Country Dogs

Lots of people move to or live in the country and tend to do two things right away. One is to have their new property logged. The other is to get some dogs. But country dogs can bring problems.

I’ve been told the logging helps to pay off the debt on the property. Understandable. But the people haven’t even had a chance to assess their new place and are making a choice to make major changes on the hopes it won’t backfire on them. Then again, many people never even go anywhere on their property other than the house and yard before or after they buy the place.

Dogs are another matter.

Nubian doe High Reaches Isabelle
Nubian doe High Reaches Isabelle didn’t come in with the herd one night. I found her where two dogs had pulled her down and killed her. Searching for the dogs I heard they had pulled down deer a couple of miles away on another occasion. They lived a mile away from me. The owner couldn’t believe his dogs would do such a thing. They were always there when he came home from work and left for work in the morning. They ran loose all day and all night.

There seems to be an opinion that country dogs stay around the house. And it’s so nice to let them have room to run.

Dogs like coyotes and wolves are made to run long distances. They have an instinct to chase and grab anything running away from them.

This morning two dogs arrived on the property. They proceeded to make themselves at home. They were a mile from home as I found out after visiting the neighbors.

The dogs belong to a single man who loves his dogs, has a fenced yard, but has many problems with the dogs escaping. They visit the immediate neighbors most often. Today they decided to get some exercise and came to visit me. And my cats. And my chickens. And my goats.

chickens are tempting for country dogs
Chickens run, flap and squawk when they are chased. I’ve had cats who pounce toward them to hear this reaction. Dogs grab the chickens often with fatal results for the chicken. My flock enjoys the goat gym when the goats are out to pasture.

No one was thrilled.

In the city a phone call brings animal control out to cart the dogs away. In the country the sheriff tells you there is no animal control. If the dogs are destroying livestock or property, you can shoot them. Otherwise you are to contact the owner and hope this person will do something about the dogs.

These are nice, friendly dogs. They are well cared for. They are not welcome here. The owner isn’t very concerned.

As a livestock owner, I am responsible for my animals and what they do. I do not understand why dog owners so often take no responsibility for their dogs.

This time the dogs were scared off.