Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Misunderstanding of Dogs

Alexandra Horowitz writes in her book Inside of a Dog,
To see a (hand-raised) wolf on a leash, sitting and lying down on request, one could be convinced there is little difference between the socialized wolf and dog. To see that wolf in the presence of a rabbit is to see how much difference there still is: the human is forgotten while the rabbit is relentlessly pursued. A dog near that same rabbit may patiently wait, gazing at his owner, to be permitted to run.

I have never had this happen! My dogs turn into fierce predators when faced with fast moving prey. It would take much convincing for them to believe me when I move in the other direction. Mina is more likely to return to my side but only on her own terms. Celeste will do so if I am excited enough to convince her to come with me...but she quickly realizes the prey is moving in the other direction (she is appalled by my inability to hunt properly). She always comes back, but no way in hell is she going to "patiently wait, gazing" at me.

When faced with a rabbit, are your dogs so unlike wolves?

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