Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What Dog Traits Benefit the Group

The Puerto Rican island dogs forage alone, and sometimes in packs. The sound of dogs rushing through the brush with rats leaping for their lives in front of mostly mixed breed, Satos, some with serious grimaces, others clearly enjoying the chase with play face, quickens the pulse.
A hound mix, I called Owl, shared my porch for a time. He hunted lizards the way I shop for chocolate. (Yeah, yeah!) To quote an old Cab Calloway song, everybody eats when they come to my house. Kibble is served twice daily. Owl still shopped lizards with enough zeal that the other satos tried little lizards; a couple tossed their heads and spit it out, but others picked up the habit.
I watched a yearling German Shepard bitch teach six month old pups, Lucy and Robert Redford, to roll coconuts down my driveway, so the coconuts would crack open when they hit the side of my neighbor’s garage; but Blondie taught them to hunt rats, the supreme delicacy.  
In general, dogs’ behavior varies with the availability of resources. Hungry dogs are volatile around food, but well fed colonies can be social as dogs in doggie day care, which I ran for a dozen years.  
After years of reading your thoughts in the dark; why am I posting?
My experiences are written in my blog, as they happened. I’m writing this to encourage you with the multiple degrees to come, visit my island before the dog catchers round up the alphas, the docile, the elders.
Could you picture a holiday hanging on the beach watching a colony of free ranging dogs rummage in the brush?
You may be interested in advising me as I develop the protocols for maintaining dog colonies.
Dog problem: 100,000 to 300,000 free roaming dogs on island size of Connecticut.
Current solution:
Round up to euthanize every free running dog you see until a numerical limit of what the municipality will pay is hit.
Rescuers pic up every dog they can fit in their bac yard. Some are adopted or shipped to the states.

Colony keepers Program:
 If trap, neuter, and return programs are to develop public support, a follow up control, support system should be in place.
As part of the protocols, I want to identify the dogs that are more valuable to the colony, so they will escape culls.
If people come to observe these fascinating animals, the government of this broke ass little island will co-operate in handling the dogs in a more humane way.
Watching a bunch of males (dogs) poking around on a walk is my idea of fun. My travel goals include other places to watch dogs. Moscow to ride the trains with the dogs tops my bucket list; I’m guessing I’m not alone.
Can you envision behaviorists visiting colony keepers to enjoy dogs behaving old school except for the hunger and rampant reproduction. Picture January on a tropical island, hmm; that’s how I got here. Is this a crazy goal?
The protocol should identify traits of benefit to the colony. Any suggestions? Questions? I hope I’ve explained it adequately. Thanks!
Oh, and Terry I’ve read a number of studies you’ve supplied links for; thanks!

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