Any Florida GSD owners???? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Any Florida GSD owners????

Hi, I realize this may be a silly question but I am curious. For those living in Florida and own German shepherds or any big dog for that matter. Can you give some insight into the whole alligators thing? What is it like to live in Florida with your dog and living somewhere that has a lot of gators. Certain guidelines, rule of thumbs, procedures???

I'm considering a move to the Miami/Ft Lauderale area and am a bit worried about living there with my two GSD's cuz of alligators..

I haven't been there in years but I remember when I was little playing tennis with my grandpa and there was a gator just chilling by the neighborhood pond...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 05:43 PM
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It happens. Don't underestimate the potential for problems. I'm in Boca west of the turnpike. Years ago it was underwater but build out has really changed the face of South Florida.

Rules are simple: no canal swimming, no sniffing around the canal banks, and lastly, you have to keep your eyes open.

If you want to go swimming with your dog, head to the ocean. Not to say that is hazard free but you are much less likely to see a shark vs an inland gator.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:52 PM
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Alligators are the least of it...lol. I recently moved to south Florida (west coast) with my dog. I'm also getting a German Shepherd puppy in a few weeks. There are birds (falcons, osprey, etc.,) who will come and snatch a small dog/puppy/cat out of your yard. There are poisonous frogs that come out in the summer, and you have 10 minutes to get them to the vet after being poisoned or they can die. There are snakes, fire ants, spiders...Oh my. LOL

I love Florida...but the critters here are insane and LARGE. It's the only drawback, IMO. I was told there is an alligator in every fresh water lake in Florida. You can never be too careful. Do not walk your dog around any fresh water lakes. You can take your dog to the ocean. There are some dog beaches here for swimming. But lakes...NO!

I miss the snow...when everything dies.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:54 PM
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You should be worried. The only way to keep your dogs safe is to stay away from fresh water, period. Most dangerous will be rivers and lakes, followed by ponds.

I almost lost one of my dogs at a park on the Peace River. We were narrowly warned by a good samaritan. This was me and two adult GSDs about 10 ft from the water's edge, with shrubs between us and the water. I could not see that a very big gator was stalking us waiting for an opportunity but a guy saw it from his porch across the street and ran down and saved us a horrible disaster.

On my farm we had two small ponds. The one right behind the house I could see easily and if I had been watching it all morning and didn't see a gator I'd let them swim in the afternoon. I routinely shined it with a flashlight at night, never let them near it first thing in the morning.

The back pond I never let them run up and jump in because I couldn't watch it and a big one could have just gone under. I wasn't wrong either, because a big one popped in one summer (they travel a lot during mating season) and ate one of my 65# goats. Could have just as easily been my dog. And that was with us monitoring the ponds as closely as you can, and routinely "removing" gators.

Some of them know the sound of dog tags and come looking for them. You can't be too careful.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 07:58 PM
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Like someone else said, just being near the water's edge is just as dangerous if not more than swimming. They ambush animals that come to drink, that's their thing. And trust me, once a gator grabs your dog you aren't going to be able to do anything about it, just look at that poor kid at disney land. You know that dad did every superhuman feat imaginable and he couldn't save his kid.

During mating season when they are on the move, they will be in any body of water, even a puddle, and there can be a very big gator taking a rest in a very small body of water where you wouldn't expect them to be able to be invisible, but they are

they have no qualms about taking dogs with people right there, I read accounts every year of leashed dogs being taken at the water's edge.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 08:00 PM
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[QUOTE=IllinoisNative;8504809]Alligators are the least of it...lol. I recently moved to south Florida (west coast) with my dog. I'm also getting a German Shepherd puppy in a few weeks. There are birds (falcons, osprey, etc.,) who will come and snatch a small dog/puppy/cat out of your yard. There are poisonous frogs that come out in the summer, and you have 10 minutes to get them to the vet after being poisoned or they can die. There are snakes, fire ants, spiders...Oh my. LOL

I love Florida...but the critters here are insane and LARGE. It's the only drawback, IMO. I was told there is an alligator in every fresh water lake in Florida. You can never be too careful. Do not walk your dog around any fresh water lakes. You can take your dog to the ocean. There are some dog beaches here for swimming. But lakes...NO!

I miss the snow...when everything dies.

So true. It's jurrasic park. The escaped/released exotics are outrageous. They just caught some Nile crocodiles living wild and breeding. Who knows how many more are out there. There is no stopping the pythons now.

I'm not going back!!!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 09:42 PM
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Are you guys really that worried about alligators lol the majority of the areas I used to hunt were prime gator territory. Mostly swamp. And you'd see them all the time if you went to the same spot to fish but I've had zero issues with em. Only once I thought might've been a close call. Had 3 dogs bayed in a small pond and as I was coming up to the action I noticed a little gator - 5-6 feet or so - about 3 feet back on the hog they had bayed. And he was just kinda curiously looking. But when the first dog hit the water and made a splash that little guy disappeared. Now maybe in an area where people feed them and stuff they may be more bold but for the most part I think they shy away from stuff they don't know.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 10:44 PM
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Gooseman... I saw tons of gators that took off when they saw me and the dogs. I think I lived there for 5 years? Saw way more gators that scattered than not. But in that short amount of time I had the one major near miss, the goat was eaten.

At a dog beach there was a sign warning of gators, because you had to walk a boardwalk through a swampy area to get to the beach. I talked to a person there whose dog was attacked by a gator but lived.

Guy at the Harley dealership was the one who told me he knew of one that came when it heard dog tags it liked eating them so much.

I believe I read on a catahoula hog dog breeder's website or blog about an account of a big gator they killed because they suspected it and it had like 7 e collars in its belly.

Heck a kid lost his arm in the Caloosahatchee I think while I lived there, but I don't know whose bright idea it was to go swimming in the river in July.

State Park websites have warnings not to bring your pet or stay away from the fresh water because "dogs have been taken"...I can't remember which state park's website I read that on.

No thanks. I am I scared of gators...for myself no not really. My dogs, heck yeah.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I never even thought of the other types of critters! I grew up in Illinois where the scariest thing is a squirrel lol.
I don't ever spend time on farms or hunting or in isolated areas I'm more of a suburb or urban type person. Sounds like its less so of a problem within the city?
I agree. I personally don't mind gators but for some reason I really don't like the idea of having my dogs where they are..
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 12:09 AM
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I know it happens. I just don't think it's that big of a concern all around I'd be especially worried about it in areas where people are feeding them. Golf courses and public lakes etc. they're used to seeing people and dogs and both might wind up on the menu at some point. But I know if I were to go hiking in the near future and came across a swampy lake I'd be much more worried about a big boar hog that's been dogged before - they never forget and some of them outright hate dogs - or a boar coon. Both of those nasty sobs would love to fight your dog and both could really hurt them and the hog could easily kill a single dog.

But all in all my number one biggest fear of something hurting the dogs critter wise was snakes. Overall it was the heat. This Florida heat can be he** on a dog
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