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Loose Dogs

 
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Dogs keep chasing my livestock. It started with ducks and chickens now they chase my cow out of the barbwire paddock. They've killed so many birds and cats I hate myself for bringing these innocent animals here to be sitting ducks. My goats and few remaining birds now are in a portable netting electric fence. The four foot electric goat netting seems to be the only thing that keeps them out! There is a large pack of assorted sized muts so with four foot field fence I think some jump over and some squeeze through and some climb. I've tried three strands of elecric and they either jump it or dig under.I want my animals to be safe but I'm to the point where I might just sell my cow if I can't fence her in safely and build her a locking  barn instead of a loafing shed. The goats and ducks really seem to be all that I can protect right now! I have been given pigs from a friend and have them in a very small sturdy pen but feel that there too confined. I'm just at ab loss  for what to do about this pack of dogs. Other neighbors say they have killed goats and pigs in the past and their owner keeps letting them roam loose!
 
Posts: 156
Location: mid Ohio, 40.318626 -83.766931
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have you reported them to the authorities.?
if not i would do so and see if they can fix the issue.
I'm not sure were you are but that problem here would be sorted out with shooting the dogs.

Regards Phil
 
pollinator
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Chiming in to echo Phil G...most jurisdictions allow landowners with livestock to destroy dogs that roam onto their property. If it makes you squeamish you might be able to hire someone to do the deed.
 
master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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I am not in favor of shooting stray animals ....but I have when they were destructive.  You might try less restrictive methods first ...like pepper spray.  Or pepper where they seem to be attracted to.
 
gardener
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I live in a neighborhood where everybody's dogs roam, and they all meet up to rumble harmlessly but noisily in the road at the intersection where they imagine their respective yards/streets/territories overlap.  But everybody involved understands that if the loose dogs start harassing livestock, they are liable to be shot.  A neighbor whose underemployed cow dogs are some of the worst offenders (they get bored and go into other people's yards to find dogs to wrangle with) recently improved his fencing with three low strands of hot electric wire because he wanted to use the small pasture that is his side yard to bring pregnant cows where he could keep an eye on them.  He did a good job on the fence; even his own dogs don't try to get into that pasture now.  But it's plain to all that if he finds a neighbor dog in there harassing his cows and/or new calves in the least way, he'll shoot first and ask questions never.  This is cattle country; there's nobody who would say a harsh word to him over it either.  There's no point, the equities are too lopsided.  
 
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If you document this, and make incremental reports to bylaw enforcement, they may be able to pressure the owners. Often, they are not in a hurry to take drastic action, preferring a peaceful resolution, and (cynics would say) avoiding a great deal of paperwork. Expect a long process.

In my experience, when more than two dogs are running loose, they can revert to a pack mentality that can supersede their socializing and training. I have personally seen this, and it is not pleasant. At that point, all prey is prey, and all they respect is a bigger dog. The owners may not really be aware of this, or oblivious, or indifferent. Like it or not, you must be the bigger dog.

Edit: Or the smarter dog.
 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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John F Dean wrote:I am not in favor of shooting stray animals ....but I have when they were destructive.  You might try less restrictive methods first ...like pepper spray.  Or pepper where they seem to be attracted to.



Nobody lets their dogs run loose around here, because of the risk of them getting shot for bad behavior.

I don't want to shoot a dog.. but this established norm, predating my arrival in the area, makes it less likely that I would have to. Definitely advantageous for those of us with livestock.

If these same dogs already have a track record of killing livestock... well, the owner has probably ignored plenty of warnings already. Whether you warn him first, or choose to 'shoot, shovel and shut up', is a judgement call...

If you are inclined to try less lethal discouragement, maybe a paintball gun? Not sure about legality, and a mess if you take out an eyeball...
 
Posts: 85
Location: Franklinton, NC
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You have every right to defend your livestock from predators. Living in an electric cage is no answer.
 
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We have a lot of loose dogs in our neighborhood as well. They are a royal pain, but we fixed the problem with a 5 strand electric fence around our perimeter. It works well because it keeps our German Shepherd on our property, and she along with the fence keeps all other dogs out. It allows us to be responsible dog owners, I really wish everyone in the country had the mindset to keep control of their dogs.
 
master steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I agree with the others about reporting the dogs to your County Sheriff's Department. They will send a Deputy out to talk with the owners of the dogs.  Be sure to take pictures of the dogs so the deputy can show them to the dog's owners as proof.

You are responsible for keeping your animals safe so I highly recommend "5 strand electric fence around our perimeter", as JT suggested. You might also consider some poultry "chicken" wire at the bottom.  That will also keep critters like rabbits and squirrels out.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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A few questions.

Have you ID'd the dogs (pictures)?
Have you contacted animal control?
Do you KNOW who they belong to?
Have any other neighbors had issues with them?

First, they must be clearly identifiable, breed, size, coat color, collars, collar tags etc.  Use a Cell phone or game cam to catch them in the act of trespass and harassment, and to correctly identify them.
Second, provide this information to animal control, local FB groups, neighbors etc.
Third, if you KNOW who they belong to, confront them, and let them know that this is an issue, and see if they are even aware of the situation, and willing to deal with it properly.  Are you able to call them or get a hold of them?  If you do not know who they belong to but can get close enough to handle them; tie a note to their collar for them to "take home".
If this is a neighborhood problem, there might be a neighborhood solution.

Check local regs, most places, nasty and horrible as it is, shooting harassing dogs is legal.  Love the paintball solution!  High powered water gun might be useful, firing over their heads might also be an option.
You may get a better response from those responsible for wildlife enforcement - harassment of wildlife is often illegal, and if the dogs are chasing livestock, likely they are also harassing/harming wildlife, and they may take more notice/act more strongly than animal control.

If shooting is not "up your alley" perhaps a live trap.
 
Posts: 75
Location: Rural North Texas
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You can try "less than lethal: by loading your shotgun shells with rock salt instead of pellets.  
 
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