Chasing Jack Rabbits

Today we went for a country walk with the other dogs and people that we go to obedience class with. It was a large group, many dogs and people. We were in an area that is almost fully fenced, mostly orchards. There were tons of jacks out today. This is the first time my girls have ever flushed a jack. Sophie took off after the first one and then was on the look out from then on. She flushed at least 5 on the walk today. Rio was less interested at first deciding the "sure thing" of chicken from mom was way better then chasing some silly rabbit. Towards the end of walk she decided she didn't want to miss out on the fun Sophie was having and would chase the jacks with her sister. She also made sure to herd Sophie back to us when the jacks got too far ahead. They are both happily sleeping now, I wonder if they will be dreaming about chasing rabbits.

A basenji giving chase to a live animal is one of the most beautiful things to witness. The end, not so much. I often wonder how some Basenji's instinctively know how to hunt & kill, while others its just a game and are clueless to real hunting & killing?

My EL D scared up his first cottontail this past fall. The stupid rabbit made like a statue until EL D decided to go potty on him (why EL D didn't smell the rabbit beats me) and then took off. EL D had some great exercise chasing it around the yard – I can't believe how quick he is on the turns and around corners. Since then EL D has caught 4 rabbits and stays sooo excited for hours after.

@Barklessdog:

A basenji giving chase to a live animal is one of the most beautiful things to witness. The end, not so much. I often wonder how some Basenji's instinctively know how to hunt & kill, while others its just a game and are clueless to real hunting & killing?

It is one of the coolest things I've seen them do and to watch them work together is even better. I don't know why some hunt more than others, it is interesting.
I was told by someone who went to Africa and seen them in the Villages that the males do most of the hunting. I would've bet it was the females more so than the males. My personal experience with domestic hunting dogs was that the females made better hunters.

There was a recent study done about dogs and learning. One of the findings was that dogs are probably more intelligent than original studies found them to be because dogs will not do something they think they do not have permission to do. So in experiments where dogs were being asked to do something like opening a gate, they found when the dog had the handler's permission they were much more likely to do it. So that may play into why some dogs are more interested in hunting then others.

I think that Rio relaxed and gave chase later in the walk because she realized that we were allowing Sophie to give chase so she was probably allowed to do so also. When we called, Rio was the first to respond and she would be sure to herd Sophie back to us as she returned.

I'd love to see a B take down a Jack rabbit, they're bigger than the cottontail we see around here.

I'm still trying to picture a Basenji taking down a deer.:eek:

Iwatched Mica one time sniff out and dig into a large mole underground and take it out at the dog park, she also found a chipmunk around the wall of an apartment we were walking by so quickly on another walk that I didn't have time to avert the consequences. She has played with a mouse and many tiny moles which screech pitifully when she launches into a dance with them in the grass on numerous occasions. She also finds leftover animal parts from other animals survival escapades in another park buried underneath the snow as well as other tasty pieces of food dropped by wandering humans too lazy to put their food in a trash can. I have watched her stalk, and find while on walks, but I figure she needs the mental stimulation since she was probably a stray who by chance wandered into my apartment one day for I dont know how long. I suspect she did know how to eat what came her way. She scales the sides of trees for squirrels too, as well as climbed a tree one time because a bird was up there. I can still watch her stalk for prey. I also spent a long while on a walk and paused to dig out the meat from a pecan shell. It was amazing to see the patience she exhibited expecting me to get this tasty treat out for her. Each tiny piece was a treasure that I fed to her. Although I sometimes use a "trade you" for a treat when she pulls out something like a leftover rabbit leg buried in the snow. But I can get her to drop these leftover parts of nature. We flushed a deer out of the brush one time while we were at a county park walking and I was thankful for her to be on a pully lead, she was estatic at the sight and followed and pulled as far as that human attached to her would allow it at that time. I am not sure of the consequences if she had been off a leash. She has been overjoyed at the dog park too, and has flushed some bunnies out of the brush and taken run. I dont think she has quite caught up with them, but she often sees a bunny while on an everyday walk where we live. It is fascinating to watch this dogs behavior. I think she is smarter than the average canine.
BaMicas mom

@BaMica:

I think she is smarter than the average canine.

The words, cunning, clever, calculating and sly, all come to mind when I think of the Basenji.:)

It's why we like them so much - seeing them work things out.

