My dog brought a baby possum in our home — lucky us!

When hunting dogs love the chase and wreak havoc in your home

Photo credit: daynaw3990/Pixabay

My dogs absolutely loved my mother, but she has had far more heart-thumping moments with them than me, my father and my brother combined. A part of me sympathizes with her bad luck, but the facetious part of me cackles at how much rodents love her.

Three of four of us are terrified of mice. However, a mouse chose my mother as a target in our sealed dog food bucket. She reached in to scoop up some dry food, and a mouse came swimming to the top and ran across her hand.

Then there was the time my Labrador Retriever/German Shepherd mix strolled over to her with a dead bird in his mouth. No matter how much she tried to talk him into leaving it alone, he just kept pawing at it and picking on the poor thing.

Recommended Read: “Best Dogs Toys For Hunting Reviewed in [2020]

Less than a day after my mother returned home, one of her ceramics fell on the dining room floor. When she went into the dining room, she saw something strange. There was this unfamiliar object on the carpet — a baby possum playing dead. She screamed. The baby possum ran, knocking down a few more ceramics, and my father heard the blood-curling scream that confirmed his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him.

Recommended Read: “Sleeping with dogs and bed hogs ~ When you finally give up on sleeping alone

Controlling the four-legged visitors in your home

Talk to exterminators, and they’ll tell you that nothing works but them — not your peppermint oil, electronic pet repellers or your cheese traps. They do support glue traps though. And, grudgingly, they’ll admit that dogs are unpaid exterminators who can spend their entire day focusing on a curious sound in the wall.

Photo credit: RonaldPlett/Pixabay

But outside of that, if you have a hunting dog, expect to spend some time keeping him (or her) away from squirrels, birds, possums, rats, (sometimes) cats, chipmunks and pretty much anything else that will play hide-and-seek with him. While there are some dogs who lose interest quickly after the chase is over (i.e. my German Shepherd, who refused to re-chase the baby possum around to take it back outside), for other dogs, this is a never-ending game of fetch.

Sometimes that comes in handy. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs like German Wirehaired Pointer have a coat that’s ready-made to keep them protected from thorny bushes during a hunt. Waterfowl are not their biggest fans. Retrievers and English Springer Spaniel are a pain for birds. And the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever looks so much like a fox that it can lure ducks in before they realize they made a bad decision. These hunting traits really come in handy if you’re a hunter. But if you’d rather not know everything your dog digs up in the backyard, you may want to choose a non-sporting dog such as an American Eskimo, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, Poodle, etc.

Photo credit: Cottonbro/Pexels

While there are exceptions to the rule, non-sporting dogs either were never or have become too domesticated to train for hunting by pointing, flushing and retrieving game. Some would rather clip their own dog nails instead of chasing something uninteresting in the backyard. Meh. Hard pass.

There are things you can do to deter prey being brought into your doors. A few quick tips include:

  • Avoid a doggy door if you want to keep tabs on what your dog is getting into outside.
  • Do not put poison outside to keep away rats and other pests. Your dog may not realize it is off limits and eat it. However, if you must do so, find alternate locations for your pet to play until the pest problem is under control.
  • If you have a garden, stay on top of your vegetable picking. Insects, mites, slugs and snails can become an absolute nuisance, and so can rabbits and squirrels.
  • If you happen to be someone who grows a wide variety of food, make sure you know your dog’s health status. Some dogs can only eat legume-free food, meaning a snack of chickpeas, clovers, lentils, peas, soybeans and other legumes can be dangerous for him. Set up proper barriers to keep your dog away from them, as well as legume fans like rabbits, chipmunks and (if you live near them) deer.

Recommended Read: “Best Legume Free Dog Food in [2020]

Shamontiel is a dog lover to her core: 468 completed walks with 76 dogs, eight dog-housesittings and four dog boardings at the time of this publication. Would you like to receive Shamontiel’s Weekly Newsletter via MailChimp? Sign up today!

Doggone World

For dog lovers, dog walkers and dog owners.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Written by

Check out her six Medium pubs: BlackTechLogy, Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

Doggone World

Let’s discuss all bark-related, (mostly) feel-good content for dog lovers, dog walkers and dog owners.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Written by

Check out her six Medium pubs: BlackTechLogy, Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

Doggone World

Let’s discuss all bark-related, (mostly) feel-good content for dog lovers, dog walkers and dog owners.

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