Dangers to Small Dogs in Rural Areas
Kevin Felts 05.22.18
On a Facebook farming and homesteading group that I am a member of, someone posted a question about her chickens going missing. The tip-off was the missing chickens were full grown. Also, there was not a single sign of the missing chicken.
When a full grown chicken goes missing without a single sign, chances are it was a canine or bobcat. More likely a coyote than a bobcat.
While the lady was posting pictures of a wounded chicken, there was a Yorkshire Terrier in the background. I asked if the dog had killed the chickens, and the nice lady said no.
Now for the bad news, chances are the Yorkshire Terrier would be a victim of the coyote. If a coyote does not kill the dog, an owl might.
Think of it this way, anything the size of a cottontail rabbit can be carried off by an owl or large hawk. Some breeds of the Yorkshire Terrier are barely larger than a rabbit, while some are smaller than a cottontail. All a hungry owl or hawk sees is something the size of a rabbit.
If someone sees a cheeseburger, do we care if it is a 1/4 or 1/2 pound? Probably not. All we are thinking about is fitting that burger in our mouth. The same goes for a hungry hawk, owl or coyote.
Coyotes will kill a family dog and not look back. Small, fat, or slow moving dogs are an especially easy target. If a coyote were to run after a chicken, and a Yorkshire Terrier were to face off with the coyote, chances are the coyote would make short work of the Terrier. Then the hungry coyote would move onto the chicken flock.
On a personal note, I was visiting with an associate of mine a couple of years ago. His dog had been ravaged by a coyote. The poor animal had a good portion of his hide tore loose and had to be reattached with stitches.
What is the solution?
Have more than one medium-large sized dog. Predators are less likely to attack if they think they will be injured. There are various factors which affect their decisions, but for the most part, predators such as coyotes do not wish to risk injury.
Having two or more medium to large size dogs ups the ante. Rather than facing off against an 8 pound Yorkshire Terrier, the coyote would face off with two or three dogs weighing 30 – 50 pounds each.
Having lived on the farm going on four years, none of my dogs have been harmed by coyotes – knock on wood. The farm I live on is surrounded by hunting leases totaling thousands of acres. I have trail camera pictures of a coyote just 100 yards behind my house.
Living in a rural area my favorite dog breed are mutts. Every so often someone will drop puppies off on the side of the road. Because of that, five of my six dogs are rescues. The dogs that were most starved when they were picked up turned out to be the most loving and thankful pets anyone could ever ask for.
My lab-mix will bay loud enough to wake the dead, or so it seems.
Both Black Mouth Cur dogs are loving and full of energy.
The Sheppard mix and his sister are loving, independent and wonderful.
I boils down to giving the family pet a chance against a coyote. Like the old saying goes, “There is safety in numbers.”
We touched on some of these points in another article – Best Dog Breeds for Preppers. However, not everyone is looking at the family dog from a prepping point of view.
Let’s go ahead and include the video from that other article.