Do You REALLY Know What Your Dog’s Behavior Means?

Rani the Fishing Dog Shows Off Her Hunting Behavior

YouTube

This female golden retriever would very much like to catch a fish. If you have ever wanted to see a dog’s “hunting” expression, this is exactly it: ears up, eyes open, body very still.

The posters of the videos (there are several) claim that Rani is actually crumbling the bread herself and deliberately using it as bait, with the understanding that the bread attracts the fish. This is debatable. One of the videos shows Rani eating pieces of the bread after a human throws bread into the water, so it could also be that Rani knows when bread is in the water, fish are in the water too. (She may not even know that, and may only watch the water when she actually sees a fish under it, and have no interest whatever in the bread beyond snacking. We can’t be sure!)

Animal behavior is complex, so draw conclusions carefully

This is why it is so important not to rely on anecdotal evidence, or personal stories, when drawing conclusions about animal behavior. To find out if Rani is really using the bread as bait, we’d have to do some tests to see what she really thinks the bread is for.

For example, does Rani wait for fish when there is no bread in the water? How about when there are balloons, or plastic objects (things fish don’t eat) in the water instead of bread? Does she move preferentially to the side of the dock the bread is on? Does she go and get bread if there is no bread in the water?

Either way, this is a great example of dog hunting behavior and Rani is a very smart lady!

Does your dog hunt anything? What could you do to let your dog “hunt” safely in your house?