Friday, September 18, 2015

Viva and the squirrel at Seward Park

We head up the hill, making our way back to the car and we walked up on a squirrel that was on the ground.

I knew Viva had a prey drive but, this was just crazy and she's by far the most prey driven foster we've had and that's saying a lot.  Viva is also a bigger Rat Terrier (16+ pounds) and full of muscle which gives her a ton of power once she gets moving.  If she decides she's going after a critter you better have a firm hold on the leash/long line.  Viva's critter brain is intense and she won't come back to you when she's in critter mode - she'd just keep going, chasing the critter scent.  

Viva is a quiet hunter who reminds me of our past foster dog Baer who wouldn't bark, just go after the critter and he's an excellent hunter.  You can see Baer getting after squirrels in this post Baer visits Volunteer Park - Part 2   

D'light on the other hand barks his head off which he seems to think will make the critter come down to him. Here's a video with D'light barking at a chipmunk 

Viva has treed the squirrel. 

What makes her different than other high prey fosters we've had is that she obsesses about the critter. She won't move on from where the critter has gone and just ping pongs around that tree or area. 

Viva rolls back and I thought she was moving back to see the critter up in the tree.


She's getting a running start...

And up she goes!

She's trying to figure out how to get higher in the tree

Viva decides she can't get higher so she eventually jumps down.  She was working this problem out for a number of minutes.

Viva watching the tree and the squirrel is up so high she can't see it.

I had a tough time getting her to leave this area but, we finally made it out and thank goodness we didn't see any other squirrels. 

So, we have some work to add to our "to do list".  Viva is a Terrier and they were breed to do exactly what she did above.  However, her just about pulling my arm off isn't cool.  So we are going to start working on training that will keep my arm attached but, let her get after the critter.  Here's the link talking about how we are going to do this: The Premack Principle

And the lovely, clearly explained drawing by the amazing Lili Chin


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