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Dogs and Freedom: A Usenet Discussion of Free Roaming Dogs in Rural Areas

In the various Usenet groups of the rec.pets.dogs hierarchy one regular issue is whether dogs in rural areas can safely be permitted to run and not be fenced in on the owner's property. Often someone suggests that it is OK to allow the dog to run free. And just as often this suggestion is met with a torrent of protests that no caring dog owner would allow the dog outside at all unless the dog is carefully supervised. Generally this barrage is met with the retort that the people in the group just can't understand the situation because they must live in cities or populated areas but the situation in rural areas is different. Hmmm different it is, but I'm not sure it is different in the expected way.

Here is just a sampling from a single thread in the misc.rural usenet group. The thread was so long that I did not think it useful to capture every post. I hope I have captured a fair representation of the discussion. In any case it is a regular issue in that newsgroup so for further research you might want to make use of the newsgroup archiving services.


From: Richard Fahey (faheyr@diamond.brooks.af.mil)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Thu, 02 May 1996 12:44:12 -0500

I've known DOZENS of farmers whose dogs have been unconfined and 
remained at home.  Those that didn't usually got themselves shot. 
Evolution in action - I guess the dogs you know will tend to be ones that 
stay at home :)

RF

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From: Rob Gray (alpha@injersey.com)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Thu, 02 May 1996 20:15:32 -0400

I agree. Some dogs do not have to be tied up because they will never 
leave your property. It generally depends on the breed. Growing up we 
had A Chesapeake Bay Retriever who would rarely leave the front stoop on 
the farm. The only time that he got excited was when he went swimming.  
On he other hand, if you have an Airedale, or an Irish Setter, watch 
out!!! Generally though, most dogs like to roam, especially in a group, 
and therefore should be chained at all times..

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From: stafford@ultra1.winona.msus.edu (john stafford)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Wed, 01 May 1996 06:30:20 -0600

> [snip - read the article] 
> John's attitude PERFECTLY illustrates THE PROBLEM. "MY DOG is good, MY DOG
> is the perfect breed, MY DOG will not harm others, except for bad animals!
> MY DOG will not trespass!".........sounds like SUPERDOG!

   Look, you knee-jerking fool - read the article. I was speaking
   specifically about my  dog and there is a damn good chance that
   there are many, many other dogs like him. The point is to KNOW
   YOUR DOG. You don't know mine.

> Dogs need SUPERVISION (ha) from RESPONSIBLE owners to
> exist with your rural neighbors!

   1) I have no neighbors
   2) He is trained and his natural tendency is to patrol a given
      area. And yes, he is a super dog. Hell, he's probably smarter than you.

Newsgroups: misc.rural
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From: "James M. Baranski" (jmb@jax.org)
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom

J.K. DeCIANCIO wrote:
> 
> You will be responsible for the damage they do but money will not help
> if a child it scarred for life or killed.  If you have a large place,
> then make a large inclosure but don't expect to be able to teach them
> to stay with out confinement.  They, like children, need to be
> protected and confined.

Do your children have their own kennel, or do they share one with the
dogs?  Hello, DCYF...? :-)

Two of my dogs behave themselves.  They get to stay outside.  One
brainless Golden has to be supervised, and is confined most of the time.
-- 
Jim Baranski, Network Administrator, The Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor ME
http://www.jax.org/~jmb

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From: stafford@ultra1.winona.msus.edu (john stafford)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Thu, 02 May 1996 20:26:03 -0600

In article <4maj0e$p32@nyx.cs.du.edu>, rgallowa@nyx.cs.du.edu (Robert
Galloway) wrote:

> How big is your farm?  How close it your house to the property line?  How 
> close is the nearest neighbor and what kind of livestock does he have?  
> I've known DOZENS of farmers whose dogs have been unconfined and remained 
> at home.  Those that didn't usually got themselves shot.  The answer is, 
> it all depends.

