Can A Dog Kill A Deer?

If your dog sees a deer, will it chase or attack it? Can a dog kill a deer? Can a deer attack a dog instead? We have researched all these questions, and the answers are in the article below

Whenever you think about bringing a pet home, dogs are typically on top of your list. Bringing a pet dog into your home is just the beginning of your responsibilities. One of the things that you need to be careful about is to prevent unfortunate happenings such as the dog killing other animals. 

All dog owners know how important taking their dogs out for a walk is. Imagine you are walking in the park on a fine winter day, and suddenly, your dog becomes violent after seeing a deer. The situation might escalate real quick, and either the deer will run away or the dog will attack the deer. 

Can A Dog Kill A Deer

If you live in Wisconsin, it’s not uncommon for you or your dog to witness a deer now and then during winter and spring. During this time, if a dog and a deer cross each other’s paths, it will definitely cause trouble. 

In the spring and winter, deers find it challenging to survive, because of a lack of food. They also tend to become more violent during mating season which is usually in the fall.

There have been many instances where dogs have caused severe injuries to deer, and in some cases, they have even killed them. 

In this article, we will discuss in detail this bitter relationship that a dog and a deer share. So, let’s get straight into it. 

What Happens When a Dog Chases a Deer? 

Dogs can easily chase deer during winter when it is snowing.

During winter, especially if it has snowed, the lighter and nimbler dogs are easily able to chase heavy deer who are not equipped to run fast on snow. 

Deer and dogs are not sworn enemies. A dog starts chasing a deer when it feels that the deer possesses a threat for itself and its human counterpart. Even the calmest dogs can behave violently after seeing a deer outside of its comfort zone. 

Once a dog plans to chase a deer, the first thing that it tries to do is get off the leash. After successfully getting out of your grip, it will run straight to the deer. The dog will get into a fight if the pet is feeling threatened by the animal. 

Can A Dog Kill A Deer

Can a Deer Outrun a Dog?

If the deer is pregnant, or it has recently snowed, a dog can outrun a deer. Otherwise, the deer should win in most situations.

The average speed at which a deer can run is 43 mph, and on the other hand, the mean speed of a dog is 31 mph which is more than ten mph less than the average speed of a deer. The average speed depends on several factors, such as the breed of the dog and also on the dog’s health. 

Under certain circumstances, a dog can outrun a deer. If the female deer is pregnant, the deer that your dog is chasing is a fawn. In that case, the average running speed of a deer comes down to 30 mph on average. Another reason could be that there has been fresh snow, which dogs are more easily able to run over than deer.

How to Prevent Dog Attacks on Deer?

After reading this far, we hope that one thing has become clear for you is that not only deers but dogs can also attack a deer which is also not desirable. You can train your dog so that it does not attack any other animals, in this case, a deer. 

  • Keep your dog safe and secure and far away from the reach of a deer.
  • You need to ensure that your dog obeys you, and whenever you make eye contact, it will stop doing whatever it is doing. 
  • With the help of positive reinforcement, you can tame the prey drive that almost all the species of dogs have in them.

As a dog owner, you also need to ensure that your dog is not feeling stressed and not going through any mental disorder, which might make your dog aggressive. 

Can A Dog Kill A Deer

Can Deer Attack Dogs Too?

Dogs have not always been the domesticated animals like we know them today. Before dogs were domesticated, they used to live in the wild, and hunting deers and other animals is very natural for this animal species as animals like deers are sources of food for them. 

You might be thinking that your dog is harmless, but it can become violent under certain circumstances. Since dogs are domesticated, they have developed loyalty to their owners. Irrespective of the species and the dog’s size, it will try to protect the human friend in any given situation. 

Some dogs may bark after seeing a deer, whereas others can see and will try to get into a fight with the deer because of their aggressiveness. Typically, a deer will run away when attacked because they are quite docile.

However, in this section, we will be discussing all the possible reasons when a deer might fight back against a dog attack.


