My Kelpie loves to play all sorts of chasing and hunting games. He regularly destroys fluffy toys (beach balls, basketballs, kongs etc) provided by well meaning people who don't realise how strong his teeth/jaws are.
With fluffy toys he regularly gives them what I call a "death shake", that is a very strong shake by whipping his head in a figure eight several times. I take this to be a hunting procedure designed to break the neck of small prey.
OTOH when he has caught a real small mammal (eg rodent, rabbit) he does not use this shake but just chews on them, in the case of rabbits I am not sure that he cares if they are dead but just starts eating from the head. (Before anybody accuses me of permitting unnecessary cruelty, the rabbit is going to die of this treatment much quicker than anything I can possibly do to get it off him and give it a quick release).
Any thoughts on why the difference in behaviour?
David
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With fluffy toys he regularly gives them what I call a "deathshake", that is a very strong shake by whipping his head in a figure eightseveral times. I take this to be a hunting procedure designed to break the neck ofsmall prey.>>>

My dog does this with his toys but he never hunts or chases rabbits or squirrels. He's a bit of a wimp. Don't they do this subdue the animal rather than kill it ?
OTOH when he has caught a real small mammal (eg rodent, rabbit) hedoes not use this shake but just chews ... this treatment much quicker than anything I canpossibly do to get it off him and give it a quick release).>>

You could train him not to chase and catch them:)
Any thoughts on why the difference in behaviour?>>.

I can't think of anything off hand but I'm sure someone else will:) Alison
My dog does this with his toys but he never hunts or chases rabbits or squirrels. He's a bit of a wimp. Don't they do this subdue the animal rather than kill it ?

shaking tends to subdue it alright permanently.

shelly
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or squirrels. He's a bit of a wimp. Don't they do this subdue the animal rather than kill it ?

shaking tends to subdue it alright permanently.>>.

LOL I thought they might shake it to subdue and then kill it. Alison
My dog does this with his toys but he never ... do this subdue the animal rather than kill it ?

shaking tends to subdue it alright permanently.

Sighthounds usually kill animals by shaking them to break the neck. I guess they don't like to leave marks or something.

Mustang Sally
shaking tends to subdue it alright permanently.

Sighthounds usually kill animals by shaking them to break the neck. I guess they don't like to leave marks or something. Mustang Sally

Pardon my ignorance but what is a sighthound? How do I know if I have one?

David
But then I would have to suppress the rabbits and he's much better at it than me! When you have good workers you have let them use their expertise. Where I live rabbits are not fluffy little bundles of cuteness they are an introduced pest that will ruin the environment given half a chance.

David
Sighthounds usually kill animals by shaking them to break the neck. I guess they don't like to leave marks or something. Mustang Sally

Pardon my ignorance but what is a sighthound? How do I know if I have one?

Sighthounds are the part of the hound group that hunt primiarily by sight (as opposed to scenthounds, like Bassets). The shake kill is part of their job, so has been bred for.
Dogs like Greyhounds, Whippets, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhounds, Saluki, Basenji are all sighthounds. Long-distance runners, with good eyesight, who see something and whoosh they're after it.

For some pics of differnt sighthounds: http://www.asfa.org /

It's worth mentioning that other dogs besides sighthounds also kill animals by shaking, so the toy-shaking thing is pretty common. Harlan does this, and although he tries to tell me he is a sighthound, he is LYING. Sure, he's fast and sight-oriented, but he looks mostly to be commposed herding breeds.
Sighthounds usually kill animals by shaking them to break the neck. I guess they don't like to leave marks or something. Mustang Sally

Pardon my ignorance but what is a sighthound? How do I know if I have one.

A sighthound is one of a group of dog breeds that use primarily their sight, rather than scent to hunt. The more well-known sighthounds are Greyhounds, Borzoi, Scottish Deerhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Salukis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Basenji, and Whippets, and there are a number of rarer breeds that I can't remember and/or can't spell. Many of these breeds are very lean and deep-chested and can run quite fast. The Greyhound, which is the fastest breed of dog, can hit about 42 -
45 mph, although it can't sustain that speed for long. Somesighthounds have a double-suspension gallop, which means that there are two points where all 4 feet are off the ground. The other hounds in the dog world are scenthounds, which use primarily their sense of smell to hunt. Included are Bloodhounds, coonhounds, Beagles, Bassets, Dachshunds, and many others.
If you have a sighthound, you'd probably know it. What kind of dog do you have?
Mustang Sally
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