Maryland Dogs


This Irish Setter was charging out of a backyard to come get me on my bicycle this morning, and ran right out in front of a truck. I doubt the driver ever saw him.

Irish Setters are not known for attacking people, but this one was behaving very aggressively. I just saw a large dog for a split second out of the corner of my eye, and realized that he was coming at me very hard and fast. Then I heard the thud. Why was a dog with a temperament like this loose in the yard?

All of the dogs I have met in Boulder (hundreds of them) have been very friendly and well behaved. Quite the opposite in Maryland. People don’t know how to handle their dogs here.


About stevengoddard

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36 Responses to Maryland Dogs

  1. ozspeaksup says:

    agree the dog should always be behind a shut/locked gate
    a lot of dogs dont like bikes and in aus forced helmet wearing seems to make it worse
    as do the reflective striped safety vests
    I feel so sad to see a beautiful dog dead like that ;-(

    • wizzum says:

      Oz is that a deerhound or a wolfie on your avatar?
      I lost my wolfie this year, she was 13, they are the most wonderful dogs.

  2. Warren WAlker says:

    Are you going to be sued for enticing that dog into a dangerous, and fatal, environment?

  3. rah says:

    Irish Setters are usually about as friendly a dog breed as one can find. Not too smart generally but really lovable. Hope your not feeling responsible in any way.

    • I was very surprised when I saw that it was an Irish Setter. His behavior was very aggressive. He was running at me full speed and would have gotten to me within a half second if he hadn’t been hit by the truck. There is very little traffic on that road, and was (literally) a miracle that the dog didn’t get to me.

      • Stewart Pid says:

        I had a setter for 10 years and they are very gentle as a rule. I bought mine after a client told me about his daughter learning to walk by pulling herself to her feet by the dogs ears and the dog never reacted. I would guess the dog was rushing to play given my experience and when in the play mode and wound up setters can be as stupid as a post but u never know. Perhaps Tony’s scent put the mutt off?

        • emsnews says:

          Wrong. They are hunting dogs who hunt LARGE GAME and birds that have a wingspread of 4 feet or more (swans, geese, etc.)

          The dog probably viewed the bike as a large deer or something like that.

        • There are lots of deer in that area, so quite possible.

        • Stewart Pid says:

          Wrong . Mine was a fishing Irish Setter … she would get in the river and watch the fish for hours and occasionally try to paw or catch one in her mouth but she couldn’t give a rats ass about birds and our lawn was often covered with ducks since my father put feed out for them. Same with deer or other dogs or geese ( I don’t think she ever saw a swan) … just wasn’t interested but hey I only have 10 years of actual experience and my lying eyes to trust so I’m sure u are right. She loved snow and loved to run … back then she could run all day as long as there was lots of water (I ran along the river) to cool off in.
          However she did have a hate on for cats but I may have contributed to that 😉

        • Gail Combs says:


          You are correct. The bird dogs are bred to hunt and point and retrieve but not to kill. Our Black Lab would bring live animals back to the house all the time.

  4. Gail Combs says:

    Right now I have to red foxes behaving strangely. The deep red one started coming up to me and I finally had to toss a stick at it to convince it to run.

    Time to have animal control out and check for rabies. This would also be my first thought on that Irish Setter. Unless the owners trained it to be aggressive rabies is a real possibility.

    We had an outbreak of Rabies in MA from a fox trapped in Virgina and turned loose for fox hunting in South Hamilton MA. (Nothing on the internet) Our vet warned us and we had all our animals including horses, sheep and goats updated with rabies shots.

  5. emsnews says:

    Arizona here!

    Oh, have we shot rabid animals more than once in the past. One came at me when I was waiting for my bus and I ran home and my older brother shot the dog dead in the driveway.

    Lots of rabies in the desert areas. Never approach a friendly wild animal on the border of Mexico!

    • Gail Combs says:

      Never approach a friendly wild animal PERIOD!

      You have zero idea of what the animal is carrying.

      I just went the round with the idiot bureaucracy. Looks like it is shot gun time but first we are going to call a guy we know who is an expert in foxes. I really hate to shoot a beautiful animal and I see no other signs of a problem except no fear of humans. Of course they have been wandering around us all summer so it may just be simple curiosity and lack of fear.

      • Gail Combs says:

        We just checked with out Fox expert and he says they are habituated to our presence and just curious. Just keep a good distance and watch for poor heath.

        Glad we do not have to destroy them. Now all I have to do is protect the lambs and kids in the spring.

        • Dave1billion says:

          It is really odd that the foxes got so used to you that they will let you come close to them.

          They usually are so shy of that you never even see them accept sometimes at night or from a distance.

          I’d have been wary of them too.

          I know I’d be worried about chickens, but would a fox be large enough to actually kill one of the lambs or kids?

        • Gail Combs says:

          Dave, only a new born lamb or kid is at risk. Once on their feet they seem to be safe at least from the foxes.

          As far as getting used to us, we are outside all the time and do not bother them so they mind their own and so do we. With a ten ac level field in front of the house they can not help but see us and when we mow we stir up the mice and rabbits they are hunting.

        • Ted says:

          I’d still recommend the shot gun. Not at them, but close to them. Every animal understands that a loud bang is something to be avoided.

        • gator69 says:

          Actually, animals also get used to loud bangs too. I host what we call “ATF” weekends out here, and we shoot for hours before relaxing with adult beverages and cigars. While shooting, it is not uncommon to have birds landing on the range, and rabbits and the occassional neighbor’s dog.

