Prey drive strikes again.

 "Its too quiet out there."

"shush, they're enjoying that big backyard for once"...

..."it's still too quiet, what are they up to?" 

"They're probably-" 

crunch crunch crunch! 

"BOLO!!! Drop it!!" 

Ishka watches J confiscate pigeons.

Ishka watches J confiscate pigeons.

Prey drive is a massive thing in huskies. And various other breeds too. This afternoon, both Czar and Bolo managed to catch pigeons. Full grown ones. No idea how, but J found Frankie dancing back and forth between the other two, each with a large wing hanging from either side of their mouths. J had a quick tussle with each to remove the carcasses, and brought all of them inside for a time-out in their crates. 

Frankie: I didn't even get a pigeon.  Sorry, buddy, no sympathy. 

Frankie: I didn't even get a pigeon. 

Sorry, buddy, no sympathy. 

Why do some dogs have such strong prey drive? In some, it's been deliberately bred in - greyhounds for example, racing after their lures. Hunting breeds, from the formally bred gun dogs to the mongrel pig dogs, must have that drive. In many breeds, it's been modified to encourage the dogs to hand over any catches, with soft mouths that avoid damaging pelts, or diverted into a herding instinct. None of this is true of huskies.

Huskies have this trait because they are an ancient breed.  Genetically they are very similar to wolves. Living traditional lives in Siberia and Alaska, self feeding was probably encouraged, especially if dogs were roaming loose in summer. It's only in about the last fifty years that huskies have had to live domesticated lives, with cats, rabbits and guinea pigs suddenly being declared off limits. And how good is a husky at distinguishing between a wild rabbit and a pet?

I really can't blame them. In fact, I'm quietly impressed that they've managed the feat, simultaneously no less.  But the idea of a dog fight breaking out, a dog picking up bird flu or some other health issue, means that J immediately discourages, confiscates and chastises bird catching.

Bolo, sulking.

Bolo, sulking.