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Dealing with Feral Dogs

 
Andy Paluch
Posts: 3
Location: Kinmen, Taiwan
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We have a pack of 5-10 feral dogs that congregate near our urban garden every night. They make a horrible racket all night, barking and fighting, but they've started crossing the line and digging in some hugelkutur beds that I've built behind our apartment. Any ideas for keeping them out of the garden? All I know is cayenne pepper but I haven't tried that yet. Even better than keeping out of the garden I'd love to reroute their nightly traffic pattern. I go into serious "alfa-male" mode whenever I see the dogs, in hopes that they'll surrender the territory, but so far they haven't moved their nightly hang out spot. Any ideas on how to make a place unfriendly to dogs?
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1401
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Are you allowed to have electric fencing where you are?

I have had great success with electric fencing and little tabs of aluminum foil placed at intervals along the fence. The little tabs of aluminum foil have peanut butter on them. Even the possum and raccoon have changed their nightly patterns to avoid my place.

I think someone right here at permies suggested this.
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
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Better yet are you allowed to shoot a gun in your location? If so, just start spotlighting and shooting them until they either no longer come to your place or you have eliminated the problem.
 
John Polk
master steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Since you specified an urban location, I assume the firearm option is not available. Pellet guns or paint balls (air vs gunpowder powered) are relatively silent. They are not lethal (usually), but certainly send the message that there is no "Welcome" mat.

I know suburban people who have eliminated squirrel and rabbit problems. Their neighbors are none the wiser (but curious where all of the 'red spotted' squirrels came from).

 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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When we've had stray dogs around we either were able to catch them because they were tame (lost, not feral) or called the county Animal Control, who came out and captured them.
 
Andy Paluch
Posts: 3
Location: Kinmen, Taiwan
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Ha! I've always been a dog lover and never thought I'd consider using a gun on one. But, if I could here, I think I might... I live on small island off the coast of China and am one of the only foreigners here. Not only are guns illegal, but I don't want to push my crazy looking foreigner card too far. I've already been spotted wandering the streets at night, throwing rocks at feral dogs with a wild look in my eye.

As to electric fencing, I think that would be an ideal solution, but I've built the garden on a piece of "borrowed" land in a fairly well traveled spot. Since it was just a heap of trash before I started, all of the locals who have noticed are pleased with my project, but I don't want to go putting up electric fences on someone's land. I think I can get my hands on one of these "air-soft" guns that shoot the little yellow pellets. Unfortunately they only hurt at fairly close range and the dogs are already scared enough that they run when they see me coming. I've got my eye out for a slingshot too.

Has anybody heard anything bad about putting cayenne pepper around a garden? The dogs are also ravaging our compost pile, so I'm thinking to inoculate it with cayenne and light um up...

Ultimately the dogs were here first and have probably been hanging out here for years. I'm trying to figure out why they like this place in particular. For some reason the area accumulates a large amount of loose rubbish/litter. I'd really like to figure out how to stop this because I think one major thing that brings so many dogs around is the source of food.
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
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Dogs of all kinds hate, hate, HATE citronella essential oil. They will walk a mile around it to avoid it. A simple deer netting fence with push in stakes around the areas you want to keep them off and rags liberally soaked in citronella essential oil is enough to make them run for the hills. Even other animals hate the stuff and will try to keep away from it. It lasts a very long time on rags, even when these are left out in the weather..it's really very hard to even wash citronella OUT of the cloth. It's some bad mamma jamma.... be worth a try and isn't real expensive.
 
Fatima Shajarataddurr
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extreme survival

Interesting article, scroll down for the part about dogs. Some of the comments are useful too.
 
Andy Paluch
Posts: 3
Location: Kinmen, Taiwan
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Is there a difference between citronella essential oil and the type of citronella that could be used as bug spray? Found some bug spray that was 100% citronella, soaked a bunch of rags with it and hung them around the garden and scattered throughout the surrounding area. Not a half an hour after we put them up, a dog walked right past the rags and into the garden. Some of the other dogs that were around, didn't seem to mind the smell too much either. I'm wondering if the essential oil is more concentrated and pungent? Since I live in Taiwan, I'm hoping I might be able to find some stronger stuff at a traditional medicine shop, but the place I checked today didn't have any.
 
Jay Green
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Very much different. The essential oil of citronella about takes your breath away it is so strong and it can't really be washed off your hands or clothing except with repeated washings...and it STILL won't come out of clothing. If it gets in the mouth it will immediately make the tongue and lips numb. No one would willingly spray it out in a spray...almost like spraying skunk scent. Would make you gag, eyes water, take your breath.
 
Rufus Laggren
Posts: 476
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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On a more mechanical note:

Automated water sprinklers covering the no-dog zone. Lawn sprinkler valves activated by a proximity sensor. Direct the sensor to react to low (< 24") targets. Put the electrics on a timer so they're active only certain times of day if desired. Might be other things you could do with the proximity sensor.. Could likely run the whole thing off an old car battery.

Rufus
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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There are motion sensor triggers for hoses.

BIG cat pee will supposedly work, but is expensive.

Ultrasonics will work fabulous , if you can hack together a speaker setup.
Have a small handheld one here for postal workers.
check the flea markets there, and hack onto a larger speaker, or a bunch of "singing" greeting card speakers.

there is also a post up here somewhere about a 14? yr old african boy that rigged together some motion sensing lights with a solar panel to protect his families livestock from lions!
dogs aren't that scared of light tho....

 
Chaz Leonard
Posts: 12
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not sure what you do with them once captured. Have you thought of making a life trap as you catch one give it to someone,to the police or whoever takes strays . You could take it off somewhere and release it. As you catch one do soemthing with it ,this will at least break up the clan.
As to an electric fence talk to the owner and maybe only turn it on when you know the dogs are in the area
You do want to be careful approaching them the pack could turn on you without warning
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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now i love my dog and your individual situation may vary, and of course you must be careful of potential diseases but may i suggest maybe making yourself some dog meat?
 
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