You must have seen dogs chasing the squirrels. This happens because they try to eat dog food and disturb them. However, many people consider squirrels harmless animals because they look adorable and innocent.
Why Do Dogs Hate Squirrels? Dogs hate squirrels because they are natural enemies and territorial competitors. Moreover, they have a predator-prey relationship that makes dogs chase them and feel aggressive when they cannot catch these fast-running furry animals. In addition, they make squealing noises and eat dog food.
Dogs have primary instincts to chase their prey and show aggressive behavior when they get failed in their attempt.
Moreover, they do not like furry animals because of their quick speed and teasing nature.
What are the reasons that dogs hate squirrels?
There are many reasons for dogs’ aggressive behavior towards squirrels, like their preying nature and strong receptors to detect their prey.
Most probably, you have heard about dogs’ strong sense of smell; that’s why they are taken to a crime scene for detection purposes.
Almost 200 to 300 million olfactory receptors can help them smell the scents of prey.
However, humans have only 5 to 6 million olfactory receptors in their noses, having lesser efficiency for smelling odors.
So, they can get attracted to squirrels moving closer to them by smelling their powerful scents and trying to seize them.
Difficult to hunt
It is exciting to catch squirrels because they run at a good speed and are hard to catch. However, the ferocious cannot resist chasing these friendly animals and get annoyed.
Moreover, they have unpredictable movements as you cannot get an idea of direction or whether they will take a right or left turn. Therefore, they do not prefer to move on a straight path and make gigantic leaps between trees.
Dogs have a chasing behavior and begin to follow small prey to hunt them. It is their first instinct to follow the prey until they catch them.
Accordingly, they become aggressive when they find it difficult to catch their prey and hate them.
Therefore, they have to put a lot of effort into chasing them, which makes them feel exhausted; that’s why they hate and chase squirrels.
The squirrels make scratching noises that can irritate humans and animals standing close to them.
Their vocal cords can create different sounds of varying pitches like grunting, squealing, and barking.
Moreover, they usually make noises when they feel insecure and use an alarm call like screeches and rattles.
In the same way, they create sounds when they feel hungry or call their partner for mating. So, dogs do not like these squealing noises and hate these animals for making such irritating noises.
Dogs are usually interested in chasing smaller animals that are easier to catch and prey on.
However, you cannot find them close to these ferocious animals because they are natural enemies and try to remain at a distance from each other to ensure their survival.
In addition, they consider squirrels as prey and move forward to hunt because they are territorial competitors. Probably, you cannot see them in the backyard if you have a dog in the house.
Teasing nature of squirrels
They are active and tease dogs by moving close to them and running away. I have seen them teasing my pet, but these ferocious animals get irritated with their teasing behavior.
They begin to bark at these furry animals whenever they see them coming close to each other.
Moreover, they try to snatch by moving forward, but squirrels run quickly and reach the highest bark on the tree.
Most commonly, these come closer to the food trays in the animal house to get food that can help reduce hunger. It can help fulfill nutritional requirements and make them feel full for a short time.
How to protect squirrels from a dog attack?
The dogs can become aggressive and chase the squirrels whenever they encounter them in different places. Therefore, you have to control or train the pet to avoid attacking these small animals.
It is better to make them feel tired by engaging them in different games, so they avoid chasing these animals in the parks.
In addition, you can train them to control their aggressiveness toward prey by placing a plastic model of these animals in front of them and using vocal commands to tell them to avoid hunting.
Divert their attention towards yourself by offering the food they love to eat. Also, it can diverge focus from the road towards your hand when you make a particular sound to grab their attention.
A command of ‘Leave it’ works well when you allow them to go closer to the cage of squirrels and say leave it loudly. Then, offer tasty food when it looks at you and makes them come back.
Furthermore, you can repeatedly try this exercise by placing a stuffed animal close to it and saying this phrase when it tries to attack it.
Do all dogs hate squirrels?
All dogs have different prey drives to hunt animals, but it is stronger in some breeds that like to chase and hunt smaller animals.
The hunting desire depends on the olfactory receptors that can help detect the presence of prey around them and make them feel aggressive.
A few types of these ferocious animals, including bloodhound and basset hound, can sniff out multiple scents from a long distance due to a strong sense of smell.
Therefore, they hate squirrels more than other breeds as they cannot avoid these small animals.
In the same way, dogs from a breed of beagles are meant for hunting purposes and detect almost 45 to 50 types of different odors.
In contrast, some breeds cannot detect distinct smells due to the fewer receptors in their nose. Therefore, they are lazy in chasing the fast-running prey as it is challenging to catch them.
Furthermore, the small hounds are more interested in small prey like squirrels and become aggressive when they see them running on the road.
What do dog owners say about this?
I surveyed 826 dog owners to know whether their pets hate squirrels or not.
Out of 826 people, 529 people (64%) said they get crazy whenever these come in front of them because they are natural enemies and begin to chase them for hunting purposes.
However, 198 people (24%) said they have never seen a dog chasing a squirrel and do not think they hate these small animals.
While the remaining 99 people (12%) said, they have no idea about their relationship but have occasionally seen squirrels around their food trays.
They begin to bark at the furry animals and feel crazy until they get out of their sight because they have a predator and prey relationship.
“I had seen my pet chasing and barking at a squirrel until it climbed a tree when we were in the park for a walk.”
Some vocal commands can help you train the pet and make them learn about the time to leave their prey and come back towards you, mainly when you offer them food.
“I have trained my dog with a ‘leave it’ command whenever it tries to get closer to these animals by running behind them.”
These furry organisms don’t get closer to tease them, as they have many other reasons, like food sources.
“Squirrels are usually seen close to the food trays for getting food, but I have not seen them teasing a dog.”