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Stray Dogs - Facts Identification and Control

Stray dogs often display distinct physical characteristics shaped by their survival in various environments. Typically, they may have a leaner build, evidence of their constant search for food and the physical demands of a life without constant care. Their coats can vary widely, from short and smooth to long and unkempt, depending on their breed and the care they have received. It's common to see signs of their harsh living conditions, such as patchy fur, scars, or visible signs of diseases like mange or flea infestations. Their eyes may convey wariness or fear, a natural response to the unpredictable challenges they face daily. Despite these hardships, stray dogs can exhibit a wide range of colors and markings that hint at their diverse genetic backgrounds. This description provides a realistic portrayal of stray dogs, recognizing both their resilience and the challenges they endure.

Stray dogs demonstrate remarkable adaptability, flourishing in diverse environments from bustling urban centers to deserted structures and the fringes of human habitations. Their survival-driven behavior prompts them to form packs, enhancing their security and efficiency in resource gathering, thus revealing intricate social dynamics. Inherently scavengers, these dogs depend on discarded human food, small prey, or offerings from sympathetic humans, while their pronounced territorial instincts often lead them to aggressively defend their claimed areas or group members. Nonetheless, their resilience in navigating human-dominated landscapes is noteworthy. They develop sharp senses to sidestep dangers and display a spectrum of interactions with humans, from cautious withdrawal to actively seeking companionship.

The social structure within stray dog packs mirrors a form of democracy rarely seen in the animal kingdom, with leadership roles not bound by gender—both male and female dogs can lead, their status subject to challenge by any stronger member. This flexibility contrasts with more rigid hierarchies observed in purely wild canines like wolves. Many stray dogs, having once been domestic pets, are sterilized, yet they breed with remarkable frequency, potentially producing litters every four months throughout the year. The size of these litters varies, often influenced by the breed, with some numbering up to 14 puppies. This capacity for rapid population growth underscores the complexity of managing stray dog communities and highlights the critical need for comprehensive animal welfare strategies to address the challenges they present to themselves and human societies.

The diet of a stray dog is predominantly opportunistic, relying heavily on the availability of resources in its environment. These dogs often consume a varied diet consisting of discarded human food, leftovers found in garbage bins, and small animals or insects they can catch. In urban areas, where human waste is plentiful, stray dogs might frequent dumpsters and alleyways behind restaurants and markets, where they can find scraps of meat, vegetables, and occasionally, prepared foods. In more rural settings, their diet may include small rodents, birds, and whatever edible vegetation they can find. This adaptability in their feeding habits highlights their resilience and resourcefulness in securing nourishment despite the challenges of their living conditions. The ability to thrive on such a diverse diet allows stray dogs to survive in a wide range of habitats, from densely populated cities to remote countryside areas.

Stray dogs pose a multifaceted set of concerns that impact both human communities and the dogs themselves. Public health is a primary worry, as stray dogs can be carriers of rabies and other zoonotic diseases, which can be transmitted to humans and other animals through bites or scratches. Additionally, their presence can lead to increased incidences of traffic accidents, as drivers attempt to avoid hitting them on the roads. From an environmental standpoint, stray dogs can disrupt local wildlife by preying on native species and competing for resources. Moreover, their tendency to scavenge results in the spread of garbage, contributing to unsanitary conditions in urban and rural areas alike. On a societal level, the issue of stray dogs reflects broader problems of pet overpopulation and irresponsible pet ownership, underscoring the need for comprehensive animal welfare policies, including spaying and neutering programs, to mitigate these challenges. This paragraph encapsulates the complex issues surrounding stray dog populations, highlighting the necessity for coordinated efforts to address the concerns they present to public health, safety, and environmental well-being.

