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Discussion Starter #1
I know some of our members live in areas where they more regularly encounter wild animals, but I'm an urban dweller. The most "wild" animal I usually encounter is a skunk, and they're not so much wild as really annoying. So maybe someone less urban can help me.

Where I live is surrounded by mountains, so the outer edges of the city do occasionally get bears and mountain lions, but I live well into the city and have never seen anything like that. Until last night.

Kabota and I were almost home from our after work walk when I looked over and saw a black cat crouched against a car about 20 feet away. It was pure black with yellow eyes and strange, enlongated ears. It really caught my attention and I was staring at it when I realized that in order for the cat's back to hit the top of the hubcap on the car, the cat would have to be at least Kabota's size, 45lbs.

There are no housecats that big. Here's what I saw:



My question is, any tips for this sort of thing? Kabota didn't notice the bobcat, but if he had, he would have gone for it. He's not afraid. And while he's protected from rabies, I'd be on the other end of the 5' leash and I'm not vaxxed for rabies. Plus, I doubt I could get a bobcat off of Kabota in time to save his life if the bobcat decided to attack him. I'm also not sure that my "hit it over the head with a breakstick" technique will work as well for a wild cat as for a domesticated dog.

Thanks.
 

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Having lived in various country settings all over the country, I've found most healthy wildlife won't mess with a dog if a human is present..... usually. In fact, most problems I've experienced with animals on walks with the dogs have been with other dogs, usually feral or your disgruntled loose farm dog. Wild animals like bobcats will usually back off if you stand your ground. They don't see the point in getting injured by something that's going to put up a fight when there is other prey out there they could easily take down without getting injured. I use to carry a thing of bear mace, but given that doesn't always work, we got a non-lethal tazer.
 

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Having lived in various country settings all over the country, I've found most healthy wildlife won't mess with a dog if a human is present..... usually. In fact, most problems I've experienced with animals on walks with the dogs have been with other dogs, usually feral or your disgruntled loose farm dog. Wild animals like bobcats will usually back off if you stand your ground. They don't see the point in getting injured by something that's going to put up a fight when there is other prey out there they could easily take down without getting injured. I use to carry a thing of bear mace, but given that doesn't always work, we got a non-lethal tazer.
. . . except for Coyotes, I'd agree with RCloud. Coyotes here have grabbed a Yorkie and a Pom mix with their owners within 30 feet, but there are also many days they are so close beside my back fence I could reach out and touch them.

I was rushed by a moose when my dogs were with me as well. (He actually rushed my dogs and my back was turned when it began . . . the indicator to look behind being the dogs running lickety split past me).

SOB
 

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. . . except for Coyotes, I'd agree with RCloud. Coyotes here have grabbed a Yorkie and a Pom mix with their owners within 30 feet, but there are also many days they are so close beside my back fence I could reach out and touch them.

I was rushed by a moose when my dogs were with me as well. (He actually rushed my dogs and my back was turned when it began . . . the indicator to look behind being the dogs running lickety split past me).

SOB

Well, yeah it depends on the size of the dog to I suppose. There have been times where we've practically tripped over Coyotes on walks, and they've always hauled ass away from us, if not immediately then after some shouting and threatening gestures. But I suppose it might be a different story if we had a small breed dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So make some noise and stand my ground, then?

We used to get coyotes in Texas. They can be very bold, from what I remember. Bears around here are usually the harmless black bears that will climb a tree and pretend to be invisible if they see a human. Then the state Game Commission has to come and tranquilize them out of the tree and transport them back to the mountains.
 

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We have urban dogs and the worst thing are the foxes. They jump - over a six foot brick wall - and go to our rubbish stall. The girls go bollistic - even if we are all asleep with doors and windows shut. I am always in two minds to let them out and chase them away or try to calm the baying and instinct down as the London foxes are becoming more and more fearless and aggressive. We have a fortunate and so maybe not position being between two big parks so we get quite a lot of urban wildlife - my favourite was when ducks landed in our little pool....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If any ducks land near Kabota, I'll be eating duck for dinner.

I've seen videos from London of foxes walking right into people's houses. I had no idea the problem was so widespread, though.
 

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They are completely fearless. In our old house - I only had two hounds then -I had the garden door open - the girls were barking and walked into ithe kitchen and one one fox was in the sink the other was trying to get into the rubbish bin. And wihen you try to whoosh them out they stand and hiss. I hate to say it but then the dogs come out!
 

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. . . except for Coyotes, I'd agree with RCloud. Coyotes here have grabbed a Yorkie and a Pom mix with their owners within 30 feet, but there are also many days they are so close beside my back fence I could reach out and touch them.
I don't trust coyote's as far as I could throw one.
Not that I trust any wild animal, but if I had to pick one to fear on all occasions, it's gonna be them.

