My dog killed a vole. Is this normal?

(41 Posts)
gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:36:23

Not a crisis, not a problem, just a surprise! Out on his walk this morning, Gymdog suddenly started digging frantically at a bank and after a while reappeared with a vole/mouse thing in his mouth. It was dead, I guess he'd broken its back. He didn't seem terribly interested in eating it, dropped it after a while and walked on. I'd always known he has a high prey drive and likes a chase, but I guess I'd never expected him actually to kill anything <naive>

Informed consensus is that Gymdog is a retriever collie cross (pic on profile). I'm no expert, but isn't this behaviour more associated with terrier breeds? Do labs and collies kill stuff?

Good old gymdog, full of surprises!

tabulahrasa Tue 29-Jan-13 15:56:04

There's always the possibility that it was already dead when he found it.

AdoraBell Tue 29-Jan-13 16:03:41

Our labs (when we had them) used to catch and kill rabbits. It may already have been dead already but dogs are one if nature's predatorswink

The Whippety One once chased, caught and killed a pigeon. I have been assured it is normal (and pigeon must have been old and infirm to have been caught by Whippety One) but I did not like it one bit. He now has to go onto the lead if we are in an area with many pigeons or squirrels or anything else he can chase... <rules out all of UK where Whippety One could go offlead>

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 29-Jan-13 16:58:29

I'm afraid our boy is a squirrel murderer. Like GymDog, he doesn't eat them, just carries them around in his mouth for a while, looking pleased with himself. We live in London and I'm not sure it's "good form" ... hmm

spanky2 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:03:35

Some dogs are bread as hunting dogs . Better than him having half a cowpat in his mouth . I saw a dog eat a cowpat once .hmm

spanky2 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:05:22

A lab was bread to bring dead animals his master had shot to the master.

gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:05:28

grin @ rules out of all of UK where Whippety One could go offlead. Gymdog makes me feel like that a lot!

I suspect the vole was alive before he got it - it seemed to have red blood on its body. Poor thing. As you say though AdoraBelle, they are predators after all <even more naive>

Prey of the month is moorhens. Not taken any notice of them up until now, but suddenly they are the thing to get his back legs trembling. After this morning's incident I am not looking forward to meeting moorhen chicks in the spring. Mind you, moorhen chick vs cowpat? hmm. Would depend on proximity of witnesses I suspect...

DeepRedBetty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:09:09

I've lost count of the number of pathetic slightly chewed baby rabbits and young pheasants I've been presented with.

In some ways it's good if Gymdog didn't eat the corpse. If they do, chances are the partially digested remains will come back later. Usually on the carpet.

Problem is, when we first got Whippety One he had no chase instinct at all (but he was a rescue with a bit of a sad past and then was ill for several months so he was obviously not 'himself') and I used to be all smug: "Oh no, our whippetty does not chase, oh no, our whippetty is not interested in such things!" hmm blush

Then the Whippety One 'woke up' and became a switched on (healthy) chasing machine and after catching and killing the pigeon and going on to nearly get a squirrel, he has become a menace to cats in the neighbourhood (luckily not many due to the fact we back onto a canal) and now ducks and moorhens (unfortunately very many due to aforementioned canal)

'Tis a pain! Because once he has spotted something to chase and has gone into 'high alert and daft stalking' mode nothing and I mean nothing will distract him. No amount of whistling, calling, bribing, shaking of treat tub... Nothing. He is on a one-daft-dog-chasing mission...

CalamityKate Tue 29-Jan-13 17:24:53

My lurcher brought me a headless baby rabbit once.

I was giving a riding lesson in a field and he was gallivanting about as usual and all of a sudden the kids I was teaching started making delighted "UUUUURGGGH!! YUK!!!!" noises and pointing behind me.

Turned round and lurcher came up and dropped it at my feet, clearly very pleased with himself. No idea whether he'd bitten its head off or if he'd shaken it too hard; it was a very tiny baby sad

CalamityKate Tue 29-Jan-13 17:26:25

WRT voles; I seem to remember reading that they taste horrible to deter predators? Maybe that's why your dog didn't eat it.

