Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Case of Predatory Drift

Recently been reading some posts on line questioning the if predatory drift really exists. The following experience is in my opinion an example.
Chi-Ping, the rat terrier mix and Blondie, the big former street dog were playing tag running from the yard to the porch. Smoki, the curmudgeon cat inserted himself into the game hissing and puffing at the big girl, who had her play face on and backed up as he puffed at her. She even gave him a half assed play bow. It was a sweet family moment. I smiled feeling good about my animal friends.
Something in the grass or down the hill caught Blondie’s attention for a second or two at most. She looked in the direction of the edge of our property, when she looked back her whole demeanor had changed. She was stiff, upright, ears forward.
The cat raised his paw to swat her again. Her mouth opened. I delivered the stop what you are doing sound. Luckily both critters looked at me. Blondie looked as if she came back to a place where she wouldn’t hurt Smoki.
The whole thing lasted but a moment, but it was a Jekyll and Hyde moment.  I suspect this was one of those predatory drift moments.
Blondie and Smoki have lived together for eight months. Smoki is the house boss because he is the one most comfortable with his humans. With a life time of experience training dogs Smoki had no problems with the tough street veteran in the house.
Outside on Blondie’s home turf where she has killed rats and cats and who knows what else. This was the first time I had all three of them outside together.
So much of the discussion on line is about dogs in play groups. During my years running dogs in day care groups, it seemed to me that most of what people thought of as predatory drift was another behavior anomaly or one dog with a history with another taking a cheap shot.
So what do you think?   

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