|Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:03pm PST |
|So here's my take- as owner of a dog who is both DA AND predatory.
His usual reaction to small dogs is exactly like his reaction to big dogs. Hackling, growling, lunging (which are clearly canine-to-canine communication) if they get too close, total disinterest otherwise. He knows they're dogs, full-stop. The only time it might have been a predatory reaction was once when we were walking off-leash, in an area he has hunted rabbits in many times (so his brain was primed to see rabbits and chase them.) Off in the distance, a man had a Yorkie off-leash, and it started running. Bruno saw the motion, took off after it in predatory mode, but as soon as he got a clear view, he slowed down dramatically and came back to me- that to me says that he recognized it was a dog after all, and was able to break out of prey mode quite easily.
I can see this possibly being different with a sighthound though, because they are SO fast they might actually be able to "outrun their brain" and grab the small dog before they know what it is.
Bruno has a very interesting reaction to coyotes, by the way (thinking of Lillith's comment about wolves killing 'yotes)... I really can't say if he recognizes them as dogs. The one time he saw one in daylight, he took off after it in prey mode, no communication behaviors offered. But when he smells fresh coyote pee in "his" yard, he overmarks it and then scratches very vigorously (much more than normally) which he wouldn't do for a non-dog. He also gets upset (growling, hackles) and wants to go outside when he hears them at night, which he doesn't do for dogs barking at night.
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