   Good input. And it's not just the size of the place, but the
   topography as well. In my case, the land is on top of a bluff
   with 600' drops surrounding most of the property (2,550 acres), with 
   the only entrance being a road two miles long with the only neighbor
   living at the entrance. So, to those who knee-jerk, here is
   your opportunity to THINK before you blow up.

(ps - no bragging intended. i do not own the land.)

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From: strictlow@aol.com (Strict Low)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 3 May 1996 13:57:43 -0400

>>When I was growing up, I used to visit and short term live with a
friend who lived in the country.  _Every_ farm had its dogs - note
multiple! Dogs who attacked livestock were shot or destroyed some way,
whether is was one's own or somebody elses.  I think they were not as
much a problem then because the dogs of "my" farm would run off any
other dogs, and Farmer Jones dogs would run off "my" dogs.  The dogs
never seemed to go anywhere unless they were with people, they just
hung around the house and barn.<<

This describes the situation on our farm. My two labs run free, my
neighbors a mile down the road have two dogs that run free, the house
another mile down has 1 dog running loose, etc. For the most part, the
dogs stay within a few hundred yards of their own house, and all the land
is in row crops (i.e. no livestock).

Once a year or so, a dog will get into our trash and we'll throw rocks at
him. Thats about as much as anyone ever has to do with a neighbor dog.

BBB
-
Bean & Bean Cotton Company / Bean Farms
http://www.cris.com/~Bbbean

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From: bishop@eri.erinet.com (Corey Lee Bishop)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 1 May 1996 13:52:20 -0400

happycamper (csimpson@tcu.com) wrote:
:  GMT, denismac@io.com (dMc) wrote:
: His only passion is to kill coyote and 
: >-   wild or unknown dogs that dare enter his territory. 
: >> 
: So if my dog in spite of my best effort gets out of his fenced yard
: and wanders over to your property he will be killed?. Geez, Nice
: neighbors.

Yep.  Same thing here.  I have a livestock guardian dog.  She lives with
my livestock in the fields, protects them from four-legged intruders.
If your dog escapes and comes onto my property, my dog might well kill
it.  That's her job.  She has no idea what your dog's purpose is, stray
dogs around here have killed lots of livestock.  
If you value your dog, you will keep him home.

Sue

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From: csimpson@tcu.com (happycamper)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Wed, 01 May 1996 14:31:21 GMT

 GMT, denismac@io.com (dMc) wrote:
His only passion is to kill coyote and 
>-   wild or unknown dogs that dare enter his territory. 
>> 
So if my dog in spite of my best effort gets out of his fenced yard
and wanders over to your property he will be killed?. Geez, Nice
neighbors.

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From: stafford@ultra1.winona.msus.edu (john stafford)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Thu, 02 May 1996 11:11:20 -0600

In article <4m9av1$m99@news.iastate.edu>, z1dan@exnet.iastate.edu (Natural
Born Cereal Killer) wrote:

>         I might as well vouch for John here, but his dogs are quite
> well-behaved and from up-close-and-personal inspection they appear
> to have determined, along with the neighboring dogs, that their
> property line and the farm's fencelines coincide quite well.

   Thanks, Dan, but the neighbor's St. Bernard apparently forgot
   his manners last Fall and wandered into the pasture by
   the house. Pico went ballistic. The St. Barnard ran. Haven't
   seen him since.

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From: csimpson@tcu.com (Happycamper)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Sat, 04 May 1996 01:35:44 GMT

I also live in a very rural area and would never think of letting my
dog run free. When we moved out here about a year ago we had two
basset hounds. The back yard was partially fenced and with some
additional work on my part the dogs had about a half-acre fenced in
area.However the younger basset made it his lifes work to get out of
the fence and was finally run over and killed. Our dogs had never been
exposed to farm animals before and naturally would bark at the
neighbors horses,sheep etc. I don't think you fault the dog for doing
what comes naturally .