Stray dogs are vectors for several diseases that pose significant health risks to both humans and other animals. One of the most serious is rabies, a fatal viral disease transmitted through saliva, often via bites. This condition not only threatens public health but also contributes to the negative perception of stray populations. Other common diseases include leptospirosis, which can lead to kidney damage and liver failure, and is spread through the urine of infected animals. Canine parvovirus and distemper, highly contagious among dogs, can devastate stray and pet dog communities alike. Additionally, external parasites like fleas and ticks carried by strays can spread diseases like Lyme disease and bartonellosis to humans and animals. These health issues underscore the importance of effective stray dog management and vaccination programs to protect community health and improve the welfare of these animals. This comprehensive account highlights the critical need for public awareness and proactive measures to mitigate the spread of diseases from stray dog populations.

Dogs mark their territory as a fundamental instinctual behavior, driven by the need to establish their presence and assert dominance within a specific area. This behavior is rooted in communication; by leaving their scent through urine or sometimes feces, dogs signal to other canines about their occupancy and boundaries of their domain. The scent markers contain pheromones, which convey vital information about the dog's identity, age, sex, and reproductive status. Marking helps maintain social hierarchies and reduces conflict by making clear the territorial boundaries to other dogs, thus preventing direct confrontations. Furthermore, this practice is not solely reserved for male dogs; females also mark, especially when they are in heat, to signal their availability to males. Beyond the social and communicative functions, territory marking is also a way for dogs to feel more secure in their environment, creating a familiar scented landscape that provides comfort and safety. This intricate behavior underscores the complex social lives of dogs, reflecting their ancestral wolf heritage and the evolutionary advantages of territorial marking.

House soiling and urine marking are two distinct behaviors in dogs, each with different motivations and manifestations. House soiling occurs when a dog defecates or urinates inside the home, often due to a lack of proper house training, anxiety, or health issues such as urinary tract infections or incontinence. This behavior is not aimed at communication but rather stems from the dog's inability to control its bladder or bowels, or a lack of understanding of where it's appropriate to relieve themselves.

In contrast, urine marking is a deliberate act carried out by dogs to communicate their presence, assert dominance, or claim territory. It involves depositing small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces, such as furniture or walls, and is often observed in both male and female dogs, though it is more common in males. Unlike house soiling, urine marking is typically a normal and instinctual behavior linked to a dog's social and territorial instincts.

Understanding the difference between these behaviors is crucial for addressing them effectively. House soiling requires a focus on medical treatment for underlying health issues or reinforcement of house training practices. Urine marking, on the other hand, might necessitate behavioral strategies to reduce anxiety or territorial feelings, such as neutering, environmental management, or the use of pheromone diffusers. Recognizing the motivations behind each action allows pet owners to implement appropriate solutions, fostering a harmonious living environment for both dogs and their human companions.

  • He has not been neutered. Dogs that are not neutered often exhibit more assertive behavior and are more likely to engage in urine marking.
  • The introduction of a new pet can be perceived as a challenge to his dominance, particularly if the newcomer has not been neutered. Even neutered animals may sometimes mark their territory with urine.
  • Tensions within the household, especially among pets, can trigger your dog to mark his territory more frequently. 
  • Significant changes in the household, such as the arrival of a new baby, roommate, or spouse, can provoke your dog to assert his dominance through urine marking. 
  • Similarly, new objects that carry unfamiliar animal scents into the home, like a visitor's purse or a shopping bag, can prompt your dog to send a warning signal to the perceived intruder. 
  • Additionally, the presence of other animals outside may be seen as a threat to his territory, leading him to reaffirm his claim through urine marking. 
  • This understanding highlights the need for pet owners to recognize and address the underlying causes of urine marking, fostering a stable and harmonious environment for all.

Repelling Unwanted Dogs

There may be reasons that a dog visits your property on a regular basis. While it may be impossible to get rid of some things- maybe they like to mark your beloved trees- it is possible to remove some of the items that dog might be curious about:

Keep your own yard free of dog or cat waste, it is one of the things a loose dog will smell from a distance.

Garbage that has food scraps in it should be kept tightly sealed and if possible, in a garage or shed.

