View Full Version : Question re: scaring off loose dogs

Nov. 2, 2009, 08:32 PM
None have bothered my horses YET that I have seen, but do not like that loose dogs that come onto my property constantly. I also worry about my own dogs, contained in 5' chainlink fenced yard or leash walked for their own safety and watched 90% of the time when in the yard, but still...the other day one of our dogs was barking from inside and DH saw 3 dogs standing right at our back yard fence (have never seen them there before). I like to walk my dogs around the property but am worried about running into these dogs. They are not strays, just dogs owned by people that choose to let them run loose. I am thankful that they don't seem to be bothering my horses, but I know that is possible from all the stories I've read on COTH, and I know when they are in a pack, it is more of a problem. So far the largest pack I've seen is 5.

My question is, and please understand I know NOTHING about guns (and we do not have one, which is a disagreement between DH and myself) but is there some "minor" gun I could get that could perhaps be used to encourage these dogs to stay off my property? I don't mean to hurt them, but if I could just scare them so they think - hey, unpleasant things happen there, I will stay clear, I'd like to try something. I don't think just noise would do it, we often hear gunfire around here. Is a bbgun or a pellet gun the type of thing? I realize it's possible nothing will work, just thought I'd ask.

Nov. 2, 2009, 09:24 PM
Use a paint gun. ;)

Nov. 2, 2009, 09:27 PM
Use a paint gun. ;)

That is what I do!!! Works great!

Nov. 2, 2009, 09:35 PM
a paint gun at close range could kill a dog, it hurts even when wearing the 'protective' equipment... the upside, nice way to spot paint your property :lol:

if they're wearing a collar, call the owners. when they pick up their dog(s) tell them next time they'll be hauled to the pound or just haul them to the pound.

Nov. 3, 2009, 11:35 AM
Yeah, we had thought of the paint gun also. Sounds like it works, though I can't say I'm crazy about splattering paint around the property :).
We don't want to hurt them, just scare them away. They will not be close enough to get at close range. Generally when I see them on the property now, I usually yell at them to go away and they do. The new ones we have spotted recently are wearing collars, looks like a pit bull and I don't know what else, but the ones that have been around longer don't. I can't tell what house they live in, you see them lying around in the road and all over the place. I really do not want to get that close to them to check their collars anyway. However, I know the owners don't care, no one seems to care about loose dogs around here (I've talked to the local vets office about it) and I know animal control is completely useless, we tried calling them several times when we moved here about a stray dog that the previous owners had been feeding at the house. I later met someone who reinforced the fact that local animal control is useless, he said he had a loose horse on his property and they wouldn't even come for that.

Nov. 3, 2009, 03:55 PM
I haven't used a paint ball gun against dogs, but just so you know:

1) It could maybe kill them if you hit them in the eye or something. Otherwise, it just hurts a lot which is a pretty effective deterrent.

2) It's not really paint inside. I think it's a soap mixture, but I'm not sure. Either way, if it rains, it goes away.

One caveat, though. If you get any paintballs on your house, vehicles, etc, wash it off immediately. It does stain.

Nov. 3, 2009, 05:14 PM
Why not call animal control and have them come pick up the dogs? Once the owners have to pay to bail them out of doggy jail, they will hopefully keep the pups at home.

Nov. 3, 2009, 06:57 PM
Well, it's probably unlikely we will do anything. I just hate to do nothing and then one day they hurt my animals, that's all. I didn't see them at all today. They haven't shown any signs of bothering the horses, but of course I don't see what goes on all day. I just don't like the whole pack thing. If it was just one dog, would not bother me quite as much.
I did an internet search and found a company that sells clear paintballs, says it is humane, etc, they had other dog deterrants for sale as well. It is really not in our nature to hurt another animal, but of course if it comes down to them or mine...
Animal control is useless in this county. When we moved here, I called them about 5x about a "stray" dog the previous owners left here, begging them to come get the dog. They never came. The only way we got rid of it was that the previous homeowner finally agreed to take it. A/C is on the other side of the county, there is no way the dogs would still be in the same location even if they did come out. I just think the idea of keeping your dog on your own property is practically non-existent here. There are a few, very few, with fenced yards with dogs contained.

Nov. 4, 2009, 01:57 AM
One thing about paintballs, it 'marks' the dogs as having been shot, and probably gives your neighbors a darned good idea who did it. Be prepared for retaliation.

Nov. 6, 2009, 02:30 PM
Sounds like you don't want to get close, but I've taken my share of loose dogs in to the pound before. City people move out to the country and think how nice it is to just let their dogs run loose. I don't know what your property is like, but you could also run a hotwire at dog-entry level around your property. Personally I like the paintball gun idea but it sounds like there are different dogs coming on the farm, not the same ones over and over, so while you might discourage one or two dogs different ones would keep coming.

Nov. 6, 2009, 03:30 PM
Are there humane cages the OP could use to catch the dogs and then bring them into the pound? I wouldn't even say anything to the neighbors, unless I had a relationship with them. You are probably saving the dogs from getting run over anyway.

