Many dogs become stray due to the lack of care received from their owners. They either escape, or get lost or separated from their owners, and if they are not properly tagged, which helps returning them to their home, they might just remain lost on the street. Generally stray dogs that were lost from their owners, are more used to a human presence, but those born and bred on the street can become aggressive towards humans, as they are not used with their presence.
Depending on the type of dog you are dealing with, stray or just lost, there are different methods of approaching this issue. You first need to differentiate between the situation you are confronted with. A stray dog will tend to be wary of humans and avoid contact. Keep in mind that, if stressed out, their fear can transform into aggression. Lost pets will be more likely willing to approach you, so you will be able to see if they are wearing a collar. They will also look healthier and cleaner that a genuine stray dog. To be sure you won’t be perceived a threat, avoid using dominant actions, such as direct stare at the dog, sudden movements or loud noises. Better yet, act calmly, avoid eye contact, stand sideways to the dog and let it approach you and sniff your hand, without making sudden moves.
Non-violent methods of dealing with stray dogs
Whenever confronted with a dog on the street, or even worst, a pack of dogs, remain calm and do not run away. Dogs are likely to instinctively give chase, and it is impossible to outrun them in a short sprint, so the best method in slowly walking away. It is easier when confronted with a single dog, but when facing a pack, the dogs’ confidence is multiplied and they can even coordinate themselves to take down the potential threat they see. By moving away slowly and sending calming signs such as the ones mentioned above, you will be able to move further away from the dogs and get to safety.
However, if a dog attack looks unavoidable, use an object such as a backpack, a stick, even your shirt wrapped around your forearm if time allows, in order to fend off an attack. Use your forearm to shield your head and face at all costs. To escape the area, walk backwards from the attacking dog, looking at the dog indirectly.
If a dog enters your yard, you can also hose it down with water, as it will frighten them and they will retreat. It is however possible, that they come back at night, so this is not a permanent method or a long term one, that you can use.
Methods of repelling stray dogs
If not in the care of a responsible owner, stray dogs can cause a lot of problems, such as barking, spreading disease, raiding trash and destroying property, and they can also become aggressive and dangerous. Most stray dogs are nomadic, especially if they have never known a specific house as home. These dogs will travel anywhere food is available, as they are dependent on edible human waste or the small critters they manage to eat. If they manage to form packs which help with the hunting for food, dogs can become even more dangerous, when confronted with a human.
You will not be able to solve the worldwide problem of overpopulation caused by stray dogs, but by following these tricks, you will be able to either keep the local stray dogs away from your property, or catch them and take them to a proper shelter.
The main reason why stray dogs might be roaming around your house and yard will always be the fact that they are looking for food and shelter. By removing any food source, you will be able to avoid having unwanted visits from these animals. Should you have pets of your own, avoid leaving their food outside. Move their bowls inside and make sure other dogs do not have access to them. Also do not leave outside any other food, like after a barbeque or a picnic in the yard. Make sure you have sturdy fences that protect any farm animals you have, such as chickens, rabbits or other small animals.
Also make sure any garbage cans you are keeping in the yard are securely closed with a tight lid and placed in a safe place. As a dogs’ smell sense is highly developed, they will be attracted to any discarded food, and they can knock over the cans to get to the garbage. Better to secure any meat or leftovers in a plastic bag and then throw it in the can, so the smell is not that strong.
Repellents for Dogs control:
As over 74.8 million dogs are owned in the United States alone, you can imagine the staggering number of those lost from their owners, or the stray ones, born on the street. This is why deterrents such as aerosol insecticide or granules are in a constant high demand. They help repel the dog and keep you safe from any harm. Whether you choose to use deterrents in the form of an aerosol, granules or even an electronic repellent, keep in mind that this does not solve the problem for good.
You can also use electronic deterrents which use high frequency sounds to repel the dogs. Or also entering the category of electronic deterrents, are water sprinklers, which burst out water, when their sensor is activated. You will be able to scare the dog away, and startled dogs will go quickly elsewhere, but more courageous ones can also insist and come back, especially if they sense there is a food source available. Sprinkling cayenne and black pepper, especially around your flowers and in the garden will keep dogs from roaming through your yard or destroying your plants. These would be some eco-friendly solutions, when it comes to keeping dogs away from your property.
