Dog as Prey |
Name: Gale B.
I have a somewhat weird question. I have 2
mini dachshunds that weigh only
about 8 lbs each. I live on 10 wooded acres in Michigan's upper peninsula.
I have a concern for my dogs when they are outside, that they may be
attacked by a hawk or an eagle. The only time they like to go outside is
during the warm weather and only if I am home. They love to sniff around
for chipmunks but are never successful in catching any. They do have fun
trying though. They stay close by and sometimes go into the edge of the
woods but I still have a concern. I have tried to find documentation on
this but cannot find any. I do not even know what kind of hawks we have
but I do see birds soaring very high and I am sure some must live in the
woods also. I have bells on their collars but do not know if that would
deter anything. Are hawks afraid of dogs and how do they know the
difference between a small dog or a rabbit? What is your opinion on this?
I do not really know about birds, (sorry, I do dogs and cats only), but I
would think that a hawk could NOT differentiate between small prey and a
Perhaps you could keep them on some sort of long leash.
You might want to ask this question of someone who does wildlife or avian
Phillip Raclyn, DVM CVA
I suspect your worries are warranted. Raptors will,
depending on when they had their last meal, be anxious
to dine on available prey. I personally don't think
that a collar bell would dissuade them.
Having the dogs loose in a wooded are could lead to
several types of problems. In addition to raptor
attack, dogs can quickly pickup worms while in the
vicinity of wild animal feces. Fleas and ticks are
numerous and can infest a pet and then the pests are
brought within the home on their host.
Last fall I adopted a jack russell terrier. With the
numerous hawks which circle the area, I was aware of
the threat and provided a safe haven for the dog...in
this case, a 'dogloo' where the animal could seek
shelter if attacked. I found it was wise to keep the
dog in a fenced-in area which lessened some of the
other threats I mentioned.
I am sure that my pet would prefer running free, but I
find that it is wiser to seek a fenced-in field (ex.
baseball field) where pets are permitted (you must
clean up after the pet) and letting the dogs run
there, supervised. In the long run, a living pet is a
happier pet . :)
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Update: June 2012