Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Let's say, hypothetically, that you are a farmer.

You're returning from town on an errand, only to discover that your hogs have gotten out, and are being harassed by a neighbor's shepherd dog. The neighbor has no livestock, and is in fact an engineer.

What do you do? Shoot the dog? Round up the hogs? Something else?

Josh <><
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,359 Posts
Okay Josh, let's run through your list:

Option A, shoot the dog, end up in jail for animal cruelty, sued by the dogs owner or both. Not the best option right off the bat.

Option B, looks pretty good to me since the only expenditure is a bit of effort. Workable.

Option C, Something else. Well, let's see... Yeah, ring Animal Control to report a vicious dog attacking your pigs, round up the pigs, and let Animal Control cite the dog's owner. Hmmm, works for me since it means pigs are back, and the only one with grief is the dog's owner.

Option C.

No sarcasm intended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
If your hogs are running around loose, hard to fault the dog, especially a shepherd type. - for all you know he may have chased them back onto the your property after they raided the neighbor's flower bed. If the dog is only "harassing" (I assume barking and chasing/herding) as opposed to "actively killing," I would round up the pigs and do my best to scare off the dog.

While dogs are not supposed to run loose even in the country, one of the advantages I see in living in the country is the ability to be able to fudge a bit on some "rules of civilization". I periodically have neighborhood dogs, and even cows, wander thru the yard, but they have not really bothered my dog, horses, or cats, so they got a free pass.

So let me suggest an Option D. While you may very well be legally entitled to blast a dog that's after your livestock, you might find it a wiser course if you can (at least the first time it happens) chase the dog off and politely and nonconfrontationally take matters up with your neighbor. This will pay dividends later when one or more of your hogs gets loose and eats your neighbor's wife's favorite rose bushes. All 27 of them.

We went thru a bout of this in my neighborhood a few months back. Apparently there was a dog or two running about and tipping over someone's garbage can. The "someone" anonymously put flyers in everyone's mailboxes threatening to shoot the dogs. This threw my wife into a panic (altho we had no evidence our dog ever left our 15 acres, and in fact we kept him in a kennel when we were not at home), and I thought it was cowardly to anonymously threaten the whole neighborhood.

About two weeks later we came home late at night to find a large dog bleeding all over our front porch. Why she came to our house I don't know (I think there is a cosmic arrow pointing out our house that only wayward animals can see), but we did our best to plug the bullet hole, and called around until we found the owner. Yes the dog should not have been running around, but there was a less violent way to handle this. (The dog survived, btw.)

Short of an invading dog actually trying to kill one of my 10 critters, I would go with Option D.

elb
 
G

·
There was a tomcat that was coming around and beating the tar out of my cats, awhile back.

I kept going outside and running him off when I heard the fighting. He'd always come back, though, and my cats kept showing up with new injuries.

We don't really have an animal control center in that area, so the choice was clear. I introduced him to a Remington Speedmaster.

Didn't kill him, from what I could tell, (Sights were regulated to a lighter load, and the shot went low, and grazed his chest; very meager blood trail, even for an animal that size) but he didn't come around, anymore.

In the scenario above, I round up the pigs, and since the dog is tame, I first see if I can get it to come to me. If I can, I just take it back to its owner, and politely ask him to keep it on a leash. If not, I call him to come get it, and make the same request.

After that, it's the ol' BB gun for him, until he gets the idea.

BB guns are great for dogs. Hit them in the rump, and there's no major permanent damage, but there's plenty of pain to keep them from coming back.

I must discourage their use on cats, though; there's enough there to kill one, and generally it will be a painful, slow death.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Hello Josh,

I purchased my first handgun when I was a couple of years younger than you to help control wild dogs on my Mother's Farm up in Virginia. We used to raise sheep and wild dogs would go through the flock killing lambs and bringing down ewes.

It was a S&W Model 56 .41 Magnum that I would carry in a Uncle Mikes Sidekick Hip Holster. If I ran across a dog trying to get under the "wire" as soon as he hit our property--he was mine to shoot.

Unfortunately, we lost quite a few animals to wild dogs. We tried running every type of fencing available at the time to keep them out. Finally, we couldn't stand to take anymore losses and we resorted to shooting the dogs long distance with a Remington 22-250.

First of all, we didn't care who the animal's owner was and two, no one wanted to challange us on destroying their animal if it killed ours. Period.

We eventually solved the dog problem by raising a breed of sheep dog named the Komodor. This Romanian sheep dog would live with the flock and fend off any other dogs including any of our "pet" dogs.

Josh, we also raised pigs and I can tell you from first hand experience that a fully grown Hampshire Sow or Boar is nothing that any dog is going to trifle with by itself! As a matter of fact, a nursing sow is downright dangerous to be around.

Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello,

I read a lot of posts on another board where I wrote this post (copy'n'paste is a wonderful thing!) which seem to be anti-dog. True, most of them were centered around Pit Bulls, but the GSD seems to have gotten somewhat of a bad rap due to its intelligence, reasoning abilities (yeah, they reason well), loyalty, ability to be fierce (as do retrievers!), and protective natures.

What I described was a real incident. When I was 10 we moved from Indianapolis to Wabash IN. After a short stay in an apartment my parents bought a very rural defunct farm. As my dad is an engineer for GM, we never got it running again.

One day I was taken for a trip to the pound. I ended up taking home a GSD (I later found she had just a touch of Collie - the vet guessed this due to certain coloration and fur that was not as short as a standard GSD's.)

We had neighbors down the road who tried to start a farm. Unfortunately they were better at drinking beer than tending their animals or fences, and one day their horse got out. It was running wild and headed straight for me on our property. Shep, still a puppy, came charging up, risking her life to nip at a terrified horse. I jumped into Dad's pickup and saw Shep bringing this horse around, and watched, amazed, as she put the horse back into the fence and guarded the opening until the neighbors could stir themselves to action.

A few years later the pigs got out. I just released Shep to go do her thing, and she did it quite well, taking the hogs out off our land (and out of the road!), and hearded them back to the neighbor's, where she kept them in a tight circle until the neighbors got home. I watched the whole thing, drinking coffee and holding a Winchester 9422 Magnum I had at the time. As hogs can be dangerous in their own rights, I didn't want a repeat of the horse incident. But Shep did her job well.

She didn't get shot for it, but I never got thanked for the use of my dog either.

She was so well behaved that she sat at attention when a couple farm boys decided to pick a fight with me. She was waiting for something to happen. Nothing did, and I credit her presence to that fact. She didn't threaten; she just sat there cool, calm and collected.

She also alerted us when the neighbor's house caught fire. It burnt down, which was sad. Ya' see, I had permission to hunt their woodlot for squirrel and rabbit but they gave up the farm after the house burnt, leaving barn cats out there to multiply and wipe out the game.

She always wore a collar, and kept an eye on my brother who was about three when we got her. She wouldn't let him wander into the road.

She could open gates btw ;)

Sadly, she died when I was away at college, having lived 11 years.

From what I've read there, there are some who would grossly misinterpret a dog's actions - those who don't know dogs well perhaps - who would shoot first and ask later. I was attempting to see how many actually thought along those lines.

We had a blizzard here this past winter. A female pit bull showed up - from where I don't know - but as we were snowed in, we couldn't do much. I don't like pits because of the way they look, but this was the friendliest dog I'd ever met, bar none. Honestly, I almost shot it when it showed up - I did haul the iron. Something kept me from the trigger though, and I began shouting "No!" each time it barked. Finally it submitted, tucked its tail as far as it would go, and meekly walked toward me. I petted it, and it licked my face in exhaultation. Remember, I'm the guy terrified of dog attacks. I gave this dog a chance though, and though I opted not to keep it, I found it a good home.

Sometimes second guessing can be a good thing. If it had been your hogs, you could have just driven up, patted Shep on the head, and she would have licked your hand. She would then have run home to tend to her "pack."

As it stood however, I called her home before the neighbors got back from wherever. It was getting dark. I did let her run back now and again when the hogs began to get out of the area she had chosen for them as it made her a bit antsy to have to sit and do nothing.

Josh <><
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Most places, a dog who "harasses" livestock is fair game, sad to say. (Same if they chase game animals, like deer.) But what if it's a dog like Shep, whose instinct is to herd, and who was in fact doing the animals' owners a favor? I have a friend who raises sheep back in western Massachusetts, and his Komodor lives with the flock---has no interest in even coming in the house or otherwise interacting with people---one damn tough dog. *On the other side of the coin, if a cow wanders into the road (at least here in NM) and you hit it with your car, the cow's owner is in most cases not liable, even if the fault is bad fencing.* A different problem is feral dogs in packs. There was an unhappy incident in this neighborhood where a pack mauled a horse so badly the horse had to be destroyed, and the local ranchers took it upon themselves to hunt down the dogs. The down side here is that my dog used to pack up with a bunch of others and run around in the arroyos, which could have made any and all of them targets, although none of them ever caused harm to any domestic animals or human passers-by: they were just goofing around. I wouldn't shoot any dog, let alone a nuisance dog, unless it presented an active danger to me or one of my pets---my experience with strays is that they're extremely grateful to be taken in until you can find out where they belong. Of course, one of the best things about dogs is that they don't care how your hair looks in the morning, and they're always glad to see you no matter how late you get home.
 
