What About Texomaland Dumped, Stray, and Wild Dog Packs?

It is a sad fact about life in Texomaland, that we have big problem with mostly dogs. Wildlife also takes pet’s lives. When I asked people on Texoma’s nextdoor website what they think about the stray animal population in Texomaland, the communities of Cedar Bayou, Locust, Sherwood Shores, and Tanglewood Hills immediately chimed in. Unfortunately, we have not been able to connect with Texoma’s Oklahoma communities on nextdoor.

The biggest animal problems for people living in Texomaland communities are dumped dogs and cats and wild dog packs. Wild dog packs are dangerous to humans and pets. I heard from people that they are afraid to take walks because of wild dogs and that wild dogs have attacked their pets. The dumped animals are heartbreaking.

One of the cruelest actions an animal owner can do is dump their pets in a rural community. These animal abandoners think someone will take care of them. This is a horrible and immoral thing to think. Rural communities do not have animal shelters or resources to take care of these animals. These poor dumped animals cannot take care of themselves; dogs do not know how to hunt or forage for food. Cats have a higher chance of becoming feral and surviving.

Several things happen to dumped animals, and none of them are pretty or a solution. One, they can be shot if they are damaging or harming property and livestock. Two, wild animals prey on them for their dinners. Three, they get hit and run over by vehicles. Four, some resident has to take on the burden of re-homing them. Five, dogs can form into wild packs and attack people and animals because they are hungry.

Friendly neighbors, farmers, or ranchers do not take in the majority of dumped animals. That is a myth. Most rural residents have animals of their own, and cannot take in dumped animals. Dumped animals are dangerous to rural communities because if someone is cruel enough to dump their pet, more than likely, they did not spay, neuter, or vaccinate their pets.

How Do Wild Dog Packs Harm Rural Regions?

Most animals dumped in the countryside do not find homes. Dogs are pack animals, but wild dog packs are fluid. Dogs may pack together for a period of time for a certain purpose. The larger the dog pack, the more dangerous the pack is, and there is usually an alpha dog in the pack.

Feral dogs are attracted to pack by a scarce resource, like a food source or estrous female, but once they have satisfied their needs, they usually go their separate ways. There are reported cases of dogs packing up with one or more dogs for days at a time and dogs being drawn into proximity to each other by food sources.

Formerly domesticated dogs, turned feral, do not form packs in the same manner as American wolves. In wolf packs, males participate in rearing puppies, which is the foundation of a wolf pack. Wolves also hunt more than they scavenge for food.  

In feral wild dog packs, the dogs have to scavenge and opportunistically attack for food. Single sex packs of individual dogs are called 'groups' and are not officially a pack until a member of the opposite sex joins them.

In 2017, Sarah Marshall-Pescini of the University of Vienna researched packs of dogs and wolves at the Wolf Science Center in Austria, which housed a pack of 15 mutts and seven small packs of wolves. At the end of the research, the researchers were surprised at how little the dogs cooperated with each other versus the wolves.  

This organization raised their dogs and wolves in semi-wild conditions. The researchers challenged the canines using the “loose string” test and put pairs of dogs or wolves in front of a cage with a tray of food in it. To slide the tray of food out of the cage, both animals had to pull on a rope simultaneously.

They did not train the animals to pull the ropes in the first test. Five out of seven wolf pairs figured out how to get the food in one trial. Only one pair in eight dog pairs cooperated enough to figure out the test.

In a second test, the researchers briefly trained the dogs on how to tug the ropes. When they tested the wolf and dog pairs again, three out of four wolf teams figured out how to pull the tray of food together. The dog pairs failed again, with only two out of six pairs able to work together to get the food out of the cage.

There is a big difference between how dogs pack together versus how wolves pack together, how wild dog packs behave once they become feral, and how wild dogs harm property and attack people and pets. Understanding a wild dog’s behavior can help people protect themselves so they can go for walks in rural communities and hiking.

How Do You Protect Yourself From Wild Dog Packs?

