Dog and raccoons? Please help.
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Thread: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

  1. #1
    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Exclamation Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Okay, I stumbled across this site searching for an answer to my question and just decided to register and ask it here instead.

    Alright, so first a little back story. I grew up in the country (not a hillbilly girl, but a COUNTRY girl), and growing up my immediate and distant family had outside dogs for one reason or another. Such as our German Shepherd who just couldn't be broken of her destructive habits (we rescued her at three years) or our Chow Chow/shepherd who was extremely dog and people aggressive and couldn't be housed with our Rottweiler/retriever, but none the less, I've gotten used to having outside dogs. My husband has dog allergies, but I wanted a dog, so we compromised and agreed that I could have an outdoor dog, and so this weekend I'll be going to pick up my nearly four month old Siberian Husky puppy. I don't want to hear anything about how I'm a bad person for wanting to keep my dog outside. Yes, I know that huskies are notorious for escaping and yes, I have plenty of time to exercise and socialize him to keep him a happy dog. He'll be in a good sized yard on a HARNESS and lead inside of a fence with covered porch.

    My problem is, that about two weeks ago when pulling in the driveway after work, I saw a fairly large animal run across the driveway and disappear between our car port and the neighbor's house. I realized afterward that it was a raccoon. I didn't think anything of it, just kind of shrugged it off as, "yeah, raccoons exist in the world." Until a few nights ago when I was outside smoking and then saw TWO of these same sized raccoons walk from behind our neighbor's house and across the street. They're full grown and about the size of....a small beagle, and I'm terrified that when I get my dog, they'll attack him or vice versa. He's had his rabies vaccine, but he's about twenty pounds and I'm afraid that the two of them combined could kill him. I called the Division of Natural Resources in my area who directed me to the only man in the area who legally removes them and he wants $150 (which I don't have ) to trap them. My local animal control doesn't remove wildlife.

    I don't know if I should trap them myself? My husband's father and grandfather both regularly hunt and I'm sure could trap and humanely "take care" of them, but they lack the proper licensing. So it essentially comes down to the sanctity of my dog or the law and I'm not sure what to do. Help?

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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Build the dog a secure kennel. No reason to massacre the local wildlife if you don't have to.

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
    Build the dog a secure kennel. No reason to massacre the local wildlife if you don't have to.
    I agree. huskies can jump and climb. Have at least 6 foot fencing. You can do a coyote roll bar on top. Check fenceline daily for any signs of digging under. Or get an actual dog kennel/run that is placed on concrete with a top.

    A racoon can kill a small/med sized dog. usually they won't mess with an adult large dog, but if your dog decided to try to mess with one, they can do some serious damage.

    I'm not sure why you want a dog, given your past history of untrained/destructive, dog and people aggressive dogs. Usually that is a result of bored/underexercised/undertrained dogs. Also, lack of funds would worry me, if you don't have access to 150.00 to remove the racoons, what are your plans for vet bills? I'm not trying to be mean, but have you really thought this through about what is best for the dog? Have you considered volunteering at a shelter/rescue to get your "dog Fix", or offering dog walking services to neighbors? Might satisfy your need for dog interaction without the stress of owning an outside onlydog, that is a high energy breed that quickly becomes bored.
    Last edited by spotted nikes; 03-26-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Well, we were considering putting a kennel door on the house or enclosing in the porch so that we could keep him safer and enclosed at night until he's bigger anyhow, so I'm thinking I may just do that.

