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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I will be the first to admit that I am a major wimp when it comes to animals. I cannot stand to see any animal in pain. That is whether it belongs to me or it is in the wild, I just cannot stand it. I even stopped going to the dog parks because, it seemed, every time I went there would be some Golden Retriever killing some bird or something. It just broke my heart.

One of the many things I have always loved about my Rottweiler's and the reasons I keep going back to this breed is their tender hearts. Yes, it is true, a well socialized Rottweiler is a real tender heart. I am sure the dog takes on traits from it's owner but I have known many that I do not own and didn't train that are the same way. My dogs have never killed anything. They do like to chase and have done that on occasion but they always come back with a smile on their faces like the chase was all they needed for fun.

My Inga actually mourned the loss of a Chipmunk one time. She laid around for days depressed because a Chipmunk was killed. She was also the dog that was forever trying to bring in live baby rabbits each spring. I would always make her take them back out to the nest. She would lay by the nest and guard them all day, each day until they finally moved on. This happened year after year. She loved bunnies. She really seemed to share my disgust for the Chocolate Lab next door.

Many of you know of my neighbors Chocolate Lab and how it is constantly killing rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and stray cats. I can't stand that dog. I think I can honestly say, that is the only dog in this world I would say that about. It is so mean and even acts viciously toward any human that comes anywhere around their house. The people are wonderful but clueless when it comes to dogs and obviously they are more grossed out about the animals then being sad for them, like I am.

Last night the Chocolate Lab struck again. It grabbed another rabbit and started tearing the poor thing apart. Carsten ran in that direction. The bunny apparently got through the fence and Carsten excited about the whole thing grabbed the rabbit. He then came running over by me (who by now had run into the house) I think he wanted to bring the bunny in to safety. I was horrified and told him "out" and he did. The bunny ran and smacked into my house and Carsten went to grab it again. I yelled "leave it" and he did. The bunny bounced against my house again and then left the yard on the other side. It left bloody spots on my house and all over my patio. I was so sad. I wanted to put the poor thing out of it's misery but before I got up the courage it had made it's way out of the yard. I failed the poor thing. :(

I don't know if my dogs will learn this horrid behavior from that nasty dog next door but I do know that last night Carsten was on a rescue mission. I am sure the poor rabbit didn't see it that way but it laid limp in his mouth and when I told him to "out" he laid it down gently.

I find it sort of amusing that the trait I most love about this breed of dog is a completely opposite picture the media paints of them. There are many breeds of dog that I find to be absolutely lovely. Golden's are one of them. I guess I have just seen too many of them with that "killer instinct" to ever wish to own one. I think some of the little terriers are so cute too but could never own one for the same reason.

Am I the only wimp out there that can't handle such things? Do other peoples dogs act viciously toward other animals? How do you deal with that?
 

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Donatello has chased squirrels before, but not in the sense that he wants to eat them, it's more or less like a game, but with the cats... His hackles will raise and he does his best to sound big and bad. Donatello hates cats; He does his best to chase them off from around our door, but when push comes to shove, if the cat stands it's ground and acts like it's going to fight back, Donatello wimps out... lol!

As for small animals, we've been in petstores before and I coo over all the Guinea Pigs, praying I'll have a small herd again someday- Donatello goes ballistic! Barking, which he only reserves for the cats, whining and chuffing, and just generally throwing a fit... He's got two different terrier-blood in him, and I'm not sure if I could trust him... Certainly if the critter was loose in the house! I'm sure he'd leave a cage alone if I had one...

My step-mother has a JR-mix and surprisingly he did really well with the Guinea Pigs I had... I'm not sure about Donatello, and fortunately I don't have the money to find out right now.

I'm not strong enough to own breeds that are hyper, or could be dangerous if not raised right... Like Pit-Bullies, I'd love one, but I know that right now I don't know enough about them to raise them properly... Labs and Goldens, they're not for me... Most of them I've been around are too hyper and high-strung, and to me, it seems that they need a lot of mental stimulation... I'm not strong enough and disciplined enough... But hey- It's better to admit that then to go out and adopt a dog only for it cause trouble and problems for everyone...
 