There are several things to carry with you if like to walk where wild dog packs are reported to roam. I heard from a lady who feels uncomfortable on her golf cart when she encounters wild dog packs. People should be able to enjoy their lake communities without fear.

If you like to walk or hike in the countryside, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Immediately stop moving and remain motionless. Carry a big stick and/or dog repellent spray. Carry stones in your pockets. Carry treats or snacks for a distraction that you can throw a pretty fair distance. A backpack or shirt tied around your waist can also distract the dogs.

The purpose is to get the dogs to bite the object, not you, if they come after you. You can also carry a whistle that annoys dogs and a stun baton. Know your surroundings and know your neighborhood dogs. If you are hiking, try to keep in mind an escape route that you and your dog, if you have your dog with you, can get to where wild dogs cannot go.

If your neighborhood has yards with vicious dogs that lunge and bark at you from behind their fence, take a different route or walk on the other side of the street. When passing a yard with a vicious dog or dogs, remain calm. Do not speed up or run past this yard. This will make dogs bark more and become angrier.

Understanding a dog’s body language is key. Tension in the body, raised hackles, and ears flat against the head are signs to watch out for. Never make eye contact with a vicious dog. This will increase its aggression. Watch the dog or dogs in your peripheral vision. Keep your mouth closed. Exposing teeth is a sign of aggression to dogs.

If the situation escalates into an attack, focus on the dog with the most energy, and take it out first, even if it is your own dog. You can throw stones near the dog, not at it, flap a shirt at it, or use your backpack in front of you to thwart off the dog or dogs from biting you. Avoid yelling at the dog or dogs.

A variety of dog repellent sprays are available for reasonable prices at pet stores and online. Some of them use pepper as an ingredient and others use less painful ingredients like citronella. Or, you mix up your own dog repellent and put it in a spray bottle.

Mix one and a half cups of vinegar or ammonia with 20 drops of any citrus scented essential oil into one and a half cups of cold water in a spray bottle, and shake well. You can also use this recipe to spray places around your home that you want your dog to stay away from.

Stun batons also come in a wide variety with plenty of manufacturers producing them. They are highly effective in stopping aggressive dogs and people too. Look for stun batons with safety features that prevent accidental shocks. They are available in different sizes and voltages with extended reach. The more distance you put between you and a live threat, the more protection you have.

People do not need to live in fear of wild dogs, if they take precautions. With forums like nextdoor.com, myfrontporch.com, everyblock.com for connecting with your neighbors, it is easy to find out the location of wild dogs. Even if you do not like the negative banter that often goes on in these neighborhood forums, they are great for important information. You do not have to engage in order to find out what is dangerous or threatening in your area.

Enjoy outdoor activities in your neighborhood or on hiking trails by taking precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your pets. Take some time to understand dog behavior, invest in repellents, and know what you need to do in case of an encounter or attack by wild dogs. You will enjoy your life so much more at the lake!



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GOOD. Water normal stain; 67 degrees; 2.82 feet above pool. Striped bass fishing is excellent on live shad and topwaters. Anchoring on deep river ledges and flats in 60-80 feet of water fishing suspended around 40 feet catching quality and quantity on live shad. Top waters early along rocky banks where shad are still spawning. Catfishing is good using cut shad and prepared baits along the rocks in 20-40 feet of water. Free line dead shad or fish vertically along the rocks. Bass are fair using top waters early along the bluffs and on long points. Water temps in the mid 70s look for fish under docks and tires near marinas. Clear water is along the southern end of the lake. Crappie are fair using jigs fishing structure using electronics to locate active fish in 12-18 feet of water. Clear water is from TI point to the Dam and in the little mineral arm of the lake. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Stripers are good, catching the better fish starting with topwaters early, then switching to swim baits in 10-20 feet of water to get smaller fish. Water is starting to clear up from the recent rains on most of the lake. The lake has dropped 3 feet over the last week, and should return to normal, if it does not rain too much later this week. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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