    @Spotted Nikes - I was actually volunteer coordinator at my local shelter and had been there for three years, often training trouble dogs so they could be better adopted. I would often work on leash training, proper etiquette, and teach them basic commands while they were there. My mother and I used to foster and adopt out dogs out of our home and have re-homed and rehabilitated a many of well behaved dogs. The only reason I used the other two as examples and gave their flaws was because those flaws were the reasons they were kept in outdoor kennels. Those two were still walked regularly and regularly socialized (they both got free run of the fence when the rottie was inside). Little Bit (the chow) my mother had since he was born and he was raised perfectly fine, he was just naturally dominant and continually picked fights with the male rottie or showed aggression to strangers who entered our house. Despite her best efforts she couldn't correct the behaviour and instead of taking him to a shelter to be euthanized or jump house to house, she built a kennel and kept him outside away from the other male. As for the shepherd, my dad had gotten her at three years old from a local shelter, she was a purebred that someone had gotten, chained up and left outside. When we brought her home, she had severe anxiety issues. She was extremely destructive and refused to be housebroken, and so she got run of the fence and was completely content. I'm no newb to caring for a dog, and after two years since my last elderly best friend had to be put down, I know I'm finally ready for one again.

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    Senior Member Niraya's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Getting a Siberian is a terrible idea for you.
    1. He will be on a tieout. This is a recipe for disaster. If a Siberian wants something badly enough he WILL get it. Tieout be damned basically. He will chew it to free himself or just pull until it snaps somewhere. Not only that - what about the risk of him hanging himself or getting tied up and suffocating? What about the digging? A dog left outside WILL dig. Not a question of if it will, but when.

    2. Siberians while independent are very much pack animals and need the interactions and need to be around their people. Not having that can very well be detrimental to a Siberian. Ive seen first hand what happens to Siberians who are outdoor only an the owner had the best intentions with him.

    3. Weather. A puppy absolutely cannot be outside 24/7. They have a harder time controlling their core temperature than an adult dog. I you want an outside dog get an older dog that can already be put outside. What about in the summer? Siberians have double coats and absolutely do not do well in warm weather. They need air conditioning during the summer and constant access to cold, fresh water. They're a cold weather breed.

    4. Raccoons are the least of your worries. A do left outside by itself will fixate on things because you (general) cannot reqlistically devote the time needed to be with that dog. A dog when by itself in only dog home is left outside its entire life is a very bored dog. You can say "I'll be out here wih it" "I'll be training and socializing it extensively" bit the reality is that dog has NOTHING to do when you aren't out there wih it. Siberians are moderate to high prey driven dogs which means any small animal they will chase and kill if they can get it (most likely) anything that happens to run by them.

    Last part was unnecessary since you had already responded as I was typing. Apologies it's hard to post from my phone.
    Last edited by Niraya; 03-26-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by stenciil View Post
    Well, we were considering putting a kennel door on the house or enclosing in the porch so that we could keep him safer and enclosed at night until he's bigger anyhow, so I'm thinking I may just do that.

    @Spotted Nikes - I was actually volunteer coordinator at my local shelter and had been there for three years, often training trouble dogs so they could be better adopted. I would often work on leash training, proper etiquette, and teach them basic commands while they were there. My mother and I used to foster and adopt out dogs out of our home and have re-homed and rehabilitated a many of well behaved dogs. The only reason I used the other two as examples and gave their flaws was because those flaws were the reasons they were kept in outdoor kennels. Those two were still walked regularly and regularly socialized (they both got free run of the fence when the rottie was inside). Little Bit (the chow) my mother had since he was born and he was raised perfectly fine, he was just naturally dominant and continually picked fights with the male rottie or showed aggression to strangers who entered our house. Despite her best efforts she couldn't correct the behaviour and instead of taking him to a shelter to be euthanized or jump house to house, she built a kennel and kept him outside away from the other male. As for the shepherd, my dad had gotten her at three years old from a local shelter, she was a purebred that someone had gotten, chained up and left outside. When we brought her home, she had severe anxiety issues. She was extremely destructive and refused to be housebroken, and so she got run of the fence and was completely content. I'm no newb to caring for a dog, and after two years since my last elderly best friend had to be put down, I know I'm finally ready for one again.
    Glad to hear of your experience, and that you didn't take offence at my suggestions.
    Definitely try to keep your dog contained away from the racoons. Racoons can really do damage to a dog.
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    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    Glad to hear of your experience, and that you didn't take offence at my suggestions.
    Definitely try to keep your dog contained away from the racoons. Racoons can really do damage to a dog.
    Thanks. I will and that was my fear. I wanted to relocate them, but was instructed by DNR not to because of potential disease.