          I also have seen a fox sleeping in a body shop while impact wrenches and hammers were being used only a few feet away. The shop was run by a friend of mine, and the fox was a daily visitor.

      • Gail Combs says:

        More likely linked to no hunting, no rabies shots and the bureaucratic idiocy and incompetence like I just ran into. This is all linked to a nation wide case of the Bambi Syndrome.

        The coyote problem is getting really really bad in the states but the USA quit keeping track of animal attacks once EnivronMentalism became popular. The government doesn’t want people alerted to this very real danger.

        SEE: Some Coyote Attacks on Children

        It is not just a herd of sheep wiped out, losing all your calves or having a horse gutted. Coyotes WILL go after children and have even kill adults. A friend who is a hunter was treed by a pack. They tore his leg apart. He killed over 40 coyotes in that pack. A neighbor killed 57 coyotes who had wiped out his goat herd.

        Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old Toronto singer died after being mauled by coyotes in a Cape Breton park.

        This is the report of the attack on a friend of the family. Wilmington is close to Boston.

        April 2005 WILMINGTON – There are some things in life that not even 17 years as a prison guard and police officer can prepare you for. Wilmington Police Officer and former Concord prison guard Louis Martignetti found that out the hard way Saturday when a coyote attacked his daughter and then him while his family did yard-work at their home off Burlington Avenue. Martignetti, his wife, 7-year-old son, Gino, and 4-year-old daughter, Tia, were outside when the animal ran up and bit his daughter in the leg about 10 a.m. Martignetti, who was in his shed at the time, heard his wife’s screams, but at first did not know what was going on.
        “She started screaming something like, ‘Pick up the baby, pick up the baby,’ but it happened so quick I didn’t understand what she wanted me to do,” he said.
        That’s when he turned and saw a coyote lunge at his daughter, who only weighs about 28 pounds, and bite her in the leg….

  6. emsnews says:

    Arizona here! Family lived in the Tucson valley for over 100 years.

    Coyotes used to be scared of humans because we shot them. Then we were told, after 1974, this was illegal. I used to go to the bus stop at 5:00 am to go to school. My driver carried a gun and he used it on coyotes that came out of the dark. Not today!

    • Dave1billion says:

      But is that law really enforced there?

      It seems in most places that the Sheriff’s deputies used turn a blind eye to killing varmints. Especially in less populated areas.

      • rah says:

        Open season on them here in Indiana all year as long as you have the property owners permission.

      • Gail Combs says:

        The coyote has become such a problem with killling livestock and family pets most small towns and rural areas use a Shoot, Shovel and Shut-up policy. Here in NC if a dog or whatever is hassling the livestock I can kill it.

        • NancyG says:

          In PA it’s always open season on coyotes. My husband killed one in our driveway. After he shot it he freaked because he thought he killed a dog but when he went over to look at it he knew it was no dog.

          Hubby also swears he saw a mountain lion, but the authorities there say we don’t have any. Hubby mentioned it to a neighbor who told us the authorities can say what they like but someone shot one on their property not long ago, let them try to deny that. It’s irresponsible to not let people know mountain lions may be in the area.

          I thought it was bad enough that I had to watch for coyotes and bear, now I have to watch for mountain lions too. Lions, and coyote, and bear, oh my!

        • rah says:

          Heck a few years ago there was a confirmed sighting of one in a suburb just west of St. Louis so I’d be surprised if there weren’t some in PA. Lots of woods and hills there.

        • Gail Combs says:

          We have black leopards in my area. My husband saw one crossing the road and a guy saw a pick-up truck with a mated pair they were turning loose in the mountains west of here. The authorities of course deny that there are any melanistic leopards in the southeast but the Rewilding Institute talks about wanting to reintroduce them.

  7. Judy F. says:

    We had an outbreak of rabies here in northeast Colorado two years ago. My son’s horse had to be put down because it had contracted rabies. I had never heard of that, but the horse tested positive. Because my Daughter in law had been doctoring the horse, she had to go through the rabies series of shots, because of her contact with saliva and fluids from the horse. Since that time, I haven’t seen a skunk, and only smelled one, once this summer. There aren’t many coyotes now and there is an exploding rabbit population. Interesting, the cycles of growth and suppression without the normal predators.
    Re: foxes. I just spent a few days with some friends up in the mountains in Wyoming. They have a “wild” fox near their cabin that will sit outside the cabin and wait until someone comes out and feeds it. I saw it come up and take a hot dog weiner out of a man’s hand. I am not in favor of feeding wild animals like that, but it was interesting to see how little fear it had of people.

    • lectrikdog says:

      Wild animals should remain wild. We should not think that we can gain their trust, or that we can ‘domesticate’ them. This is a good read:

    • Foxes that live close to people friendly to them will adapt and can develop trust all the way to hand feeding but they don’t appear to lose their natural ways even through generations. Law and wildlife management principles aside, giving a fox an occasional treat doesn’t seem to endanger the animal. On the other hand, even an unintentional feeding of a bear leads to major changes in its foraging habits, often leading to the destruction of the animal or worse.

      Wildlife’s adaptation to the presence of humans is not the same as domestication but it pays to be careful with any beast, wild or domestic.

      The anonymous cattleman’s “deer farming” story is among the funniest pieces I’ve ever read and it sounds very real. Writers got Pulitzers for less.

  8. Gail Combs says:

    Roping a deer

    Story #1

    Story #2

    There are guys near me who are crazy enough to try this off their team roping horses.

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