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You are so not alone on this one. I'm a wimp when it comes to anything living - if it has a pulse it feels pain. Geesh, I save dragonflies that land in my pool! I have been fortunate that all of my dogs thus far, 2 Rotts and now my berners, don't have a high prey or killing drive. A consideration for me when choosing a dog - although I know there are no guarantees. We had a bunny nest around our place last year, and Quinn and I sat at the patio door and watched one of the baby bunnies. Nothing. Quinn just sat down beside me and we watched it. He didn't stare at the bunny in a "I want to eat you" kind of way" either. Bunnies were running all over the place. Plus, i have bird feeder and get all kinds of birds, squirrels and critters. Nothing. Once in the farm field, Quinn did see a wild turkey and chased it - i really don't think he would have done anything - but I know.. I know he's still a dog.

Just 2 weeks ago when I was walking the dogs in the farm field - Quinn was ahead of me and found a nest of baby birds on the ground. Bobolink (they nest on the ground). He was curious, sniffed and didn't do anything - he didn't so much as eat one - and he definately had the chance. Cartman comes over and does nothing. I took the picture, and we all walked away.

Picture of the bobolink babies:


 

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My mutt is the sweetest, gentlest soul you could ever imagine, but she goes absolutely nuts in the presence of birds & rodents. I can't tell if it's because she might be part terrier, or if it's a holdover from her time as a stray.

I shared an elevator ride with an absolutely vicious, 3 year-old Rottie last night. The infernal beast kept trying to suffocate and drown me; when that failed, she tried to bludgeon me with her stubby tail. I was so shaken I could barely scratch behind her ears.
 

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I also feel badly for all creatures and have spent many a time rescuing them or calling AC so they can be rehabbed or pts if necessary.
But I also understand that instinct for hunting. My cats used to "mouse" in our old house and I frequently found little corpses..but if I was able to capture the mouse before the kill I would and put it outside.
Cracker has a pretty high prey drive, she leaves 'her' cats alone, most likely because she was smaller than them in the beginning. But other cats are for chasing and I am careful to ensure she doesn't get the opportunity. She hunts squirrels and I used premack to teach her to recall off prey, by allowing her to chase them on CUE...I just make sure Mr. Squirrel is close to trees, far from a road and AWARE that we are around.

Hunting and predatory behaviour are normal parts of life of all creatures (including ourselves). Doesn't make them bad dogs or bad cats, just what they are. Animals. It is up to US to manage, train and socialize our pets to try to reduce the risk to other animals and wildlife.

So I reduce the chances of it happening. Work to ease the suffering of the prey if possible or necessary and then try to move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I shared an elevator ride with an absolutely vicious, 3 year-old Rottie last night. The infernal beast kept trying to suffocate and drown me; when that failed, she tried to bludgeon me with her stubby tail. I was so shaken I could barely scratch behind her ears.
LOL Yeah, I am sorry that happened to you. :p My dogs are dangerous in that manner too. I have never been successful in training them not to drown someone. I have always thought it preferable to chewing on them. :)

Hunting and predatory behavior are normal parts of life of all creatures (including ourselves). Doesn't make them bad dogs or bad cats, just what they are. Animals. It is up to US to manage, train and socialize our pets to try to reduce the risk to other animals and wildlife.
Oh, I know hunting is a necessity for some. NOT for my dogs however. Hunting is not needed at a dog park unless you somehow get into the "killing" part of it. IMO

Once when we were turning over a farm field that had been left natural for years. I was out there with one of my old Rotties. Mice were popping out all over and Bear was jumping about sort of jumping ON the mice. Needless to say 130 pounds on a few ounce of mouse ends badly. I even felt sick about that. I think Hunting for food is one thing but just cannot stomach it for the "thrill of the kill." I know I am a wimp, I have admitted to it. I just cannot stand suffering of any kind of animal.

I save dragonflies that land in my pool!
LOL I have been known to do things like that as well. I don't mind a quick smack to a common fly with a fly swatter but I cannot stand suffering.
I think it is one of the reasons I was never a fan of cats. Cats toy with the mouse before finally killing it. I cannot stand torture.
It was with great reservation that I took in a cat that was about to be put to sleep at the shelter. (I couldn't stand seeing her so scared either) Thankfully she is no more a mouser then I am. Not all animals are vicious killers. I guess pairing up the wimps with the animals that are not is the best bet.