    As for the rest of this post, I feel I should elaborate on where he'll be kept and our home situation.

    I work as a shift manager at a restaurant and my husband is unemployed and stays home with our two young children. Due to the kids, we don't ever leave on extended trips and if we were to, we have the finances in order to pay for boarding (for which I know of a fantastic local boarding kennel and my vet also offers boarding services), so someone is always home.
    Our yard is as big as our three bedroom home and on one side has a six foot privacy fence and the other three sides are four foot chain link, all with patio stones lining the bottom to discourage/prevent digging. Our covered patio runs the length of our house and is deep enough to fit a car and we have a large tree in the center of our yard (to which the tie out/chain will be connected). He'll be brought onto the patio during bad weather (exceptionally hot, deep snow, bad rain, etc) which also has an electrical hookup for a fan or two and when summer actually hits I'll be buying a small wading pool for him to play and help keep himself cool in. My husband (despite his allergies) is still really excited for him as well and has acknowledged and agreed that he will be sure the dog stays safe and well watered and cared for while I'm at work so he'll always have fresh water and should he get himself stuck on the fence or around the tree, my husband will be there to fix him. We know several people (including my mother and my mother-in-law) who have dogs so he'll have regular doggy play dates to stay socialized with other canines. I realize (especially from working at the humane society) that they're high energy dogs, and being an outdoors person myself, will be taken on daily walks and he'll also have my kids who will definitely wear him out. Haha. I've already considered him jumping the fence on the tie out a possibility and being extremely paranoid about this (my cousin's dog hanged himself this way and I was devastated), he'll not only receive consistent training to stay away from the fence from a young age, but will be on a secure harness instead of a collar so that he won't crush his trachea should he manage to reach the fence (while he's younger he'll be kept on a shorter tie out that can't reach the fence, though again, my husband is always home). He'll also be wearing a collar with a tag and this weekend before he comes home he's going to the vet to be microchipped (I saw too many runaway huskies when I worked at the shelter). I've thoroughly thought out what he'll require and we have adapted our yard to the best of our abilities to not only keep him safe, but to keep him as happy and well-cared for as possible. I'm not one of those people who "just wants a dog," I'm not getting a novelty dog, I'm gaining another family member, a companion, a best friend. This dog will go everywhere with me. I frequently jog (at least three times a week), and now I'll not only have incentive to, but I'll have a buddy to go with me. I dislike keeping him outside, trust me. Lol. If I could, I'd have him sleeping in the bed with me, or romping around the house with my kids.

    Just thought I'd give those with concerns a little more peace of mind by giving some more information.

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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    I know that many here disagree with me, but I would never get a dog if I knew I wouldn't be able to let him live inside with the family. You say he's a family member, but I'm guessing he's the only family member who is forced to stay tied up outside all day and night. I know you don't want to hear it, but I guess that's the danger of a public forum. I still feel bad for the dog.

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    I don't want to hear anything about how I'm a bad person for wanting to keep my dog outside.
    When you post on a public Internet forum, people will respond with all sorts of opinions. You don't have to agree with them, but you don't get to pre-screen them, either.

    Raccoons are everywhere. If you got rid of them, you'll just open the territory to another bunch. They are probably the most adaptable mammal anywhere.

    I had a 115-pound lab - a big, strong dog in his prime - who killed an adult raccoon. It was touch-and-go. My current dog was bred to hunt big game, but I'd rather she never encounter a raccoon. Better to keep the dog away from them.

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    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    When you post on a public Internet forum, people will respond with all sorts of opinions. You don't have to agree with them, but you don't get to pre-screen them, either.

    Raccoons are everywhere. If you got rid of them, you'll just open the territory to another bunch. They are probably the most adaptable mammal anywhere.

