What’s a Dog Proof Trap?
The dog proof trap (DP trap) is a specially designed foothold trap that only catches raccoons, opossums and skunks. These traps were originally referred to as ‘coon cuffs’, and only one or two companies made them, but today they are widely popular and manufactured by numerous companies.
How do Dog Proof Traps Work?
To be caught in a dog proof trap, an animal must reach their paw inside a small hole to pull out the bait, which is recessed deeply in the hole. Their paw trips a trigger which closes the trap and results in a catch. The magic in the DP trap is that dogs do not have the dexterity to reach in a small hole with their paw, and so they can’t be caught in this trap. This means that coyotes and foxes can’t be caught in these traps, and neither can domesticated pet dogs.
Are Dog Proof Traps Safe to Use Around Cats?
Yes, dog proof traps are safe to use around cats. It is extremely unlikely that a can can be caught in a dog proof trap because of the dexterity required to reach into the trap and get at the bait/trip the trigger. It is remotely possible that a cat could get its paw caught in one of these traps. The cat would have to be extremely hungry or very motivated to get at the food in the trap. The cat would have to have the exceptional dexterity. The dog proof trap would probably have to be a push/pull trigger design rather than a pull-only, because it’s virtually impossible for a cat to pull on a dog proof trap’s trigger with its paw. Even if a cat really wanted to get at the bait, it’s unlikely to be caught in a dog proof trap. Still, if you want to completely remove the possibility of catching a cat, you can also bait the trap with sweet foods that raccoons are attracted to but cats aren’t. For instance, using marshmallows, sweet treats, etc rather than fish or cat food. Overall, dog proof traps are extremely safe to use around cats.
What Other Animals Can be Caught in Dog Proof Traps?
Oppossums are readily caught in dog proof traps. Like raccoons, they have great dexterity and long, flexible fingers. The occasional skunk is caught in a dog proof trap. Other than that, most other animals can’t and won’t be caught in a dog proof trap.
The dog proof trap has been a huge asset for raccoon trappers that trap in urban and suburban areas, because they can eliminate the chances of catching someone’s pet dog in their trap. This allows folks to trap in areas they otherwise would shy away from to avoid catching domestic pets. It has allowed for better raccoon population control and minimized conflicts between trappers and pet owners.
The dog proof trap is widely popular among today’s trappers, and comes in many different models and configurations. There’s even an art to the type of bait used and other details of individual DP sets.