The damage caused by domestic dogs is often blamed on other predators. Many feral and even pet dogs are responsible for stock losses. Livestock killing is not confined to stray dogs; very often the well fed family pet will venture on a killing spree into pastures at night. Dogs often increase their destruction by operating in packs.
Even relatively small dogs will hunt livestock and could badly injure them in some cases, even though they are unable to kill them. Stray dogs kill and feed on sheep and goats; they will also attack and kill poultry. Dogs bite and tear their prey randomly, with no fixed pattern. They cause extensive damage and often injure several animals without killing them.
Killing or catching pattern
- Lots of spoor as they like to chase and bite their prey while running alongside them.
- Very small lambs are often bitten on the chest, back or head.
- Large lambs or sheep are bitten anywhere on the body.
- Bites may be seen on the hamstrings, head, ears, neck or flanks.
- The kill is generally untidy. It is seldom a clean, neat kill like that of natural predators.
- The carcass may be dragged to and fro.
- Usually more than one sheep is killed or maimed, and occasionally only one.
- The amount of meat eaten varies, from nothing to large amounts, which is usually more than that eaten by jackal or caracal.
- Feeding is often from the rear end, but large pieces may be ripped from the carcass.
- Large bones are chewed or eaten.
- Chunks of wool may be scattered everywhere (not neat plucking like the caracal)
- Large pieces of skin torn from prey.