Will Woodchucks Attack Dogs

Because they are herbivores, groundhogs are often prey for predators. They live in and dig burrows for that purpose, which is one solid reason. Dogs, on the other hand, have a natural desire to hunt because they are predators. When you combine the two, something probably happens. Groundhogs race for the burrow while dogs want to go hunting. What happens if the dog succeeds to grab the groundhog or tries to follow it into the burrow is the great unknown.

The majority of folks I see are concerned about their little breed dog. Although they frequently believe they can, small breed dogs lack the strength of a large breed to easily subdue a groundhog. Additionally, they are unable to attack from above and successfully grab the groundhog’s throat. They must square off against the groundhog because they are more comparable. I believe that the face and ears are where dogs are hurt the most when they fight groundhogs.

Fierce Groundhogs

Groundhogs are among the most ferocious and tenacious creatures I trap. They will rush the cage trap’s two ends like a linebacker once they are inside it in an effort to escape. They frequently try to attack me by rushing the side of the trap. A groundhog constantly lurches from one end to the other as I bring a trap containing it to the vehicle. When touched, there is a lot of hostility and chattering of teeth. The groundhogs I handle have the best attitudes of all the animals I handle. If a predator has you in its crosshairs, it pays to have this mindset.

A groundhog will typically flee into a neighboring burrow if it is in the open. They will still probably flee if they are in the open, but if the dog is swift enough, they might be compelled to take a position. They behave similarly to how they do in a trap, with the exception that there is no trap wall between the groundhog and your dog. Up close, they are an altogether different animal and will stand their ground and fight. They occasionally confront one of these creatures in a burrow, which is something I really can’t see happening to a small dog.

The Case of the Chiweenie dog and the Groundhog

One of my clients has a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. It was referred to as a Chiweenie dog. Your dog’s personality and breed both have a significant impact on whether or not you (or, more accurately, your dog) experience difficulties. Rats and other tiny prey can be attacked and killed by chihuahuas, but due to their small size, they are typically kept as companion animals. Dachshunds were developed to descend badger burrows. No guarantees about what a Chihuahua would do, please. Numerous variables influence it, making prediction difficult. Age and the dog’s particular personality are important factors. Given its ancestry, I would say there is a decent chance that a Dachshund would attack, but I am not of the specifics of what this dog would do. The owners would have to rely on their personal understanding of the dog’s personality in this situation, as they would in many others.

My Grandfather’s German Weimeraner and my English SetterDogs with Different Personalities

My grandfather owned a German hunting breed named a German Weimeraner, and both of my grandparents resided in the vast farmland of Blountville, Tennessee. Dag was his name. He was a big dog, perhaps weighing more than 80 pounds. “Four legged groundhog death machine,” described Dag. The combat was usually over in less than a minute if he managed to catch the animal in the open. Dag, who was taller than the groundhog, would come down across its neck and shake the opponent until the conflict was resolved. Although Dag was highly effective, I seem to remember that he occasionally suffered a bite to the muzzle and required veterinary attention. He occasionally discovered groundhog burrows and dug them out. It might take a morning or an afternoon, but he persisted and eventually succeeded in getting his groundhog.

On the edge of a sizable farm, halfway between Bristol and Abingdon, I had my home. Throughout most of my childhood, I had an English setter and a big Malamute that weighed over 100 pounds. These two dogs were strong and large enough to take down a groundhog. Right next door, there were 360 acres of groundhog potential. However, I’m positive that neither of these canines had a significant impact on the groundhog population on the farm.

These two dog scenarios are fantastic illustrations of how a dog’s personality will affect how they affect the environment.

How Bad Can a Groundhog Hurt my Dog?

When I met a man in Limestone, Tennessee, he told me that he had a Rat Terrier that would enter groundhog holes and pull out the animals. He was telling the truth, I think. One of the most vicious breeds for rat killing is the rat terrier. I suppose that the groundhogs were just mistaken for large rats by this little fella. Most likely, the Rat Terrier weighed roughly the same as a Ground Hog. He was obviously a skilled and aggressive Rat Terrier. He eventually returned home with a bite wound to his face. About 12 stitches were required to seal the wound.

Will my Dog Go After the Groundhog?

However, there are a few things that I do know that you should know before asking your dog that question. Typically, if given the option, groundhogs will retire to their burrows. It is not in their best interests to stand and fight. Additionally, I am aware that dogs will pursue prey, particularly if it runs. They automatically do it. Prey flees as predators pursue it. What happens if the dog somehow gets to corner the groundhog is the great unknown. The groundhog will likely turn to defend itself if it is cornered against an above-ground obstruction like a fence or inside the burrow. At that point, things could turn violent.

Using Dogs to Control Groundhogs

Just a little word about dog-based groundhog control. I frequently hear comments like, “We didn’t have this problem until my dog passed away last year. While having a decent dog around will influence wildlife behavior, it most certainly won’t resolve all of your issues. The quantity of groundhogs in the neighborhood was definitely decreased by Dag, my grandfather’s dog, as previously said. But at the time, his region did not have strict leash rules. Dag had unrestricted access to the area.

A lot of the customers I see have dogs, but they still have groundhogs living beneath their decks and barns. The presence of a groundhog’s burrow on the property provides some protection from intruders. The groundhog discovers that, for safety sake, it should only remain nearby its home.

Solutions to the Problem

Having a groundhog on the property poses an excessive risk for some landowners. They can hurt your pet and harm your property by upsetting building foundations and gnawing through underground wiring. Something will need to be done if this is the case. However, asking the dog to address the issue would be asking too much of the animal. Trapping the building and screening it out will be part of a long-term solution. By screening the foundation, you can prevent property damage and deny the groundhog access to its own personal safety zone, where it can plunge.

