More on Feral Dogs and Other Wildlife that May be a Problem

Every year in our area, we have to build deer proof fences around our family gardens.  These have to be a least 6-foot high or the deer will jump them.  Our chicken coops have to be well built to protect the chickens from raccoons, coyotes, foxes and other predators.  Bears will periodically visit garbage cans within a short distance of our home.  Because of the stupidity of game laws, cougars are seen regularly around the outskirts of our community.  Feral cats are all over the area and are hard on the local bird population.

Now I know it a real emergency with laws the deer, wild turkeys and other small game would rapidly disappear. Dogs would be turned loose or escape from owners that are unable to feed them.  A percentage of these dogs would rapidly become feral.

This is already happening in communities like Detroit Michigan which is estimated to have 50,000 feral dogs running wild.  In a serious long-term emergency, these dogs will form packs and hunt your livestock and maybe your children or even you.

The feral dogs can be a source of food, but in lightly populated areas, they may breed to fast.  Hunting is an option that has been used to control feral dogs.  A predator call may lure dogs within rifle range.  Establishing a shooting blind can be helpful, especially along a trail used by dogs, near a den, a garbage dump, or a large animal carcass.  The problem is this takes time and ammunition that may be in short supply.  So you may want you consider alternate methods of controlling them.

The state of Colorado which has a problem with feral dogs has some recommendations on how to protect your livestock.

Visual and auditory devices (yard lights, effigies, loud music, pyrotechnics) have been used to frighten coyotes from livestock pens and pastures, and are likely to be effective with feral dogs.

Colorado recommends that you protect livestock and poultry from feral and domestic dogs with well-maintained net fences.  Horizontal spacing of the mesh should be less than 6 inches; vertical spacing should be less than 4 inches.  Barbed wire at ground level or a buried wire apron will discourage dogs from digging under the fence. The fence should be about 6 feet high to hinder animals from jumping over. The effectiveness of fences can be increased by adding one or more electrically charged wires along the bottom and top (could be done with solar chargers). Charged wires are positioned so that the intruding dog encounters them before digging under or climbing over the fence. Electric fences consisting of up to 12 alternating ground and charged wires have been effective at deterring dogs.

Electric fences must be checked regularly to ensure that the wires are sufficiently charged.  Maintenance of fences may be difficult in areas with drifting snow and where large wild animals are common. Moose and bears can be particularly destructive to electric fences.

Fencing is one of the most beneficial investments in dealing with predator damage and livestock management if practicality warrants its use.

Fencing garbage dumps, burying garbage in sanitary landfills frequently, or removing livestock carrion may help reduce local feral dog populations.  Locating and destroying dens, especially when pups are present, may also be helpful.

Steel leghold traps (No. 3 or 4) are convenient and effective for trapping wild dogs.  Carrion and scent baits used to lure coyotes to traps may be effective in attracting feral dogs.

You may wonder how the pioneers deal with predator problems well they had an advantage.  The predators were scared of man.  Feral dogs would not be until you have killed enough to make them leery. Take a look around your area and evaluate the potential problems you could face and plan for them now.


1 thought on “More on Feral Dogs and Other Wildlife that May be a Problem”

  1. Jeffrey V. Harris

    Physical control is used in Queensland for the management of wild dogs, feral pigs, rabbits, feral goats, feral cats and foxes. There are five main types of physical control: trapping, shooting, fencing, harbour destruction, guard animals.

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