I'd be really worried about neighbor retaliation, btw. My m-i-l was just telling me a story about how her whole little town is up in arms about a farmer because her shot the poor sweet stray (i.e. neighbors dog) when it came onto his property. She was like "they should have warned them." And I said "you don't think he had before? How would they know who shot the dogs then..." No one cares that the owners let their labs run, but everyone is waiting for a chance to take a shot at the farmer's dog now.

Nov. 6, 2009, 05:07 PM
Paintball guns sound great. You can adjust the fps, so it won't kill a dog. Personally, unless you got an incredibly unlucky shot or had a high-powered gun, I can't imagine a paintball killing a dog. (I used to play in tournaments. I was shot in the face once, under my mask, from about 2 feet away from a pumped up (above the 300 fps tournament rules) gun. It looked like someone had taken a cigar to my cheek, but it would never have killed a dog -- unless it was a totally freak shot.)

You could also try and air soft gun (Wal Mart or K-Mart) or a bb gun -- just don't aim for the eyes. Air soft guns have a max of about 300 fps, so it's not going to do more than sting, but it's a deterrent.

Nov. 6, 2009, 05:31 PM
What about a starter pistol? for races and such? they are loud.

Nov. 6, 2009, 10:14 PM
I don't see a reason to be uneasy about using paintballs. It doesn't kill, it doesn't wound, and it's easily reversible. Yes, it's unpleasant for the dogs. But that's not your fault and it's not your responsibility to protect someone else's dog from a mild trauma.

You could also live trap and transport them to a shelter. Just some input about loose dogs and why you do want to discourage them from hanging around, even if you haven't seen them bothering livestock and even if there's a 1 in a million chance of a paintball hurting them - dogs who hang around your place mark it and begin to think of it as part of their territory. At some point, they will defend 'their' territory.

Nov. 7, 2009, 11:27 PM
Yes! Rid yourself. I heart dogs, but I remember a news story a few years back in the Twin Cities about a woman going out in the morning to do chores and the friendly neighbor dogs mauled her to death and almost got her kid too before her husband shot some of the dogs. (Or something similar--anyway, very tragic).

Nov. 8, 2009, 02:07 PM
Nobody fences their dogs around here, either. But I do not allow free-range canines on my farm.

I chase them away on foot. Usually running after them, yelling "git" works, but recently for a particularly hard-headed dog I had to get a tomato stake and run at him while beating the crap out of the bushes, before he got the message to stay away.

I wouldn't want to hurt a dog, either. So I was genuinely sad when I ran this dog over and killed him a month or so ago. My point being, loose dogs, even in the country, have a way of not living long.

So your problem may take care of itself. But in the meantime, I'd either start training the neighbor's dogs or I'd put hotwire about a foot off the ground around the outside of the horse pasture.

Nov. 8, 2009, 05:59 PM
Thanks for everyone's responses. I haven't seen any dogs back here all week, but I know it is random. I guess what bothered me enough to start thinking about a deterrent was a) seeing different dogs than the usual pack; b) DH seeing the different dogs right at our backyard fence, which scares me for my own dogs, they are not the type to fare well in a fight (greyhounds) and one has already gotten in a fight with a dog years ago through a fence so I know it can happen and c) leaving my garage and heading down my driveway last week and realizing there was a dog closer to the house than I would like (he took off running before I even noticed him, but I did then chase him away). Loose dogs just always aggravate me when they are on my property, no matter if I have a small yard in a development or property in the country.

Normally, I just go on foot and yell "git, go home" and they always do head off, none turn around to challenge me.

We are 3/4 mile down a dirt road from the main road, two other homes back here, otherwise mixture of woods and pasture.

Do not know any of the neighbors on the main road and feel that most of them are probably life-long residents of the area, as opposed to city people moving to the country. I definitely do not want to risk any retaliation so perhaps if we try to do anything, the clear colored paintballs are best. I have the feeling we will most likely continue to yell at them and see how it goes.

The point about them turning our property into their territory is an extremely good one. The one neighbor back here does have a 24/7 loose dog, who does run with the others at times, I know there is no way he will ever contain her. She doesn't seem to be a problem though, at least on her own, but there's no doubt she considers our property her property as well, she will often go around our barn, etc but so far no interest in the horses and when I yell at her to leave, she always does.

I would give anything to be able to perimeter-fence the property, but it's just not possible, financially and logistically - three branches of a creek run through the property, the dogs could simply go through the culverts (which I've seen them do) even if you fenced around it. It is definitely something I am going to keep in mind when/if we move, that we buy a property that can be easily fenced off.

That woman being attacked, that is definitely scary and does make me think that perhaps DH and I should both be have some sort of protection with us when we are around the property by ourselves (or at least carry a phone, which I never do). Since it's so secluded, we're unlikely to get help from anyone if we need it. Alot to think about. I think it might be kind of fun to get a paintball gun, at least to try target practice. :)

Nov. 8, 2009, 07:22 PM
Pepper spray - :yes: