Posted Apr 15, 2010 By Kristen Coughlar
EMC News – A Wolfe Island resident has heard the call of people across the region concerned about recent coyote activity in the area and the safety of their livestock.
Jim Argo thinks he has come up with a solution to the coyote problem plaguing the region’s farmers and it isn’t a long gun. It’s a 19-24 inch, 40-71 pound, four-legged canine companion. Argo is a breeder of Samoyeds, a fluffy and white working dog that originated in the north.
Argo has been breeding Samoyeds for 12 years on Wolfe Island, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he discovered the breed could “sing” and that that “singing” kept the coyotes at bay. And, by singing Argo means something of a howl.
Argo noted that up until that point he had been selling all the puppies in a litter. In 2001 he kept three of the nine in the litter and as they matured they began to sing with their mother Shasta when the coyotes came near.
“Originally Shasta had no pups so if she sang it would say, ‘I’m alone, I’m one,'” Argo said. When Shasta became one of a group of Samoyeds, the pack began to sing and blend their voices to let the coyotes know they were many. Argo currently has six adult Samoyeds.
“It’s an eerie, spine-chilling, evocation of life and the wild,” Argo said.
Argo noted that when the group “sings” the coyotes keep away.
“What I’ve found is that the coyotes never come near,” he said, noting that the wolf-like animal does not come within a mile of the house. “You could almost call them a natural solution to the coyote problem.”
Argo noted that coyote problems in the region have been widely reported about in the news. He believes the Samoyed could be an alternative solution to the problem.
“This is not one of going out and shooting them, this is one of saying, ‘go on, scoot, get out of here,'” he said. “It’s something I can offer to the farmers.”
One of Argo’s brood has just given birth to a litter of seven Samoyed pups.
Argo believes that if a farmer that already has a Samoyed or part Samoyed breed of dog adds another Samoyed to their farm they will “sing” and keep the coyotes at bay.
“Not only will they have a great dog for the family and grandchildren, but they will have some protection from the coyotes,” he said.