LadyMargolotta Tue 29-Jan-13 17:30:09

I know that predators don't eat shrews because of their poisoness glands, not sure about voles.

CalamityKate Tue 29-Jan-13 17:31:52

Ah it's shrews I'm thinking of then!

CalamityKate Tue 29-Jan-13 17:32:38

Knew it was something little and pointy :D

LadyMargolotta Tue 29-Jan-13 17:34:09

grin yes shrews are the pointy nosed ones, more like moles. I always think that voles should have the pointy nose because their name is nearly the same as mole.

monsterchild Tue 29-Jan-13 17:34:17

I had a Heinz 57 dog who would digg up and east gophers looked like something out of jurassic park.gopher standing it's ground digg reaches down, grabs gopher, tosses it into the air then catches it and swallows with one bite. Ugh! Poor gopher.

monsterchild Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:06

Ugh phone! That's dog not digg...

gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:40:18

BehindLock you are describing my hound! Right, from now on he's a retriever collie whippet cross. Actually I've always suspected something of the lurcher about him, he has a huge, deep and very un-lab ribcage

gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:42:35

Headless baby rabbits? No no no, we live in leafy west London.. lots of parks.. lots of impressionable children

gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:43:07

No gophers though so I guess that's something

CalamityKate Tue 29-Jan-13 17:52:15

It's long been an ambition of mine to see a live mole. They fascinate me for some reason. I almost got there once; a friend of mine who worked in construction spotted one and just as he scrambled from his cab to catch it for me, it was squished by a colleague driving something big and hazardous to moles sad

littlewhitebag Tue 29-Jan-13 18:30:12

My lab pup likes to forage around in the long grass looking for voles/shrews and is so pleased when she successfully finds kills one.

ChocDee Tue 29-Jan-13 18:32:15

A friend of ours dog caught and killed a full grown deer.... Count yourself lucky!

cathpip Tue 29-Jan-13 18:38:58

Well my spaniel by the age of 9 months had been renamed Conan, the kill counter (must point out that they are never damaged, all die of shock) now stands at 6 rabbits, 2 grouse, and a friends 6 guinea pigs. He is 13 months old now and the guinea pigs were an accident, someone had left the gate open into her garden. We are still friends!

gymmummy64 Tue 29-Jan-13 18:51:09

Good grief ChocDee, whatever sort of dog was it? shock

ChocDee Tue 29-Jan-13 19:21:31

He is a husky / American bulldog I think... He is super protective of his family, especially their baby which has caused some extreme behaviour.
He is a very nice dog, but jeez I am glad that I am not in charge of him!

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 29-Jan-13 19:31:27

My brother told me just the other day, that his Border Collie (18 months) chased and caught a Heron shock

Well 'caught' is a bit of a lose term. I think the heron must have realised that he had no chance of escaping, so froze and this confused the dog (who was enjoying the initial chase) who then stopped and nudged it with his nose, looked scared, then stupid, and then realised my brother was yelling all hell at him to come back!

Bird not injured, dog thoroughly chastised and brother now has a new anecdote to add to his 'things the dog did' for years to come grin

Mum and dad's Standard Poodle had a very strong prey drive and as a youngster chased and caught rabbits and rats. He always looked so disappointed when they stopped playing (because the stupid bugger had killed them!).

Not pleasant, but I think it is natural when they see something run - they have to chase.

My mutt, well she tries but ultimately has the attention span of a goldfish so is quite easy to call back!

My dog has twice caught a chicken. The chickens are mine, and it was my fault. Both times, the chicken was pissed off but unharmed. He would catch it, then realise a pinned chicken is dull, lob it up in to the air again so that it squawked and made lots of interesting noises, then catch it again. No intent to kill, just a fascination with a new squeaky toy. He does chase cats, but then they beat the shit out of him.