The primary reason behind a deer from the wild attacking your dog might be the season, and two of the seasons that usually make deer violent are winter and spring. Now let’s talk about the effects these two seasons have on the mind of a deer. 


Winter is the harshest season that deer and other wild animals go through. Deers get stressed because of the lack of food that can be seen during this period. This scarcity of food happens because of the gradual dropping of temperature. 

In search of food, dogs often jump fences of the house, and if you leave your dog without any leash in your lawn or backyard, then there is a huge possibility that this instance will lead to a confrontation between the deer and the dog. 

Can A Dog Kill A Deer


Deers consider dogs as their enemies. Female deers known as doe will protect the baby deers called fawns at any cost. After giving birth to fawns, the mother does protect the babies from all the predators, and as it considers dogs as a predator and harmful for the fawns, it will attack the dog. 

Mating Season

From the beginning of October till the end of November is known as mating season or the rut season. During this period, male deers known as bucks become aggressive because of the high testosterone level in the body of the male deer. 

Due to the aggressiveness of male deer in the rut season, it will be up for any challenge and can attack your pet dog of yours. At this time, you would not want your dog anywhere near a buck.

How to Prevent Deer Attacks on Dogs?

Deers are mostly herbivorouṣ, and they don’t prey on other animals searching for food. So, when a deer attacks a dog, it is probably doing it because it is feeling threatened by the dog’s presence. 

After feeling threatened by the dog, a deer will hold its ground and start gorging. Alongside gorging, the deer can also kick brutally, which can cause severe damage to your pet dog. A dog’s injuries from a fight with deer can lead to paralysis and even death. 

As we all know that prevention is better than cure, it is ideal for you to prevent this type of incident as a dog owner. You can prevent a deer from attacking your dog if you follow the ways that we will mention below. 


The best way to prevent a deer from attacking your dog is by covering the house from all around with a high and durable fence. The fence should be made so that a deer cannot get through it with all its abilities. 

Feeding the Deer

One of the primary reasons a deer gets into your property is in search of food. So, if you offer them food close to your home, the deers will never get into your house until and unless you or your pet has caused any harm to it. That is why you should grow crops that deers can consume as food. 

Can A Dog Kill A Deer

Keep Your Dog Inside During the Daytime

If the area where you live has many deers moving around and you feel they are dangerous for your dog, then it is better to ensure your dog’s safety. The best way to do that is to keep your pet inside the house for most of the day. If you plan to take your dog out for a walk and see a deer nearby, change your path to make your dog safe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do deers fight dogs?

Yes, while they are not sworn enemies, it is dangerous to let them be close to each other.

Deers are usually calm animals, and they are not the ones to pick up fights with dogs. But once the dog threatens them, they will attack the source they feel threatened, a dog in this case. Under these circumstances, the deers can fight dogs to survive.

What is the best dog to keep deer away?

Walters and Basset Hounds are best

There are several kinds of dogs that you can bring to your home. The species vary in terms of size and aggressiveness. If you feel that there is a risk that a deer can attack your home, then to protect your house, you can bring a pet dog to your home. 

If your purpose of bringing a dog home is to protect the house from a possible deer attack, then outdoor dogs such as Walter and Basset hounds are ideal for this purpose. In short, the breed of the dog of your choosing needs to be strong, courageous, and large.

A Few Final Words

Deer and dogs both can attack each other, and we hope that you have gotten the answer to the question: “Can a dog kill a deer?” As you know, what needs to be done to prevent the attack from happening is to implement them to avoid any unfortunate events. 

Other than that, in some places, deer hunting is allowed with the help of dogs. Only in this case, you can take your dog with you for killing a deer. You can get into trouble if your dog kills a deer in other cases. So, be careful and prevent any unfortunate event. 

Thank you for reading, we hope this information was useful to you. If you have more questions, please write to us in the comments and we will revert back with the answers. You might also like to read about the risks of your dog killing other animals such as rabbits and groundhogs.