We all tend to high levels of anthropomorphism with our Dogs. We talk to them, ask them questions and give them many human traits that they simply do not have. Yesterday brought it home to me once again that we must not forget the true nature of Dogs and that is one of being a pack animal and a hunter and scavenger.
Firstly, this is all Mrs. Three Dog Bloggers fault so this time I am guilt free.
Any regular readers of the Dog Blog know we live a pretty remote existence and are fairly Self Sufficient. We grow veggies, preserve food, and keep chickens. Now, back when we first had chickens it was when we just had our old boy Sam. He was getting on (about 16) and pretty deaf and slowing down. At that time we used to let the chickens out of their compound quite often for a bite of grass and to roam around the land. Sam would give them a sniff and that was about it.
When we got Daisy and Faye we reverted to keeping the chickens in a fenced area as they were young pups and full of mischief. Anyway, one day the chickens escaped and suffice to say they had a brief yet fairly exciting last few moments.
Fast forward 2 years and we have 4 chickens that give us an egg each most days but are absolutely never let out of a caged area. It is fox proofed and covered top to bottom in chicken wire so they absolutely cannot escape.
Yesterday we were coming back from an evening walk with the three bone munchers when the two that were not on a lead, Daisy and Faye, suddenly ran like loons to the vegetable plot.
Lots of squawking began and I legged it after them. There was the two girls about to dine on a nice free range chicken. I still have a sore throat from yelling at them and they stopped for a second and the chicken flapped over a terrace wall and hid under a Myrtle bush. The Dogs were there in a flash. More yelling and they finally came back to me and in to the house they went.
Now, in over 2 or 3 years of the new rules regarding the chicken enclosure this was the first time one of us had forgotten to close the door and make sure they were secure. They obviously took the opportunity to totally destroy the leeks and onions that are growing on the veg plot and get up to all other kinds of mischief.
My point is that we must not forget the true nature of many Dogs. If something runs they will chase it, and if they catch it a quick shake of the head and it will be dead. For many Dogs this will mean the blood lust takes over and have no doubt that they will eat what they kill. Not all Dogs have this mentality but many do and we should remember this.
It brought it home to me yesterday that yes Daisy may be a shy girl but when she gets a hunting instinct she will be as naughty as the next Dog and close her ears to commands until you shout yourself hoarse. Daisy is a full on hunter which is apparent in the way she stalks the other girls in a stealthy manner and there is no doubt that if she caught something that she chased then she would kill and eat it.
Let’s all remember this when we are out and about with the bone munchers. Think about the animals that may be around you when walking the Dogs on farmland. At least here in Europe keepers of livestock have every right to kill a Dog that worries their animals. Back when we lived in the UK and Sam was much younger he once swam a river so he could chase a herd of Cows. If a farmer were present it would have been the end of him.
So, Mrs. Three Dog Blogger is a very naughty girl but as she is normally the one that works her magic with a perfect poached egg set on a salad with crispy bacon and shavings of parmesan cheese all is forgiven.
Yes, I totally agree about the strong instincts of dogs. I am a terrier lover and have two small terrier mixes, they are both super-game and love to chase. Mice, birds, squirrels, cats, anything like that is in danger when they are around our place off-leash, which is most of the time. I am a longtime birdwatcher and it would break my heart to see a songbird get shredded, but I know it could – and probably will – happen. These dogs were genetically engineered for centuries to kill small vermin, and the instinct is not going away any time soon. So sorry about your chickens though, that’s sad.
It definitely is something that people should remember. You see so many people smiling at their Dog as it chases squirrels in the park. People should also remember just what the Dog is actually trying to do and should be prepared to see the worst at some time or another.
yeah.. i also agree that dogs do have a strong instincts.. aside from their sharp sense of smelling… and i’m sorry to read about the chicken…
I can’t wait til I can live on farm and have my own chickens. It will be interesting to see how Ace does. I’ve seen his chase mode come out on rabbits, sqirrels and cats. he does well with small animals when introduced properly in a home environement. But if he’s off leash and a rabbit runs by, it’s another story!
There really is nothing like fresh eggs each day. Knowing exactly where they come from and how the chickens are kept makes them taste all the better too.
I have to definitely agree on the instinct of dogs. What most dogs were bred for which is hunting and defense as well as being pets. And these genetics have been passed down more so in other breeds than others but most dogs will always have instincts of smell and curiosity. My lost Dog, a beagle, went missing one day when i let it off the lead in my local park. When it was found it had made its way to a farm not far from the park. He had caught the scent of the farm animals. Luckily no animal was harmed, unfortunately for you there was chickens harmed. The farmer wasn’t too pleased when i got there. It took a long while to train him to recall to me and know to ignore scents of anything he picked up. But it can be done where these dogs are trained when they’re owners are there
I agree, free range eggs are the best. 🙂
Wow, there’s so many ads on this site I don’t know where the content begins! I have to say the “Blogroll” is annoyingly misleading – just a bunch more ads. Too bad, your site looked interesting but I will not wade through the ads to find it. Hope the $$ you make on ads is worth losing readers…
The blogroll is for sites of interest and not ads as you put it. As to the adverts, the site needs to be paid for somehow. As to losing readers you are the one and only person to ever make such a comment. People who read the site love it and I can live with losing a single reader. As to losing readers, people who like the content simply subscribe and then never even have to come here again if they do not wish to. They get all the posts in a reader or via email.
Too true, the absolute best.
I could agree more. We just realize how playful and active our JRT when we visit a friend in the rural south for couple of days of camping. My dog had great fun tagging with friend’s wiener and they chase chickens, squirrels and wild rabbits, they do some digging and zooming around, too. The camping really triggered his hunting instinct, plus he really enjoyed fresh raw diet there.
Sounds like a lot of fun. They do love fresh raw meat don’t they?
Yes, and there was plenty from their befriended to the nearby slaughter house..