Are "tied up" dogs still effective guards??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jill.costello, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    I have a pair of German Shepherds that do a fantastic job of patrolling my 15 acres and keeping all other dogs or coyotes away. We've never even seen a coyote track...

    However, we do HEAR them, all night long- they always sound VERY close and there's enough yipping and howling going on that it must be a pretty sizeable pack.

    For a year now, we've let the dogs have the run of the property. They're fine with the 8 horses and the 4 goats and 2 chickens.

    Lately, however, the dogs have become more vocal at night, and as much as I hate to admit it, we really feel that they are barking at the horses! Now that it's winter time, the horses have changed their routine, and gather together in a thick wooded area right near our house. We think the dogs believe they are "protecting us" from the horses getting too close.

    DH wants to lock the dogs in the hay stall at night, so we can get some sleep! He says that enough of the dogs' smell will be all over our property from the daytime that the coyotes will stay away at night. Is this true??

    BTW, we are bordered on one side by a 100 acre cattle pasture (with calves), and by 14 acres with no livestock on the other. The goats and chickens are locked in the barn at night.
  2. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Coyotes are smart. They constantly test any area that might have food for them, their survival depends on it. Within a few days at the most they will realize your dogs are locked up and can't get to them.
    We have GP's and I know what you mean about the barking. It's awful. They bark the entire night long. But there are lots of coyotes here and we haven't lost any animals to them, thanks to the dogs.

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    Our dogs (six of them) have free rein on the property during the day and evening. However, when we go to bed they go with us...four on the bed and two on the floor. We sometimes hear coyotes in the distance, but they've never come up to the house. Neither do deer, turkey, coons, etc. anymore. Our neighbor has to run deer and turkey out of his garden, but I haven't had any problem.

    SOooo...I think the smell of all the dogs lingers enough to keep things at bay. I also believe that it helps that my hubby "marks his territory" when he is out walking the property.
  4. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    southern CA
    Maybe the dogs are barking at coyotes.

    My two German shepherds were in a fenced yard one morning when they caught the scent of a coyote. The coyote was about 50' away from them in the backyard, sizing up my ducks in a nearby fenced area. The darn thing just looked at the wildly barking dogs, practically grinning :nana: . He didn't move until he heard the .22 pop and whiz by.
  5. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Carthage, Texas
    Coyotes will figure out quickly if your guard dogs are chained or restrained. For a few weeks this summer, I chained my guard dog tired of trying to 'unlearn' him of one of his bad habits, and his 'punishment' was getting chained all day. I started losing chickens in the daytime. That weekend, I heard a ruckus outside, and saw a coyote walk up in the yard, with the dog barking at it all the time, nonchalantly grab a prized hen, and walk off. The next day I had the dog chained up close to the house...when the coyote visited, I peppered him with birdshot, and let the dog loose on it, and the coyote was history.

    So, in short, if you have coyotes, a guard dog is worthless, if restrained. If you must restrain your dog, fire a few shots every now and then into the ground...will keep the coyotes a little more honest.
  6. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2005
    I second that- wild animals learn fast. I had crows that knew exactly how close they could get to my tied up dogs. Coyotes would be even worse.