Should I be concerned?

ritaweedaApril 9, 2011

We have a pup, 2 1/2 months old, weighs 8 lbs. We live in the middle of woods in a very rural area. She loves being outside and is gradually exploring further and further from the front porch. We have all kinds of wildlife here, but my main concern are the owls and hawks. Are they a danger to an 8 pound pup? I can't seem to find a definite answer online about this, varying opinions everywhere. We have barred owls and great horned owls, which are pretty big. We also have red-tailed hawks. At what size do we not worry anymore about the pup? We also have seen racoons, foxes, bobcat, and have been told we have coyotes, but I've never seen one. I'm not as concerned about those because they pretty much stay away from the house. Our property is big but is fenced with field fence all around.

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I think there is lots of danger for a 10 week old pup in the woods on her own. I have heard of hawks diving after small dogs (there is much urban mythology about it, too, but that is nonsense), especially in November, when young hawks are feeing their way through their first winter. Now, hawks are nesting, and so are other animals, and they will fiercely protect their territory.

Of more concern to me, though, are raccoons, coyotes, foxe, bobcats and skunks.

A little pup should not be alone. Try getting an X pen.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 7:55AM
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I wouldn't let a puppy roam unattended. The coyotes are a huge danger and even though you think they stay far from your home, you can't bet on that. Recently, one took an adult pug right in front of the owner and there have even been a couple of small children attacked and one killed in their own yards in the last year or so.

I've seen hawks circle my seven pound dog while I stood, unseen, in the doorway of my house. All the other animals mentioned by the previous poster pose a threat, too. It's not worth taking a chance. If you put him in an exercise pen, cover it with a tarp to keep out the birds.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 8:25AM
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My sister's friend had a small dog snatched up by a hawk from their fenced-in yard (a tiny yard at that). I wouldn't chance it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:06AM
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Here are just some concerns
Hawks, Owls, Skunks spraying, fights with raccoons and foxes which can result in distemper, and rabies but can also be fatal.
Mushrooms and half a dozen other plant types can not only make your pup sick, they can kill...
A puppy that young has no business roaming around by itself and will be much much harder to train in the future

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 12:52PM
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What everyone else said..

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 2:05PM
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We are always with her - never outside by herself, but we do let her run around within 60 feet of us, which is where the woods begin. Wherever we are that's where she is, in or out. Just trying to get a definite idea how much weight one of these big birds will attempt to tackle. I do know that hawks will always fly away when they are perched waiting for prey and one of us enters the area where they are. I know we've thwarted many an attack on birds and squirrels that way. Don't know if the same is true about owls, though. When we went out early this morning to go potty, there was one hooting within 60 feet of us and I stayed really close to her until she finished.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 9:23AM
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I found some other posts about this in the nature forum under "Raptors", some say be concerned, others say no. I'll just have to be on guard for her, and as I said, she's never out by herself, she weighs 8 pounds now, but is gaining an average of a pound a week, so after she gets around 15 pounds it looks like it won't be such a worry. Thanks all for your comments.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:10AM
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I doubt if any raptor, with the possible exception of bald eagles and condors, could lift 8 lbs, but they could certainly inflict serious damage and possibly even death in the attempt to do so. Raccoons, foxes, and coyotes are a much more realistic danger, since all three won't hesitate to come right up to the door of your house to snatch a pet. I had a fox come almost right up to me because she was fixated on my cat and didn't even notice me until she was nearly close enough to touch. I also had a wolf pack come into my yard twice after my dogs. Both times I had to place myself between the wolves and my dogs in order to prevent their attack on my dogs. So, yes, keep a close eye on your pup.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 2:10PM
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spedigrees z4VT

If you are always with her, that would be a deterrent to raptors. But if she roams some distance away from you, they could attack, depending on how hungry they were. Is your fence secure? Will it keep out coyotes?

I know that my sheltie, when full grown at 33 lbs, always woke my 65 lb collie to accompany her when she wanted to go out into our fenced back yard after dark. He definitely would have protected her, although our fence kept out any sizable game animals, so the necessity for a body guard never arose. There are certainly wild animals traversing our property, bear, foxes, coyotes, and deer, but only the deer ever jumped the fence to get into the dogs' yard, and then only while the dogs were sleeping indoors.

I think there is less danger to your pup in the daylight hours. At night it might be wise to keep her on a leash if she wants to explore the wooded areas. Hawks and owls are typically nocturnal hunters.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:39PM
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