Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rabbit Frenzy

Photo: Kevin Tuck
I was walking with Homer the other day and suddenly I heard that baying that only means one thing — a rabbit is near. Whenever I take him out and he sniffs a rabbit's scent, he turns into another dog. He will keep his nose to the ground and will not lift it up until he's lost the scent.

So, what makes him this way? One reason is that he's doing exactly what the beagle was bred to do. They have been hunting dogs long before they became family pets. It seems like the more I take him on a walk, the more he needs to track rabbits.

I've also learned the path of rabbits from the way Homer moves when he catches their scent. At first I thought it was straight across. To the contrary, the rabbits move in small circles and zigzag back and forth.

It's also interesting to note that the scent of animals is more prevalent in the morning and evening. Why? The moisture content in the grass is greater at those times compared to the afternoons. As a result, the scent is intensified which is very appealing to dogs like Homer. I've found that learning a dog's motivation helps an owner to understand its actions better.

Let's Discuss!

What lessons have you learned about your dog when you take them out into the great outdoors?

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