Basenjis hunting is a "gas" to watch….my 2 have caught rabbits and squirrels.
This, in my opinion is what makes them happiest! They are a(for the most part) breed unchanged genetically for thousands of years. There was some tweaking of the "tight curly tail", I'm sure. They are hard wired for hunting, and if I indulge this, it seems to make them content like nothing else...:D

We are very lucky here in Northern California, Jeff Schettler is hosting a bird test for basenjis on May 3rd. The dogs will get an opportunity to find some chukar. I am looking forward to seeing how they all do, there are already 20-25 basenjis signed up.

@basenjishunt:

Basenjis hunting is a "gas" to watch….my 2 have caught rabbits and squirrels.
This, in my opinion is what makes them happiest! They are a(for the most part) breed unchanged genetically for thousands of years. There was some tweaking of the "tight curly tail", I'm sure. They are hard wired for hunting, and if I indulge this, it seems to make them content like nothing else...:D

I do notice a difference in intensity between some of ours as far as hunting and what they do with something after they catch it. The B's I have with a larger % of African in them will eat what they catch…...immediately! The more domestic basenji we have isn't interested in eating things at all. Could be the domestic's personality, I'm not sure.
The African puppies we have now, you can tell will be hunters and seem to know how to hunt within the pack already. The pack was hunting doves yesterday and it was cool to watch them all spread out and control an area.

I would love to see Basenji's on upland game....awesome!

I clean and butcher the rabbits my hawk catches. My 2 Basenjis will not leave me alone when I do this!! They will try to dive in and snatch it, I push them away, and even scold them. I can leave a roast beef sandwich in front of them, and tell them NO!, and they won't touch it. But a bunny is just too much. They will do anything to get at it…....pretty funny...:)

@basenjishunt:

I clean and butcher the rabbits my hawk catches. My 2 Basenjis will not leave me alone when I do this!! They will try to dive in and snatch it, I push them away, and even scold them. I can leave a roast beef sandwich in front of them, and tell them NO!, and they won't touch it. But a bunny is just too much. They will do anything to get at it…....pretty funny...:)

Do you feed your B's any of the rabbit?

We have some 5/8 and 1/2 af's, three of them tore a rabbit apart and all ate a peice…..nothing left, and to behonest, they acted scary once there was blood in the air.
In contrast a b/w female was around for a rabbit kill and wouldn't touch it. That same girl will hunt voles and mice......just won't eat them.:rolleyes:

It may be the individual dog and have nothing to do with AF or no AF......I'm not sure.
I hope they get lot's of pictures from the May hunting event.;)

No, I don't give them any…Mostly they are just "all full of themselves" when they catch one. If the girl gets it, it looks like a can of paint in a paint shaker!! Over in the blink of an eye! They really coordinate when they hunt. If one chases a rabbit into cover the other will find the "exit" and wait for the flush....I've never worked with them at all on their hunting. They can do it, no problemo. It's hard to find the "off switch" when they are in mode, though.

@basenjishunt:

It's hard to find the "off switch" when they are in mode, though.

Yeah, that's what I see too, they go to that "other place".:)

How they hunt together is truely amazing, gorey, but amazing!

Yea…they really don't have alot of compassion for little furry animal.😕

@basenjishunt:

Yea…they really don't have alot of compassion for little furry animal.😕

We have a lot of doves around, they love to catch those too…...feathers!!!!:D

When we used to go to a undeveloped area near the beach to run, I kept bells on Topper and Nicky to give the rabbits a head start, they chased a lot but never caught but one, and I got it out of Topper's mouth before it was injured.
Now Topper is older and not really as interested as he once was, but Eddie has a strong prey drive. He will visually follow a squirrel through a whole group of trees at the dog park, and he killed a rat once that had gotten into our kitchen. It took me several years to get him to ignore little fluffy dogs at the park, and his prey drive has diminished as well, now that I think of it.

Anne in Tampa

EEEK! Today was a lovely day and the dogs spent a couple of hours out in the yard. They chased the squirrels, birds, and each other and slept on their favorite warm spot on the patio. Sometime after I had made them come back in, I noticed an odd area in the yard. When I went out to investigate, I found a large circle of feathers. No body, no body parts, no bird…..just lots and lots of feathers. Cory and Jayden aren't talking but I suspect that Cory actually caught the bird. She is very fast and has a strong prey instinct. Jayden is more of a Bubba and runs around as if he's saying "What are we chasing? What are we chasing?" Hard to tell which one of them ate it…maybe both. Now, I didn't actually see them catch the bird and I guess a cat could have come into the yard and caught the bird. But I don't think a cat would have left the large "crop circle" of feathers. Whatever caught the bird really tore into it. Icccckkkkkkk! :eek:

So why do I both buying a decent dog food?? 😕

Pat

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