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Old 08-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #1 
PiscisAmor
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Help with dog behavior?

I am putting this post out here because I know that most people on this forum love and know all animals, not just bettas. I really need help with this so I'm trying anywhere.

Last year when we were hand-rearing an orphan mouse, my chihuahua was very good with it, cleaning it, keeping it warm, making sure he didn't wander too far when we had him out.

This past week, we got a new hamster. She is just as interested in this new guy as she was with the mouse, and for the first few days showed no negative behavior towards him. However, this morning we had her and the hamster out on my bed, and she went up and put her mouth around him, gently, but he was in her mouth. We separated them, and later in the day we tried again, this time holding the hamster. She started to kind of mouth him, like dogs do when they're grooming and they kind of itch themselves by nibbling gently. She did that to the hamster.

Question is, is this loving motherly behavior, or more aggressive hunting behavior? She has no history of ANY aggression or chasing small animals, but this is a little worrisome.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #2 
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As cute and sweet as it may look.....a dog is a dog...even domesticated toy breed can still have strong instincts to kill and eat the rodent.....always supervise them and be ready to intervene....it only takes a second to break a neck.....
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #3 
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I'd never let a dog near a pocket pet... even a breed like a chi who aren't really known to have much prey drive.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:48 AM   #4 
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i wouldn't let either of the pets around the dog, honestly.

it could be more cautious behavior, as in, she's contemplating biting it harder, especially if she's never killed anything before. the first time most dogs kill something they're rather hesitant, just because they're curious of how far they can take it and don't really know until they find out.

also i reread your post and the "gentle mouthing" is definitely more of a negative behavior.

Last edited by hmckin20; 08-13-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #5 
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"Good behavior" on your dogs behalf would be if she didn't pay the hamster any attention... imo.

I worry that she may view the hamster as a toy, and could get too rough on accident. I would suggest keeping them apart and giving your pup a dog-friendly toy to play with instead. For both of their safety.
It sounds super cute, but I don't think I would be okay with myself if anything happened to either of them. :-/
But -- they are your pets and you should do what feels right for them.
Just putting in my two cents.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:39 PM   #6 
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Thanks guys. She's starting to ignore him. We only let her near him if we're holding him so only his head is showing and he can hide easily if he needs to or if he's in his ball.
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