Animals in general, are not good sidekicks against an undead army. The smell of something dead but that is very clearly walking (or limping), throws an animal's world upside down. It doesn't matter how well-trained your pet is: in the presence of a dead-head lumbering around, your animal of choice is going to go nuts. And it won't stop. It will keep making noise and running away, effectively giving away your position. No one told Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), as he learned the hard way that maybe a bike would have been a smarter choice. Then again, a sheriff on a bicycle isn't NEARLY as awesome looking as a sheriff on a horse.
4. People can be Just as Dangerous as Zombies. The most essential element to survival in a group, is team work. It's just the most obvious and basic rule that it shouldn't have to be explained. But there's always one at every party, as we were introduced to Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker). Popping off rounds for no real reason on the roof of a shopping complex, Merle proceeds to attack his own team, tries to proclaim himself the best possible leader, and later sexually harasses one of the girls. In the face of danger and death, people show you what they really are. At no point do we see zombies fighting amongst themselves, or one alpha zombie trying to lead the pack. They never screw each other over for their own materialistic wants and needs. If one is to believe in a higher power, then it's very possible that people like Merle, are the reason why the zombies have arrived.
Also: Attempted rape? Not cool, Shane. Not cool.
3. When Someone is Bitten, You Put Them Down.
Norman Reedus' character Daryl said it best when he described an infected woman as "a time bomb". The woman he referred to was poor Amy (Emma Bell), who had been bitten and had already passed away, as her sister Andrea (Laurie Holden) wept and crouched over her dead sister for almost a day. Now, we all liked Amy just fine. And we can certainly feel Andrea's pain, but we can't understand her anymore. The rest of the survivors huddle up to discuss what should be done about Amy, because she will be reanimating soon and will most certainly add more to the body count from the night before. And they decide, to just let her be. Essentially, they've all given up. Grimes attempts to walk up and talk to Andrea, but with no hesitation, Andrea points a gun straight at his face and tells him to back off. So, as far as we're concerned, Andrea has turned against her own kind, and is defending a zombie. This harkens back to the previously made point, about how people show their true selves in the face of death. Andrea should have been jumped by the whole group and tied to a tree; that's what they did with Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) when he was taking swings at his own people, and they weren't even sure what he was even digging for anyway! In Andrea's case, there is a very clear risk of having another zombie attack in their camp. Much as we don't like to admit it, Daryl is the only one in that scene with any common sense at all. Plugging Amy's soon-to-rise-again corpse is the smartest and safest thing to do. Andrea can throw a fit all she wants after that, and if they're lucky, she'll even leave the group. Which at this point, would just be one less gun that's pointed in the wrong direction.
2. Guns Make Noise; Noise is Bad. Zombies don't have much to do. Moping around like nomads, smelling like sin's crotch stain, asking for change-
Oh wait, zombies. Right.
Zombies tend to mope around like nomads, smell like sin's crotch stain, and fall over a lot. It's when they discover prey, that you become priority #1. Or rather, if they discover prey. Their use of the five senses does make it difficult to go by unnoticed, but not impossible. By staying low, quiet, and moving during the day, you can exponentially limit your number of zombie encounters. Sooner or later though, you're going to have to engage in combat with a dead-head. It could be inbetween you and a door, or it could be attacking another survivor, or you've turned a corner and almost ran into it. Whatever the case may be, it's either you or it. In The Walking Dead, a similar scenario happens when Rick Grimes is escaping the tank and moving to Glen's position. There are tons of zombies on the street, but only a few are directly in his way; the rest aren't even aware of him. He whips out his six-shooter and wastes every zombie in his path. This completely ruins what he learned in the first episode: Stealth is key. Did that gunshot inside the tank make him into a temporary moron? Instead of simply slipping by any zombie in his way or perhaps clubbing them with something he could have picked up from the street, he rings the dinner bell for the next several miles by using a gun (this also applies to chainsaws; a big zombie fighting no-no). Guns ARE essential to have against zombies, but they're a last resort for the very purpose of making as little noise as possible. Melee weapons are usually preferred, given that they have adequate range so as not to put yourself in range of a zombie's grip. If at all possible, you should avoid zombies altogether. Letting every geek for miles know where you are, probably isn't the best way to avoid them.
1. Plan First, Act Later. This is perhaps the most important thing we've learned from The Walking Dead thusfar, because by following this widely applicable rule, you can avoid all the other problems and situation listed here. Glen (Steven Yeun) has a smart-ass element to him (Short Round always was a wise-cracker), but in several episodes he exemplifies another crucial character trait: He has no killer instinct. He never gets overly worked up. He's able to calmly and effectively assess a situation and come to a rational resolution. He thinks of a plan BEFORE jumping into the problem, unlike Daryl, who just acts. And sometimes that's important too; at least he's trying, after all. But even when he's coming up with a plan, Glen thinks of the worst-case scenario, a backup plan to fall back on in case his initial idea falls apart. The plan to sneak through the sewers, how to get the guns, getting Rick out of the tank, all thanks to Glen. No amount of zombies is a match for a well-thought out plan.