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Question Do Hawks or Eagles Ever Attack Dogs

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I have had numerous people (that know I'm a bird person) tell me they are concerned about their little dogs or cats being attacked by Red-tailed Hawks or Bald Eagles. I have never heard of this happening but wanted to ask you all what you know. Do Hawks or Eagles ever attack small dogs or cats. I have a little dog and the dog park where we go has a pair of Red-tailed Hawks that I see regularly. I haven't been too concerned as my little one always stays pretty close to me. Just curious what you all think. Thanks!

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I have heard stories of them taking small dogs and cats, but not sure if they're true. All I know, is that they probably won't target everybody's yorkies. ;)

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My dad told me he saw a large hawk (based on what I've seen in the area it was almost certainly a Red-tailed Hawk) watching him and his two pugs. One pug was not full grown. Next thing he knew the hawk swooped down but stopped about 6 feet off the ground and then flew off. At first he thought it was going for the young pug and decided against it but later realized it was more likely the hawk saw the leash (hooked to the dog, not held by anyone) dragging through the grass. Its more likely it thought the leash was a live snake. So I think it is plausible that a hawk wouldn't be intimidated from taking a meal by small dogs or even nearby humans.

That being said, what have you seen in nature? There are several animals roughly the size of a small dog including beaver, otter, raccoon, groundhog ect... In all my travels I have never seen one of these being eaten by a hawk or an eagle. Rabbit, rat, squirrel, chipmunk, and mouse is about the extent of the furry things I've seen taken. So I'd lean towards no with the exception of the tiny little toy breeds, teacups I think they are called. I would bet good money a hawk wouldn't hesitate to grab one of those if the circumstances allowed.

PS... have you ever seen the video on America's Funniest Home Videos of the boy's pet mouse (following the theme of this thread)? Follow the link, it is the saddest most hilarious thing (no blood or gore is shown on camera)!

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I'd imagine it's pretty unlikely. As Benjamin said, the biggest things Red-tails usually seem to prey on are squirrels or the occasional rabbit. I'd imagine your dogs are a least a little bigger than that :) I suppose if you have a miniature chihuahua (which just sounds redundant) than I might worry a bit or invest in some small body armor.

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Yeah, mine is not that small and I honestly don't worry about her. Sometimes if I see both and they are watching me watching them I have wondered? Other people I see in the dog park with smaller dogs and my son who has a toy breed and has bald eagles, osprey and hawks in his area worries about his.

BenjaminDeHaven- I love AFV :lol: I don't recall that video thanks for sharing it!

Keep those opinions coming. I would like to address peoples concerns intelligently.

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Unless the dog is a toy breed I wouldn't worry too much about Red-tailed Hawks but Golden Eagles have been known to take down medium-sized ungulates (i.e., young deer or pronghorn). Being more scavengers than Golden Eagles are, Bald Eagles are less of a threat but have been reported to kill fawns.

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I agree that a really tiny dog could be seen as prey, mostly bu red-tailed hawks and golden eagles. Bald eagles eat mostly fish and carrion, and ospreys eat strictly fish. I think it's safe to say that an osprey wouldn't even consider a dog to be something edible.

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my story is second handed. a sister of an in- law of mine raises and breeds toy and minature dogs most are poodle crosses and they only weigh 4 or 5 lbs. she said she saw thru her kitchen window that a bald eagle swooped down and carried off one of the puppies and flew off with it. there are a number of bald eagles who nest along the river and near our airport and the eagle sightings are common in those areas

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While not common by any means, I could see either of the Eagles or one of the larger Owls (Great Horned or Barred) taking a small dog with ease.

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Yeah don't trust owls alone with small dogs at dawn/dusk! A woman my mom works with had her little yorkie snatched when she left him alone in the yard to go to the bathroom before bed. She turned her back for a second, and when she looked back she saw a Great Horned Owl carrying away a whimpering yorkie. :( I have no doubt that a hawk or eagle could do this, so just don't leave your dog alone when near a bird of prey.

