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Authors

  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.
  • Karen London, Ph.D.
    London is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Pet Dog Trainer who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in the domestic dog.

« A Troubleshooting Model for Your Rescued Dog | Main | Puppy Mouthing and How To Stop It »

December 01, 2009

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Well whether she was psychic or not she surely saved you from being robbed. A great pet to have indeed.

Melissa the Orlando Psychic

Dogs have uncanny abilities that cannot be explained. thank you for sharing this wonderful story

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This is very interesting and moral story because an animal has saved human life but now humans are not even ready to save other human life. people should learn from this story. Thanks for sharing this story and keep sharing such inspiring stories in future!

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This is the reason people call dogs men's best friend

Harry Steinman

This story reminds me my favorite feature in the old "Boys Life" magazine, a publication for cub scouts and boy scouts. Every month the inside back cover featured, "True Stories of Scouts in Action" with heroic tales of boy scout bravery.

I can share a True Story of Dogs in Action. A few weeks ago, the family celebrated Thanksgiving at my daughter's house. Among the guests were my dog, Zippy, a two-year old, 27-pound, mixed breed (looks like a Lancashire Heeler...or a cross between a Chihuahua and a Husky). Also in attendance: Our son's dog, Bella, a 65-lb. hyper-exuberant golden lab...and our granddaughter, 19-months old and all of 20 pounds...maybe.

In the afternoon I was in the back yard with Bella to try to work with her with a clicker and hand-targeting. Give her a useful outlet. One of the guests came outside with the little girl. Bella the hyper-lab came bounding over to the little girl and knocked her flat on her back. The person who was accompanying the little girl lifted her back to her feet and the dog wheeled around and knocked her over again.

I was about 40 feet away and tried first to tell the adult to pick up the little girl as I tried to distract the dog. Then the little girl began crying and running back to the house.

Now I was worried. In some dogs, the combination of a small creature, unsteady gait and high-pitched distress sounds can trigger prey-drive behavior. And Bella wheeled around and charged the little girl. I was definitely concerned.

Suddenly, there was a flash of brown and a 27-pound, fur-tipped artillery shell named Zippy streaked across the yard and plowed into Bella's ribs and knocked the much bigger dog over. He then stood over her and every time she tried to move, Zippy grabbed one of her ears and tugged it very hard until she lay still. Zippy to the rescue!

I asked the adult to pick up the toddler and bring her into the house.

Was Zippy being a hero? To me he was! A behavioralist might disagree and simply point to the distressed people and say that he was simply responding to all of the commotion--look no further than classical conditioning theory to explain his behavior. Certainly the Zipster was hyped-up: His pupils were the size of pie-plates; he exhibited enough piloerection (hair standing on end) to embarrass a porcupine; his commisure was pulled far forward, almost to an agonistic pucker.

So, was this mere instinctive, biological-driven behavior? Or something more valiant?

Whatever your explanation, Zippy prevented the golden lab from possibly injuring the little girl. I do believe that the dog merely wanted to play...in the worst way. Zippy exercised exquisite bite control as he held Bella's ear firmly, if not painfully, without breaking the skin. When the little girl was safely inside, Zippy eased off...but maybe that was just everyone else calming down.

This is my accounting of, "True Stories of Dogs in Action". As a reward, Zippy got to chase a ball, got a belly-rub and meat!

Natalie

awesome story!! so glad the elderly couple were okay. smart of you to listen to your dog instead of writing it off like a lot of people do. :o)

Kate

Poor couple...At least that guy was caught! And thank heavens that Nenkin was there to save you and your family from danger...Dogs have really amazing abilities and they are truly dependable!!!

Cheers to Nenkin! :)

Samantha James

Oh my gosh. What a crazy story! Im really glad that guy got caught and I feel so bad for the couple because they just thought that this guy was in distress! I think dogs do have a sense of danger and I'm really glad that she saved the day!

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