My ex's father once shot a chip munk out of a tree just because he could. My ex didn't see anything wrong with it. I guess that is why he is now an ex. I just can't stand by that type of thing. Poor little Chipmunk. :(
 

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I totally accept the fact that my dogs are animals and have a natural instinct to hunt and kill prey. I find I'm a bit put off my someone referring to Cara and Mia as "vicious", "horrid" and "nasty" simply because they are exercising their natural-born instinct. But that's your opinion and I support you expressing it.

We live on a very small farm in New Mexico. Small prey are abundant and my dogs are out running around out there every day. It's only natural that they come across these critters now and then. It's not like I want them to chase and kill small animals. Believe me, if I had my choice, they wouldn't. But if I'm not right with them to give them instruction, they're going to follow their instincts. And that's something I've just gotten used to and accept.

They're not bad dogs. They're wonderful dogs. But they are animals.

Many Rottweilers have a very high and active prey drive. Seems yours do not. That's fine and good for you since that's what you prefer. But it's really not necessary to ridicule other dogs who do. :) They are no less kind or tender-hearted than your dogs. It's about instinct, not emotion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First lets be clear. The dog that I think is horrid and nasty and vicious is my neighbors Chocolate Lab. I stand by that. I think that beast would nail just about anyone. I do not trust that dog at all.
I also believe that my dogs could be led astray, as I stated with Carsten. I am afraid he will learn that from that "nasty Lab" next door. I am sure that to date, my dogs have fed off of my emotions and feelings on it. None of the many dogs that I have owned or taken in have behaved like that. Chase yes, kill no.

I guess I do not understand the mentality of finding fun in killing or torturing any animal. Killing for food is one thing for fun is another. I also believe that almost any dog can be trained to "live and let live". I guess it doesn't mean as much to some folks but as I have stated several times now. I AM A WIMP when it comes to living things.

They are no less kind or tender-hearted than your dogs. It's about instinct, not emotion.
IT is also about proper socialization and training. IMO Some folks get off on letting their animals kill other animals. That is their prerogative. I do not share that view.
 

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It's funny this has come up because our little Fergus has killed 3 moles in the past two days!! I'm actually kind of proud of him; he's a terrier - that's what they do.

I'm not sure if he meant to kill them or if he was just playing or what. All I know is he seemed really proud of his "catch" and I have no issues with that. What was odd was that not one of these moles had a drop of blood on them. No puncture wounds, no missing limbs, nothings. Just a completely intact, completely lifeless mole.

What does this mean about his killer instinct? I don't know, other thoughts? I think both of my dogs would probably kill other critters if given the chance, but I don't think they would intentionally. I don't think they would even consider what shape the animal was in afterwards as long as they got what they needed out of it; whether that's a game of tag, or a good chase, or the chance to stalk, or whatever.

Killer instinct or natural instinct? Trying to kill or lack of conciousness to understand death? Dogs (and all animals really) seem to be pretty unconcerned w/ their own deaths and I would assume that applies to the death of other cratures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
That is interesting Toby. I think you are right about them not being concerned with death. I think that is fairly true but they must have some concept of somthing.... I mean they show fear so do they fear pain or fear death? They all want to survive. All living things seemed to be programmed with a will to live. Us included. I doubt they sit around pondering death. Like I said, Inga did, seemingly, mourn the death of a chipmunk for days. She would go to the spot where it died and lay there. There must be some type of thought process there.
Just curious but what kind of dog is Fergus that he is bred to kill rodents? Is he part Jack Russell? I wonder how he killed them, with no blood or anything? Maybe he stomped them?

I wanted to add, another one of my reasons for not allowing my dogs to do this is one never knows what diseases a wild animal might have. They also carry fleas and could have been poisoned. NONE of those things I would want for my dogs. Yes, besides being a wimp, I am paranoid. :)
 

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my dogs love to chase and if allowed they would probably chase a small animal or bird untill it died of exhaustion. but I doubt they would ever deal a mortal wound
 

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Inga, you said the behavior is horrid and asked if any of our dogs "act viciously toward other animals".

