Are SQUIRRELS positively-reinforcing?

March 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm 2 comments

Boogie and I had a longer-than-usual walk this morning. We saw two squirrels on Los Feliz Blvd and of course, Boogie dashed after them, totally ignoring me and the scary stinky homeless old person seated on the sidewalk whom he would have normally lunged or growled at.

Boogie is a strange dog… sometimes I can’t work him out. In this video below, is he offering CALMING SIGNALS (head turns, lip licks) to the squirrel? Or to me? He has been known to SIT for squirrels.


When the  homeless man started yelling: “I am going to kill you!!!” and looked like he was headed our way, it was time to get out of there.

Later on we ran into a really cute boston puppy whose name is POTATO! This is the second time that we have met Potato and I was so glad I had my camera on me.

Apologies for the terrible camerawork. It was hard to take video, deliver treats, manage tangled leashes and keep my eye on Boogie’s body language at the same time. I think he was less interested in Potato and owner (lots of calming signals… grass sniffing, turning away etc) than in hunting for squirrels on  Squirrel Street. He kept looking past everybody, scanning the trees, pulling me away…

(All the nitty gritty details in Boogie’s Daily Walk/Training Log)

Entry filed under: Outdoors, Social stuff.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  March 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Choppy loves to chase squirrels – and I have to admit, I let her off her leash in the park fairly regularly to do so. If there is a squirrel around, I don’t have to worry about her doing anything but going after it. And she’s far too slow to ever catch one.

    I think in revenge, they come to the backyard and sit on the top of the fence and torture her by being just out of reach when she jumps up after them.

    • 2. lili  |  March 6, 2010 at 7:07 am

      Boogie doesn’t even chase the squirrels! He sees one, he starts creeping really slowly towards it like a cat in predator mode, and then he runs when the squirrel is already up the tree! I am sure like Choppy, Boogie dreams of catching squirrels but it’ll never happen.


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