For a detailed training video on on how to box trap dogs – visit our GWR Products page.
Sometimes the most efficient way to capture dogs is with a box trap. In disaster response, the first dogs are caught by hand, but there gets a point when the fearful dogs cannot be approached. Then box traps will bring the dogs out of the rubble. In animal control or dog rescue, people may need to capture specific dogs. Box traps can be placed along their travel route or favorite spots. And in trap/neuter/release programs such as the work I did in India and Caribbean, box traps are an efficient way to gather many dogs.
But few people know how to successfully use box trap. Attend to the details…..and here is one way to do it.
You can download a free handout on box trapping from Global Wildlife Resources by visiting our free Training Library.
Which type of boxtrap?
Without any doubt, my favorite trap is the Tru Catch 48F Folding Dog trap. I have used them in Montana, New Orleans, the Caribbean and have even taken them to India (with great difficulty). I like the Tru Catch 48F Folding Dog trap because it is very rugged, strong and lasts for years even with ocean salt.. It is compact so many traps can me moved together. It is very versatile to use in many ways because both ends open so dogs can be shifted to a varikennel or to another trap.
The best source for purchasing the Tru Catch trap is to contact Wanda or her family at Heart of the Earth Animal Equipment.
Setting the trap
1) Most important – choose a location that is cozy for the dog and hidden from the public. Dogs have a denning instinct which can be used to our advantage. And people and traps do not mix. People will either steal the traps, release the dogs, or harm the dogs.
Place it out of sight and possibly against a building or in the bushes. A trap out in the middle of a field is not a cozy thing. Strive to keep it in a cool, shady, quiet place. For security either use a coated cable and lock or find a private landowner who will watch it or has controlled access.
Always document on paper where every trap is placed. It is taboo and unethical to loose a trap! I have seen this happen too many times with disaster response.
2) The trap must be solid on the ground and should not shake or wobble. To ensure this, scrape the ground with the bottom edge of the trap and create a pile of dirt/duff in front of where the door will be. You will use that later. Once the ground is scraped, set the trap over that flat area and push down on each corner to see if it will wobble. If it does, use rocks or dirt in the corners to make it stable.
Many feral dogs will not mind stepping into a trap and walking on the wire, but always assume you are trying to catch the smartest most fearful dog. Use the sand/dirt/duff pile to cover the wire on the bottom of the trap. In areas with a lot of junk or rubble I might also cover the wire with cardboard or tar shingles. MAKE A TRAP A COZY DEN FOR THE DOG TO CRAWL IN TO. I often lean a piece of plywood against the trap.
For a detailed training video on how to box trap dogs – visit our GWR Products page.
Next article: Capturing Dogs with Box traps, Part 2. How to Bait the Trap