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From: isjlf@acad2.alaska.edu
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Sun,  5 May 96 02:34:53 +900

I live on a cattle ranch. My dog, a black lab/random bred X isn't allowed
out of the pickup around the livestock. She chases horses and cows and
stalks calves. To avoid having to shoot her, she simply isn't allowed
to interact with the stock. She goes everywhere I go. When we're home,
she stays in the yard. If she wants to go for a run, she gets me to
go with her. (she's a pushy dog.) She isn't allowed to run free.

We think that some mama moose must have broken her of chasing moose critters
--
when they come into the yard, she just lays there without moving
a muscle, eyes as big as saucers. When we see dogs chasing moose around
here, we just shoot them. That's the common and accepted practice in
Alaska. The only restriction is we citizens aren't allowed to shoot
a dog running moose in town. We have to call the cops and they shoot
the dog.
         
Jan
Alaska                                      

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From: omelia@midwest.net (D. O'Melia)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 1 May 1996 13:13:01 GMT

>I am probably in the minority here, but it has always been my feeling 
>that instead of shooting the dogs, it is the owners who should be shot. 
>But I guess this isn't a real popular solution. ;->

>Mike Sloane (allamuchy NJ)

I think the owner is responsible for the dog's transgressions. If your dog
is unconfined and does not leave your property, no one will know the 
difference. Dogs that do run and cause trouble are neglected innocents that
are just doing what comes naturally. In our situation, one neighbor just 
won't control his animal. The dog is smart and in great need of attention.
This puts someone like me in the position of guarding against his dogs 
escapades. I may have to shoot him before it's over. I just haven't decided
which "him" to shoot. (Heh Heh)

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From: afrenchs@epix.net
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re:dogs and freedom
Date: Thu, 02 May 96 20:24:06 EST

No one has mentioned dogs vs wildlife.  When there were diary farms here the 
traditional dog was a collie; they got enough exercise doing their job...and 
killing wasn't their thing.  Now people have rotweillers, hounds, German 
shepherds, dobermans, huskies, etc....and this is not just transplanted "city 
folks".  They can do a lot of damage, particularly in a bad winter.

No, I wouldn't shoot a dog running wildlife (it's an owner problem) but I do 
chase them off.  Most have been reprimanded often enough to realize it's 
something they shouldn't be doing and break off the chase.  So my suggestion 
is that people use some common sense when selecting a breed of dog for country
living.  If you want a personal-protection or hunting dog, keep it confined!

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From: stafford@wind.winona.msus.edu (john j. stafford)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Wed, 01 May 1996 15:17:41 -0500

> So if my dog in spite of my best effort gets out of his fenced yard
> and wanders over to your property he will be killed?.

   If your dog wanders into my dog's territory, he probably will
   not be killed unless he challenges my dog, myself or another
   animal on the property. In addition, if he's a smart runner,
   he has it made. My dog won't chase a threat that is retreating.

>  Geez, Nice neighbors.

   We really are. If you came onto the property, you would receive a
   warm welcome from all of us. (and there are two people in this group
   who _have_ visited.)
-- 
John J. Stafford - Winona State University
                   Academic Computing Services

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From: "James M. Baranski" (jmb@jax.org)
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Lots of people have posted using the phrase "*MY* dogs wouldn't do
that!", sarcasticly or not.

Needless to say, if a dog *is* a problem, then something has to be done
about it.  Either the dog has to be shot, confined, or something.

I would guess the big question is, should a dog be left free *before*
they cause a problem, or locked up *before* they cause a problem?

By allowing our dogs more freedom as long as they don't cause problems,
we're accepting the possibility that they may get in trouble, and IMO,
accepting responsibility for any damages they cause.  We're also
accepting that they may get hurt, or run over, or shot if necessary,
it they do get into trouble.  That's life, IMO.

The only other question is whether the 'injured party' has any 
responsibility for taking reasonable precautions to protect their
property?  IE,  if you have a flock of sheep that wander around, 
without any kind of fence to contain them or keep preditors out, is a
wandering dog entirely at fault for running them into the ground?