Any food- human or animal- should not be left outdoors.

Fresh water should be removed if possible- i.e. a birdbath.

Keep gates closed if you have a fenced yard, and block off any entrance ways where possible.

It may necessary to get rid of the scent from the previous marking using an enzymatic cleaner. Using another scent to cover the odor of the marking is not effective. The enzymatic cleaner is used to neutralize and digest the odor from the previous urine marking to avoid continuity of the behavior. Apply Dog MACE after enzymatic cleaner is used to effectively train dogs to avoid treated areas.

Spotting stray or loose dogs in your backyard can be an unexpected occurrence, necessitating vigilance for specific signs. Unfamiliar barking, unusual movements within your property, and disturbed trash bins are common indicators. Look for paw prints in the soil or snow, which can reveal their presence and movements. Another sign is damage to outdoor furniture or garden areas, as stray dogs may seek shelter or explore these spaces. Observing these cues promptly can help you assess the situation, ensuring the safety of both the stray dog and your own pets. Taking action, such as contacting animal control or local shelters, can also assist in safely addressing the presence of these dogs, contributing to their welfare and the security of your property.

  • Brown spots on lawn caused by dog urine
  • Some dogs, like terriers, are hunters and will kill rats, possums, rabbits, and the like
  • Holes that dogs have dug around trees or in beds.

Your own pets may alert you to a stray dog, and a stray dog may be attracted to your yard because of your pets.

Once you have determined when and why you have a dog problem, it will be easier to plan a strategy to get rid of them. For example, if it is a neighbor dog, the best solution may be to approach the neighbor in a kind way about the problem. But there are other humane ways to help that you can take action with on your own.

Dog repellentsthat contain the active ingredient of strong essential oils will repel dogs from your property without hurting the dogs. The these ingredients are irritating to a dog’s delicate nose, and they will generally avoid getting near any area that has been treated. Nature’s MACE offers both granular and liquid dog repellents.

  • Liquid spray– Dog MACE Liquid can be sprayed on garbage cans, trees, plants, door steps, or anything that seems to have attracted the attention of dogs.
  • Granular repellent–  Dog MACE Granular can be sprinkled around the perimeter of one’s property to form a barrier that will keep loose dogs out of one’s yard.

Homeowners and professional applicators find that using both products in combination achieve maximum protection.

Stray Dogs Repellent

The most common problems are:

  • Poses as threat to other pets safety.
  • Spreading of fleas
  • Constant Barking
  • Dangerous if threatened
  • Destroying properties and yards
  • scattering trash

When you finally catch that stray dog that has always destroyed your garden and turned your yard into a mess then it is time for you to do what needs to be done to get rid of that dog and restore the good looks of your environment.

Dog MACE: is most effective dog repellent focusing on dogs keen sense of smell and taste. Dog MACE effectiveness was achieved by isolating the most effective dog repellent on the market and combining the best ingredients into one powerful product.

Scent elimination:It may be necessary to get rid of the scent from the previous marking using an enzymatic cleaner. Using another scent to cover the odor of the marking is not effective. The enzymatic cleaner is used to neutralize and digest the odor from the previous urine marking to avoid continuity of the behavior.

Apply Dog MACE after enzymatic cleaner is used to effectively train dogs to avoid treated areas.

Stray dogs are constantly in search of food. If they visit your yard more than normal this means there is always food available for them to eat there. Evaluate your yard.

  • Does the lid of your trash can get easily knocked off?
  • Does the can smell like a kitchen?
  • Do you have issues with small rodents or feed some of your pet animal outside?

If the answers to these questions are yes then it explains why the dogs are always found in your yard.

  • Get trash cans that come with animal proof lids and spray pepper spray in them before use.
  • Do not feed your pet outside otherwise you have to keep an eye on it.
  • Treat any rodent issue quickly if you are challenged with any.

This could help prevent stray dogs from hanging around your yard for so long.

