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Hey guys - I know some of you have bird dogs for hunting upland game or ducks.

How concerned are you about wild predators attacking your dog while hunting, and what do you do to prevent it?



I hunt a lot of wild country, not much in farmland. Like yesterday, Mav was hunting off leash, running, enjoying, working to find birds where there weren't any. I've hunted that same area for mule deer & elk.

There are wolves, coyotes, mountain lion, bobcat, and black bear in that vicinity. Yesterday when a coyote sounded off, only a couple of hundred yards away, I put the leash back on Maverick to keep him from going after the coyote.

A few years ago I was working Clark on some wild chukar in a nearby canyon before season. He was so intent on the birds that he didn't notice the large black bear about 200 yards above us! The bear clearly had seen us. I put the leash on Clark before he could go running after the bear. Would he? I don't know. Fortunately he never even noticed the bear!

I have a shock collar I put on Mav anytime I might have him off-leash. He's good about coming when I call, and getting better, but if he gets more than about 100 yards away, I give him a quick beep with the collar. That normally works. Only time to time have I had to actually zap him. That brings him running back to me for sure! Normally he just comes when I call.

I almost always have pepper spray and a decent handgun with me. Of course a shotgun while bird hunting.

What do you guys do to keep your dog from getting attacked by wild predators?

Thanks, Guy
 

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I should wait for those who have first hand experience with this, but an article in a magazine some years ago reported a wolf pack attack on hunting dogs in a Western state. The dogs were injured and one was left with gut exposed. One of the hunters was an ex Army medic and observed that the dog would recover and that he had treated worse wounds in combat. Other dogs had bites and bloody wounds. The dogs were shocked by the attack and the hunters were alarmed at a threat to themselves. The story made me think about how things have changed with the reintroduction of wolves, mountain lions, and the spread of the less dangerous coyotes everywhere. Our pioneer ancestors must be shaking their heads.

In the past I worried only about bears and rattlesnakes.
 

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We have our share here to lions, yotes sneaky snakes, & hogs they will hurt you or dogs very fast.
 
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Remember that often the dogs serve as the first line of warning to ourselves. And the dogs will often bear the brunt of the situation simply because they are out front "beating the bushes".

I think one of the best things you can do is to train the dog to alert you to non-target predatory species in the woods... Easier said than done I know... But the last thing you want is the dog going headfirst into a wolf or coyote pack without barking or alerting you.... or worse - running them straight back into you without warning. It's very important to keep some distance between yourself and the "Big nasty" so you have a chance to identify it and get your guns ready...
 

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After having a close enounter with my dog and a very angry boar... luckily my boy wasn't hurt, but it was much closer than I would have liked. I invested in some protective gear for the pup. It's basically a cut resistant vest that covers his chest, belly, and throat. It's made for dogs that track wild boars, but it works equally good for unexpected close encounters. I figure I'll give him the ability to take a few shots, in the hope that he can disengage, or I can get myself into the fight. If I'm bird hunting or squirrel hunting, I always carry a side arm in a flap holster on my hip (if legal). I find a good side arm is as good dissuading 4 legged predators as it is 2 legged ones.

Here's the site that I got my dog's gear from. https://hogdoggear.com/collections/cut-vests. They are reasonably priced.
 

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i have a cabin in michigans UP, we have wolves, coyotes, black bears, and cougars. neighbor has a picture of a cougar on his game camera this fall. i have a bell on my dog anytime he is outside. last year we saw a wolf and i called the DNR wolf biologist and he said bird dogs are close to hunters and they haven't had any trouble with bird dogs. he said hound hunters was a different story and there barking on trail was an act of aggression to wolves with young. he also said running a bell on your dog helps. we are 8/10 of a mile back on a two track in the woods so it dosen't take long to loose visual contact of your dog. the brittany i have now is not a big runner but the one i had before could keep up with any field trial dog.
 

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Have Maverick fitted for a lightweight kevlar vest. Florida hog hunters vest up their good dogs to reduce the vet bills.
You could learn to sew up your dog in the field, as well. Know any veterinarians?
Actually I do. Our sons were in Scouts together, we used to cycle, hike & kayak together. I could reach out to him for guidance on a good doggie first aid kit, and perhaps some skills too. Good idea! Thanks.
 

