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Discussion Starter #1
So we went for a walk in the music teacher's neighborhood while my daughter had her music lesson. My dog and I like this loop because it's flat, deeply shaded and wooded. Going down the main street, we passed two does! And each doe had two fawns! Everybody froze and looked at eachother - deer and dog. Then, we walked quietly on and the six deer walked deeper into the woods.

Then a few yards down, four fat chickens were pecking in the grass by the street sign! Rumo looked at them, the chickens looked at him, and we went on. I was like, "Rumo, if you had to hunt for your dinner, this would have been your Day!!"

I guess he doesn't recognize Food unless it's in a dog bowl!
I guess dogs don't recognize food in its live form unless they've hunted it down before? Do deer and chickens even smell like Food to them? These are the things I was wondering afterwards! :grin2:
 

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It was probably a combination of the reactions the animals have, and reaction your dog gave. If either the does, fawns, or chickens took of running at the sight of you two, it may have been a different story altogether. Sounds like you’ve got a great dog on your hands!

The only “hunter” I have is Crios. It’s a passion of his to make sure our backyard is free of any critters, including birds, at all times. I don’t think he sees it as food, but I’m not in his brain, so I couldn’t say that with 100% confidence though. He doesn’t eat anything but the birds, and that is after burying them and letting them rot for a few days, digging them up, and then eating them ?. This is before we had any pups though. The had free reign of the doggie door, and did not sleep in our room at the time, so we couldn’t take them out at night if they had an emergency, so we allowed them 24/7 access to the doggie door.
 

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My dogs will kill a mouse or rat or mole, but they do not eat them. I am glad that they do not see these as meat, because there is poison about, and I do not want them to get sick. Rabbits would be fine, except they get tape worms from fleas and will pass them to dogs. So I don't want them running down a rabbit and eating it either. A cat is generally taught by its mother to hunt. So a kitten pulled too young from its mother is probably not going to be a hunter. Dogs are a little different there. Some have a strong prey drive than others. But while a cat will survive and turn feral, a dog won't generally survive if dumped. There have been instances where dogs banded together and found a way of existing, but for the most part, dogs cannot take care of themselves. They have been totally domesticated for too long.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea, I was surprised he didn't react more.

I guess I've watched too many Nature/wildlife specials with the hunting wolf packs targeting the young animals of the herd :)

But I realized also that the deer here act definitely unnatural. They totally lack fear and walk around calmly in the middle of people's yards (no natural predators, no hunting around here). They don't act at all like "prey". Their numbers are actually kind of out of control...I once came home to find my entire petunia bed eaten. We've all learned to plant flowers that deer don't like to eat!
 

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Valor would be like "what dat?" My BF's bitch would be tying a dinner napkin around her neck lol My philosophy is I don't care if you want to sniff them or eat them..as long as your butt listens to me when I say leave it or hier fuss.
 

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Jack's killed a squirrel. We called him off the carcass before he could do anything with it. I suspect he would have brought it back to us, dropped it, and looked at us as if to say "So...do we play fetch or tug with this?" Or maybe he would have disemboweled it like he's done every soft squeaky toy we've given him, at which point he would have learned the squirrel was food.

Deer he just wants to play with and herd around.
 

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Ellie was a much adopted and returned shelter GS. (we took her from the county lock up and she has been in 2 other shelters in the previous 18 months) Most likely a mix. She had a difficult time adjusting to us. She did not want to be petted or play or normal dog behavior. She was afraid of most everything and wanted to spend her time in the garage or a bathroom. We got past a lot, she found out the couch was pretty comfy, not just something to hide behind and a warm bed is better than a cold floor. But I would walk her up the road past horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, other dogs, cats and an occasional wild bunny or deer. She had no interest in ANY of them, or the cars going by, just trotted along. But one day her interest was stolen by the most unlikely of things - a garbage truck. She was fascinated by the truck, the Man and how he got out and walked around the truck. She stopped and watched under the truck as he walked along and was totally immersed in what he was doing dumping the cans in the back. You just never know what goes on under those ears. She did eat slugs, though....
 

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I don’t want my dogs killing other animals. I consider ignoring animals a good thing.
Well, GSDs are shepherds, not hounds. If you get a beagle or a coonhound, then you ought to expect them to be off after everything in a heart beat. But with GSDs, it really depends on how strong their prey-drive is. And this is where the discernment everyone is talking about kind of differs. Yes, a GSD should attack a threat to his pack, human or animal, and they should be able to discern what a threat is. Or maybe that is a super power we expect in dogs, but unless we give them a proper education through experience of what isn't a problem, how can we expect them not to put their teeth into the wrong thing?

But then there is prey drive. Just because a dog may not see a rabbit or a deer as a threat, doesn't mean that deep down inside them there isn't a DOG in there. Some GSDs will chase anything that runs -- that which runs, must be chased. Others ignore non-threatening critters. Some of those who will give chase, can be called off without any trouble. Others, if they see a squirrel or a cat or a skunk are going to go after it, and will become temporarily deaf to the frantic shouts of their owner.

Since chasing wildlife can be seriously dangerous, owners of these dogs often go to the e-collars to prevent/control this behavior.

I've had a couple of dogs that would kill a rat or a mole or a mouse. And others that were totally worthless in that area. I remember Frodo jumping up and down like a nut in front of the front door, and I though OMG, he needs to go out. But he was over there grabbing a mouse, letting it go, and jumping up and pouncing on it and letting it go. I got the broom and dustpan and was able to relocate the mouse outside.

But when I opened my fridge to see little eyeballs looking back at me, I closed the door and called Arwen. I stationed her next to the fridge and I opened the door. She looked in there and looked at me and plainly said, "So?" I said, "The mouse, get the mouse!" She looked at me and said, "not in my job description." The mouse ran out of the floor in front of her and scurried through the dining room and under the buffet and hutch.

Another mouse I had cornered in the dog-room and I called Jenna. She came running, I let her see the mouse and she just looked at me, "oh heck no!" I have concluded that my dogs cannot be depended upon to defend our castle against rodents, and I must trap or poison them myself.

It gets worse. I killed a mother mouse with a trap one year, and I didn't know it, until the little hairless babies started staggering out one at a time. I disposed of a couple and one night Babs had something in my bed. She found one of them, still alive and was trying to mother it!!! No! Babs!!! Talk about discernment! There was none of it there!

Yeah, not all GSDs have tons of prey drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ha ha, we are a "No Kill" home. When we had mice, we put out the traps with peanut butter inside, and every morning, we would have caught 1-2 mice in each trap. Then my husband carried the traps out to the big field at the edge of our neighborhood and released them in the bushes! We "relocated" about 27...there must be a whole new mouse city out there in the field by now.

It seems quiet here now, I learned to keep the dog kibble in a closed plastic bin.
I think mice like eating dog kibble!
 

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You are probably just catching the same ones over and over again! :D

As for live prey, my youngest dog was sniffing along the edge of the flowerbed, and wagging her tail as if she'd found a new friend. I'm thinking what the heck???

Then, she starts pawing at the edge of the bed, and next thing I know she's EATING something!!

After she'd done this several times, I finally realized what she was doing. I've had a very large number of crickets in my back yard this year. She was chasing them down, and eating them!! :surprise:
 

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If the animals had squeaked or ran- off goes your dog unless it was trained or raised on a farm. My GSD Alucard (say it backwards-yep)attacked a 30 foot long green snake once(he hates snakes) thrashing it this way and that. He actually got holes in that thing so I had to buy a new one (used the 30 foot long green snake as a soaker in the flower bed). Crickets are the worst, next comes the stink bugs=why do they attack/eat those things? eeewwww
 
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