Trapping wild dogs

Trapping is time-consuming and labour-intensive, but can be effective when used with other control methods. Trapping is mostly used in areas with low populations and to control 'problem' wild dogs.

The success of trapping (using foot-hold traps) depends on the skill of the operator.

Tips for trapping wild dogs

Lures for wild dog traps

  • A mixture of dog faeces and urine is a popular lure.
  • Attractiveness of lures varies with seasons and locations. No single lure has yet been found that is consistently attractive to wild dogs.

Where to set wild dog traps

  • Traps are best placed along known wild dog 'pads' or activity areas (e.g. fence lines, roads, gullies, creek lines, ridge tops and tracks parallel to cattle/sheep tracks). Here the wild dog is most likely to find and investigate the decoy/odour.
  • Wild dog scent posts can be found by walking with a domestic dog on a lead along a known pad. Carefully observing the dog's behaviour as it approaches the scent post will help you decide where to place traps. Factors to consider are
    • the position on any bushes the domestic dog smells
    • placement of feet while urinating/defecating
    • how it approaches and where it scratches in relation to the pad and scent post
    • wind direction (important to wild dogs advertising their scent stations).
  • Using tracks that lead to known water sources is more effective, but avoid setting traps too close to waterholes.
  • It is recommended that lethal traps that use strychnine are set in areas or circumstances where it is impractical to check traps daily. They should not be used where there is a possibility of capturing domestic dogs or as a substitute for regular checking.

When to set wild dog traps

  • Traps should be set at the end of each day and checked each morning. Trap alert systems allow you to respond quickly to a capture (use if possible).

Proper use of wild dog traps

  • Use foot-hold traps to maximise efficiency and minimise injury.
  • Ideally, foot-hold traps should include padded, laminated or rubber jaws, but offset metal jaws are acceptable.
  • Match trap size to foot size. The use of the correct size trap also reduces the chance of catching non-target species.
  • Lethal traps using strychnine should be used in remote areas or circumstances where it is impractical to check traps daily but should not be used as a substitute for regular checking.
  • The Collarum™ neck restraint is acceptable. The Collarum™ is essentially a cable loop, which is thrown over the head and around the neck of the dog by a spring when set off by a trigger. The end of the loop, which is anchored to the ground when the trap is set, enables the wild dog to be held as if on a leash.

How to deal with captured animals

  • Approach traps carefully and quietly to avoid any extra stress on captured wild dogs.
  • Destroy wild dogs quickly. Shooting is the most humane method of destruction. (Note: shooters should be skilled and licenced.)

Also consider...