Erecting a fence is an effective option. Fences can always keep dogs away from your home at all times without your supervision however it needs to be properly maintained and it is costly to do so. In addition labor expenses, would be added to the cost if you are unable to erect it yourself. If money is not a challenge to you, fences are the best repelling option when considering beauty and practical reasons.

Electric fences serve as an effective deterrent to keep dogs within designated boundaries or away from certain areas. These fences work by delivering a mild electric shock upon contact, which is unpleasant but not harmful, teaching dogs to avoid crossing the boundary through behavioral conditioning. They are versatile, being used both for containing pets within a yard and for protecting gardens or specific areas from stray or neighboring dogs.

The system typically consists of a wire buried along the perimeter of the area, connected to a transmitter that sends a continuous signal. When a dog wearing a special collar approaches the boundary, it receives a warning beep followed by a static correction if it continues closer. This method encourages dogs to learn the limits of their environment safely and effectively, without the need for physical barriers that obstruct views or alter landscaping.

Electric fences are a humane and efficient solution for managing dogs' movements, ensuring their safety while preserving the aesthetics of outdoor spaces.

Motion activated water sensors can be used as a stray dog repellant since it is able to shoot water quickly at the dog once it gets too near to the sensor. This unexpected move would frighten the dog and it would take to its heels. However, this method can as well not keep the stray dog away for long as it would always return and pass through the water after getting used to it.

Dog spraying indoors

Urine marking is a common behavior exhibited by dogs, serving as a complex form of communication among canines. This behavior involves dogs depositing small amounts of urine on various surfaces, primarily vertical ones, to convey information to other dogs. 

The act of urine marking is not solely about territorial claims but also communicates the marker's identity, reproductive status, and even emotional state. Both male and female dogs engage in urine marking, though it is more prevalent among males and particularly unneutered ones. 

The behavior is influenced by various factors, including social hierarchy, the presence of other dogs, and changes within the dog's environment, such as moving to a new home or the introduction of new pets and humans. 

Urine marking can occur both outdoors and inside the home, with indoor marking often signaling anxiety or conflict. Understanding urine marking is crucial for pet owners, as it helps differentiate between marking and other issues like incontinence or submissive urination. Addressing urine marking behavior typically involves training, environmental management, and in some cases, medical intervention, such as spaying or neutering, to reduce the urge to mark. Recognizing the nuances of this behavior is essential for maintaining harmony within multi-dog households and ensuring the well-being of the pets.

You do not need one to tell you your dog is urinating inside your house as the signs of urine can be easily seen. But there is a difference between a dog that lacks house training and urine marking.

Marking on vertical surfaces and corners could be a sign of urine marking but it could as well mean incomplete house breaking. Speak with a veterinarian or hire a trainer that would help to identify what the marking signs really mean. In addition, it is quite important to find out if your dog has any medical issue such as urinary tract infection as this might be the cause of the urination.

Any dog breed can suffer with these issues. It is not specific to a certain type of dog.

Most times there are several steps that need to be taken in order to overcome urine marking:

  • Neutering: Neutering would always be the first step for a sexually intact dog. A good number of neutered dogs drop the urine marking behavior in about a month after having the procedure.
  • Positive reinforcement: urine marking should not be a reason to punish any dog as it might lead to greater level of anxiety which would only make the problem worse. Rather than punishing the dog it should be supervised. Give the dog a firm “NO” when caught in action and then take it outside. Encourage and praise the dog whenever it urinates outside the house. A dog can easily drop the habit of urine marking if it is constantly taken outside and rewarded whenever it urinates outside.
  • Scent elimination: it may necessary to get rid of the scent from the previous marking using an enzymatic cleaner. Using another scent to cover the odor of the marking is not effective. The enzymatic cleaner is used to neutralize and digest the odor from the previous urine marking to avoid continuity of the behavior. Apply Dog MACEafter enzymatic cleaner is used to effectively train dogs to avoid treated areas.
  • Minimize anxieties: find out the factors causing anxiety to the dog and minimize their importance or remove them completely. The stress on the dog can also be reduced with the use of A.D.A.P. (dog appeasing pheromone) collar or diffuser. The function of this drug is similar to the pheromone a mother dog gives her puppies to calm them down and relieve them of anxiety.
  • Confinement: this would help prevent the dog from frequently visiting its marked area. Limiting the movement of a dog by confining it to a small area which is protected by crates, baby gates or shutting doors can help stop marking behavior.
  • Establishing dominance: some dogs need to understand that their owners are dominant and that they need to work to get rewards.
  • Medications: some veterinarians prescribe medication as a final means of treatment. It takes about 4-6 weeks before the impact of the drug can be felt. Nevertheless, irrespective of medication behavior improvement must always be introduced.
  • Prevention Although early neutering can be helpful, it is not a guarantee. The best way  to deal with marking behavior is to identify and deal with it early.

