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The mighty huntress


hheldorfer

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Early this morning Buffy had her first hunting victory: She captured a mouse that was hanging out by the bird feeder. You should have seen her strutting around with the mouse in her mouth (no, she DIDN'T kill it, which puzzles me), tail wagging and chest puffed out like she a mighty huntress on the Serengeti plains. DH was laughing so hard I thought he was going to cry. After parading around the yard for a minute or two she dropped the mouse on the ground near DH's feet, I suppose as an offering. The mouse - apparently unharmed - skittered away and Buffy followed, batting him with her paws until the mouse disappeared into a crevice.

The funniest part was when she came back into the house. She pranced around the living room, snapping her jaws and "talking" with a series of squeals, ruffs and half-whimpers until we both fussed over her, telling her what a VERY brave dog she is.

Now she'll be completely full of herself for days . . . ;)

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Now she'll be completely full of herself for days . . . ;)

Well of course she's proud, after all she did protect her 2 helpless uprights from that terrible, fierce, rodent-monster didn't she? Who know what may have happened if she hadn't been on guard, perhaps that huge predator-mouse would have called in the rest of it's raiding party for an all out attack! Just thank your lucky stars that Buffy was on guard & did her job. She deserves a special treat for her heroism!! :king: Way to go, Buffy, you're CAIRNTASTIC!!

Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie

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Were cairns bred to kill their prey, or just den it so the crofter could come along and do the dirty deed? In his younger days, Cubby used to flush birds but not try to catch them, and the one time he killed a mouse, he didn't know what to do with it. He brought it to me like - Mom, do something! He did kill a baby snake once by dropping and rolling on it.

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Zach is most definitely a killer when it comes to prey and it's so funny to watch him afterwords :) Once, he killed a mouse that was in a window well in the back yard - now EVERY time he gets let out into the yard, he runs to check that window well before he does anything else

Kintra Cairns

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Were cairns bred to kill their prey, or just den it so the crofter could come along and do the dirty deed?

Pretty much the latter, as I understand it. For a quarry was frequently otter (and possibly badger or fox), a dog that was bold, but not reckless or stupid, would be valued. It may also explain why they have such an aggravating bark - so much so that an otter would choose a suicide run for freedom (and into the crofter's net) than listen to that racket for another moment. :w00t:

The other working method on large quarry is to hold it by virtue of bravado and noise - while staying just out of reach of slashing claws and flashing teeth - so that the human partner can dig to the quarry and complete the dispatch.

It seems that mice and squirrels are sport and diversion for most all dogs, but the skills to deal with more formidable quarry become more specialized with various breeds and specific quarry.

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That's pretty much my experience with my dogs. They will hunt but rarely kill--in fact on the two or three occasions I can recall, Sammi has seemed confused by the blood of a mouse or vole she has caught. Have any of us seen one of our dogs take a squirrel? Mine have chased them innumerable times but I swear they hesitate just enough to avoid catching the things. Not sure what they would do with a rabbit--which really excite them.

Unlike some dogs I have owned, beagles and Basset Hound, Cairns don't seem to have the instinct to dispatch animals even tho they "hunt" effortlessly, relentlessly, and have great noses.

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We have to put out rat traps in the wisteria arbor over our patio because the rats have learned to stay out of reach. Honestly, if you say, "where's the rat?" at our house both dogs with look up, since no rat can survive on the ground here. Last week, a rat got trapped, then both fell onto the patio. Cassie raced into the rosemary where the rat had dragged the trap and dispatched it. DH said there were rat screams, a bush rattle like shaking was going on, then silence. Problem now is that the rat and trap are missing. DH is upset because it was a new trap and I keep searching for stink sources and ant trails hoping to locate both. You should feel good that your cairn wants to share the wealth because ours guard theirs mysteriously.

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No squirrels, but not for lack of trying, although as you say, it may be the thrill of the chase more than anything. A fair number of birds have met their maker in our backyard, however, thanks primarily to Stella. Barley had an eye for them as well.

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This last spring there were some bunnies born in our back yard outside the dogs fence. Several times when we let them out one of the bunnies would be in their enclosure. At first the bunnies were small enough to scoot right through the fencing but as they got bigger it became a problem for the rabbits. There were several hilarous (probably not fot he bunny) chases around the yard with three terrierists in HOT pursuit. They caught the bunnies 4 or 5 times but never seemed to harm them. Just let them go & the chase was on again until the rabbit hit the fence right and got out. Good execise for all. The rabbits finally learned but these 3 little gomers still tear out the back door and off the porch like they are going to tear something up. Too funny.

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With our cairns we have only had one catch a chipmunk and she did kill it, but I think it was more an accident than on purpose. The Chipmunk was trying to escape into our down spout. I believe ours chase the squirrels & chipmunks more for pleasure too. Many times they will chase them to the property line and then parade back towards the house as if to say

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Oh yes, squirrels, well I've taken away two that were being gnawed on but I didn't actually see the dogs catch them. Still I suspect foul play because these dogs work together and are pretty fast. They were large grey tree squirrels. These guys try to stuff acorns in the pots on my patio just a few feet away from the dog door which is pretty bold and risky Behavior if you ask me. My guess is that those two just slipped and it was their last mistake.

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Murphy is a pro at catching little lizards that tend to be attracted to all Florida homes. He's almost always gentle with them, you can see that he has a soft mouth (we had a lab that we had to teach a soft mouth to - comes natural to our little guy).

He just doesn't play fair with them :twisted: . After the lizards freak out and drop their tail, he then likes to play catch with them. Throw them up in the air, catch them (snout snout coordination is a bit off and they usually land on the floor - which can lead to a broken and battered lizard). If we catch him quick enough we can usually lead him outside with his new friend and tell him to "leave it" and he'll spit it out. We've saved several lizards this way over our two years in Florida.

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I am glad Allie's instinct seems to be to leave the larger prey for the crofter. In our yard, that larger prey is a raccoon, and they come equipped with some pretty nasty-looking claws. Because we have a backyard fountain, we seem to draw raccons once in a while. If we let Allie out in the yard when one is around, she stands out of reach and barks her head off.

She did have a rabbit by the butt once, just as it was trying to sneak under the fence. It was kicking mightily, I was screaming loudly, and in the end it got away. Just as well. Both dogs, though, still respond to the command "want to bust bunnies?" and will charge out of the door looking for the rabbits in the garden. I like to keep those rabbits out of the garden and on their toes.

T Bone would LOVE to catch a squirrel but he simply does not have the athletic ability that Allie has.

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Gus will actually throw himself up a tree in pursuit of squirrels. He jumps and clings to the trunk. He has jumped to the lowest branch and seemed keen on going higher but I grabbed him. His tree climbing attempts inspired some local little boys to say, "Your dog's a cat!" whenever they see us.

He hasn't a hope of catching a squirrel, but he's doing a good job on the wolf spiders that are sneaking into the house now that fall is here.

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