I have personally witnessed them initiating play with dogs, usually with a female or a pup, then leading them off into an ambush. My father once had a Walker Coonhound who had his paw bitten through by one. It simply walked up to him, friendly one minute, the next we hear this poor dog screaming. A coyote has him by the foot. They taunt my two. Diesel wants to kill them, but Aleu is friendly with them, which is just not a good combination.
I have heard stories of coyotes -and foxes- following people while out walking their dogs. Quite closely at that.


So, aside from coyotes, most wild animals will either ignore you or get up and scurry off. They might watch but probably won't act. Just remain calm, try to keep your dog calm, and keep an eye on them as you pass.
 

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Stand your ground. *Most* wild animals don't want a confrontation. Avoid dumb critters like skunks and porcupines.

Coyotes have come after Kaki on several occasions(Kaki is 46lbs and tall). She was within 10' of me the first time we had a run in with them. I started leashing her in that area from then on but they would FOLLOW us. I'd look behind me and see two coyotes just strolling along 20' back. This happened a LOT.

They don't want a confrontation with me, the human, but they don't look scared either. A lone coyote is one thing but once they have numbers, they get brave. That's a critter that I seriously loathe.
 

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Reading this thread absolutely terrififies me! And makes me happy that I don't have any larger wildlife where I am. I just have to watch for poisonous snakes and spiders and maybe the occasional crocodile if I'm out in the country :-S You are all so brave!
 

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Whoa... having to TAZE something?!! Crazy. The worst I've seen is raccoons who've tried to scare me out of my own kitchen, the closest I've come to a taser is a souped up water gun ;)
 

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I have spent a ton of time in the woods my entire life. I have hunted with dogs, hike and walk around the woods with dogs, etc.

I have a couple dogs banged up by hogs. But we were hunting them. As far as just walking in the woods minding my own business, me and my dogs have encountered bears, gators, bobcats, panthers, coyotes, etc.

The only real precaution I take is to keep my dogs away from pond edges, swampy areas etc.

The only encounter that ended with a physical confrontation from a large animal was about a year ago. And that was a group of 5 coyotes. I had a thread on it here complete with photos of the bite Merlin took. I believed at the time, and still do, that it was a territorial issue not predatory. The group was a pair with yearling grown pups. Merlin was well ahead as we crossed an open area and was confronted by a coyote. Buc and myself were some distance behind. They stood nose to nose and someone went off (I think it was Merlin) next thing coyotes poured out of the bayhead. Buc raced into the mess and it was five on two for a few seconds until I got there and then it was five on three. Buc chased three back into the bayhead. Merlin had a hold of the male and worked him over. I kicked one so hard I fell and took a shot at it as I went down. I went into the woods after Buc. Got him out of there and called Merlin off the one he was on. It was in rough shape and was found dead the next day.

With predators it is a risk versus reward thing with both predation and territorial issues. Wild animals know dogs are predators. A lot of risk taking on a decent sized dog.

Coyotes- a 40-50 pound class dog that is well built is more than a match for most coyotes.

Cats- both bobcats and panthers, cougars, etc could do a lot of damage to a dog but there is also risk for the cats. They are built light framed for speed and agility. Taking on a dog is more risk than most would take.

Black bears - They can kill a dog but are slow and tire quickly. Dogs are usually too fast and agile. Too much work.

Grizzlies - no dog/grizzly experience other than they always seem to fun from bear dogs.
 

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The issue we have here is domestic dogs that have gone feral and bred with Dingos. They pack up and will take down a hefer with ease. I know of a number of dogs that have disappeared off rural properties and only sign found of them was a scrap of fur or a foot.

Sheep are a common target and farmers have a shoot on sight policy so if a friendly domestic dog escapes and wanders onto a nearby farm, he will be shot without question.

In national parks, where you are not allowed to take dogs, dingos have bitten a number of people and have killed young kids. These dogs more often than not had become accustomed to people because, despite it being illegal, fed them and then turned their back.
 

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I agree with this: Coyotes- a 40-50 pound class dog that is well built is more than a match for most coyotes.

A coyote is very opportunistic and won't attack and eat (!!!) a pet unless the coyote is positive that it won't get hurt. Two coyotes working together can take out most pet dogs, a pack of 4 or more can take out a 90 lb dog, but they usually won't attempt it, because all it take is one good bite from the dog, and the coyote ... needs a Vet :)

I'm in the general area where we do have coyotes, and they will try to grab small, toy pets on leash, especially at dusk or at night. A cat outside is just a snack...

Hawks and owls have been seen going after small cats and dogs... we usually try to warn new people to watch their pets.
 