How to protect yourself against dangerous stray dogs?

  • Maintain a calm demeanor and avoid direct eye contact, as dogs may perceive this as a challenge.
  • Do not attempt to run away or scream, as these actions can trigger the dog's chase instinct. Instead, stand still with your arms at your sides, avoiding sudden movements that could startle or threaten the dog.
  • If the dog approaches to sniff you, remain motionless until it loses interest and moves away.
  • Carrying a deterrent, such as pepper spray or a noise-making device, can provide an added layer of protection if a stray dog becomes aggressive.
  • Additionally, educating yourself about dog body language can help you recognize signs of aggression or fear, enabling you to respond appropriately.

Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce the risk of negative encounters with stray dogs, ensuring your safety and well-being.

Dogs can be exciting, dangerous and tricky to be with. You can never determine the type of dog you would meet till you get in contact with one. Sadly, dogs sometimes change when people interact with them and so scrutinizing a dog from afar so as to monitor their nature won’t help you know how to handle a stray dog.

When encountering a stray dog, whether it appears playful or aggressive, sudden or rapid movements can provoke it to jump, run, or even attack. The safest course of action is to remain still, allowing the dog to approach and sniff you. This calm demeanor helps convey that you pose no threat, facilitating the dog's understanding that you are not a danger. In essence, stray dogs often feel more frightened by your presence than you are by theirs. By adopting this approach, you signal to the dog that you are safe, reducing the likelihood of a fearful or aggressive reaction. This strategy not only ensures your safety but also respects the dog's space and instincts, fostering a non-threatening encounter for both parties.

Never allow stray dogs to smell you hand, except you wish to get your hand bitten, ensure you never stretch your hand to a dog to smell you. If you happen to come across a stray dog and you are to stand still, ensure your hands are by your side, then there is more possibility of the dog smelling your hands. Never stretch your hands towards the dog or it might seem like a sign of violence or hostility. Just let the dog sniff you.

Once the dog realizes that they are not in any danger, the dog will place down its head or walk away. The dog lets you know things are fine by showing these signs, after that you can stretch your hands to pet it, but this must not be done after the dog is done checking you out.

Dogs may chase individuals who run upon seeing them, driven by a playful instinct or aggression. If a dog appears aggressive, running away can trigger its instinct to chase, interpreting your actions as an invitation or challenge. To avoid provoking a chase, it's crucial to walk away calmly and slowly without turning your back to the dog. This cautious approach minimizes the risk of triggering a pursuit, even at a distance, as dogs are capable of covering ground quickly. Remember, maintaining a composed and steady departure ensures your safety and reduces the likelihood of engaging the dog's chase response, regardless of the dog's initial intentions.

Use any means needed to defend yourself if you are being attacked including kicking. Ensure your hand and face is protected.

Dogs are usually not dangerous on purpose, although if they are not home, afraid, hungry or handled inappropriately, they can be extremely dangerous. So is better to protect yourself and people around you the trying to save a stray dog might be dangerous. Once you and your family are secure, you can call up people from your local animal control to come assist you in watching the stray dog.