not think too much about that dog, his importance for that family or burden or whatever.
But after many questions about pets when SHTF via email and in my course I decided to ask that guy about his dog and their SHTF time.
They get dog few years before war, ordinary mixed puppy, I mean no famous breed. Small dog, we call it “house” dog or “kids ” dog here. They called it Rino. Kids paid attention to Rino, but after few years when kids were grown up into teenagers they stopped to pay too much attention to him.
Oldest guy in family took him as something as a best friend, so it was normal to see grandpa walking trough the street with that dog.
When everything started family pretty much forgot about the dog, I mean a lot of much more important stuff were on their schedule. Some other folks moved in the house and it was crowded, with many problems, food, hygiene and all what our survival situation brought.
Dog still stayed with grandpa mostly, he shared some of his food with him, even some of the family members had opinion that giving food to the dog in that time was not so smart idea.
Anyway old guy went sick, he was pretty much old and had problems with high blood pressure and heart, and the stress and overall bad situation just speed up things. He lose his strength and fell into the bed.
For two months he was laying in the bed with Rino beneath his legs, that dog did not want to move from him. Grandpa and that dog became something like best friends. That guy from the street told me that it was like they both felt that they are not so useful in the whole situation, so they just move very close to each other.
Nobody told anything bad to the old guy, or show or act like he is a burden because he is sick, but being old does not mean stupid, the old guy felt useless.
Neighbor said it was at the same time so sad to see them together always. Like a picture of things breaking down.
Grandpa died in the middle of the hardest period, when hostilities and hunger was worst, and nobody knows what tomorrow gonna be. My neighbor also said, and he sweared to me it is truth, that night before grandpa died that dog was howling all night, and he said that dogs can smell death when is approaching the house. I do not know but when he told me that I got chills.
Dogs saved themselves from recent Tsunamis before they came so they seem to have some sort of sense for things.
In the morning they found grandpa dead, they burried him in the park, and they keep dog. In next few days they noticed that dog is blind, nobody knows when or how that happened, neighbor said nobody paid too much attention in those days what dog is eating or how clean it is, so everything is possible.
But he also noticed something else: when bad guys came in to the street, some 150 meters maybe that dog always would run and tried to hide, when somebody friendly came in the street dog is gonna stand next to the window frame with front two legs up there.
So they learned that and they use it as a some kind of early warning sign. He said that dog actually probably saved their lives couple of times.
When everything ended dog had something like special place in that house, something like special decorated war hero, best food, best care, best everything.
My neighbor told me at the end of the story that they found dog dead one morning, on exact place where grandpa was lying for months and where he died at the end.
I do not know too much about dogs, and I do not know if things from the story are possible, but that my neighbor sweared to me couple of times, he even cried at the end of his story.
He told me that story while we had few beers in a cafe, across the cafe was park where his grandpa is buried. They did not exhume people from the park, too many graves, too many problems and authorities after the war just turn that park officially in the graveyard with everything that goes with any other „normal“ graveyard.
So in short, no dogs will not be great fighters on your side when weapons are commonly used but dogs can help you with their senses. If you are dog owner please share your opinion about this in comments.