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Dogs and squirrels.

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Jjohnd, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Member Registered

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    Our dog surprised us on a walk through woodland this evening. She made a dash for the base of a tree where she attacked a squirrel. It came as quite a shock to us. She is a lab with a hint of Ridgeback in her. It was upsetting to us. I suppose that dogs do this. Is it normal/acceptable? As stated in previous threads, I don't profess to be an expert. Cats kill birds and so on through nature. Somebody put my mind at rest please.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, I think it is a natural instinct. That said, in fairness to small furry things, I'm not sure it's something to be allowed.
     
  3. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Member Registered

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    Thank you Joanne. She is a rescue. We have had her for 16 months. She is 9 so we have not seen her upbringing.
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    We may not want to allow it, but sometimes it's difficult to prevent it - unless you never let your dog off lead. It's not often a dog will manage to catch a squirrel though - they're usually up the tree too quickly!

    It's nothing to worry about... you just have to hope that if she does it again, there aren't any children watching. Or their parents;)
     
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  5. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    It is instinctive. My lab x whippet killed at least one squirrel in his time and I fear would have killed cats given the chance. It's really difficult to stop if they're off lead I'm afraid. I'm trying to condition my spaniel not to take such an unhealthy interest in chickens since I live in a village where half the houses seem to keep them. But I live in fear of meeting one that's just out for a ramble.
     
  6. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Member Registered

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    Thank you all for your replies. You have really helped. My red wine tastes so much better.
     
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  7. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have just got back from our donkey field having given the dogs their evening wee and poo. let the dogs out of the car and they made their normal noisy dash out into the field and then all stopped. They all watched an adult rabbit run in front of and in between themselves, there was however 1 dog missing, she was the one who was hunting the edge of the field and flushed the rabbit, (she never saw it !)
    .
     
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  8. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    From my 8 years with previous Ridgeback, and in 1.5 years with the current one - chasing squirrels is in the 4th place on the list of enjoyables, only yielding to chasing deer, chasing rabbits, and playing rough games with other big dogs. No kind of treats even come close.

    That said, in combined 9.5 years, there has not been a single squirrel actually caught. A lot of drama, dancing around the trees looking up and hoping that the squirrels will fall out, but no actual blood shed.

    The only victim was one bunny who could not disappear into the bushes fast enough, but upon closer examination - he had no injuries, the dog while catching up with him did not actually bite him... I think he just died of stress.

    Bottom line - I agree, this is not something to be encouraged, but even with a hint of a Ridgeback your girl needs to run free, squirrels are everywhere, and the need to chase little (and big) furry things is just a part of her.
     
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  9. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    We have young squirrels around now, they are not as wise or as fast as their parents.
     
  10. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    The squirrels in our local park seem to know if a dog is on the lead and can't chase them, they will continue to sit under the tree flicking their tail(and almost sticking their tongues out at the dogs it seems!)while the dog is slowly stalking them. Very occasionally, if I have the devil in me, I may just accidently :oops: drop the lead and let the dog run... just to keep the squirrels on their toes, they can't be getting complacent now can they!:rolleyes::D (I've only done this when the squirrel can obviously just scoot straight up the tree btw;)..)
    But yes, now I've owned up to that I feel bad:oops:
     
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  11. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    As a Whippet owner then unless I kept her on lead all the time then she will chase Rabbits and Squirrels. most times without success, at nearly ten her tally is two Rabbits, one Squirrel and one Pidgeon. Would I encourage her to do it NO but will I keep her on lead, again NO.
     
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  12. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    I too have to keep my dogs on lead at all times or mine would be hunting anything that is not another dog or human.
    I don't blame them for it, it is their instinct to do it and if I don't wish to see another creature being killed it is my responsibility to control my dogs movements. Despite being on lead and if they still manage to hunt with success, they do get praised for it and if it is something 'edible' they get to keep it too.
    And...OH YES, squirrels definitely do tease dogs with their presence...they know when they are safe to do so (and some cats too) and it sends my girls mad. But, even being on lead, in past all my dogs have still managed to make quick moves and catch some prey...some creatures think they are clever than they really were....they don't get have a second lesson about it!
     
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  13. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    I have to say that dropping the lead probably sounds worse than it is! I have never done it with young scatty squirrels, as they are way too random and the only dog I do it with is a one eyed, mature, lab cross who I know very well... I am absolutly not encouraging him to catch a squirrel, if he was off lead he would be stalking and chasing like many other dogs in a busy park full of dog savvy squirrels..just thought maybe I should clarify, it is just a bit of fun and I am very aware of my timing!;)
     
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  14. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    There are a lot of young squirrels around at this time of the year,they aren't very streetwise compared to their adult counterparts.
     
  15. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Depending on what sort of dog really, like biker John said if you’ve got whippet types then they will chase and catch, a story years ago from my brindle dog In my avatar is he chased a grey squirrel which ran up a tree that ended her falling off the tree and landed on its back, so my brindle went straight in but got bitten through the lip and nose, he was ok but killed the grey,
     
  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sorry to go off topic but hello stranger - it's been a while. Good to see you back.
     
  17. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hello yourself, thought it was you, hope your well, both dogs in my avatar are no longer with me, the brindle was 14 but got a tumour so I let him go 4 years ago, the black saluki x was 16 but just got old and left me 2 years ago, they gave me everything and are missed
     
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  18. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ah, I remember they were getting close to their time. It never gets easier.
     
  19. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    I look back with the greatest memories, I think I gave them everything I had and they did the same, we had so much fun, so many different adventures, hunting, swimming in the North Sea where I live, fun up in the highlands near gairloch, making friend with our new neighbours dog floyd who was a big strong American mastiff x bulldog who on many occasions pulled me over with his power, great days ,
     
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