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Guy, the only advise I can give from this side of the pond (we don't have the predators you have) it to train him to a stop whistle this is the referees thunder type whistle. The idea being to make a dog stop and or sit, when you have stopped him i.e. chasing he can then be recalled to you and safety. It is easer to stop a dog doing 1 thing before getting him to do another. Gar.
 

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Super glue might work better in the field than trying to sew then up. Some medics in Nam used the stuff. I worry about the issue some as my little dog likes to follow the tractor when i put up wood, but most predators are rather scared of us and take off. Don' see all that many from the tractor or 4 wheeler. Had a bear come into the yard and my Golden retriever and rat yapped at it and it started up a tree but came down and took off. Rat terrier felt he was pretty tough after that. I have heard of small dogs taken by coyotes, but through the years, so far have not had any issues with the larger dogs. Most predators do not want to get into a fracas where they might get injured. Again, around here, coyotes are a main target and do not like human contact. A good collar might be in order also. I used to put a vest on my dogs while pheasant hunting to protect them from the grass and burrs and other stuff they had to go through to kick up pheasant. That is another issue in itself. Also my retrievers had flotation vests when hunting in cold weather. The cold water was said to have had effects on retrievers over time.

DEP
 

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I'd have done exactly as you did. You'd have a tough time of killing a bear tangling with your pup. They'd both end up dead. Leashed and secured you would be able to focus on the bear.

AC
 

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A skin stapler is a very useful tool to have in a dog or human first aid kit. Actualy ours kit is both, LOL.

www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=c8593e04-7e14-431f-b59c-19ee54558c94&itemguid=c2a1fa6b-e144-4bb0-955a-d8542d58c8f4#tab-review

You should still see your Vet to get it checked out and treat for possible infection. Also, if you don't plan on having your Vet remove the staples...get the removal tool also. There are articles and videos on line that show how to use it.

Padraig


 

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My Dad kept 3 bird dogs at minimum. We hunted Ohio, Wva and Pa mostly. At the time our biggest worry was early in season one of the dogs would get snake bit. None of ours ever did, guess we were lucky.
 

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I'd think there would be some safety in numbers--having several dogs. Probably they'd help protect each other.

And while you're worrying about something, worry about Lyme Disease also and other Tick borne diseases. Our ankle biter came down with Lyme just before Christmas. Symptoms range from nothing in 90% of dogs to immediate kidney failure and quick death.
Ours has the arthritis. It has really change his level of activity. Acts like he hurts all the time.

We travel often to NC and although we only walk the neighborhood roads and he is kept out of the grass, he ends up with 1-2 ticks each trip. Once a tick attaches, you have no more than 24 hours to remove that tick before the bacteria are transferred, and dog becomes infected. It can take the ticks several days to find an attachment point, usually on the head/neck but it could be anywhere. And the tick may not be detectable until it has swelled up from the blood.

So, I'd say to go over your dogs very well after they've been in the field. And then go over them again each day for the next three days.

You should do that for yourself, too.

Consider getting an anti tick collar for your dogs. There's one called "Seresto" that's supposed to be very good. It should be good, as it's expensive. But it's good for 8 months. Kills the ticks before they bite. Search around on the net for the best price.

There's one very nasty tick that produces an allergen that makes humans allergic to meat. After being sensitized, eating meat causes anaphylaxis, and sometimes death.

Nasty little critters, ticks.
 

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If your dog tests positive for Lymes the usual treatment is doxycycline for four weeks. Insist on six weeks of doxycycline. Four has been shown to be too short by many east coast vets.

Padraig
 

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Be careful when buying Seresto collars. If the price is lower than $50 each you are buying a fake one from China. Ask me how I know....
 

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I’ve had some (numerous) hunting dog and wolves-problems over the years. Wolves are attracted to dog urine, dogs are attracted to wolf urine. If you want to see a pack of wolves close up, make sure your hunting dog pees on the wolves boundary scent markers. They will come right into your camp, looking for the offender. More wolves are killed by other wolves than any other means, they will not tolerate other wolves in their hunting area. Don’t let your dog wander off when you are out hunting in areas with wolves.
 
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