• Sweden's news in English

Spicy invention protects dogs from wolf attacks

TT/Joel Linde · 2 Jan 2012, 11:07

Published: 02 Jan 2012 11:07 GMT+01:00

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"The specific spice I will keep a secret, but it's supposed to be 300 times more spicy than Tabasco," hunter and hunting entrepreneur Calle Ekström told Swedish online hunting site Jakt & Jägare.

The protection consists of a modified version of the body armour for dogs currently used to protect against boar attacks.

To this existing vest, Ekström, who is from Leksand in central Sweden, has added nine pockets which he fills with a mysterious blend of extremely potent Indian spices.

The spices are so hot, in fact, that Ekström has to use a face mask when preparing the messy substance.

To keep it from turning in to a bloc of ice during winter hunts, he mixes the spice with anti-freeze in a blender and then seals it in vacuum packed plastic pockets.

The pockets are then placed to cover the entire body of the dog for protection from every possible kind of attack.

"It's important to provide protection on the belly since dogs often show their inferiority by turning onto their backs. In that case the wolf could kill the dog if it's not protected round the belly," Ekström told the paper.

Ekström said that although they haven't been able to test the vests yet, he has already sold a number to concerned dog owners.

They weren't allowed to try it on any captive wolves, but so far no dog wearing the 4995 kronor ($725) vest has been attacked in the wild.

Story continues below…

Jens Karlsson at the wildlife damage centre (Viltskadecenter), an organization working to minimize damage to Swedish wildlife, has monitored the development of the spicy body armour, and seems somewhat optimistic towards it.

He has seen reports from the US where hideous tasting substances have been used to protect sheep from wolves, and the results were quite positive.

"With those experiments in mind perhaps Calle's Indian spice mix isn't such a bad idea, but that remains to be seen," he said.

TT/Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:01 January 2, 2012 by StockholmSam
Seems a good solution, except for the antifreeze. If a wolf bites into the packet and ingests some antifreeze, would it be enough to kill him slowly and painfully? It doesn't take much antifreeze at all in an animal's system to cause excruciatingly painful and slow death. On the other hand, maybe the spices are so potent that the animal's sense of smell will prevent it from taking a bite and swallowing.
11:55 January 2, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag
This is all well and good, but if a woman were to protect herself with pepper spray or something equally effective, she would go to jail. Ah, Sweden, dogs are more valuable than people.
12:07 January 2, 2012 by Borilla
@Stockholm Sam

Echo re antifreeze.
13:42 January 2, 2012 by Åskar
What do the dogs think about walking around smelling like that?
14:10 January 2, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
A useful piece of info for the memory banks - but in the Swedish village where I live I've never seen a wolf and would lay long odds against ever seeing one 'in the wild' here
15:36 January 2, 2012 by Svensksmith
Perhaps the anti-freeze is alcohol based, in which case the wolf would then try to mate with an apple tree.
17:44 January 2, 2012 by Smiling Canuk
Sweden has only a paltry 300 wolves but many Swedes and other Euros insist upon believing medieval superstitions about these animals. Some Swedes even want to have all their wolves killed off. I find that quite pathetic.

Wolves rarely ever attack dogs and usually only when a dog is outside on a leash. I live in a part of the world where we have lots of wolves and coyotes and coyotes are far more likely to attack a dog than are wolves and even these attacks are very rare.

When was the last time I saw a wolf in the wild? About three months ago. Guess what - it ran the other way.
19:11 January 2, 2012 by rise
Sounds like somebody wants to make money on a product that isn't needed (not in Sweden anyways). And what else is new? ;)
19:12 January 2, 2012 by Ken114
"If a wolf bites into the packet and ingests some antifreeze, would it be enough to kill him slowly and painfully? It doesn't take much antifreeze at all in an animal's system to cause excruciatingly painful and slow death"

Lets hope so, since I have no use for a wolf any where except a wildness area
19:56 January 2, 2012 by johan rebel
Hunting dogs are far more likely to be run over by cars than killed by a wolf, so maybe they should equip their dogs with sirens and flashing blue lights. While they are at it, they should provide the dogs with bullet proof vests and lifejackets as well, as more dogs are shot (yes, you guessed it: shot by hunters) or drowned than are killed by wolves and wild boars.

The figures (hunting dogs (jakthundar) only) 2007-2009

Shot 25

Wolf 43

Wild boar 38

Traffic 822

Drowning 81
19:59 January 2, 2012 by jack sprat
Whatever next ?

Lets hope the Swedish wolves don't get a taste for hotdogs.

Surely they can't be any worse than those sold in the kiosks.
21:20 January 2, 2012 by skumdum
If a wolf attack your dog you're allowed to kill the wolf, so why not use poison instead of spices.
08:25 January 3, 2012 by Dazzler
A better idea is to buy a decent caliber handgun under the radar. Screw the crazy inventions.
10:22 January 3, 2012 by gabeltoon
You make it sound that the whole country is over run with wolves. Why are you so bent on killing everything.
11:19 January 3, 2012 by StockholmSam

Ah yes, because it is all about what you have use for, isn't it? And just where do you think the wolves might be attacking the hunting dogs? In the parking lot outside of Babies 'R Us? These vests are designed for hunting dogs which are used...you guessed it...OUT IN THE WILDERNESS.


Think about it. This 'solution' is designed to save the life of the dog. Poison takes a long time to do its work. By the time the poison affects the wolf, the dog will be dead. Pepper spices act immediately, burning the eyes and respiratory passages.
15:19 March 14, 2012 by Wolfscat
Here in the wilds of Montana we tried the pepper spray thing with hikers. Our Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks recommended that hikers carry the pepper spray cans and wear little bells to deter large preditors. Now when hiking you find piles of large preditor spoor that smells like pepper and has bells in it. Wolves have killed many dogs here but we have many more wolves too. Go to Google and type in (Lobowatch). This site shows you what wolves are doing here in the US. Good luck. You too were better off without wolves.
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