Lawrence dog smacks down hawk eyeing family’s backyard chickens

photo by: Kailey Petrehn

Taylor Petrehn holds a young hawk that his dog Cooper batted out of the air to protect the family's backyard chickens Sunday, July 29, 2018, in North Lawrence. The hawk was dazed but uninjured in the incident and soon flew away.

A Lawrence dog is being credited with an act of backyard heroism — or maybe with just being a darn good dog — after batting a hawk out of the air to save his people’s chickens.

Lawrence residents Taylor and Kailey Petrehn, who own 1900 Barker Bakery and Cafe, were having dinner Sunday evening in their North Lawrence home when their dog Cooper, a 110-pound Anatolian shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix, saw the hawk swooping in for some dinner of its own. The hungry raptor had been eyeing the 13 backyard chickens all day, Taylor said, and Cooper was ready when it finally made its move.

Cooper “batted it down” and cornered it without injuring it, Taylor said.

“I went up and grabbed it right away,” he said. “It was scared and dazed. It was just a juvenile bird.”

After snapping a photo with the young hawk, Taylor released it into the neighbor’s yard, and it flew away.

If the hawk returns, Cooper, who spends much of his time outdoors “tending” his flock, will have some combat experience to draw upon.

“He’s a great dog,” Taylor said, of the 1 1/2-year-old rescue dog. “He’s a shepherding dog, so he gets along with chickens really well.”


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