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  #1  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:44 AM
trish321 trish321 is offline
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Squirrels and dogs

Hi everyone,

I have a Portuguese Water Dog puppy and she is barking at and trying to catch the squirrels in our backyard. Should I be concerned? Can a squirrel attack our dog? What do I do if she actually catches one?

Great forum here and I look forward to becoming an active member!!

Trish
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 07:54 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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In the highly unlikely event your pup catches a squirrel you can bet it will fight back. I doubt a squirrel will go out of it's way to attack a dog. It would be sick or the dog was close to it's baby.

However squirrel chasing is something I discourage for fear one will lead my dog to dart across the street. Plus, the neighbours will love your dog barking at the squirrels, NOT. I'm thankful my dog has had excellent recall since wee tiny puppyhood and has learned on his own to not chase things he has faint hope of catching.

The little hound next door is not so smart and I'm thankful his nitwit owners finally put a bark collar on him. He was driving us nuts. But I'm not kidding, despite all the play on words.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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Yes I would discourage chasing squirrels because high prey drive leads to problems. Escaping from the yard, barking etc..... One problem I had was toy guarding. And in the event you introduce a cat someday would go a lot smoother. I have never seen a squirrel bother a dog.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:03 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I've never seen a dog actually catch and harm a squirrel, but I'm sure it happens. I agree with everyone else though, best to discourage this behaviour....as a high prey drive can get dogs into big trouble when it comes to potential accidents.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 12:11 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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In the past 20 years our dogs have only caught squirrels twice, both times in our yard. And, both times, the squirrel reached back from the dogs' mouth and bit the dog on the snout and/or jowls. The vets were surprised both times that there wasn't more damage to the dogs--often the dog will need stitches, but ours didn't either time.

So a squirrel can do some damage but they aren't really likely to bite unless the dog catches them first...at least in our experience. And our dogs, at least, really aren't that likely to catch a squirrel--but running into traffic would be a tragic possibility if the yard weren't fenced. We've noticed that as our dogs aged, they outgrew their interest in squirrels--they still watch them, but rarely chase any more.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 05:08 PM
trish321 trish321 is offline
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lets hope she does not catch one... I will update as the summer progresses... thanks for the great responses. I love this place.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 05:49 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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We have a border collie/lab that has caught and killed at least two squirrels in her younger days, she's 15 now so it only happens in her dreams. If you can see your dog doing it, I definitely would try to discourage it. Sad for the squirrel, and could do damage for your dog. Maybe scream when she goes after it to distract her? Never worked for us, but you might get lucky.
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Old May 14th, 2014, 08:02 PM
trish321 trish321 is offline
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She did it... she actually caught a squirrel. I now have to take her to the vet as she has some scratches on her.

Can she get rabies?
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Old May 14th, 2014, 09:05 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trish321 View Post
She did it... she actually caught a squirrel. I now have to take her to the vet as she has some scratches on her.

Can she get rabies?
Didn't your dog get it shots yet, if not you'll need to call your vet right away so he tell what you need to do. Did your dog kill the squirrel ?
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Old May 15th, 2014, 07:40 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trish321 View Post
She did it... she actually caught a squirrel. I now have to take her to the vet as she has some scratches on her.

Can she get rabies?
Of course she can get rabies. If the squirrel had rabies and your dog was bitten and your dog is not vaccinated she can get rabies. The squirrel behaved normally IMO opinion and I myself would only Vet if the wounds to my dog needed attention.

But if you do Vet you must tell the Vet for his/her own safety how the wounds happened. If squirrels are known if your area for being prime carriers of rabies don't be surprised if your dog must be quarantined for a period of time, either at your home if it is deemed secure or at a containment facility. I doubt this will happen with a squirrel but it happened to a woman I know whose dog caught a Small Brown Bat, which are known rabies carriers here, and her dog had to quarantined and she had to get rabies shots herself.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 01:15 PM
trish321 trish321 is offline
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Spoke to the vet. She had her shots. Only a few scratches and no bites that he could see. I was told that she would be fine
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Old May 15th, 2014, 02:14 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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What about the squirrel , did your dog kill it or did the squirrel get away ? I never heard of a dog actually catching one.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 03:27 PM
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I'd be more concerned for the squirrels
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