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#201227 - 06/23/18 09:10 AM Protecting dog in mountain lion country
Farley Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 2
Hello! I’m moving to Glenwood Springs, CO near Aspen and I’m trying to gage the level of fear I should have about mountain lions in the area. I’m most worried about my dog getting attacked. I realize that attack’s on humans are rare but they seem to like hunting in backyard/urban areas and I want to be sure I’m taking steps to protect my dog. He’s 70 lbs with a loud guard bark but I have read too many stories online of people letting their dogs(even large ones) out at night in the backyard only to get pounced on and attacked by a mountain lion. A 5 y/o boy was attacked in his yard a few miles north of Aspen a few years ago as well(Mom pried jaws open and saved him) Needless to say these stories terrify me and I wonder can I ever truly relax in my own home? I’m starting to become consumed by this and hoping to get some words of wisdom from people who live in areas such as these and how you go about these issues. I love the outdoors/hiking/skiing and would hate for this to interfere in enjoying it. Thank you so much for any input you have! Laura

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#201228 - 06/23/18 09:20 AM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: Farley]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
Hi Laura

A couple of thoughts. First of all, this simplest solution is to make sure your dog is on a leash on the trail and at night. Letting dogs run free through the wilderness can create a whole series of situations that are not good for the dog, not good for the wilderness and not good for other people. As you have noted, you certainly don't want your dog to be attacked by other wildlife; bears, pumas, etc. You also don't want your dog to attack other wildlife: bears, pumas...but also rabbits, squirrels, foxes, etc. And you don't want your dog running up to people who are afraid of large dogs and barking at them, jumping on them, or just running up to them quickly.

Secondly, if not on a leash, make sure your dog is very well trained to voice commands. That means never chasing an animal it sees, or running off. In the wilderness, your dog needs to understand that it can't follow its heart--because that will lead it into trouble. It needs to follow YOU, and you need to follow your own best judgement to keep him/her out of trouble.

Mountain lions rarely attack groups--they generally attack single animals smaller than themselves. And they attack from behind. If you keep your dog close to you at all times, you will be doing the best possible job of keeping your dog, and you, safe.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#201229 - 06/23/18 09:29 AM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: balzaccom]
Farley Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 2
Thanks for your input! He’s always on a leash on a trail which will help. Not letting him roam in his own fenced in backyard makes me sad but I guess it’s what we’ll have to do.

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#201356 - 07/07/18 11:54 AM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: Farley]
HPD Offline
member

Registered: 12/22/16
Posts: 64
Loc: Colorado High Plains
Good advice!
You should be able to let him roam in the backyard during the day, but I'd limit the roaming time at night and monitor it as closely as is practical.
Will you be living in town or on the fringes? You might want to speak with the local office of the Division of Wildlife in Glenwood to get some dos and don'ts.

You're right about children being targeted. Over the last 30 or so years I can think of a number of fatal attacks:
A 5yr old on the Big South Trail in the Poudre Canyon
A 10yr old on a trail on the western side of Rocky Mt NP
An 18yr old jogging in Idaho Springs

BTW Glenwood is a pretty cool place to live-Good luck!!
Bill

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#201357 - 07/07/18 04:42 PM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: HPD]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Do note that for any predator, anything that runs is dinner. Children need to be instructed frequently not to run from wild animals. As noted, joggers and cyclists are particularly vulnerable. Keeping the dog on leash outside of his own yard and keeping him indoors at night even at home (and monitoring him during the last "potty break" at bedtime) should keep him safe.

When I had my dog, I worried more about coyotes. My son #3's inlaws lost a beloved poodle to coyotes some years ago, in a well-populated Seattle suburb. A single coyote will lure a loose dog away to play and then the pack will gang up on him.


Edited by OregonMouse (07/07/18 04:46 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201373 - 07/12/18 11:05 AM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: OregonMouse]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
There was a reported cougar attack on a small dog in densely populated SE Portland, OR last night. The dog is, fortunately, recovering at the vet from only a couple of slight wounds. The owners also had pet rabbits in their yard which would have been an attractant. The cougar (spotted in the general area a few days ago) is still at large. In other words, even dense urban areas may not be safe.

This is the time of year that young cougars who have just left mommy roam in search of their own territory and are apt to wander into places cougars wouldn't be expected to be. As mentioned, keep an eye on your dog and make his "visits" brief when he's out at dawn, dusk, and after dark. Maybe a floodlight in the back yard?
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201385 - 07/16/18 10:26 AM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: OregonMouse]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Turns out the little dog was attacked by a coyote, not a cougar. The OR Fish and Wildlife folks examined the dog and say the bite marks are far too small for a cougar. There was a cougar reported in the area a few days before. If it was one of those traveling young cougars, it was probably miles away at the time of the attack.

I'm wondering why the dog was outside in the yard at 3 am.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201454 - 07/24/18 09:24 PM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: OregonMouse]
itsBella Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/18
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Originally Posted By OregonMouse


I'm wondering why the dog was outside in the yard at 3 am.


Maybe it sneaks out, but if I am the owner of that dog and I know for a fact that its not safe outside then I would have let him stay in the dog cage inside the house to ensure that he won't get out while I am asleep.


Edited by itsBella (07/26/18 07:59 PM)

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#201528 - 08/13/18 01:53 PM Re: Protecting dog in mountain lion country [Re: Farley]
Sharbear Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/13/18
Posts: 6
Loc: MO
I hope you have found a schedule that allows your dog some free time to roam and play in his backyard.

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