Some local laws lean one way, some the other, from what I've heard.
I tend to think that the other owner is responsible for *some* 
deterrent, if only to protect their property from *wild* animals.  
Certainly it's prudent.  I'm not sure what measures "need" to be taken
exactly.

Then again, some locales have leash laws; but most of them are not
"rural"...
-- 
Jim Baranski, Network Administrator, The Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor ME
http://www.jax.org/~jmb

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From: rgallowa@nyx.cs.du.edu (Robert Galloway)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 2 May 1996 09:05:50 -0600

dMc (denismac@io.com) wrote:
>> I can tell you that no place is big enough for it to be right to let
>> your dogs run free;

How big is your farm?  How close it your house to the property line?  How 
close is the nearest neighbor and what kind of livestock does he have?  
I've known DOZENS of farmers whose dogs have been unconfined and remained 
at home.  Those that didn't usually got themselves shot.  The answer is, 
it all depends.

rhg

Also, is somebody home all day?


>
>-   Generally, true, however there are breeds that can run free
>-   under certain circumstances.  I'll submit that my Great Pyrenees
>-   is the perfect dog to let run free, and he does. He is a guardian dog
>-   who lives to patrol the area. His only passion is to kill coyote and 
>-   wild or unknown dogs that dare enter his territory. He does not hurt
>-   or harass the other wildlife. He will not attack a human being unless
>-   that person is attacking me and he will not trespass upon the 
>-   neighbor's land.  What more could a person want? 
>-   John J. Stafford - Winona State University
>                 
>
>John's attitude PERFECTLY illustrates THE PROBLEM. "MY DOG is good, MY DOG
>is the perfect breed, MY DOG will not harm others, except for bad animals!
>MY DOG will not trespass!".........sounds like SUPERDOG! Did you get a pup
>from Clark Kent? Dogs need SUPERVISION (ha) from RESPONSIBLE owners to
>exist with your rural neighbors!
>

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From: somis7@ix.netcom.com(John T. Klausner )
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 6 May 1996 20:37:36 GMT

In <4mi0g5$324@news.alaska.edu> isjlf@acad2.alaska.edu writes: 
>
>I live on a cattle ranch. My dog, a black lab/random bred X isn't
allowed
>out of the pickup around the livestock. She chases horses and cows and
>stalks calves. To avoid having to shoot her, she simply isn't allowed
>to interact with the stock. She goes everywhere I go. When we're home,
>she stays in the yard. If she wants to go for a run, she gets me to
>go with her. (she's a pushy dog.) She isn't allowed to run free.
>
>We think that some mama moose must have broken her of chasing moose
critters --
>when they come into the yard, she just lays there without moving
>a muscle, eyes as big as saucers. When we see dogs chasing moose
around
>here, we just shoot them. That's the common and accepted practice in
>Alaska. The only restriction is we citizens aren't allowed to shoot
>a dog running moose in town. We have to call the cops and they shoot
>the dog.
>         
>Jan
>Alaska                                      
 When you raise dogs on a farm, usually there are all _kinds_ of mommas
who teach them not to chase all kinds of species.  A good momma hen or
a good rooster can teach a puppy respect in one lesson what you or I
couldn't teach them in a year.  A grown dog or even a half grown dog is
another story - I got an 8 month old Dalmatian female who had never
seen chickens before and promptly commenced chasing them.  She never
even heard me yell at her. But in a purely lucky piece of chance, I
managed to plant a very solid foot in her ribs as she passed hot after
a banty rooster.  It got her attention long enough for me to get the
idea of "NO" across.  After that, she'd listen and not chase if I was
there, but I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her if I
wasn't!
SueK

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From: "P. Smakula" (pcsmak@ccmail.monsanto.com)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: Tue, 07 May 1996 14:49:32 -0700

>I got an 8 month old Dalmatian female who had never
> seen chickens before and promptly commenced chasing them.  She never
> even heard me yell at her. But in a purely lucky piece of chance, I
> managed to plant a very solid foot in her ribs as she passed hot after
> a banty rooster.  It got her attention long enough for me to get the
> idea of "NO" across.  After that, she'd listen and not chase if I was
> there, but I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her if I
> wasn't!
> SueK

Alright SueK!!! Despite the fact that most people may agree with your 
"teaching method," you DID teach your dog to alter it's behaviour, in a 
way that the dog understands. Telling a dog "no" just doesn't make it. 
Your dog will probably be a pleasure to have around, since she knows who 
is boss.

