Can an Eagle Pick Up a Dog?

Are you worried about the possibility of your dog being attacked and picked up by an eagle? It’s an understandable fear, particularly for owners of small dogs, thinking they could be vulnerable to be picked up by a bird of prey… but what is the truth?

Can an eagle pick up a dog? It is possible for an eagle to pick up a small dog and possibly carry it a small distance. The average weight of a bald eagle is between 10 to 14 pounds, so they could easily carry a dog that weighs 4 to 8 pounds for a short amount of time.

Eagles use their talons to grasp their prey, so they should be able to carry a small dog in their talons without any trouble. Eagles can pick up prey that is up to 7 pounds. 

When an eagle swoops down and snatches its prey, it can lift at least half of its own body weight in the air. 

The first thing to consider is the weight of each animal compared to the other and their general size and build. An eagle’s talons are around 4 inches long, so it can only carry items that will not slip out of its grasp or be ripped apart by its claws. 

Let’s get into the specifics a little more about the possibility of an eagle picking up your particular dog, based on the weights involved. 

can eagles attack dogs
Thankfully there are no eagles in my area to pick or attack my dogs.

Can an eagle pick up a 10 lb. pound dog?

Yes, an eagle can pick up a dog that weighs 10 pounds because its weight is roughly half of its own. And if the dog is not moving, it would be easier for the eagle to grasp and carry. 

The average weight for most small breeds of dogs is around 4-8 pounds, which also falls into their prey category. 

Can an eagle pick up a 20-pound dog? 

Unfortunately, a standard eagle cannot pick up a 20-pound dog because the average weight of a standard-sized domestic dog is between 30-40 pounds. 

Most dogs that weigh under 20 pounds are small breeds such as toy poodles and Chihuahuas. These dogs would be considered prey for an eagle because they are smaller and could be ripped apart by their talons. 

Can an eagle pick up a 50 lb. dog?

No, an eagle cannot pick up a 50-pound dog because the average weight of a standard-sized large, domesticated dog is between 50-60 pounds. Most dogs that weigh over 40 pounds are large breeds such as golden retrievers and mastiffs. 

How large of a dog can an eagle pick up? 

Eagles can easily pick up dogs that weigh 4 pounds and over 7 pounds. Eagles will typically prey on the smaller breeds of dogs such as poodles and Chihuahuas.

These dogs are easier to carry for an eagle because they are small and not too active when pulled into the air by an eagle’s talons.   

can eagles pick up small dogs
An eagle overhead might pick up a very small dog (

Will a bald eagle attack a dog?

Would an eagle ever attack a dog? If it is hungry, yes. But the answer to this question depends on how large of a dog they are dealing with.

It would not make any sense for an eagle to try and pick up anything that weighs more than 20 pounds because its weight is far greater than the size of just one talon. Eagles will snatch up small, light dogs with ease. A dog is no match for an eagle’s sharp talons and grabbing claws. 

Are eagles dangerous to dogs?

Yes, eagles are dangerous to dogs because their talons and sharp claws can easily grab onto a dog’s bone structure and kill it. If an eagle is swooping down on your small dog and grabs it in its talons, the result could mean death.

Eagles typically prey on smaller breeds of dogs such as poodles and Chihuahuas. These dogs are easier to carry for an eagle because they are small and not too active when pulled into the air by an eagle’s talons.

How do you keep eagles away from dogs?

As for how you can keep eagles away from your small dogs, the most important step is to make sure they are inside or in an enclosed area with a roof. It would be best to consider purchasing wire fencing for your yard – this will also stop from nesting on your property.

Eagles have trouble swooping down on prey if they are unable to land somewhere close by. Wire fencing will discourage eagles from swooping down on your dog because they will not be able to land. 

Eagles are also discouraged by howls and loud, sudden noises. If you have a small dog that is very active and yappy, this may discourage an eagle as well.

Handy Hint: Here’s a list of the different birds of prey and what heavy weights they might be able to carry

How to keep your dog safe from an eagle?

There are a few things that you can do to keep your dog safe from an eagle. The first thing is to make sure that your dog is trained correctly. This means that your dog should have a good understanding of commands such as sit, stay, come, and down.

You should also train your dog to respond to different noises such as sirens or gunshots. If you live in an area where eagles are common, the best way to protect your dog is by keeping him inside during inclement weather. 

Ensure that he has plenty of food and water, and if possible, keep him inside during daylight hours when eagles are least active. 

Finally, make sure that you always carry a leash and collar with you when outside so that you can take your dog immediately if he starts behaving erratically or gets too close to the eagle.

Handy Hint: Did you know that owls can end up hating eagles when threatened and will think nothing of attacking them.

Can eagles pick up a dog that is trying to bite them?

An eagle could not pick up a dog that is trying to bite them because of its size. Eagles will try to escape whenever a dog comes too close, and if the eagle cannot fly away, it will strike the dog with its talons. 

Eagles don’t enjoy getting bitten, so they will leave as quickly as possible when a dog starts barking and lunging at them.

Will eagles hunt wild dogs?

Yes, an eagle would hunt a wild dog if it’s hungry enough. However, this mostly depends on the size of the wild dog because eagles mainly prey on smaller dogs.

A large dog may intimidate an eagle because the average weight for most standard-sized breeds of dogs is around 70-110 pounds. 

An eagle would not be able to carry away a large breed of dog, or something the size of a deer.

Do bald eagles eat puppies?

Eagles are known to eat puppies, but this is usually because the puppy’s size makes it an easy target. This does not mean all eagles will prey on puppies if they are hungry, but smaller breeds of dogs are easier for them to pick up. 

A large breed of dog would never be chased down or hunted by eagles.

Handy Hint: Some people claim that lions eat eagles. I looked into it and asked the experts what the strange truth is.

What are common dog breeds that an eagle can pick up?

Common dog breeds that an eagle could pick up include:

  • Poodles
  • Chihuahuas 
  • Pomeranians
  • Shih Tzus
  • Miniature pinscher
  • Dachshunds 
  • Toy terriers
  • Corgis
  • Yorkshire terriers


It seems unbelievable how a bird can carry a weight heavier than his own. But I am not talking about lifting or carrying something heavy and dragging it around. I am talking about a technique for swooping down on prey – and then snatching it with its talons and pulling it back into the air. 

When I think of an eagle carrying the weight of the prey during his flight, it brings me a rush of thoughts ending with unbelievable answers one after the other.

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Eagle and dog image in header via

Categorized as Birds