Little furry animals - STAY OUT OF MY YARD!

We have a 10-month-old golden, and desire to get a 2d pup to provide her the stimulation and canine companionship she seems to require.

On each of the past 2 days, Clover has maimed a young squirrel in our backyard. She doesn’t seem vicious - more like she is playing with them, and in the process injures them. Yesterday the squirrel was alive but its rear legs weren’t working, so I had to kill it and dispose of it. This a.m. my wife called me and said she had called the dog in just before heading to work, and saw she was tossing a squirrel about. Didn’t have time to dispose of it, so I have that to deal with when I get home. :rolleyes:

A couple of months ago she was playing with a baby bunny - which I killed as it was considerably the worse for wear. On all occsions she has not seemed at all violent, but a 50-pound dog using her mouth to play with a few-ounce rodent isn’t exactly an even match. On another occasion I found her chewing on what I think was the hind leg of a rabbit - tho on subsequent days I did not see any signs of the rest of the bunny (if you catch my drift!)

On one hand, I’m not too torn up over my dog killing rabbits and squirrels. We like to let her in the yard, as she seems to enjoy it. Heck, I’m pretty surprised she can even catch them, as she seems neither especially quick, clever, or quiet. So I think she is taking advantage of young and stupid beasts. Get those dumb genes outta the pool right now!

But on the other hand, I really would prefer not having to kill and dispose of small animals on a regular basis. And I’m a little concerned whether she would be too rough with a new puppy. But an 8-week 10+ pound pup is far more capable than a baby bunny/squirrel. And when we are thinking of getting the pup, we should be able to provide 24-hour supervision.

Any thoughts?

I have a golden and she kills stuff too. She’s gotten 2 rabbits and 2 groundhogs (one of the groundhogs was very large). I was deeply saddened the first time she got a bunny…and then even more sad when she picked up fleas from that escapade.

I had moles one year, but she didn’t eat any because they “screamed” at her and she got scared. It was quite amusing to watch her try to get them and then back off at the last minute.

I highly doubt your dog will be too rough with a puppy. Puppies are pretty tough! But, supervision is always a good thing. I would advise that you take their collars off during playtime, though. Collars can cause problems when rough-housing.

Will you be crating both dogs? Crate training is really important, IMHO. And it will save you grief and worry when you have to leave them home alone.

We are long-time dog owners, and have never crated - tho I well understand the potential benefits. With Clover we briefly tried crating, but decided that was not the way we wished to go.

Our house is such that we can easily close off areas. And for at least the first several weeks, we should be able to have someone home 24/7. Wife will be off work for a month, kids home from school, and I have a ton of leave to burn…

I realize she is just being a dog, but I’m less-than-thrilled with what appears to be my new hobby of killing and disposing of small dumb animals.

No real advice here, other than to say that this is normal Golden behavior, and can be used to your advantage. My Golden, Snoopy, liked to show us her catches before she disposed of them via play; we just taught her to drop the animal on command. This was useful when small animals such as lizards would enter the house – send the dog after the critter, then send both outside. Her other catches were mostly birds, though I suspect she managed to dig up some moles on occasion. She almost caught an adult rabbit once, but it managed to slip through the bottom of the fence.

I don’t think she ever intended to kill any of her catches; her “play” with them (often consisting of releasing the animal, then chasing and catching it again) just got a bit rough at times. The only animal I ever saw her kill outright was a snake.

Oh, and she was great with puppies! She was exceptionally gentle and patient with them.

One of my fondest memories of our last golden, whom we had to put down this past Feb, was watching her creep up behind a mourning dove that was on the ground near our bird feeder, and sniff it - actually touching its tail before the bird flew away!

The same dog used to play with my son’s pet rat. Daisy would nose a tennis ball towards Ralph, who would essentially straddle the ball with only his rear legs remaining on the ground. Daisy would go up to Ralph, draw her lips back from her teeth, and VERY GENTLY extricate the ball from under the rat. Then she’d retreat a couple of paces and nose the ball back to Ralph.

That was one cool dog - not to mention a cool rat!

We’ve had a skunk halfway under the front porch all night, and still there this morning. :frowning: It tangled with the dog at the main house who I guess is being kept inside until the skunk goes away.

Go away, little skunky!

Dinsdale - Your wife is working now? Have things improved?

On topic - one dog is good, two dogs is great. Five dogs (like me) is a headache, but you’ll never be lonely. I have big dogs and they seem to understand the difference between the animals that belong and prey.


She’s always been working part-time.
Things have been extremely smooth - up til a big blow-up election day, which I am attributing to stress.
Thanks for asking.

I don’t have any good advice, I’m sorry. I just wanted to say that I named my dog Clover, too. She’s 3. She doesn’t kill small animals though, because she’s only 7 pounds. However, she has ruthlessly murdered many small stuffed animals, so I’m sure if given 40 or 50 more pounds…

Can I borrow her? I have way too many of the tree rats in my yard. I was quite happy when I had a hawk take up residence for a few days.

Yeah - I tend to agree. A neighbor actually commented that a hawk was hanging around, and decimated her collection of chipmunks. We would have loved to heve it come over to our yard, as we’ve got hundreds of those little varmints as well.

Like I said, any rabbit, squirrel, or chipmunk that is stupid enough to get caught by a clown of a golden retreiver, pretty much deserves whatever it gets! I’m not all that bothered by the dog killing them. I’d just as soon not have to finish them off myself, however!