To add to the thread: I recently snagged a small dog that was running 
around on my property (I'll admit to being a city dweller) that had no ID 
on it. I asked the neighbors if they knew whose dog it was and they 
pointed me down the street. When I delivered the dog I asked why there 
was no ID or rabies tag and the moron who took back the dog said it was 
one of those new government id tags that youy can only read under UV 
light. What a moron. Next time his dog can go to the pound.

My girlfriend has enough dogs to have a kennel license. Every year she 
buys tags for all her dogs, but the county people always ask her why, 
since she isn't required to since she has the license. She would rather 
have the tag on it so that if a dog DID get loose and run off, whoever 
caught it would know it had it's shots and could be ID'd easily.

If people had an idea about being responsible for their actions, we 
wouldn't be using bandwidth for this discussion.

PCS

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From: pbl5890@tntech.edu (PAT LENZO)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 2 May 96 16:18:22 -0500

  I'll submit that my Great Pyrenees
>>-   is the perfect dog to let run free, and he does. He is a guardian
> dog
>>-   who lives to patrol the area. 

A neighbor had Pyrs who included my farm in their tours. I was quite happy
with
them. One Pyr however, insisted on chasing my geese and ducks, ran the geese 
to another farm (worth $30 each). That dog had to find a new home.

> When I was growing up, I used to visit and short term live with a
> friend who lived in the country.  _Every_ farm had its dogs - note
> multiple! Dogs who attacked livestock were shot or destroyed some way,
> whether is was one's own or somebody elses.  I think they were not as
> much a problem then because the dogs of "my" farm would run off any
> other dogs, and Farmer Jones dogs would run off "my" dogs.  The dogs
> never seemed to go anywhere unless they were with people, they just
> hung around the house and barn.  I guess I see the difference here that
> the perception that the dog could run livestock just isn't recognized
> by some people ( "not my dear doggie") more than that they trespass. 
> Would you people who are _really_ adamant about the dogs not
> trespassing feel as strongly if the dog really only "trespassed" and
> did no harm?

I think Sue's right. Each dog is individual. If I know who they belong to and
they don't terrorize my sheep, the "trespass" means nothing. If it's a stray 
and the sheep react, I can't wait to see....pregnant sheep who panic and run
get chased and abort. Oops, there goes the years profit! And if you've even
had
to shoot several sheep who have produced twins each year, because a pack of
stray dogs have been at them you'd feel the same way.

My biggest problem is the dog-loving folks who drop unwanted animals (dogs and
cats) off in our rural area assuming that we'll take them in. All of us have
adopted all the strays we can handle. I'm convinced most of our coyote attacks
are actually packs of wild dogs. There are even rumors of 2 wolf mixes who
were
turned loose in the woods when they became poor house pets!

Pat
country lane 

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From: somis7@ix.netcom.com(John T. Klausner )
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 1 May 1996 15:37:02 GMT

When I was growing up, I used to visit and short term live with a
friend who lived in the country.  _Every_ farm had its dogs - note
multiple! Dogs who attacked livestock were shot or destroyed some way,
whether is was one's own or somebody elses.  I think they were not as
much a problem then because the dogs of "my" farm would run off any
other dogs, and Farmer Jones dogs would run off "my" dogs.  The dogs
never seemed to go anywhere unless they were with people, they just
hung around the house and barn.  I guess I see the difference here that
the perception that the dog could run livestock just isn't recognized
by some people ( "not my dear doggie") more than that they trespass. 
Would you people who are _really_ adamant about the dogs not
trespassing feel as strongly if the dog really only "trespassed" and
did no harm?
SueK

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From: Sparky J. Morehouse (sjmorehouse@envirolink.org)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 6 May 1996 09:44:52 GMT

Gosh, I've been taking part in this discussion lately, and now I get to speak 
of a recent incident where the dog next door was roaming on my property, then 
chased a rabbit, then one of my chickens. 

