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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last night I was standing in the yard talking to my brother in law while Buster played. I wasnt watching the pup as close as I know I should have been (he was leashed, couldnt get more than 20' from me). Next thing we know Buster is barking at something on the neighbors back step. Big brother headed over to see what the pup was alerting us to and said "Its an opossum, keep him away". No problem, Buster didnt want anything to do with that nasty creature! He alerted us but stood there keeping the leash completely loose.

A couple things were strange about the encounter, he barked and he made no move to chase.

Barking is something Buster does during play only, last night was the first time he barked outside since coming home 3 months ago. He let out 3 barks...granted he has a big bark... we responded and he went back to being silent.

He chases wild rabbits out of the yard every time I take him potty, he wanted nothing to do with the opossum last night. He stood there very alert but never took even a single step towards the creature...almost as if he knew it was a dangerous animal and not to approach it.

Should have added...Buster was praised very well for alerting and not chasing. As soon as we knew the reason for his barking, we headed into the house for some yummy treats.
 

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An oppossum isn't really a danger though. Certainly not to a human and likely not to a dog the size of a St Bernard. In my experience, every oppossum I've come across has ran from me. It is good that he's barking at wild animals rather than chasing them though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From what I was told last night, it would have had no issue ripping into Buster...and thats without the rabies risk. Last night was my first encounter with a live opossum, my brother in law has experienced many over the years that have stood their ground with him and his dog (female Lab..hunting buddy).

The only other time Ive seen an opossum was after a dog I had as a teen raided a nest...
 

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Opossums can be down right nasty creatures. I've had my fair share of experiences with them. I'd like them more if they feigned dead in each encounter but sometimes, they will hold their ground making a hissing sound. My GSDs killed several of them.
 

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They're definitely mean and nasty, but I've found they had no interest in fighting me unless they were cornered and in that case I had no interested in fighting them. If a dog attacked them, they could do some damage and there's always the rabies risk. I just don't see them doing serious damage to a dog as large as a St Bernard.
 

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Opossums are just downright freaky creatures. Their hissing creeps me out. lol

Just thought I'd throw that out there...lol

Anyway, Buster is a good boy for not chasing. :)
 
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