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[quote name=Melissa :)' timestamp='1355524649' post='380935]

Yeah don't trust owls alone with small dogs at dawn/dusk! A woman my mom works with had her little yorkie snatched when she left him alone in the yard to go to the bathroom before bed. She turned her back for a second, and when she looked back she saw a Great Horned Owl carrying away a whimpering yorkie. :( I have no doubt that a hawk or eagle could do this, so just don't leave your dog alone when near a bird of prey.

Ha! Funny how that works

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Ha! Funny how that works

I know it makes me sound like a mean person, but when my mom told me the story, I cracked up laughing. :lol:

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[quote name=Melissa :)' timestamp='1355524993' post='380937]

I know it makes me sound like a mean person, but when my mom told me the story, I cracked up laughing. :lol:

That's my girl XD

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Actually, seeing as I've had a pet killed by a wild animal, that shouldn't be funny to me at all. :mellow:

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Yeah, if it happened to me I'd be sad, but just the thought of a giant owl with a tiny yorkie just makes me laugh............... I am a horrible person :rolleyes: . But I would not want it happening to me.

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It is only the last few years that I run out to look for owls when I hear them hooting, instead of running to hide. When I was in kindergarten, we lived out of town, I was waiting for the bus to pick me up for afternoon kindergarten class, an owl swooped down out of a nearby tree right at me. It veared off at the last second. I screamed and screamed and screamed. In retrospect, it almost seems funny, but at the time, it was very traumatic. I swear that thing was at least as big as I was back then, if not bigger.

Later years, I have had to euthanize a very large tom cat that the owls tried to take. It somehow got away. The cat would not have survived the wounds. Had neighbors that swore the owls took their newborn Yorkshire piglet that same year. Sheepherders said that the owls would take baby lambs, as well.

I do not know how big of prey the Hawks and Eagles will go after, but I have taken no chances with small dogs and cats since then.

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IThe cat would not have survived the wounds. Had neighbors that swore the owls took their newborn Yorkshire piglet that same year.

There was a piece of dirt on my netbook screen perfectly placed between "newborn" and "Yorkshire" so that it looked like a period. I thought you have got to be kidding me! No owl would take a newborn baby! And if the parents where so inept that it happened they better not be telling people or they will end up in jail for endangerment and who (no pun) knows what else...

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I had witnessed a R-TH trying to make a meal out of a gray squirrel and had a difficult time of it. SO I'm thinking that at least for hawks the upper limit would be squirrel sized. This reminds me of a thread on a pond forum in which several people were discussing whether a bull frog would eat the goldfish in a pond. after several lines of back and forth yes and nos, someone posted a picture of a bullfrog with an orange tail sticking out of its mouth (case closed)

some bird / prey capabilities in these vids. I'm sure some of you have seen these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUwyrRAZDzA

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I saw a Great-horned swoop out of the inky shadows and literally rake it's claws along a young cat's back that was strolling along 6' in front of me. There was seven of us standing in a circle through which the cat strolled. It seems like the GH could have easily made off with it but it might have been put off by our numbers.

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Yes, it is something to worry about

 

Just yesterday my 12 pound Chiweenie (that is a dachshund / chihuahua mix) was attacked in the backyard.  Fortunately the hawk (Redtail) missed.  The dog was running and executed a 90 degree turn at precisely the right moment.  Missed by just a couple feet.

I observed this from a range of about   25 feet.  Close enough to see the color of the bird’s eyes…yellow.

 

Tucson, Arizona

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Yes, it is something to worry about

 

Just yesterday my 12 pound Chiweenie (that is a dachshund / chihuahua mix) was attacked in the backyard.  Fortunately the hawk (Redtail) missed.  The dog was running and executed a 90 degree turn at precisely the right moment.  Missed by just a couple feet.

I observed this from a range of about   25 feet.  Close enough to see the color of the bird’s eyes…yellow.

 

Tucson, Arizona

Welcome to Whatbird!

How awful! How are you going to ensure your dog's safety now?

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I'm sorry and all, but the birds were here first. That being said, I would be upset if my (hypothetical) Chihuahua got attacked.

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