The people next door have been out of Oakland for only about 3 years. I've 
told them 3 times to keep their dog off of my property. I have 20 chicks in 
the brooder because of heavy loses this past 12 months. I also have 2 horses, 
one of which is a $10,000 race horse. The folks next door KNOW they're letting

the dog onto my property, because they let him wander when they're out doing 
fence work...this is not a passive act; they know damn well their mutt is 
running afoul!

They got a citation from Animal Control that carries I believe a fine
of $180 dollars or so, here in Sonoma County, California. They were also told 
in no uncertain terms by the officer THAT I WILL SHOOT THEIR DOG. These people

are very dense. They asked the officer several times "you mean we can't let 
our dog go over there AT ALL???" Finally it sank into their thick skulls that 
no, you can't let your dog go onto my property AT ALL !!! 

Because I'm a livestock owner, I have the protection of THE LAW, and of Animal

Control. Next time the dog will be impounded until the owners build a 
regulation kennel...If it doesn't get shot, that is. Shooting the stupid mutt 
would ruin my day, but, I have to stick up for my (livestock/property) rights!

It's a shame city folks have to learn the hard way when they move out to a 
rural setting...I really do have better things to do with my time than to deal
with country newbies with goofey notions that it's cool for dog to roam around
free. We have large packs of feral canines (newly reverted back to wild) 
roaming the hills here, and there is little tolerance for bozos from the 
cities who just don't understand anything other than their urban existence 
modes, and why that don't cut it out here.

People forget just where thoses eggs & steaks come from (it's NOT Safeway)!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
       FROM: Sparky J. Morehouse, in the California Wine Country
                             HAM: KE6VGA
REPLY: sjmorehouse@envirolink.org - Please Support YOUR Local Public Radio!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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From: z1dan@exnet.iastate.edu (Natural Born Cereal Killer)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 2 May 1996 03:42:25 GMT

stafford@wind.winona.msus.edu (john j. stafford) writes:

>>  Geez, Nice neighbors.
>
>   We really are. If you came onto the property, you would receive a
>   warm welcome from all of us. (and there are two people in this group
>   who _have_ visited.)

      I might as well vouch for John here, but his dogs are quite
well-behaved and from up-close-and-personal inspection they appear
to have determined, along with the neighboring dogs, that their
property line and the farm's fencelines coincide quite well.

      In fact, I met Piko (John's dog) once one evening, and turned
up again a few days later while John was away.  Piko kept an eye on
me, just as he does any other stray sheep, but didn't do anything
more obnoxious than drool on my gloves despite my wandering about
the farm and generally making a nuisance of myself.

      Piko is a farm dog.  The things running cattle and killing
animals despite a full food dish at home aren't farm dogs.  There
is a big difference between the two.
-- 
* Dan Sorenson,  DoD #1066,   ASSHOLE #35,  z1dan@exnet.iastate.edu *
* Vikings?  There ain't no vikings here.  Just us honest farmers.   *
* The town was burning, the villagers were dead.  They didn't need  *
* those sheep anyway.  That's our story and we're sticking to it.   *

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From: fuzyfarm@cbvcp.com (Pat Lamar)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 6 May 1996 08:23:26 GMT

In article <318ab436.18277449@news.pre

I raise rabbits... for a LIVING! Rabbits, like pigs, stress very easily, 
which can do considerable  damage to a pregnant doe or doe with a new 
litter.  Dogs are a "natural" enemy to rabbits, and  rabbits are a 
natural prey to dogs.  Rabbits are kept in cages and cannot even run 
from a  "trespassing" dog that gets underneath the cages and literally 
pulls the rabbits' legs through the wire.  As a rabbit expert, I helped 
a friend in a court case when her entire rabbit herd had  been wiped out 
by the "innocent" trespassing dogs... and she won her case.  (Some 
rabbits are  actually valued up into the hundreds of dollars.... imagine 
if your dog had killed off an entire  HERD of 75 to 100 expensive show 
rabbits!)  I have lost some valuable rabbits to supposedly "well- 
behaved" dogs, either by direct killing, or by way of heart attacks and 
broken backs.  Please... keep your dogs away from my rabbits... and 
I'll keep my rabbits away from your garden! 

