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    1. #1
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      Labs and Nesting Swans?

      I will be visiting my parents later this week with Shadow. They live on a small lake and Shadow has permission to run free across 4 neighbors' yards. He usually manages to lose 5 pounds per visit between the running and the swimming (despite the extra treats from his "grandparents"). I just learned that there is are swans nesting next door. Uggh. Anyone have experience with the dog-swan situation?

      In the past, Shadow has shown very little inclination to harass waterfowl. Usually when he first arrives and slams full force into the water, the mallards, geese and swans swim over, inspect him from a safe distance and decide he is a non-threatening goofball. I honestly think they roll their eyes at him! One year there were some mallards nesting and he popped over to inspect their nest after they flew into the water but then ignored it for the rest of visit. The ducks came back after we went inside but a few nights later a raccoon or other creature had a feast. Even then, he did not mess with the damaged eggs.

      Nesting swans are a different story though. I really am hoping that I don't have to leash him the entire 10 days because of defensive swans. His entire joy of running, swimming and fetching during his visit is going to be so thwarted.

      If anyone can provide suggestions, I would appreciate it.

    2. #2
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      Swans can be pretty aggressive and with their size they could do some damage to a dog. We were at a pond at a local village when we lived in the UK. Two swans on the bank, and this lady starts walking up to them like she's going to pet them or something. I very politely told her that approaching the may not be a good idea, as she got closes one of the swans started hissing and went after the women. No harm done, but that woman was scared crapless.

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by swanska View Post
      I will be visiting my parents later this week with Shadow. They live on a small lake and Shadow has permission to run free across 4 neighbors' yards. He usually manages to lose 5 pounds per visit between the running and the swimming (despite the extra treats from his "grandparents"). I just learned that there is are swans nesting next door. Uggh. Anyone have experience with the dog-swan situation?

      In the past, Shadow has shown very little inclination to harass waterfowl. Usually when he first arrives and slams full force into the water, the mallards, geese and swans swim over, inspect him from a safe distance and decide he is a non-threatening goofball. I honestly think they roll their eyes at him! One year there were some mallards nesting and he popped over to inspect their nest after they flew into the water but then ignored it for the rest of visit. The ducks came back after we went inside but a few nights later a raccoon or other creature had a feast. Even then, he did not mess with the damaged eggs.

      Nesting swans are a different story though. I really am hoping that I don't have to leash him the entire 10 days because of defensive swans. His entire joy of running, swimming and fetching during his visit is going to be so thwarted.

      If anyone can provide suggestions, I would appreciate it.
      Swanska,
      Both yourself and Barry581 are on track with regard to swans being more than a mere concern relative to dogs in the aquatic environment. Swans are by nature very territorial and that is multiplied significantly when they are nesting and incubating eggs or rearing cygnets. My retriever is highly trained and experienced in the retrieval of crippled birds on the water and I would always opt not to work him in waters being used by swans. Swans have been known to crawl up on mammalian predators that pose a perceived threat and effectively use the mass of their body to hold the offender submerged until rendered drowned. Do yeself and ye pup a favor and avoid all conflict with swans, and much more so when they have broods present.☠️

      Irishwhistler
      Last edited by IRISHWISTLER; 04-10-2017 at 08:18 PM.
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    4. #4
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      I have to agree with the others. Swans are not nice birds. They are the only species that I will not let nest on my ponds.
      At one of the field trials there was a swan on the pond and some of the competitors were very nervous of it. Others felt that the test would be unfair if the big white bird was there for some and not for others. As luck would have it the swan behaved just like it was on a rope. It would start to swim out just as the guns went off but turn when it heard them. It did this for every dog. It didn't attack but it sure wasn't leaving its territory. We have them ( trumpeters ) at two of the local marshes and they can be really aggressive with other waterfowl and people. I really dislike them

    5. #5
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      I think it's not just the swans that pose a danger. If people see your dog chasing, harassing (or appearing to be) the swans you may get some pretty serious complaints laid. Maybe even charges.

    6. #6
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      Confirming my thoughts....Poor Shadow....

      These are the mute swans, beautiful but non-native. They have been increasing in numbers rapidly and the adjacent township is taking on DNR-approved measures to reduce the population.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by swanska View Post
      Confirming my thoughts....Poor Shadow....

      These are the mute swans, beautiful but non-native. They have been increasing in numbers rapidly and the adjacent township is taking on DNR-approved measures to reduce the population.
      Swanska,
      Most likely it will be egg addling, essentially the eggs are shaken and placed back on the nest by wildlife personnel, the female will continue to sit on eggs to incubate them, but they will never hatch producing cygnets. If the eggs were just broken. , the females will most often lay additional eggs and hatch out a brood. It is a very slow method of reduction. A hunting season would be much more effective while likely more difficult to approve. As you had mentioned, mute swans are a non-indigenous specie o' waterfowl and often compete fiercely with other native species for available habitat resources.

      In addition to drowning various mammals that enter the water inclusive o' dogs, there have also been documented cases o' them drowning humans.

      Irishwhistler

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by IRISHWISTLER View Post
      Swanska,
      Most likely it will be egg addling, essentially the eggs are shaken and placed back on the nest by wildlife personnel, the female will continue to sit on eggs to incubate them, but they will never hatch producing cygnets. If the eggs were just broken. , the females will most often lay additional eggs and hatch out a brood. It is a very slow method of reduction. A hunting season would be much more effective while likely more difficult to approve. As you had mentioned, mute swans are a non-indigenous specie o' waterfowl and often compete fiercely with other native species for available habitat resources.

      In addition to drowning various mammals that enter the water inclusive o' dogs, there have also been documented cases o' them drowning humans.

      Irishwhistler
      Swans were eradicated from the Chesapeake Bay a few years back. As a non-native invasive species they were decimating the grass beds in shallow waters, causing great damage to blue crab and striped bass populations.

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    10. #9
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      The trumpeters in our area are a non-indigenous species. One of our more commercial wildlife centres sold the locals a bill of goods on how they found swan bones in the middens of local native sites that were being excavated. They then introduced the trumpeter swans. The bones they found were not trumpeter swan but tundra swans. We are on a migration path for the tundras. The trumpeters are now becoming a real nuisance. I agree with the Irishwhistler. It is time for a limited hunting season. The other population starting to build are the sandhill cranes. Not aggressive but they sure are noisy.

    11. #10
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      Apparently they are using corn oil on the eggs and leaving them in the nest to trick the parents into continuing to nest on non-vital eggs. Michigan doesn't allow hunting (probably to make sure the indigenous species don't accidently get taken). Would love to see some trumpeters - they are occasionally around my parent's area. Another reason I'd like the swans to go away from their nest is that the sand hill cranes land in that same neighbor's yard in the mornings. We have traditionally waited until they've left before letting Shadow out. I am interested to see if the cranes are able to visit while. They ARE native and really interesting to watch.

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      IRISHWISTLER (04-11-2017)

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