Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chihuahua Rescues Border Terrier From Cougar

The shame of it all as told by the Associated Press:

PHILOMATH, Ore. — A big cat picked the wrong little dogs for a fight.

Chiquita the Chihuahua chased off a cougar that had pinned Rosie the border terrier in this small Oregon town near the Oregon State University campus.

The dogs' owner, Loren Wingert, said Chiquita and Rosie are tough, but lucky.

The cougar pinned down Rosie, who squealed, but Chiquita persuaded the big cat to flee by barking ferociously.

Wingert lives in a cul-de-sac atop a hill that backs up to a wooded area with deer trails. Warning signs about cougars are posted on the trails.

Wingert said the dogs are fine.


smartdogs said...

Smart cougar. When considered on a pound for pound basis, Chihuahuas are the most vicious creatures on Earth.

retrieverman said...

This is a story about the purpose for barking in the natural world.

Barking is not exactly an alarm call.

Barking is a noise designed to tell the predator that he's been seen and that he's lost the element of surprise.

For some reason cats are very motor pattern dependent on whether they eat or not. In some species, like cheetahs, the cats will not eat prey they haven't chased down and killed. The barking most likely interrupted the cougar's predator motor patterns, and that caused the cougar to give up on his border terrier snack.

Historically, cougars feared dogs. So much so that I read one account of an old cougar hunter who said that a toy poodle could be trained to run cougars. Cougars were just that afraid of dogs. (Probably because wolves were the cougar's main competitor and occasional predator in the wild).

I've read accounts of a golden retriever running off a cougar.

But I also read another account of a Labrador that was taken from a bedroom by a cougar.

I wonder if things would have been different had the dog's owners had a dog more prone to bark than Labrador-- like a Chihuahua and a border terrier.