    I had a 115-pound lab - a big, strong dog in his prime - who killed an adult raccoon. It was touch-and-go. My current dog was bred to hunt big game, but I'd rather she never encounter a raccoon. Better to keep the dog away from them.
    It was a more a hopeful, "let's not focus on this part, my mind is made up and you won't be swaying my opinion" statement than a command. I didn't expect people to listen, but I had hoped that they'd see it was a pointless endeavor. Haha.

    This is true. It still concerns me, though. Which is why I think I'll be making sure he's kept somewhere secure at night so that they can't get to one another.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Have you considered the barking factor when a dog is penned up outside and can see raccoons taunting him just outside the fence? Also opossums and other wildlife.

    And sorry, but like the others I think that outside dogs very rarely work. While I can understand why someone would need to keep a rescue with severe issues outside, if you are starting from a puppy then it should never have the chance to develop those kinds of problems. If there are allergies, the choices really are: no dog, allergy medications (which do work for many but not all people) or a less allergenic dog (which again, works for some and not others). Relegating a member of your family to be outside all the time isn't really a great choice.

    That said, if you are bound and determined, you need a concrete floor, woven wire fencing and a roof. Make it as large as you can afford. You can lay rubber stall mats on the concrete floor for comfort; they are easy to hose off and easier on the dog's joints and skin. Do not leave the dog tied, even to a harness. While that reduces the risk of strangling, the tied dog can break a leg or tear a muscle/tendon if he tangles himself.
    Since you don't have the $150 for a raccoon, I can't see how you'd have the money for a vet bill like that (although, I also cannot see how you have the "finances to pay for boarding" if $150 is rough).

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    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    Since you don't have the $150 for a raccoon, I can't see how you'd have the money for a vet bill like that (although, I also cannot see how you have the "finances to pay for boarding" if $150 is rough).
    I mainly wanted to touch on this. In an emergency situation, yes, I could delve into the savings to take care of him. As far as boarding, I would know in advance and would be able to budget accordingly. What I don't have is a random $150 for someone to come out and ATTEMPT to trap two wild animals when I could do it myself for free.

    Yes I've considered the bark factor. They're a vocal breed to begin with, so yes, I expect barking. Barking (when there is no noise ordinance in my city), however, is better than him being attacked.

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    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    It's fine until a neighbor gets tired of the barking and decides to do something about it, anyway. Poisoned meat over the fence is not unheard of. Just recently I saw a sibe on Facebook who'd had acid thrown at his face while he was in his kennel outside (this link should work for people who have a FB).

    I had an outdoor dog (malamute/collie) in the city, and even though he was very quiet and not a big digger, I wouldn't do it again. I know a lot more about dogs now than I did back then, and while his life was fine (he got a walk or two every day, at the very least), I don't think he was as happy and fulfilled as he could have been. He was also pretty territorial of his yard and he killed several skunks who wandered in there. He never took on a raccoon, luckily.

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    Senior Member PatchworkRobot's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moxie View Post
    I know that many here disagree with me, but I would never get a dog if I knew I wouldn't be able to let him live inside with the family. You say he's a family member, but I'm guessing he's the only family member who is forced to stay tied up outside all day and night. I know you don't want to hear it, but I guess that's the danger of a public forum. I still feel bad for the dog.
    ^^^ I agree.

    Why not have the husband live outside ? I mean, he's family too... right?

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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatchworkRobot View Post
    ^^^ I agree.

    Why not have the husband live outside ? I mean, he's family too... right?
    Ask me again when I'm picking dirty socks up off the living room floor, I'll get the tie-out ready! Hehe.

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    Junior Member stenciil's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatchworkRobot View Post
    ^^^ I agree.

    Why not have the husband live outside ? I mean, he's family too... right?
    That's not a bad idea. Hahahaha.

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    Senior Member Niraya's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by stenciil View Post
    I mainly wanted to touch on this. In an emergency situation, yes, I could delve into the savings to take care of him. As far as boarding, I would know in advance and would be able to budget accordingly. What I don't have is a random $150 for someone to come out and ATTEMPT to trap two wild animals when I could do it myself for free.

