This might not be a good idea but is there anything really smelly you could spray on the dogs? Something like bad skunk spray? I don't know if that would be safe to do, you might risk getting some on yourself or your horses, and maybe the owners don't interact with the dogs. I was just thinking it could be a way to punish the owners. If they do get close to the dogs and pet them or let them in the house, a really bad stink might be something they want to avoid.Here's an update on my continuing Anatolian shepherd problem: I finally got ahold of the animal control person in the sheriff's department of Suwannee Co. I have been in contact with this person since October. She was originally quite receptive and helpful, but as the problem continued, she started not answering her phone or returning my calls. She said that there is no leash law in Suwannee Co. and dogs can roam however they like. Why didn't she tell me this the first time I called? She was quite supportive when I sent videos and photos of the dogs going after the horses. I do believe that the dog owner somehow convinced the animal control person that she was in the right. The animal control lady even used the same language as the dog owner--that I was "harrassing her" by not wanting to be bitten, and that I should just ride on a different road.
So, the bottom line is that the sheriff's department will do nothing. The dogs have complete permission to roam the roads, and it is the owner's word against mine that her dogs are biting. The owner said they own horses (I have never seen them, and their property is only a couple of acres) and the dogs don't bother their horses so they wouldn't bother mine. That is such a load of hooey, I can't believe an animal control officer, who should know dogs, would buy that. That's like saying, "My dog doesn't bite me, so why should she bite the UPS man?"
So, I am on my own about these dogs. I refuse to give up. Remember I am the person who spent 6 years working with Isabeau to stop kicking in the trailer and to ride out by herself (both of which she now does perfectly).
This morning I headed out with pieces of hot dog in my pocket to try that, as several people have suggested. The dogs came roaring out. I was on Aci, who has been bitten several times, and got a hind leg caught in a fence when the dogs drove him into the fence. He is pretty nervous around those dogs, but I thought, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Aci leaped and skipped around pretty adroitly, and it was a little tough to drop the pieces of hot dog --they were pretty big because I knew this was going to be interesting--near the dogs' mouths. They were not interested in the scent of the hot dogs. It was me and the horse they were after. But they did not bite Aci. They acted a little like I was throwing something at them to hurt them. They flinched when I got a hot dog piece near their faces.
On the way home, they barked, but did not come after Aci at all. The pieces of hot dog were still all over the road. They hadn't eaten them after I passed by.
I rode on my lovely much loved trails that I haven't been able to get to in quite a while. It was so wonderful to be back on my terrific trails.
This is probably the 6th time in my life that I have gotten NO support from law enforcement. I never have success when I contact officials over a legal matter. I never wanted to contact animal control in the first place and am bitterly sorry that I ever started this whole thing.
Suwannee Co. is a "good ole boy" network in the deep South and people are expected to take care of their problems on their own. Which is where I started, only now I have a nasty angry difficult neighbor to deal with, when I could have just had an ignorant neighbor.
Skunk'Um - Loitering Deterrent.