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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

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 29-Jan-13 16:49:36

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.

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 29-Jan-13 17:17:43

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!

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