Free ranging dog(s) keep the deer away

oldryderJuly 7, 2013

I have over 100 fruit trees and before this year had very little damage from deer. I've lived here for 13 years and before this year saw deer on my property maybe 1/2 dozen times.

This year I am seeing them regularly and my deer related tree damage is waaay up.

I have a hunting dog (english setter) that has always had free run of the property in the daytime while sleeping inside at nite. She's 14 this year and while still healthy has slowed down very noticably.

I suspect the lack of movement by the dog is behind my deer increase but would like to confirm that free ranging dogs can actually be effective deer deterrents even if they sleep inside.

comments anyone?

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

A dog sleeping inside will not be a deterrent to deer. The best dog is one with a strong territorial disposition. Here I have six acres mostly in native woods. A good dog, a farm dog, not a house dog, will keep the deer from the orchard and garden. Expect some damage from his running through the garden, but far less than caused by the deer. He will also have to learn about other night critters such as Raccoons and Skunks. Al

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Not a buck during rut.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I think most damage is done at night when deer and other critters are most active and dogs sleep at home.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:33PM
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I'd worry about what else the dogs are doing at night and what else is out there.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:10PM
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We had an extremely large golden retriever "Bubba" that patrolled until about 10PM and then came in the house. By 10:15PM we would have deer triggering motion detector lights in the yard.

The more deer you have, and the dryer that their regular food gets, the problems with them will escalate. Especially if you are watering any of your trees. Your trees will be the lushest growth in the area. I had to finally get a fence put up. Even then, I can see where deer have pressed their faces into the fence to try and push their way through it. I need to do some kind of fence repair almost monthly.

My problem is that I collect rain water off of my pole barn for my blueberries and some other fruit. The barn is close to my fenced in area. Deer can smell the water in the rain barrels from quite a distance. Even though I keep the barrels covered, the smell still attracts them to the area when it starts to get really dry out. Don't hold any standing water unless you really have to.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:18PM
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the deer live right next to you. They learn the habbits of you and your dogs. They know when its safe for them to go eat your trees. I watch the deer here all the time. We have six living on the twenty acres surrounding my house. They even know how to push the limit and have to run. We have hundreds more within a mile. It will defiantly help to have a free ranging dog. Don't mess with a buck in rut! I had one scare the crap out of me. I watched him beat up another buck then he walked right at me. I left the open field and he followed my path till I was at the road! My neighbors have a Newfoundlander Rottweiler and a Labrador.They are bound to their property by an electric fence. They rome the yards during the day and are inside at night. the deer go in their yard every night. As soon as they leave during the day they lock the dogs up and the deer will go in their yard. The alpha doe is the smartest of the herd. They all follow her. She is grandma, or great great great grandma!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 6:26PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I think the dog helps if the feeding pressure isn't too great, but the deer do come around when the dog isn't out for sure. Our deer prefer not to linger in our yard, but they certainly walk through... Or run if the dog spots them. Might be time to get a hunting liscence.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:35AM
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At my bro's old place he had a horse that hated deer. She would always run them off if they even came close to her pasture. One night I looked out and some deer were at her salt block 30 yards from the house while she was asleep on the other side of the barn.

A hunting dog is always on the job, but is sounds like yours has been inside at night, so probably deer numbers up in your area.

Congrats on having your pal make to 14 and still going strong!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Be sure that your dog friend stays on your property, this last weekend our dogs traveled to one of the neighbors and now we are looking at a fine for allowing our dogs to range. The neighbors' chickens and rabbits were attacked, but our dogs didn't have any blood, fur or feathers on them (unless the neighbor bathed them before I got there).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Two dogs are better than one. Our Spaniel Lucky was joined after one year by Buster, a German Plott Hound, and since then we have seen deer in the orchard exactly once, and they had circled back around behind their pursuit. Admittedly, we have a lake on three sides. In winter, you can see the tracks come up from the swamp to the driveway and take a sharp turn. We used to be the deer nursery out here; now our elaborate deer fence is decoration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other difficulties do arise.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 4:14PM
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