How to Build a Dog Trap

A wild dog has been destroying your livestock, and you want to set a trap, but also don't want to kill the animal. Here are some simple steps on how to build a dog trap, which are humane, but get the job done.

How to Build a Dog Trap

Treadle Spring Snare
  1. Dig a shallow hole in a trail.

  2. Drive a forked stick (fork down) into the ground on each side of the hole on the same side of the trail.

  3. Position the two sticks so their ends engage the forks.

  4. Place several sticks over the hole, in the trail, by positioning one end over the lower horizontal stick and the other on the ground on the other side of the hole.

  5. Cover the hole with enough sticks so that the prey (dog) must step on at least one of them to spring the trap.

  6. Tie one end of a piece of cordage to a twitch-up or a weight suspended over a tree limb.

  7. Bend the twitch up or raise the suspended weight to determine where you will tie a 5 centimeter or so long trigger.

  8. Form a noose with the other end of the cordage.

  9. Route and spread the noose over the top of the sticks over the hole.

  10. Place the trigger stick against the horizontal sticks and route the cordage behind the sticks so the tension of the power source will hold it in place.

  11. Adjust the bottom horizontal stick so that it will barely hold against the trigger. The animal places his foot on the stick across the hole , which releases the trigger and catches the dog by the foot, rendering it unable to move.


  • Before building the trap, make sure it is the appropriate one for the animal you are trapping.
  • Determine whether you will place the trap on a trail, which is bigger and has more evidence of different species passing through, or if it needs to be placed on a run, which is smaller and less distinct.
  • Do not use freshly cut, live vegetation to construct or trap the dog, as it has an odor that bleeds sap that the dog will be able to smell, indicating a trap.
  • You must remove or mask any human scent around the trap, as this too will alarm the dog.
  • Traps or snares placed on a trail or run should use channelization. To build a channel, construct a funnel-shaped barrier extending from the sides of the trail toward the trap, with the narrowest part nearest the trap. Channelization should be inconspicuous to avoid alerting the prey. As the animal gets to the trap, it cannot turn left or right and continues into the trap.