We've previously mentioned in our post on how to protect trees from deer that dogs are thought to deter and repel deer from accessing your backyard. It's true, but carries its risks.
Many have also seen the story of Fenton the dog in Richmond Park.
Here's our own very short footage of how even a small dog can scare a herd of deer to bits.
Such encounters may look funny but can be dangerous for both deer and dogs.
Deer prefer to flee in most cases, but in some they may also choose to attack. This is more likely to be the outcome in rut , when a doe is close to or has just delivered a fawn,or when the animal is feeling cornered. Desperate deer can severely injure or kill a dog. Some people find it hard to imagine that a small or medium sized deer can be a powerful animal but they are. We've had to carry newborn fawns to their mothers and already the babies can resist being picked up impressively well. An adult buck or doe has not only muscular legs but sharp hoves at the end. Doe once gently stepped on my bare foot with that thing and I felt that immediately. Imagine the blow of those hoves in an attack mode!
There are enough of heartbreaking reports with pictures and videos of deer attacks on dogs - or humans! We won't be posting them here not to further upset our readers. Just know that deer can be aggressive and they are capable of causing harm.
We have a dog as well but he's not allowed unsupervised visits on the farm. Even though deer watched him grow and tolerate him well, they're not fans and during the abovementioned heated periods they become visibly more aggressive. If they're let in on the same lawn where the dog is quietly lying on the grass they'd sometimes start approaching him from the back, looking stressed. Or launching at him, stomping. All not friendly gestures at all.
Dogs posess a prey drive, which varies depending on breed, but all carry instincts to either hunt, herd, or chase prey animals, especially when they run.
Even though dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, these are deeply inbedded survival skills which can be activated in certain cituations.
That's why my own parents taught me to never run from the dog, it will only provoke it to chase and attack, and there's virtually no chance to outrun the animal. Deer, however, are capable of outrunning most dogs in most situations.
So now that we've learnt why dogs chase deer 🦌, another question arises in conjunction with the following video, and that is 'Why do lambs chase dogs?'
Our guess is, lambie thinks he's a doggo! (video found on the net, not one of ours)
When these animals feel they're about to be trapped or caught, they may violently throw themselves at obstacles (fences, doors, walls) trying to get away, looking like they're trying to enter Hogwarts:
Unfortunately, this can result in them sadly breaking their necks and dying.
So keep your pets safe and don't let them interact with feral deer especially in (semi-)confined spaces or during deer mating or fawning seasons.
And to lighten the air again, let's watch a rather funny deer fight that ends well:
In fact, we have this footage of a funny deer fight on our farm:
Last modified 2023-07-10 at 01:02
Published 17 November 2022
Are deer nocturnal or crepuscular? What time of day are deer most active and when do they sleep? Where do deer bed and how they take naps?