Yes, I own a black lab, and he is kept confined when unsupervised, even though
he is well-behaved,   "MY dog wouldn't do that..."????  Seems I've heard that
phrase from parents about their unruly  children, too!  :)   

Pat Lamar
Eastern Washington

=     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =
From: bobbibrewe@aol.com (BobbiBrewe)
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 30 Apr 1996 20:05:23 -0400

denismac@io.com (dMc) writes:

>John's attitude PERFECTLY illustrates THE PROBLEM. "MY DOG is >good, MY
DOG is the perfect breed, MY DOG will not harm others, >except for bad
animals! MY DOG will not trespass!".........sounds like >SUPERDOG! Did you
get a pup from Clark Kent? Dogs need >SUPERVISION (ha) from RESPONSIBLE
owners to exist with your >rural neighbors!
>

Some dogs are trained or bred as guardian animals. Pyrs (as John referred
to) are an example. Their jobs are to guard livestock and, occasionally,
people. It's difficult for them to do their jobs if they are confined.
However, these dogs also need to be taught where their boundaries are.
Once they learn those, they *rarely* travel.

We have livestock guardian dogs (Pyr and Maremma) who patrol a portion of
our farm. We don't have any neighbors within several miles anymore, but
when we *did*, their dogs would travel over here to visit. Our guardian
dogs never left their area of the farm (the same is *not* true for my Lab,
who had to be confined because she would travel anywhere!).

Some dogs do not have the desire to wander all over, particularly if they
are taught early where they are supposed to be. Responsible owners of
working dogs teach the dogs how to behave and then allow them the freedom
to do their jobs effectively.

Bobbi

=     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =
From: softmach@ix.netcom.com(Stephen and Linda Hawkins )
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: dogs and freedom
Date: 2 May 1996 16:33:24 GMT

In <4lj2mb$4ct@engnews2.Eng.Sun.COM> banta@abingdon.Sun.COM (242 lbs before
cooking) writes: 
>......
>>Politely point out to your neighbor that you have the right to shoot
>>the dogs for harassing your livestock.  And, most midwest states have
>>a state leash law, the dog catcher/animal control is your next option.
>
snip, snip
>
>The county I live in has no leash law.  Every time it's brought up,
>the county responds the same way: either enact municipal or community
>leash laws or protect your own property and livestock.  A rather
>admirable approach, in my book.
>
Unfortunately, leash laws don't always do the trick.  In a "everybody
knows everything" environment of a small town, it is often difficult to
enforce those laws.  Especially, in my family's case where the
offending neighbor was a truly nasty character who tends to retaliate,
has two very unruly teenage children with a malicious streak, and even
happens to have a bear (caged, thankfully!).  However, when the dogs
(large black Labs) started running in a pack and chasing the residents,
the problem couldn't be ignored any longer.  So, the solution was to
harass the mayor as harassing the dog owners wasn't practical.  

Finally, the dogs were picked up and taken to a local vet's office (no
animal control here!).  The owners didn't even care enough to pay the
fine, so the dogs were put to sleep.  The problem is taken care of for
now, but it is truly sad that the owners didn't even care about the
fate of the dogs once money was involved.

The preceding is a just a sampling from a single thread in the misc.rural group. It does not represent nearly the entire discussion, but does give a good overview of the various approaches to dogs in rural areas. I hope that it gives pause for thought.

Respectfully submitted: Diane Blackman

 

                 

 

 

 

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