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Old 02-29-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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Dog Breed & Firearm Suggestions For FT Single Women

I plan on being a full timer & I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a dog breed that would be protective and would be fine spending time in a small space when I leave the trailer.

Someone told me females are better dogs for women & male dogs are best for men as far as less social problems with people & other dogs. Because dogs think their owners as their mate or companion.

I'd also be interested to have a firearm recommendation since I know nothing about that even though I have had some practice handling a firearm, I'm pretty much clueless.

Any experienced full timers have any thoughts on the subject of protection or self defense? It's a little scary out there sometimes ( being a woman ).
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome! My husband and I travel with a Doberman. Not necessarily for protection, but that aspect is very handy, and the intimidation factor doesn't get any higher! When we got our first A/S, a 23' 77 Safari, we had three Dobies, and all three traveled quite happily in the back seat of the truck, then took up all available floor space in the Safari. We just stepped around and over and all was well. Of course, no one has ever offered us any disrespect, much less anything worse, on all our travels.

Dobies need exercise, so a good morning walk will enable him/her to be a good traveler. When we stop for fuel or our own needs (ahem), dog(s) get a short walk and are then happy to get back in the TV. At your evening destination, another long walk will be enough exercise for the day, and then a final pee walk at bedtime will be it for the day.

We have found that traveling with a dog is good for us, too: forces us to stop regularly and so we get out and exercise, wake up, too.

There's no reason why you can't travel with a dog big enough to help you if need be. I wouldn't feel comfortable without Caliban along on the road, in fact my husband travels a lot on business and I wouldn't feel comfortable even at home without my "Dobiematic." Caliban is very protective without being stupid (i.e., aggressive) about it.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your travels!

Vivian
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Oh, you had mentioned preferred dog gender. We have found, during 35+ yrs of Dobie ownership, that in every case our males bonded a fraction better with me and our females with my husband. Don't know why, but that has been the case. And if you have only one dog, I would prefer a male because they're noticeably bigger than females, about 30lbs heavier and 2-3" taller, altogether more impressive but then most people facing a Dobie are just seeing LARGE WHITE TEETH, probably not relative size!

We occasionally investigate other breeds, but always have wound up with another Dobe and never regretted a single one. I take them through obedience school, so a large person is not needed for control, you just need to train them and be consistent.

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums.

I travel with a geriatric Australian shepherd with really bad arthritis and can usually be found to be unarmed.

Knowing nothing of your background in self-defense I would not presume to recommend a sidearm. I don't believe there's anything about being a full-timer, or traveling in an Airstream, that makes the answer to that question any different than it would be if you had a permanent address. As such I suggest you find a firearms instructor who you trust and heed well their advice.

You may find the Cornered Cat website helpful in providing mindset and jumping off points.

Cornered Cat

Be aware of the legal environment around you as not all firearms laws are as permissive as those in Arizona.

I love dogs. Any of the larger breeds would provide a safety benefit. Like children, they affect your travel plans, where you can stay and what you can do.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Labs are great loving and imposing dogs to others. They are easily trained and loyal to their owner. Probably not mean but their size is enough to keep most people with bad intentions away. They have a great sense for what is right and are very fun loving - you will never be bored.

Guns are a touchy subject. As mentioned above laws change from state to state and even city to city. Some campgrounds even have rules against although I wouldn't know how they would know. If you cross into Canada or much worse MEXICO then I would advise against having one with you. Canada would at least let you check it in and hold it for you when you cross back - handguns are frowned upon. Mexico would throw you in jail.

I don't know what you want exactly but look at a Smith & Wesson 648 or 642 hammerless featherweight 38 special 5 shot revolver. Safe, reliable, easy to learn on and small compact for small frame persons. I have some experience with both of these and have several friends that have them for home defense for their wives. Reloading is easy, maintenance is small, ammo for practice is cheap. And there is the key to gun ownership - know your weapon, use it often, get training.

Get the lab first, you may feel safe enough with a good dog.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Smith and Wesson featherweight is perfect. I have them for a conceal carry and for the barns and Airstream.....and its aluminum.

As for a dog....I love Aussies, however, in your case look at this.cane corso - Google Search
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
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We have had German Shepards for years, smart, tough and if their "pack" is threatened watch out. Ours have always traveled well and can adjust to most anything or anyplace. If you haven't been around guns, keep in mind handguns are hard to shoot if you don't practice, practice, practice. 90% of handgun owners can't hit sh*t. If you really feel you need to carry a weapon get a cheap (400.00) 12 gauge pump shotgun. Less hassle than a handgun and its hard to miss at close range.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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I love dogs but gave them up when I decided to retire and spend lots of time away from home. You mentioned leaving one for some time at the trailer. They don't like being alone, sometimes are miserable alone and will let your neighbors know it when you are gone. Some do okay.

A concern is your question on a firearm for protection. You must decide, if someone comes at you in a threatening manner, that you are prepared without hesitation to shoot that person. Most people would not. Maybe that person is a genuine threat, maybe not. The firearm may then be used on you.

You will most probably be safer without a firearm. A large dog may intimidate the boogeyman, a small one will let you know if he is prowling around outside your camper.

doug k
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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I am partial to Labs but think highly of the doberman. I have more experience with weapons and tactics than I
do with using jack russel terriers for self defense.

A high quality firearms training facility can offer a basics course as well as coceleaded weapons, and evoen advanced conceled weapons. Classes are very worthwhile but won't compare to real life scenarios. I would highly recommend a 9mm thit fits wellin your hand with managegable recoil. I prefer th kp30.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great comments! I tend to be very nervous about a firearm & never wanted to own one so it's good to hear people who travel suggest it might not be needed. I don't really want a dog either but my son said I should have a dog & a gun if I were traveling alone. I think my street smarts & the advise from my friends here will keep me safe. Maybe some pepper spray would be good enough for self defense.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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A Louisville Slugger is cheap insurance and requires no permits. It's a baseball bat, and they make them in aluminum.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #12
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Good thinking, if you're not a dog person don't get one and if you're uncomfortable around guns don't get one. About the only thing that scares me when we're camping is a bunch of yahoos sitting around a campfire, drinking and carrying guns. We ran into a guy in Arizona, carrying a pistol and a Bowie knife and a beer in his hand!
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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This is FUNNY
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #14
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Hi, a lot of camp grounds only allow dogs that are 20 lbs or less; A little yapee-doo will make enough noise to keep strangers away. If you are only thinking of getting a dog for protection and leaving the dog alone, that's cruel. If you truely want a pet, that's different. Forget the guns and buy a can of bear spray.
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