Squirrels and Chipmunks OH MY - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Squirrels and Chipmunks OH MY

I miss Cyra. Cyra kept my critters at bay and the population of varmints has grown since she passed away. I always wondered why she was such an easy keeper.

While Beau and Grim are ball crazy it is like the peacable kingdome here. The things will frolick within a few feet of them. It is good for a working search dog and I am happy they don't hunt critters, but this is the first year the squirrels beat the Robins to all the holly berries - and what a spectacle it was when dozens of robins and waxwings decended on the hollies and stripped them in one day!

Any suggestions. I am almost thinking of a cat and having it inside during day, out at night. We live far enough from the road. I have had cats before. I know a cat can clear our fence though even though it is 6 feet. I thought squirrels were territorial and you would only get a few. No so in my yard.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:01 AM
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Hmm maybe a Jack Russell or some other small terrier type with crazy critter prey drive?

I'd be nervous about keeping a cat outside, they like to roam and wander pretty far sometimes... While lots of people in the country do it, letting them be outdoor can significantly reduce their lifespan. BUT that's just me, I'm super paranoid lol as coyotes get cats out here so no way mine stay out.

Have your shepherds been around cats? That's something I'd worry about too.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:18 AM
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Are you a good shot with a pellet pistol? Or put down live traps but then you have to figure out where to relocate your catch and avoid being bit. Most squirrels just move higher up in the trees if there's a dog after them.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Off and on. They encounter strays in the woods and seem fine. I think they would adapt. Some of the neighborhood cats walk right up to us during walks.

Jasmine lived be 18 and would have lived longer but we put her to sleep with hyperthyroid-she was mainly an outside cat.

Bonnie and Clyde are going to be 16 but they are now with my daughter and they were also mainly outside.

True about coyotes. We do have a 6 foot privacy fence in backyard but I know cats can get in and out of that.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenV View Post
Are you a good shot with a pellet pistol? Or put down live traps but then you have to figure out where to relocate your catch and avoid being bit. Most squirrels just move higher up in the trees if there's a dog after them.
I think I would get in trouble with the pellet gun in the neighborhood. I must admit we had to do that with pigeons who were taking over a roof and the sticky stuff would not work--that was years ago. Could not get an exterminator to deal with them cause they were birds but they were destroying out shingles.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:32 AM
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Off and on. They encounter strays in the woods and seem fine. I think they would adapt. Some of the neighborhood cats walk right up to us during walks.

Jasmine lived be 18 and would have lived longer but we put her to sleep with hyperthyroid-she was mainly an outside cat.

Bonnie and Clyde are going to be 16 but they are now with my daughter and they were also mainly outside.

True about coyotes. We do have a 6 foot privacy fence in backyard but I know cats can get in and out of that.
Like I said, it's mostly just me... A coyote killed my neighbors cat in my front yard... I'd be worried all the time plus we live on a busy road.

And I guess dealing with a cat would be much easier then a crazy bouncy JR.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:47 AM
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Nancy - if you are serious about getting a cat..there are agencies who trap, vet and re-home feral cats. They could never be home 'pets'. But make great outdoor cats. Without folks who can take them, they'd be PTS.

For the past twenty five + years or so, that is what I do. They require for you to take (at least) two at a time. Those two cats are part of the same feral colony, so they are already social to eachother.

It has been my experiance that within the first few months the cats allow you in their 'space' while you feed etc. After about six months I can run my hand down their backs while they eat. I'll feed high value food (tuna etc.) in a kennel every once in a while so I can easily crate them when I need to vet them.

Although we do have coyotes as well, I've never lost a cat to them. We have a large two story barn and they learn to stay in the rafters looking for varmin. I guess they go up there if the coyotes get too close. I also have my tack/feed room set up so they can enter it from the top, but the dogs can't get in unless the door is open.

I'm not sure if it's because they are feral, but they don't wander very far. They don't go visiting neighbors. I can walk outside anytime and call them and they'll come running. They rarely tease the dogs. If hubby and I are out they'll come and investigate. One of the cats I have now will follow me around, even if I walk out into the back pasture (unless I have the dogs with me). She'll call to me and talk to me. She'll let me pet her, as long as I don't try to hold her she is fine.

I've never had a feral cat that doesn't at some point come looking for loving. Nor have I had one run off. They don't allow any other cats around. I never have a rodent problem. The oldest feral cat I had was 16 when she died. I don't know why, but I've never had any health problems either.

Just a thought.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, it is a great thought. Our past cats "found us". And we spayed and neutered and got them the basic cat shots.

Nancy



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 07:00 PM
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my cats are worthless when it comes to critters (altho they are indoor kitties) I've had a mouse run right under their noses and they just look at them LOL

My aussie however, is a big time varmint killer, if you were closer you could borrow him))

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 07:08 PM
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Even the stray that showed up and sleeps in my garage ( she hasn't integrated with my house cats), and does hunt has yet to reduce my squirrel population. I've only ever seen bird feathers from her. But my yard is full of huge trees and the squirrels rarely need to come to ground.

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