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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Roxi got her first gopher ( yes we immediately took it away) at 5 months old ( in 4 days)! Very proud of our girl!! Our old boy ( pit mix ) is at 2 gophers in 10 yrs
 

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You want your dog catching wild animals? I’d worry about disease or injury to my dog. One of my previous dogs tried to catch a skunk. It did not end well.
Ha ha! We get a lot of skunks around here in the summer. You can't open your windows half the time at night and are afraid to let the dogs out.

I don't permit my dogs to harass or harm wildlife either.
 

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The Wild Child is encouraged to go squirrel hunting in my garden and, while she hasn't caught one yet, she's getting pretty good at it. Half the squirrels in North America seemed to have moved here over the winter, so I am totally on board. I'm not concerned about generalization of her prey drive, so far. She knows not to lunge after the little buggers when we're out walking (thereby risking Horizontal Mommy). And, she and Claude (adolescent cat who joined the family 8 months ago) are best buds.

Squirrels are on notice; works for me.

Aly
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you! We have tried natural repellents we don't approve of poison and pest control people are expensive bet the gophers quite destroying my garden
 

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And letting them hunt outsides does not translate to indiscriminate prey drive. My dog lived with four cats, and they were all good buddies, grooming each other, eating from the same bowl, etc, yet he did hunt and catch the occasional small animal. He was raw fed, so no issues with him getting a grouse or rabbit once in a while.

My first dog knew the difference between pet rabbits in the house, and wild rabbits outside also. Might depend on the dog, but I don't think that it develops a 'taste for blood' as the old-wife's tale wants people to think so.
 

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I had a little whippet mix that loved her job of keeping squirrels off of the bird feeder. She was also in a house with 3 cats, never confused them. My yard has rabbits that take the tops off of my tree saplings, and even though I like rabbits in general I don't grieve over the couple that my dogs caught..and the rabbits died quickly. That being said, I don't encourage it. I don't want my dogs to injure themselves trying to catch something that has generations of learning the fine art of escape. They usually get caught when they get stuck in a corner of my fence line. What really surprised me is when my gal-dog caught a bird at about a year old!
 

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Well, the main reason I got our cat was that she was a hunter in her "wild life" and we needed to get rid of chipmunks etc. She does a great job at killing chipmunks, voles, moles, all of which are destructive.

I would probably ask about leptospirosis in your area and immunization for same because it is carried by vermin. Unfortunately, no vaccine is available for cats.
 

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Yes it is impressive that a 5 month old pup caught a gopher. I know the ones here are pretty adept at avoiding dogs. Hunting vermin isn't something I would encourage, because I believe in live and let live, but I am not likely to lose my marbles over a dog being a dog. I discouraged Bud hunting the gophers mostly because he was becoming obsessed with the holes. Now I discourage it because the city poisons them.

Sabi understood the difference between pets and prey, but you must know your dog. I would never allow Shadow access to any small creature. Inside or outside she would kill it. Lexi was the best mouser I have ever met, better then any cat. She never bothered the cat or the ferrets.
 

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If you allow your dogs to catch wildlife, how do you avoid disease and how do you teach them a skunk is not a gopher? We have gophers and they only come out late at night. We also have coyotes and I would not want mine to tangle with one of those. Or with a sick rat that might have been poisoned. I heard of a GSD breeder who lost their whole stable of dogs in a rural area when they caught and ate poisoned rats from another farm. I also can’t allow my dogs to maybe go after a neighbor’s cat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Roxis favorite things to destroy are the weeds and the water from the hose lol I take her with me to the pet store every time I go so she can learn that other animals are friends, that is terrible about what happened to that breeder ? Plus roxi goes camping and leaves the wild critters alone
 
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