Can't take the wolf out of our dogs
Today I had Tilley and Jessie over at the High School for a big walk. It's becoming routine now for the girls to go on their own walk and Luke on another. Luke went with Dad and the girls went with me, neither of the girls can handle the extreme running or distance anymore so we take our time and do alot of smelling and strolling.
Tilley lags and Jessie is out in front going crazy with all the smells of rabbits, rats and other critters. There are lots to be found in and around the school and there isn't too much grass to irritate poor Jessie's grass alergy. We were walking along, taking our leisurely time when I turned around to see Tilley frozen, she turned her head as if on a pivot to look at me and then back again. She was slowly sinking and I strained to see what she was looking at.
I decided to just watch, Tilley's body slunk down like a truck on hydraulics that someone was lowering. Her movements became mechanical like and she quickly transformed from poodle to predator. She stood frozen until I called to her and even then she moved so slow and with purpose. Her movement was fluid and her height had been reduced to a fraction of it's normal stature. Tilley was on the hunt.
I have often seen this behavior from Tilley, Luke has done it a couple of times as well as Jessie but none are as drastic as Tilley. But, Tilley's chase drive is off the charts, always has been and the idea of an impending pursuit is more than she can physically control, primal genetics take over. No one ever showed Tilley how to stalk, catch and kill prey but it's there not far under that poodle coat of hers.
Some breeds have lost much of their prey drive. Some of the breeds who have been bred as lap companion dogs for many generations just don't react to movement the way others do. I've seen small dogs, sit and play with rabbits, birds and guinea pigs that amazes me. None of my dogs have ever had such low level prey drive. But for most dogs it is still there, not that they want to kill the object of their chase, the chase just stirs something deep within.
Once we passed the field of temptation for Tilley she was back to her poodley self. But the wolf lies in waiting for the next rodent to venture by.