I wanted to add, another one of my reasons for not allowing my dogs to do this is one never knows what diseases a wild animal might have.
This is also a concern of mine. But as I said, I don't want or "allow" my dogs to do this. They just do it and I have come to accept it. I don't get any kind of fun or joy out of it or get off on it. I'd prefer it didn't happen. But I'd prefer they didn't poop in the yard, too, or shed, but there you have it.

When Cara and Mia were young and first hunted a rabbit together, I screamed, I cried, I told my husband to DO SOMETHING, but it didn't do any good. I have come to accept it. That doesn't mean that my dogs are vicious or untrained or unsocialized. They are DOGS. Part Terrier.

I once yelled at Mia across a field to "Drop it" when she had a screaming baby squirrel in her mouth. And she did. It lived. My dogs are well-trained and well-socialized, but sometimes, when I'm not there, they have nothing to interrupt their instinct, so they follow it. I only know about it because I come upon them in mid-kill or they bring the thing to me or into the house.

One thing is that they will definitely eat the prey if I let them. Dogs don't "torture" other animals. They may play with it, but not with evil intent. That's some serious anthropomorphism.

I guess you could say that I'm a reformed wimp. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't foresee any "reforming" on my wimp status. I will continue to fight it to my dying breath. One of the points of this thread was that my breed choice was partially based on my abhorrence to that behavior. My dogs are NOT terriers. I have stated in many threads that it is part of that drive that would keep me from owning any Terriers. We each have things that we can accept, not accept, like or do not like. This is one thing I will never "give" on. It is simply more then I can accept. I pray Carsten does NOT learn this behavior from my neighbor's dog. Either way, he will find me in complete and total resistance to this behavior and I can be very firm if need be. ;) People can feel sorry for Carsten then because his mama is not going by the "dogs will be dogs" theory when it comes to killing animals. In my house, I bring in all kinds of creatures from time to time and they need to be accepted.

Inga, you said the behavior is horrid and asked if any of our dogs "act viciously toward other animals".
Oh and I guess I stand by that statement as well. I find it horrid to needlessly kill anything. It simply is NOT in me. We do not have to agree on that. It is simply how I feel. I am already old so I think it is safe to say, that will NEVER change. ;)
 

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LeRoy caught a bird in mid flight one time, then dropped it cuz he didnt know what to do with it. It lived and flew away again. But, he likes to kill moles. He has caught 2 of them already. That's the only thing he kills. He chases squirrels, has not yet been successful. Although I think it is more like a game to him. I don't think he would kill it, but I wouldn't put it past him.

I, myself, would not intentionally hurt an animal. I rescue them, not kill them. But I agree with FIC. It's their instinct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
LeRoymydog I agree completely that it is their instinct. I am not arguing that at all. It is also their instincts to pee anywhere they chose and to hump things and sniff unacceptable (to humans anyway) areas. I chose to not accept any of those instincts either. Maybe I am a bad mom. lol I am starting to feel bad for my dogs. ha ha

I think most dogs will chase squirrels and rabbits. I used to have this squirrel that would come up onto the deck and wait in this "ready-set-go" pose until I came to the door to open it. My dog would go nuts over that silly squirrel. It was the same one too. It had a funny tail so it was easily identified. It made no sense to me. It seemed like the squirrel enjoyed antagonizing the dog. Maybe he/she was a thrill seeker. lol It did that for 2 years. Then it just stopped coming around. I am guessing it played with a car or a faster dog and met his end. Anyway, my dog actually knocked the door completely off the house once when my brother decided to tease her and kept saying "squirrel" to get her going. I do let my dogs chase them but I do not tease them at all. I learned a very expensive lesson, thanks to my brother. :)
 

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Maybe I am a bad mom. lol I am starting to feel bad for my dogs. ha ha
I know you're joking, but I'm not trying to say that you're a bad mom or that anyone should feel bad for your dogs. :)

I just hope you never have to deal with it because it's NOT easy to deal with and there are just some things you can't control. All dogs have prey drive. Some are stronger than others. No dogs kill for fun or torture animals. PEOPLE might do that and I find that just as abhorrent as you do. :)
 

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My Cerbie is just like your dogs, Inga. He wants to be friends with everything. He also mourned the loss of my rat, Lily. They were friends and they played together. When she passed, we buried her. Cerbie ran to the grave, sniffed, and howled/whined. Then went in, looked at her empty cage, and did it again. It was heartbreaking. We also saw a squirrel get run over by a car while we were biking, and he sat next to it and cried until it passed. He's a sweet boy. He's also made me pick up baby birds if they fall from the nest. He refuses to leave them there.

