Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Dear dog: Please break the rule

This cold and blustery day started with me letting Hud the herding dog puppy outside to find a dirty-headed bald eagle sitting on the power pole, watching the goings-on in the yard. Okay, so I put the big dog out with the little dog as a precaution.

Morning proceeded, and I noticed Rena the guardian wasn't staying close enough to the house to entertain the pup. How come? These two tricksters (click on photo for larger image) had come through, attempting to lure Rena out the back fence and onto the Mesa big game winter range. Rena is a lovely dog, but how I wish she'd grab at least one of these two coyotes. Now we've got a game where the Mesa fence is "safe." Grrr says me. Maybe I'll try to pop one with something more than a camera.

Our sheep herd will be moved here to the house in a few more weeks, and with them come the guardians with less tolerance.


Anonymous said...

Cheeky fellows! Goodness, girl, what more excuse do you need to git a couple of "Coyote Hounds"? If Steve needs a couple of Harris hawks, YOU need a coupla sighthounds(large and game enough to take on coyotes)!! After a few coursings, the word will get out amongst the God's dogs that your place is one helluva place to hang around! Did I live in your circumstances, not only would I have a pack of sighthounds for just such occaisions(hopefully well-socialized and accepted by the Livestock Guardian dogs, of course!) but I WOULD finally indulge in a wicked creation I have long fantasized doing--making the ULTIMETE lurcher by crossing a wolf with a greyhound(or other appropriate sighthound) bitch! I have had several wolf-hybrids(but not crossed with sighthounds), and they were DEATH on any coyote or fox or ANYTHING that didn't clear out but quick! Anything that hesitated or decided to fight was just DEAD, in seconds! The old adage--"if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Make the predators on your place YOUR pets!....L.B.

Gil said...

Here's an article that appeared in the NY Times about dogs vs. coyotes. Check out the video.

Cat Urbigkit said...

A 318-acre "ranch" with 40 dogs? Right.

That was a rather shameful article about coursing yotes - not typical at all in my opinion. My coursing friends have a hell of a lot more concern for their dogs than was portrayed in the article, and provide much better care.

Most of my livestock protection dogs kill coyotes. Yes they do that in order to protect the sheep, but I'm sure someone could write a rather grisly article about how our dogs go about that as well. Sometimes wolves kill our dogs, and that's a grisly scene too. Death is not pretty.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cat, I've only got 8 acres, but 12 dogs! Those coyotes obviously KNOW that the big, heavy LGD can't catch them(or is unlikely to), but a coupla game sighthounds would clear that fence in a bound, and if they didn't catch the coyotes, they'd run them to the next county and make them seriously consider hanging out somewhere else! Yeah, I think you really need a coupla-three Coyote Hounds--just think of all the interesting posts(to go with all your other very interesting posts!) and photos you could do on them!.....L.B.

Cat Urbigkit said...

You won't convince me, but it's because of the legal trouble I would be in with that type of dog - we have a lot of pronghorn here on the ranch, and our LPDs quickly learn not to chase them. The LPDs aren't kenneled, so they better be well behaved when it comes to game animals. Running wildlife here means dogs shot by game wardens.
And you're wrong about my dogs being too heavy to catch and kill coyotes - happens on a fairly regular basis with the Akbash and Anatolians. The dog in the photo, Rena, isn't a typical guard dog - she's the runt we took from the herd as a pup to be the ambassador, going to schools and libraries for kids to touch. Her mother's behavior is much more aggressive to coyotes. Rena' never been bit, or her attitude would change.
I do think coursing coyotes would be a kick, and I'd love to tag along on that adventure. But if I were to get another type of dog, I think coon hounds would be more my speed. Oh how I love the sound of a hound at night!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, you KNOW I can relate to you on the Coonhound/trailhound thing! Sadly, my last two coonhounds may be my last, as where I live is getting much too developed(dangerous roadways, anal, overly territorial and urban "foreign" landowners)--no safe place to cast them nearby anymore. Future dogs I aquire need to stick close and stay quiet for us to roam safely and secretely as we now need too.....But getting some trailhounds and training them to run coyotes would also likely discourage their prescence around your place--no doubt! In fact, persistant scenthounds can put way more pressure on coyotes than sighthounds! And they make beautiful "music" as well! You MUST get a copy of "Hounds in The Hills" by Edward Briggs(available at Dutch Salmon's High Lonesome Books)--it's somewhat steep($), but well worth it--THE BEST trailhound book I've come across(and I've read a passel of 'em)--let me know when you've read it.....Yes, I can see Anatolians especially catching coyotes--I worked around some once, and I was amazed how agile and swift they were for such big dogs--rather more like LIONS than dogs! I've read where it is believed Anatolians and Akbashes have sighthound ancestry....Pronghorns? I forget you guys have pronghorns!!! I wonder if sighthound/trailhound hunters out there have much trouble with their dogs 'rioting" on antelope??....L.B.

Anonymous said...

Cat, This scene could be from Indiana right now, complete with snow, fence and "dog luring Coyotes" just beyond reach ... A friend of mine who lives in a rather wooded, rural area here, watched infuriated recently as a single Coyote lured her Springer Spaniel away from the safety of his yard and out towards the woods to play with the "new dog." No sooner did they approach the edge of the woods than two more 'yotes appeared to attack the Springer.

The Springer lived to tell the tale but only one 'yote walked away. They are such smart critters, and I enjoy watching them sometimes, but I don't enjoy fighting them off my garbage cans when it is time to haul them out to the street for pick up!

Black Dog Lady