Kinda out-there question. I do a lot of my duck hunting on small waters and have recently been seeing a lot of otters and beavers around some of our hunting spots. My dog is a Boykin, about the same size and color as a lot of these critters and I’m sure he would be no match for one in the water.
No one may be able to answer this but I have to ask, if he crosses paths with an otter or beaver while making a retrieve, what are the odds of him being attacked? I couldn’t find any Google results pertaining to duck dogs being attacked by otters or beavers, just small family pets.
i dont know how aggressive one would be to start a fight with a dog. but i had a buddy turn his catch dog on a otter in a pond.i was not there but saw the dog after the vet trip and it was pretty bad.looked like the otter had a knife in both paws poor dog had stitches from a$$ hole to appetite
I had a 115 pound Lab that figured I had thrown something in the water for him to retriev, in reality it was a 60 lb beaver who slapped the water, the beaver had my lab chasing him all over this pond, lab wasn't fast enough to catch him but I doubt the beaver would attack but any animal would defend himself if they where attacked. I told a trapper about the big beaver and he took 4 out of the pond during trapping season Now a river otter would be a different story they can get fairly big and are predators so I would not permit my dog to go after one
NRA Life Member. Illinois Rifle Assoc Life Member, USN,
If I didn’t need the beavers there I’d go trap for them. But you have to cross one of their dams to get to the best hunting spot, and the dam on the other side of the swamp is what keeps it full of water.
Have worked with labs and American water spaniels in beaver/otter occupied habitat in several northern Rocky Mountain states. The dogs were only interested in downed birds. The beavers weren't interested in downed birds, alive or dead. The otters were busy being otters, retreating from gun shots and coming back out when things cooled down. I don't think that you have anything to worry about.
Some days it takes most of the day for me to do practically nothing...
Unless mom otter thought her kids were in trouble I think the dog would be fine, unless the dog tried to attack the otter. In a fight between a dog and otter in the water I don't think the dog would have a chance, I have trapped and skinned quite a few otter, you will have a hard time finding an animal with a higher muscle density than the otter.
Some states used to allow you to shoot otters in the trap, this is a rare rule for animals that only allow harvest by trapping as it is hard to tell whether an animal shot in the head was actually trapped. I heard from a number of old trappers that the reason for that rule variance was that more trappers had been killed trying to dispatch otters caught in a leghold without a gun than any other animal. Skin a few otters and then tell me you don't think that is possible. Maybe no one has been killed by otters but a few looks at the teeth and muscles of an otter made me give them a lot of respect.
Otters tend to clear out once they realize people are around, at least around here. I do not recall having read nor hear of a problem between otters and dogs while hunting around water. If an otter is caught on land, that is a different matter. My dogs have faced off with otters out in the fields on two occasions but luckily it was a stand off until I could get leads on my dogs. An otter at 10' can sound pretty ferocious and a family of four is downright scary.
Beavers are a little different. They are territorial of their lodge so will defend it if they feel threatened. Every year there are reports in the paper of people being attacked by beavers while swimming. Even so, I don't think the problem is very serious as many of the stories involve late night and alcohol which is not typical while duck hunting. That said, I probably would not use an active lodge as a blind site as that might cause a reaction from the residents inside. I've done so with muskrat lodges and have had the owners come topside voice their displeasure. A three pound rodent cussing me out is not as attention getting as a fifty pounder.
My main concern if beavers are around would be my dog getting impaled, cut, or snagged on the various branches stuck into the bottom. Rationally, the risk is probably only a little greater than the same thing happening on land but my ability to aid my dog is less which increases my concern on the emotional side of the equation.
Survived because he ran out to the pond after hearing the noise and shot one of the otters. They are bad news. A grown drahthaar can kill coyotes, badgers and coons one on one. But these otters teamed up on the poor dog.
I hunt beavers quite a bit, and use my Pudelpointer to retrieve sometimes. I wouldn't be concerned about a beaver attacking a dog unprovoked, I have not heard of such a thing. I am very cautious about sending them in to retrieve when the beaver is not quite dead. A wounded one will defend itself. We see otters on occasion, but don't have enough experience to comment.
Wouldn't worry at all about beavers. Otters, on the other hand can be some mean SOB's
Never thought we had otters in our area, but we've had a bunch of trout killed in the pond and I knew the damn Eagles weren't killing them all as fast as the numbers were going down. Looked out the window and caught one running across the ice and disappearing down through the ice, only to come up with a trout. Pretty damn cool to watch actually.
Theyre creepy bastards that are feeling you out. If all goes right, yall strike up a confidence and next thing you know youre at his house, in his cistern being fattened up so he can make a ladysuit out of you. -Slumlord