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Coyotes here in the east are mixed with wolf and are bigger than the western coyotes. They're more dangerous and I would not want to run into even two of those together. Two of them killed a woman in Nova Scotia a while back. While that was an unusual incident, they seem to be getting more and more bold in general. I live in a small city, and my co-workers have seen coyotes in the parking lot at work and wandering down residential streets.

I saw foxes mentioned earlier in the thread, and I'm not afraid of foxes at all. Biggest fox ever confirmed (killed) in the UK was only 31lbs, and in the US the biggest foxes are around 25 pounds. Most males fall in the 12-16lb range (they can look bigger due to their fluff and their height, but foxes are light-boned). They don't hunt in packs. They don't even tend to pick fights with cats, let alone dogs. I see foxes and cats chilling in yards together with some frequency here, and I've never seen a fight. I've had foxes wander up to me and my dogs (up to five feet away), or trot along a half-block behind us screaming at us to get out of their territory, but none have ever so much as snarled at my dogs, let alone rushed them aggressively. A good kick from a human would hurt a fox because they are so light-boned.
 

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Around town I've never encountered anything predatory, and nothing bigger than deer or turkeys.

Camping up North, I hear coyotes at night all the time but not seen them during the day so far. Have seen one wolf (just happened upon it while it was crossing a road and it took off immediately) and a handful of red fox. No bears so far, but we hike with a bear bell just in case. No moose, either. Don't really want to meet a moose, to be honest.

Occasionally when we are hiking, whichever dog is with me has gotten real quiet, serious, and attentive to a particular direction +/- growling. When that happens I just assume there's something up there I don't want to meet and go the other way.
 

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Coyotes here in the east are mixed with wolf and are bigger than the western coyotes. They're more dangerous and I would not want to run into even two of those together. Two of them killed a woman in Nova Scotia a while back. While that was an unusual incident, they seem to be getting more and more bold in general. I live in a small city, and my co-workers have seen coyotes in the parking lot at work and wandering down residential streets.

I saw foxes mentioned earlier in the thread, and I'm not afraid of foxes at all. Biggest fox ever confirmed (killed) in the UK was only 31lbs, and in the US the biggest foxes are around 25 pounds. Most males fall in the 12-16lb range (they can look bigger due to their fluff and their height, but foxes are light-boned). They don't hunt in packs. They don't even tend to pick fights with cats, let alone dogs. I see foxes and cats chilling in yards together with some frequency here, and I've never seen a fight. I've had foxes wander up to me and my dogs (up to five feet away), or trot along a half-block behind us screaming at us to get out of their territory, but none have ever so much as snarled at my dogs, let alone rushed them aggressively. A good kick from a human would hurt a fox because they are so light-boned.

I am in Florida and our coyotes are BIG! MUCH MUCH larger than the coyotes I have seen out West. Coyotes basically bred out our native population of Red Wolves. Which is the main reason they have never tried to re establish them in Florida from the few captive populations.

I have shot some big ones. Sixty pound class....Most are smaller but 40 pound males are common. And I have a photo I doubt I would post here that I found on the side of the interstate that I swear would push 70 pounds. Another factor I think comes into play here is there is a LOT of food. We are over run with Deer. (Most people do not think of Florida as a big deer state. But we are COVERED up with them.) I read somewhere once that if you combined the whitetail populations of Florida, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina, they would double the whitetail populations in all other states they occur in. And our deer are small in many places. 60-70 pound does are average in some places. So it is not just the fawns that are on the menu.
And then there are the wild hogs. Coyotes cannot take adult hogs on a regular basis..... And I used to feel that Momma hogs were far to tough for coyotes to chance trying to take her pigs. But I have seen them do it. And breeding season is ALL year for wild hogs. They can have three litters a year. So the woods stay full of 25 pound coyote bbq sandwiches.

Then throw in the small critters, domestic stock, agricultural crops (that coyotes will eat) etc.

I still say a decent sized dog is more than a match..... And WAY more risk than coyotes want to chance.

But then I am speaking from a perspective of the types of dogs I own and like. As grandaddy always said, it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog..... I would probably be more cautious if I owned a large breed with a soft temperament.
 

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i am in major bear country. First thing is you make alot of noise while hiking to warn bears ( or other critters ) you are coming, they dont want to run into you anymore than you want to run into them.NEVER surprise a bear etc and never ever get between a momma and baby.pepper spray can work but I think the bears just consider it a condiment. One thing I recently was told was not to walk dogs that are in heat out in the woods , the smell attracts more animals. If you are ever attacked by a bear assume the fetal position using your arms to protect your head , you will be a bit chewed up but alive.
 

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We have a coyote around my house. Last I saw of it, it was dragging a screaming fawn by the neck thru our yard a few hundred feet from the house. Two does were alarm calling and racing around like lunatics across our driveway. That coyote was about 40 pounds, I'm not too concerned with three 35-50 pound dogs.
 
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