Mine caught and killed a rabbit once. They always liked to chase them but never got anywhere close. This time the rabbit shot across the path. Teazle tripped over it which confused the bunny, Sophie grabbed it, bite, shake and dead rabbit. She wouldn't let go of it and we had to walk the whole way home with her carrying her prize. blush

She bit a swan once. That one was utterly mortifying. We were playing frizbee in the park and swan landed in the river by us. Soph immediately launched herself after it and grabbed the end of its tail. I had to jump into the freezing river to get her back. Meanwhile some bright spark had phoned the police because swans belong to the Queen hmm and we had to wait for ages, soaking wet, in November, for them to turn up. By this time a mob was starting to form and people were getting a bit aggressive. It was actually quite scary, they were accusing me of owning a dangerous dog (said dangerous dog was cuddled up agaist my legs shivering because she was freezing) and demanding of the police woman who turned up that she be destroyed. The Policewoman was really scary and serious. Lots of threats about their powers to have dogs put down and we were interviewed and charged with having a dog out of control in a public place. Meanwhile the swan, totally unharmed, had glided smugly away. It was supposed to go to Court but just before the case was heard the CPS threw it out and the Police had to pay costs. Total nightmare but just one of the joys of owning an over excitable lab cross.

My collie cross kills birds, especially blackbirds and baby pheasants. The collie I had as a kid was an expert rabbit catcher. He used to eat them as well, which was a bit gross. Dogs kill, it's what they do.

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 08:38:38

A friend of ours dog caught and killed a full grown deer.... Count yourself lucky!

this dog wasn't fenton was it grin I wonder if that man every caught him.

our last dog caught a seagull once she didnt kill it but it died think it was probably on its way out IYSWIM

gymmummy64 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:11:14

Heavens, you'd think we were all talking about cats here grin (well, apart from the deer I guess..)

Whippoorwhil I will be very very sure to remember your cautionary tale when we meet our first swan. Your experience sounds absolutely awful and horribly stressful. I'm glad they dropped it in the end

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:11:00

oh My cat was a seriel killer she once brought a huge hare back for her tea <shudder>

jellybrain Wed 30-Jan-13 19:02:49

Mine hasn't caught much but likes the thrill of the chase. I nearly died of shock at the weekend when she clear a 6+ foot wall with an 8 ft drop on the otherwise in pursuit of a pheasant. She didn't even break her stride.

GoSuckEggs Wed 30-Jan-13 19:20:11

my dog and his friend came running out of some woods with a fox cub. My dog had the body and his friend had the head. A VERY disturbing game of tug of war!!

digerd Thu 31-Jan-13 12:33:34

I had a dog who wouldn't kill anything and just wanted to be friendy with cats and mice. She had no urge to run after a ball and showed no hunting instinct.
But she was a Tibetan breed bred to sit well-behaved in Buddha's temple and alert the outside guard dogs of approaching strangers, with a shrill bark, but remain motionless. Pampered and had everything done for them. Lhasa Apso.
No doubt some owners of this breed have experienced otherwise. But they have small mouths and teeth.
My Westie rushed to see what she was doing and killed the mouse. Lhasa was very upset.

Principality Thu 31-Jan-13 21:33:07

My late dog had no sense of prey/killer drive at all...

The cat would regularly bring "presents" home and in several occasions the prsents were still alive. I remember on one occasion hearing snuffling noises in the hallway and going out to find ddog pushing a LIVE MOLE around with his nose. His expression was absolute gold. Pure confusion, "what the chuff is that mum?!" Didn't hurt it at all, just followed him snuffling and touching him with his nose.

Miss that dopey dog. sad

missyPlumcake Thu 31-Jan-13 21:42:23

Hahaha. Our Heinz 57 when I was a child was a great mole catcher. We had a big field behind our house and sometimes, she'd cock her head on one side and then put her ear right down to the ground and then dig like fury and come up with a poor mole like some trophy. Then she'd line them up at the back door for us to admire. Bless her.

mrsjay Thu 31-Jan-13 22:36:17

I once watched a programme about pest control and 1 company used a JRT as a rat catcher god it could go shock

mrsjay Thu 31-Jan-13 22:37:00

"what the chuff is that mum?!" Didn't hurt it at all, just followed him snuffling and touching him with his nose.

aww smile

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