G

·
I ended up cutting and paste Virginia law and leaving it in a neighbors mailbox. If dog is in area used by livestock owner has every right to shoot them. But you do have to get along. A couple warnings for trespassing dogs if they are just wandering around. If they are threatening my animals they are dead. I have a serious problem with people who let their dogs run loose. Those people dont get warnings. But the generally responsible people whos dog gets out occasionally and usually show up pretty soon looking for them I tend to help out. In the original post the hogs were loose meaning not in the area used by livestock dog may have just been herding them. In that case I would probably try to round up the pigs. Even if some were injured it might have been the pigs that were the tresspassers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,642 Posts
Maybe being raised on a farm has biased me, but-
If I were the farmer, and came home to finding my hogs out, and a dog around them, my first thought would be:
The dog must have gotten among the hogs, agitated them, whereupon they got out.
I love dogs, but the dog wouldn't be looking so well there.

But then, I was raised on a farm where farming was the income, not a hobby like it is for so many "farmers" I see today.
And that might weigh heavily on what happens here.
If the farmer has another job, either as his primary or secondary income, the dog has a better chance.
If the farmer farms for his sole income, those hogs have a lot more value to him. And the dog would have less.

Hogs can die from cardio failure after relatively little exertion. A dog doesn't need to actually come into contact with one to kill one. Get a hog running, and it can sometimes be as certain a death as going for the throat.
Even if a dog didn't get them running, he would surely spook them. For the next severral hours, the animals will be jumpy, and might get running from the slightest thing- like a feed pan lid banging closed- which would usually go unnoticed.

What I'm saying is- dogs and livestock don't mix. Yes, dogs herd animals, but there is a process to it that makes it work. They get used to each other gradually. USUALLY, a herding dog can't just be let out among a herd of livestock without expecting some broken fences.

Anyway, that's why farmers stiffen upon spotting an unattended dog two fields away.
If they've had dog trouble before, their "dog fuse" will be even shorter.

Some of farmers' attitudes and actions towards dogs can be blamed on the same thing a lot of things can be blamed on- People who won't be held accountable.
I remember a few cases when I was growing up that a dog got into livestock and killed one or two. When told, the dog's owner suddenly forgot they had ever owned a dog. Nice.
Which probably led to this little thing I used to hear:
"You need three things to raise hogs (it was usually sheep, but sometimes hogs)-
A piece of lead, a shovel, and a button. You put the lead in any dog that comes around; you use the shovel to bury the dog; and you put the button on your mouth."

That may sound harsh, but it probably came about as a result of people not owning up to things their dogs did.
When dogs disappeared, one could usually guess how and where, and most understood.

There has always been a "thing" there between farmers and loose dogs, and probably always will be.
 
G

·
Well my liberal lets all hugg eachother mother gave her great dog away because she was afraid it would hurt someone (Mom that's what she is supposed to do) Mome lives in BFE with 20 acres bunch of land that ended up with a trailer park being built around it. She also had pet sheep. Like above poster mentioned one was killed by dogs chasing them outside fence. She caught dog took it to pound a few days later dog is back this time in the fence eating a freshly killed sheep. Cought dog again called sherriff who took pictures and took dog. Mom sued owner and LOST! judge told her she didnt witness dog killing sheep. might have allready been dead when it started eating it. So she excepted the .357 H&R Handi rifle I offered her becuse she had been using and shooting a 410 single shot shotgun forever and would be familiar with it, and now a few less dogs in the area. Of course she gave up on the sheep though as all were killed. So to dog owners out there espeicially ones who think it is "sadly" ok to shoot them. Keep your dogs at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Hi, Joe4D---
I apologize. I didn't mean to annoy you with the "sadly" comment. I was talking about a dog on the loose that meant no harm, and got tarred with somebody else's brush. I didn't mean I was sentimental about it: a dog that harasses or kills livestock is a nuisance dog, with an irresponsible owner. (I keep my dogs on my property, where their job is to warn off intruders and give me some lead time to react.) In your mom's case, my personal feeling is that she should have shot the dog eating the sheep, and THEN called the sheriff.
Best,
David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just to clarify, the hogs were on our land first. I just let Shep take them home. I figured rather that than shoot them and cost someone money.

Josh <><
 
G

·
Yeh I think if my animals were outside the fence and a neighbor dog was chasing them I'd have to assume my animals were the original trespassers. Probably why Virginia Law says "In the area normally used by Livestock" I know a chicken rancher that is in the lets all get along category. He catches the dogs (he is pretty good at it) then notifies owner of his fee of $50 per chicken or dog goes to pound where fine is usually more. And like I said you know your neighbors, you know your neighbors dogs sometimes they get loose and the responsible ones show up pretty quickly or respond to a hey your dogs out running along the highway. It's the ones who are loose all the time with owners who will deny owning it when it causes a problem. Dogs like that get dropped.
 
G

·
on a side note,,,, of the self defense situations requiring deadly force, how many of those was the threat from a person ? how many were from a dog ? How much of our practice and training focuses on people ? how much on dogs ?hmmmmm kinda makes you think
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top