Now, my doxies are killers. Brigit has brought me a dead grass snake, and several dead toads. And just a while back, there was the eating the baby bird incident. That was the first thing I've seen her eat.

Max, the only thing he's gone after was a snake, and it was a big snake. It was coming at us, and I froze (fear of snakes) Cerbie pushed me back, and Max grabbed it and shook it. It was quick, at least. That was actually what turned Max into a keeper instead of a foster. I figured a snake killer was a good thing to have around, since I'm not gonna do it. I looked it up online, and the snake was a water moccosin. That's the only thing I'm glad the dogs got, bc that snake was at a park where a ton of kids play every day. I hate to think of what could've happened.

On the whole, I'm a wimp too. I don't like domestic animals killing wildlife. There are enough ppl doing that already. And the only things I'm pleased the cats kill are roaches.
 

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Cats toy with the mouse before finally killing it. I cannot stand torture.
Just an interesting bit of fact on this subject... cats don't torture or even really "play" with their prey...

Why Cats Play with Their Prey

Cats kill their prey by delivering a neck bite that severs the spinal cord. To do this, they must temporarily release the prey to get at the nape of the neck, but when they do so, they risk the prey escaping or counterattacking.
[...]
A cat will “play” with her prey to tire it out in order to reduce the risk of injury to herself, but she is not actually playing in the human sense. She is simply doing the job that her instincts tell her she must do in order not to starve, and protecting herself in the process.
[...]
Only when the prey is sufficiently tired and dazed is the cat able to make the kill.
 

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My Terriers have the drive to chase prey, I think, they think it is a game until the critter starts to defend itself in a manner which alerts them it is time to put a stop to it. In that, I think would lead to the small critters demise unfortunatly. But i think dogs can become freindly and know the boundaries if given a chance to be taught that it is a nono. But when you have multiple dogs, and one decides to kick his prey drive in...All bets are off for the rest of the pack to hold back thier instincts.

Can you find the baby raccoon amongst the killers?



The babies are now gone to the wonderful world of raccoonland without a problem. But if i was to have let them loose here on the property..Even though my dogs were raised around these babies.. It wouldnt have been a good thing. Its all about instinct. And i do not think any amount of training would be able to stop it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Oh I know you are not suggesting that FourIsCompany. I have had dogs that had more prey drive then others. They didn't get off leash until way later. I also know that dogs truly will be dogs on some things. I am just saying, "I will continue to fight that" through training and management. So far, I have been successful, or lucky. Either way, it works for me. I am also a little of a hypocrite, I HATE mice, moles, voles. I do not want them in my house or anywhere around my house for that matter. I am terrified of them. When I bought this house there were traps and one got killed in the trap. I broke out into a sweat and started shaking. It was so upsetting to me. I had to go get my neighbor (who finds it amusing) to remove the rodent. The trap was at least a fast and painless way to go. Last nights bunny was horribly hurt and suffered because of it. I prayed last night that he would find a quick end to his suffering. It is the pain and suffering I have difficulty with. The rabbits have killed most of my plants around my house and my mother keeps teasing me and telling me to let the Chocolate Lab into my yard but I keep telling her "the rabbits have to eat too".

Oh my CerbiesMom, that is scary. I wouldn't want a poisonous snake around me either. Not sure how I would deal with that. I am glad it found a quick end too. Now you have a "hero dog" in your house. :)

Vonnie those are really cute pictures. Glad to hear the little darlings are living their lives. :) Many breeds are bred specifically for that. (hunting not raising raccoon babies ;) ) They would certainly be more difficult to manage then breeds bred for other reasons. Herding for instance. The instinct that is bred in is different then the Terrier bred to hunt and kill vermin. It is true that all dogs will have some of those instincts but some of them are more "on the back burner" so to speak. It would be those dogs that might be easier to control from that standpoint.
 
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