Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

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DaniBeez
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Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by DaniBeez » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:42 pm

Warning: the audio and visual content in the video below (spoiler tagged) might upset some viewers, as it depicts a dog in distress. No blood or gore is seen though.

This clip, taken from a camera attached to the vest of a dog used to hunt moose, was submitted to Swedish Hunting, a hunting magazine:
Spoiler:
From the video's description:
4-year-old Swedish elkhound Klara attacked by two wolves while hunting moose outside Sunne Municipality in Värmland County, Sweden, on October 12 2015. Klara wore a protective vest which held the action camera. The vest was also equipped with steel for protection against wolf attacks, which helped Klara survive the attack that lasted approximately ten minutes.
Viewer discretion is advised.
The first couple minutes of the video are fascinating from a behavioral standpoint, when Klara first encounters the wolves and they begin to harass and circle her. It shows how wolves attack in both pursuit and "stand-your-ground" scenarios, and how having numbers over your prey can quickly create an advantage when prey chooses to defend itself.

The latter half of the clip is not as visually interesting, as she has been forced unto the ground, and is arguably more distressing to watch Klara struggle without being able to see what the wolves are doing to her. There is one point where I think she was even dragged; SvenskJakt writes she sustained a major injury to her back:
She had a bigger wound behind which they sewed together and 14 small wounds that they also sewed. Then she had 15-20 wounds that would be kept open and drain herself, says Tommy.
Luckily, her owner caught up to Klara and took her to a nearby vet. A follow-up article was posted the day after, but it's unclear if Klara was ever able to return to hunting activities after this attack.
Image

Whatever your opinions on the role of dogs in hunting, I think we can all be glad Klara survived and had protective gear. It appears her owners care about her and feel bad for what happened to her.
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Re: Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by elkhunter123456 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:54 pm

What happened to the wolves?
prey:
hare
beaver
mule deer
elk
moose
competitors:
raven
eagle
fox
coyote
wolf
cougar
bear

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Re: Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by DaniBeez » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:23 pm

elkhunter123456 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:54 pm
What happened to the wolves?
Unknown, beyond them running off when Klara's owner approached (translation from Swedish with some edits to improve readability):
At the end of [the video], she is just lying down and panting, she seems to have given up.
- I never [appeared in the video], but shortly after that [Klara] sat up when she heard me. Then the wolves have also disappeared, says Tommy Berglund.
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Re: Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by Phasoli » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:51 am

I’m so glad that they were able to nurse her back to health. Thank goodness for that vest!
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Re: Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by x1103 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:55 am

I googled in finnish and man those vests are quite expensive! They seem to do their job though. I have seen another video like this and heard of many similiar cases. Not sure what to think. The dogs are in a lot of danger it seems if the owner is some distance away and unable to protect the dog...

(Somewhere on the forum was said that wolves don't eat coyotes, but I know cases of them eating dogs and nothing much is sometimes left of the dog, so is this again a thing that is different in wolves in Yellowstone vs. other wolves? Btw would love a topic about those differences gathered.)
Nevermind me I just like to blah blah.

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Re: Vest footage of wolves attacking a hunting dog (Content Warning)

Post by DaniBeez » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:59 pm

x1103 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:55 am
I googled in finnish and man those vests are quite expensive! They seem to do their job though. I have seen another video like this and heard of many similiar cases. Not sure what to think. The dogs are in a lot of danger it seems if the owner is some distance away and unable to protect the dog...
I agree x1103, it seems dangerous for the dogs, especially since they have to venture out ahead of their owners into wolf territories. I wonder if any hunters opt to use multiple dogs at once when searching for moose, but maybe that doesn't deter wolves from attacking either. I also don't know if wolf-on-dog attacks are very common in the activity/area, or are actually rare. I have seen an image of an attacked dog of this breed where nothing but the head and the spine remained though, so I imagine it is a risk moose hunters using dogs just accept.

Speaking of the vests, it is something to see how the technology of animal equipment has advanced. On Instagram I follow some dog training accounts, and some of the professional animals sport some high quality-looking equipment, like dog-specific goggles!
x1103 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:55 am
(Somewhere on the forum was said that wolves don't eat coyotes, but I know cases of them eating dogs and nothing much is sometimes left of the dog, so is this again a thing that is different in wolves in Yellowstone vs. other wolves? Btw would love a topic about those differences gathered.)
While wolves will kills dogs from a competition standpoint, I think external factors like prey availability and habitat quality have the largest impact on whether and how often wolves will also eat dogs. In Croatia for example, a survey indicated that dogs are the most frequent domestic prey of wolves--even higher than sheep--according to Huber et. al. (1993).

While I couldn't access to that particular paper, I found a Croatian blog post that might contain hints as to why this scenario existed. In Croatia, an agriculturally-intensive country, the practice of "traditional loose shepherding" was still around even at the time of the post (2004). I interpret that to mean keeping livestock without fencing, and likely in very rural areas that overlap with wolf territories. Dogs are used to assist with managing and protecting the flocks. So there may have been a high frequency of dog and wolf encounters in parts of Croatia due to this particular kind of agriculture. Wolves may have become desensitized to their regular presence, and subsequently utilized dogs as an easy food source, along with other livestock like sheep and goat which also get killed by wolves there.
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