Champdogs Information Exchange
08.09.06 14:41 GMT
We wondered what Meg was barking at under the hawthorn tree - when you have a dog that gets excited at seeing hairy caterpillars we were not too concerned. However on clearing the grass away to investigate there was a very loud squeak so fingers were quickly removed. I was worried that it was a rat but on seeing the little face that peeped out it was clearly not a rat. We are fairly certain it is a weasel. It is giving off a nasty smell too. Can anyone advise what to do - I am sure that it was there the other day too because Meg spent a lot of time sniffing around there then. I have a feeling that they can be ferocious like squirrels - I know that they attack rabbits. Meg is not going to leave this alone now - she was not attempting to dig it out though so perhaps she had more sense then us.
08.09.06 15:13 GMT
I should have put a more urgent topic title - Please is there someone who can give me some advice - I can't let my dog out until I can find out more - she is a collie by the way.
I'm not sure what you mean by are they dangerous.
It might bite her if it feels threatened, and they're susceptible to distemper and lepto, but if your dog's fully vaccinated there shouldn't be a problem.
Are you sure it's not someone's lost ferret - we find quite a few round here - they're very good at escaping! Anyway, weasel or ferret, the most it would do is bite, it's not going to kill your dog. The smell will probably be from fear, maybe of your dog - we have ferrets, and sometimes they can give off what I call a 'skunk smell'.
08.09.06 15:50 GMT
yes I instantly thought "ferret" too on reading this post. No idea what breed is but if a tiny breed like a chihuhua, and a puppy, then a ferret could do some serious damage if it were hungry & a real worker (I have known them kill & eat a kitten)
but to be honest, if yours is a normal size dog then apart from a rather nasty bite, not much damage should occur. If its a lost ferret then someone may well be searching for it, so try to lcate the owner if you can.
08.09.06 16:39 GMT
My money would be on a ferret. You'd be braver than me to pick it up tho!
08.09.06 18:24 GMT
Well I went out to mow the grass and made lots of noise - it seems to have gone. It did cross my mind that it could be a ferret - I only saw it's head - that was not very big. Thanks for putting my mind to rest - I think I read too much Alison Uttley (Little Grey Rabbit) when I was young and the weasels were certainly the baddies. I was thinking about the damage squirrels do when they attack to be honest. Will keep my eyes open for it again - not sure who to ask about lost ferrets - people do keep them around here. We have probabally frightened it off for good now.
08.09.06 21:04 GMT
What a coincidence but I too saw a weasel the other day, and it actually climbed up the hawthorn tree. It was a chestnut brown with a white chest/stomach. Smaller than a ferret.
Haven't seen it since.
Weasels are tiny - about 6 inches from nose to tailtip. Stoats look very similar (but have a black tip to their tails) but are larger - about 10 inches from nose to tailtip. Ferrets are much
bigger (about the size of a small cat) and come in a variety of colours.
08.09.06 21:31 GMT
A weasel is weaselly distinguished from a stoat because a stoat is stoatally different...
Sorry to digress with that old chestnut...
Nips has been having daily encounters with a weasel over this last week and the pair of them have yet to decide who is the most surprised to see each other. The weasel is a pretty little thing (brown with a white flash on his/her chest) that is a fraction of the size of a ferret and it certainly doesn't come out fighting. If cornered, the worst a weasel will do is give a dog a bite but since they are incredibly quick, they take some cornering, let alone catching. As it happens I've got exactly the breed of dog that should make short work of a weasel but he's still not got over his weasel wonderment yet.
>A weasel is weaselly distinguished from a stoat because a stoat is stoatally different...>
Beat me to it roz :D
09.09.06 10:00 GMT
I got my camera out and caught it on video. It didn't poke it's head out as much when I was filming but enough to decide that it was a weasel not a ferret. My neighbour said she had seen one running down the lane. It was under the hawthorn tree that I hang my bird feeders on. They catch birds don't they? I can imagine that the tree would be very easy to climb because it has grown up through the fence. I had better revert to the one on the pole - stopped feeding the birds there because the young flew into the windows. At least my dog has got used to the hedgehogs that come into the garden so perhaps she will learn to live with the weasel.
Our version is "a weasel is weaselly wecognised cos a stoat is stoatally different!
We've found ferrets in the summerhouse before now - generally they've been used for rabbiting, - lost/slipped their lines, have hung around the rabbits for a couple of days and then gradually come looking for some human company!
We've generally been able to get them back to their owners within a couple of phone calls!
The cats have generally alerted us to the fact that a ferret is taking up residence ......you'll see ALL of them sitting on the roof of the summerhouse with horrified expressions/twitching tails - quite funny to see :)
09.09.06 11:30 GMT
:-) Have not seen a rabbit round here for ages - used to be piles of them. I do like that saying - will have to try and remember that.
My Weimy bitch caught and killed a weasel and a stoat in our field. She killed them so quickly, I hardly blinked and I hardly could even tell you if the thing bit her. It was quick. I understand some can bite nasty. Someone told me in our village that a gigantic Stoat came out and tried to attack their lab. He wondered if it was a Mink. But noone has seen is since, it just came out of the sugar beet last year and went for the dog. Grabbed the dog, and the owner bashed it off with his walking stick and it vanished.
10.09.06 07:20 GMT
jg not all ferrets are huge as cats!!!! we breed a very small variety especially for working & they are about the same sze as an adult stoat
10.09.06 07:24 GMT
10.09.06 07:33 GMT
Not all cats are huge either (though we do get some monsters in at work
)! ;) Seriously, the only ferrets I've seen are friends' working ones and they're getting on for 18" nose to tailtip. As you know, ferrets are domesticated polecats which traditionally are 14" long with a 5" tail, and have been used for hunting since Roman times. :) Are you breeding miniature ones? That might catch on - they make popular pets.
10.09.06 12:46 GMT
>Someone told me in our village that a gigantic Stoat came out and tried to attack their lab
That'll be your local version of our "Sussex Puma" then! A mythical beast that roams around in a state of blood lust preying on innocent doggies and pussycats. A beast that is remarkably camera shy, it has to be said! Although early in its reported history, two young lads managed to blag a ride in the police helicopter after they reported their close escape from the jaws of the "puma". A great trick if you can do it but one that the police haven't fallen for again!
Our two boy ferrets are not huge either - the larger one is about half the size of our 4 month old kitten, yet I wouldn't call him 'small', and the other one is smaller again, a bit under what I reckon is average size. I've been to a few game fairs and have been told by different ferret people that they are being bred small these days - apparently better for working as it's easier for them get down holes etc.
11.09.06 08:23 GMT
only if they get stuck in their throats................ :D
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