    Yes I've considered the bark factor. They're a vocal breed to begin with, so yes, I expect barking. Barking (when there is no noise ordinance in my city), however, is better than him being attacked.
    I'd like to touch on your money thing. Depending on how well (poorly) bred this dog is - you can end up with a MESS of health problems that will cost you considerably more than $150 on a regular basis. Bella is a poorly bred Siberian I got for free who has a heart problem - in her first 5 months with me I spent $800 on her in vet bills. Every year I know I at least have to spend $600 right away for her vet bills and that doesn't include if something should go wrong, an emergency, her shots etc. Things like this can very quickly deplete a savings fund (unless you're rich).

    Also - where I live I know that if you pay someone $150 to remove an animal off your property and they don't catch it the first time they will come back and try multiple times without having to pay the price EVERY time. But that's where I live + I have AC that will do it for free if they can.

    I don't know how well (poorly) bred this Siberian is - but are you prepared to dish out thousands of dollars on hip surgery if he has displaysia in/by X years old? What about the possibility of going blind by X years old (not due to old age but hereditary eye disease that is prominent in the breed) or earlier?

    What about someone stealing him for use as a bait dog? (You [general] cannot ALWAYS be there or have eyes on the dog 24/7)

    As someone who has done so much work in a shelter for so long - I would imagine that you would be the LAST person to insist on an outdoor dog as you witness first hand what can happen to outdoor dogs no matter how (ir)responsible you (general) TRY to be something CAN always go wrong. You can only stack the odds in your favor to best try to prevent it. (I don't know about your shelter - but I know of very few shelters here that would adopt a dog out to someone just so they can keep them outside even if they told them they'd give them the best care possible.)

    Also - Siberian's don't bark, they howl (scream).

    While I have little problem with outdoor dogs if they're outdoors for very specific reasons/working and are very well taken care of and managed (MOST people do not manage)- as someone who loves the Siberian breed and is my breed of choice and is working actively with breeders on education and learning - I will never agree that a Siberian should EVER be an outdoor dog. It is at it's best a recipe for disaster.
    Last edited by Niraya; 03-26-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Frankly I would not worry about raccoons.... They might sneak around and try to get the dogs food. But on open ground they are not going to stand up to a Husky sized dog..... This comes from 30 years or so of trapping and hunting raccoons.

    The caveat is if a raccoon can get a dog in the water it will drown the dog....

    But on open dry land too much risk for the raccoon. He is not too proud to runn up a tree.
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crantastic View Post
    It's fine until a neighbor gets tired of the barking and decides to do something about it, anyway. Poisoned meat over the fence is not unheard of.
    Small story.
    As child, I had a golden who was impregnated by the land lord's free-roaming dog. By the time I got to them, it was too late.
    We ended up rehoming her along with one of her puppies (this man's child absolutely adored her, and she him. she was spayed after that and does have a very good home still) and kept her son, as I had grown desperately attached to him. Of course, a 4 month old puppy who is now without his family is going to cry. I went as far as sleeping in the dog house with him because I was not allowed to bring him in. I had to spend a night away from him ONE TIME. I came back the next day and he was deathly ill, no vet clinic was open. He passed the next morning.
    There was anti-freeze in his water. I know exactly who did it, but can't prove it. But no amount of revenge would've ever brought my puppy back.

    So, I'm not trying to judge here. I can't say I've never had dogs outside, but outside is dangerous. Very dangerous.
    Sibes are easily recognizable, and they're beautiful dogs, and that can put them in easy danger of being stolen.
    You may want to take as many steps as possible to keep your dog safe.
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    Senior Member Rescued's Avatar
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    Re: Dog and raccoons? Please help.

    All I have to add is please please PLEASE do not ever have the dog on a tieout long enough to reach the fence. Sibes are very prey driven, and a cat/mouse/squirrel/whatever running up and over the fence will quickly (and permanantly..) undo all that training you did for him to stay away from the fence.

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