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Get rid of:
Type of effect:
Besides these, you can also use ammonia soaked cotton balls, sliced citrus fruits and coffee filters soaked in vinegar in order to deter them away. The the smell and the taste of these deterrents turn stray dogs away, sending them looking for their meals in other areas, at least for a while, but the down side of such treatments is the fact that you will need to reapply them quite often, and especially the ammonia will also affect your soil and your plants. Keeping the stray from wrecking your yard and garden through these methods might be quite difficult, as the best method in such cases would rather be fencing.
As mentioned above, stray dogs roaming around your property, are most likely there for food, shelter or safety. As long as they have something to gain, they will most likely return, and even bring their pack, if they have one. Prevention is the key, when something like this could happen. Better to remove any food source and clean up the area around your home, and also make sure you are not feeding the stray out of pity. This will only make him return to your home, and getting rid of it will become even more complicated. Because dogs are one of man’s best friends, people tend to feel sorry for strays. If a dog has become a nuisance, it should be treated in the same manner as you would treat an invading raccoon or groundhog. Feeding them will only give the dogs a sense of safety, and you will no longer be able to impose yourself as the owner of the property and confront the dog, when time comes.
If you also own a dog, be sure to keep it safe. If the strays might appear at night in search for food, your dog will want to protect its home and family, and it might get into trouble, especially if a pack of strays is roaming around. Stray dogs that are overly aggressive or show symptoms of contagious disease should be avoided at all cost, and kept at safe distance from your own pets. Avoid feeding your pets outside unless you will be monitoring the food and if you have a rodent problem, treat it immediately. All of these things can reduce the chances of a stray dog being able to cause too much havoc in your yard.
Traps for Dogs control:
Traps are used to monitor or reduce the population of insects or other pests. They can be used against crawling, flying insects, mice, rats, cats, dogs, snakes or other pests. Mechanical traps are ideal for catching dogs, as they can be used repetitively.
In order to remove a dog from your yard you can either use fences or implement traps. Fencing your yard or around your garden might be expensive, but it is a useful method which will keep the dogs away. You can also purchase humane traps and use them together with baits, in order to catch a particular dog. These traps are usually constructed with doors loaded with springs, which activate once the dogs enter it in order to eat the bait. The doors close and the stray remains inside, which then enables you to take it to a rescue group or a shelter. You can first do this, in order to make sure you have removed the stray dog from your property, and then install a fence, to prevent others from following in its steps. Even if fencing might prove more expensive than some other deterrents, it will be a safe method that will keep you safe for 24 hours a day, without you having to monitor your yard constantly. You will need to maintain it constantly, however, as a persistent dog will be able to find its way in through a small crack.
Keep in mind that stray dogs will not respond to your callings as a lost dog would. The best method will always be luring them into a trap with a bait, especially as they will probably be very hungry. Stray dogs tend to be suspicious of anything new or different that they see, so try to adapt the trap in ways that it will make the dog want to approach it. They may not be willing to step into a new area even if their favourite food in the world is in there. Gain trust by tying the trap door so it will not snap down. Make the trap comfortable by putting a blanket or old towels in the bottom and put the bait in the back. Good bait for a dog can be any meat without bones. Hotdogs retain their shape if it rains so that is also a good option. Do not put anything with bones in the trap. Chicken or turkey bones can choke the dog or cause problems internally. After a few days, untie the door and wait for the dog to feed. The trap door will come down and you can take it to a local shelter to be examined and possibly adopted.
Stray dogs can carry internal and external diseases such as fleas, ticks, ear mites, Cheyletiella Dermatitis, Scarcoptic mange, Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworm, Coccidia and Tapeworm. They are also high at risk for passing viral infections through faeces which can be extremely fatal to other wildlife animals. Some of these infections include rabies, parainfluenza, Leptospirosis and distemper which can be lethal to humans as well. So being able to get rid of them is highly important. By applying the methods presented above, you should be able to keep dogs away from your property or manage to protect yourself from them, if confronted with a stray on the streets. The best deterring method will always be prevention, with any other pest, not only with stray dogs. Keeping them at a safe distance is ok, but avoiding their appearance at all is what you need to strive for. Getting rid of what attract dogs the most to your property, food and shelter, you will be able to avoid any unnecessary repelling methods and issues caused by the dogs around your house. For more details on ways how to prevent stray dogs from affecting your yard, garden or from attacking you on the street, follow the instructions given in our ‘Prevent infestation with stray dogs’ article.