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Hi, I'll be moving soon into a place that's more country-ish next month. I've lived in cities and suburbs all my life. It's at the bottom of a hill, next to a creek (right across the street), next to a state park, a big lake... you get the idea. There are deers and gophers around. Fishes in the creek. I don't know what other wildlife will be there yet.

For those that are used to living in this kind of environment, do you know what I should watch for, in terms of safety for my GS in this kind of environment? What I'm most wondering about is the wildlife. She loves to chase bunnies and squirrels. I don't know if she'll pick up chasing deers. I do let her off leash on hikes but will leash her at the new place till I get a better idea of what we'd run into. I also wonder if there'd be snakes. Any thoughts about what I should do to prepare or beware of? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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DON'T let her chase deer! Please! :) Bucks and even does have been known to turn around and attack whatever's chasing 'em, especially during mating season.
 

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Watch out for skunks and know the formula for making the solution to get rid of the odor if your dog does get sprayed.

Make sure you use something for ticks. Train a good Leave It for when you come across mystery wildlife poop.

Expect your dog to roll in something dead at some point. :)
 

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Don't let her chase deer. Good chance she can and will be shot by anyone watching, most states do not allow dogs to harrass wild life.
Make sure her rabies are up to date.
 

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Your new place sounds wonderful!!! Like someone mentioned, GOOGLE for wildlife in that area and see what comes up.

Or better yet ask around when you get there to see what the locals say.
 

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depending on where the location is, all of what everyone is saying PLUS deer ticks are really bad this year too, make sure you use heart guard or something like that as well ...creek=mosquito's
 

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Make sure you have 100% control and a solid recall, otherwise, keep your dog on a long line. You'll also will want to keep an eye out for porcupine and skunk, if you have them in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for all the advice. I don't want to move now, sounds dangerous. Just kidding. :laugh: Will definitely talk to the locals and start googling. The dog will also have to learn to stay away from cyclists since it seems to be a popular cycling spot. Lots of stuff for the dog and I to learn together.

How do you guys deal with snakes that come into your yard or house? Are they usually poisonous?
 

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I will tell you my way of dealing with snakes. First i scream:eek::help: for my husband. He comes with a weapon and magically there is a dead snake!:p
As you can tell i cannot stand snakes. Bad thing is he has killed quite a few copperheads this year. Oh and yes there will be alot of mosquitos as well being next to a creek.
 

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I will tell you my way of dealing with snakes. First i scream:eek::help: for my husband. He comes with a weapon and magically there is a dead snake!:p
As you can tell i cannot stand snakes. Bad thing is he has killed quite a few copperheads this year. Oh and yes there will be alot of mosquitos as well being next to a creek.
That's funny. :laugh: I'm terrified of snakes. Since I don't have a husband I guess I'll have to learn to use the weapon or put a "wanted husband that can kill snakes" in the local papers.
 

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Find out if there are any venomous snakes in your area. Otherwise let them be. If not venomous, they are harmless, and most of the time helpful critters in keeping the rodent population down.

If you supervise your dogs, and they are trained and responsive, there should not be any more issues than when you live in town. I live out in a rural area, no leash laws, no animal control, no fence - but that does not mean that they run loose finding trouble. As long as you can keep an eye on them, they should be fine.
 

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Find out if there are any venomous snakes in your area. Otherwise let them be. If not venomous, they are harmless, and most of the time helpful critters in keeping the rodent population down.

If you supervise your dogs, and they are trained and responsive, there should not be any more issues than when you live in town. I live out in a rural area, no leash laws, no animal control, no fence - but that does not mean that they run loose finding trouble. As long as you can keep an eye on them, they should be fine.
Thanks for this. I'm making a list that I'm going to ask the local wildlife center with.

I'm really concerned about the GS chasing things. She doesn't have good recall yet when there are things for her to chase. One of the main reasons why I'm moving there is I thought it'd give her more space / place to roam freely but she won't be able to benefit it till we have the recall down. Will work hard with the trainer on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
California has rattlesnakes among other poisonous snakes. Alot depends on where exactly you are moving.. Northern CA, Southern Ca, middle?
Northern CA. About 1.5 hrs south of San Francisco.

I grew up in S.Cal, so knows about rattle snakes but never an issue since I'm in the burbs so they don't really come near unless I go on more secluded trails on a hot day. I've actually been more scared about running into a mountain lion on hikes than snakes since those are spotted more often on hikes I do and they are in the news more.
 

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I assume you'll be looking for a new vet in the area. When you find one, ask the vet what are the typical parasites, wild animals, etc. in the area. Ask if they stock rattlesnake anti-venom and if they don't, who does. Not always readily available. Google dog first aid for rattlesnake bites.
I have also heard of rattlesnake avoidance training done by a few specialized people.

If there are livestock in the area, make sure your dog can not have access to them because ranchers and farmers have the right and will use it to shoot dogs that chase livestock.

If you're worried about mountain lions, get two GSDs. A ML might go after one dog but will run away from two dogs. It's instinct. MLs have been known to ambush a lone wolf but don't mess with wolf packs.

Enjoy the country living! It's so much better.
 
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