Why does a Labrador Dog bring home a hedgehog when out on a walk at night?
Coco came to us 9 weeks ago, just turned up at my partner's home in the countryside. No collar or identification so basically, we have adopted her now and she is one of the family. Recently, every night we take her out for a walk, usually 9 - 10pm, she emerges from a hedge on the road with a hedgehog in her mouth and proceeds to carry it home! She does not seem protective of it or try and eat it when we go to replace it in the field or grass. We think possibly she may have been a dog used for hunting? Any help would be appreciated!!
suzette...I think you could be correct about her having been a hunting dog....or perhaps her master simply taught her to "fetch.".......Since she is not doing this for food......You know what I would do? I would buy her a stuffed animal (made for dogs...not humans) Maybe she had a TOY where ever she lived before and is trying to replace it?
I'm just guessing Suz.....anyway, she's adorable....looks like a sweet dog. Have you checked the paper for any LOST DOG ads.?......do you think she was literally abandoned or wandered away from home?
I'm sure you wouldn't give her up now anyway!
There are a couple of Dog whisperers here on HP....look up hubs on "dogs"....and see who pops up. They could probably answer your question!
Dogs like to earn their keep catching the hedgehog is how your dog feels they are doing their part. It's natural instinct.
Labrador Retreivers are bred to "retrieve". She probably was trained to retrieve also. But their instinct is to fetch and bring it home. I have owned two labs now, and they both naturally retrieved. I never trained them to hunt. My last lab would dive in the water and retrieve things under water. It is just what they do. They are very good dogs and like to "please" their owners, so she is probably showing you how good she is at her job.
Thanks for jumping in. She doesn't seem to "fetch" anything else even doggy toys or sticks like most dogs (labs) we had as kids. Hopefully it is instinctive and not a yearning for a puppy as she is a bitch and young at 4-5 yrs - Cheers!
Thanks DS Duby - they also have a "soft" mouth, so they can bring their "hunt" back without teeth marks. That must be why the hedgehogs made it.
This is a prickly subject and ought to be investigated by the Hedgehog Kidnapping Association who might be able to sniff out more information given how sharp they are down at main office.
Your dog is behaving instinctively as the other writers have pointed out but I do agree that it is unusual for a soft nosed dog to bring hedgehogs home! If a past owner 'trained' your dog to do this then some questions might want to be asked.But, if the dog is doing her own thing then what a curious choice she's making.
I guess hedgehogs are slow and easily caught - but I wouldn't want my snozzle anywhere near those spines!
Like the humour! I am thinking as the other's have kindly said, instinct is the answer but it is strange she chose a hedgehog and his family it appears! All different sizes a few were huge. Felt like we were a opening a rescue centre. Cheers
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