Ever since Pritchard was a wee pup I’ve taken her to train on a nearby park that includes a golf course, a decent chunk of woods, a walking trail, and a playground for kids. I’ve never sent her into any of the ponds because here in the South Carolina Lowcountry there’s a constant threat of alligators during the warm months. But we’ve worked many marks on the fields and wood line. Today, however, I noticed the below sign posted near our training area. In fact, when I looked closely these signs were just about everywhere.
I assumed warning signs were the work of your typical alarmists, but after a quick round of research I discovered coyotes had recently shown up in the area in BIG numbers and had attacked two dogs and a human in separate incidents. And there have been numerous sightings of the coyotes at dusk.
It shouldn’t be all the shocking. Coyotes have it better in this area than their brethren in the true wild. The rabbit population thrives on the golf course. There’s plenty of garbage. There’s no hunting allowed and plenty of cover. You get the point. Coyotes have found an ideal home.
Problem is, at 35 pounds Pritch is not a big gun dog. She’s probably a pretty tempting meal to a couple of hungry coyotes on the prowl, especially when she’s on the far end of a retrieve. There’s also the issue of coyotes carrying the Parvovirus.
For the time being we’ll probably avoid training in that area. Call me over protective (and I know what you’re thinking: Get a bigger dog), but I’ll err on the side of caution.
Any of you have any experience with your gun dogs meeting up with coyotes? Think there’s a legitimate threat for smaller gun dogs? As always, I’m curious of your thoughts.