Do groundhogs pose a threat to dogs?

“The excitement of a huge squirrel predicting the weather is something that television truly struggles to convey in this instance. Conners, Phil, and Groundhog Day

The groundhog, also known as Marmota Monax, is one of North America’s most fabled rodents. The humble groundhog, which roams a region from Alaska to Alabama, is credited each year with foretelling the arrival of spring (or the end of winter, depending on your perspective). Punxsutawney Phil, a ground squirrel in Pennsylvania, is arguably the most famous meteorological marmot; on February 2, tens of thousands of people eagerly wait for him to emerge from his burrow to either bemoan the overcast day or be frightened by his own shadow. The former is considered to portend an early spring, while the latter is said to portend six more gloomy weeks of winter weather.

Even though the groundhog is in the news once a year, he is easy to detect the other 364 days of the year. Groundhogs may frequently be an annoyance to homeowners and farmers. They are common in the backyards, medians of highways, and fields of almost half of the United States and most of Canada.

An Extended Winter’s Sleep If a family of groundhogs has moved into your yard, you can usually tell rather quickly. They frequently take minimal steps to hide themselves. Groundhogs are frequently spotted in the open, basking in a clump of grass or on a fence post. Or they might leave traces like chewed wood or plants with larger, more pronounced tooth patterns that resemble those of a rabbit.

Like the majority of animals and people, groundhogs spend the day being active before retiring to their burrows for the night. The groundhog, however, treats sleep with more importance than we do: The bristly herbivores slumber from around October to March because they are real hibernators, which bulk up in the fall. The most of the time, the groundhog relies on grasses, fruits, and nuts to provide them with a substantial fat reserve that will last them through the coldest months of winter. However, they will occasionally eat a grub or other small insect as a snack.

When it comes to foraging, the groundhog has a few tricks up his sleeve. According to Suzie Prange, a wildlife research biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, “they’ll also consume crops and decorative plants. And a lot of people don’t know they can actually climb trees very effectively to eat cherries, apples, and other fruits. The majority of the year, groundhogs are perfectly pleased to feed, gain weight, reproduce just once, get ready for the winter, and sporadically chew on and burrow under our decks, patios, and trees.

Although groundhogs don’t really threaten our pets, their chewing can occasionally cause damage. According to Prange, a homeowner’s best course of action is to try to prevent their admission in the first place. “Getting rid of fruit trees and gardens is one solution since there must be an attractant luring the animal there. Additionally, you might try keeping the animal away from the attraction. In most cases, this entails building a fence around delectable garden products. Groundhogs may still visit, whether you live in a rural or semi-urban region.

According to Prange, deterrents like hanging bundles of human or animal hair to garden posts or using hormones are ineffective. Especially with groundhogs, which are highly intelligent, “things that scare an animal off for a while don’t work permanently.” She suggests deterrence as your best option. Really, you need to keep them away from whatever is luring them; for example, you could wrap fruit trees in wire so they can’t climb or nibble on them, or you could put up fencing so they can’t go under or over it.

A predator or a prey? Groundhogs are large rodents that may be rather feisty when they feel threatened, despite the numerous accounts of canines chasing and treeing the animals. “They can see clearly. They can climb well and swim well “said Prange. “I’ve caught them before, and the only species to actually turn back and rush at me was the groundhog. Although I don’t believe it would have truly attacked, he was defending himself.

In the end, though, groundhogs represent little, if any, damage to pets or livestock, with the exception of the burrows they create, which can cause problems for livestock such as cattle and horses as they wander through pastures. “Their tendency to chew on objects and consume plants, fruits, and vegetables is their biggest problem. According to Prange, they also dig holes in the ground.

Larger-breed dogs may pursue and attack a groundhog, but according to Prange, the groundhog almost always loses, even though the dog may also be in danger. “Your dog is at risk of getting bitten since groundhogs have teeth that are similar in size to those of rodents. Groundhogs can be killed by large dogs, and small dogs are unlikely to approach one near enough to be bitten.” Groundhogs rarely pose a threat to cats, who “probably wouldn’t have anything to do with it” since they “won’t go out of their way to attack if he’s not threatened.”

According to Prange, groundhogs occasionally become intermediate hosts for roundworm, but other diseases are rarely a problem. “Roundworm infection is essentially nonexistent if your dog is bitten. The dog would need to eat the animal, although there are many other methods for dogs to get roundworms, like eating other vermin, swallowing excrement, etc.” All animals can contract rabies, but it would be quite uncommon for groundhogs to do so, she continues.

The groundhog might not pose a threat to your pets, but other predators could. Many birds of prey enjoy eating baby and young groundhogs, and coyotes, bobcats, and occasionally foxes will try to catch full-grown groundhogs for meals. According to Prange, seeing groundhogs in your yard or neighborhood is probably a good indication that no predators are nearby. “Be glad that there are no coyotes in your yard!”

She continues: “Groundhogs are a common species that these [predators] eat, but coyotes and bobcats are much more specialized in what they eat. Voles, bunnies, squirrels, and other animals exist, but they won’t enter simply to catch a groundhog.” For pet owners, that is good news.

The bottom line: Depending on the time of year, groundhogs that you find on your property are likely there purely for food, a place to burrow and spawn, or a place to hibernate for the winter—not to harm your pets. Who knows, though? Your neighborhood groundhog might be able to give you the inside track on when spring will arrive.