Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dogs, Porcupines, Wasps and Learning

After Cookie got stung by a bald-faced hornet, I was wondering whether she was able to learn anything from the encounter.

Could she have learned from something like that?


As a life's lesson it would have been perfect. Cookie only got stung once; normally the wasps fly out in troops attacking again and again. Getting just one sting was a miracle. The perfect scenario. But has she learned?

Did she even have time notice what happened?

It happened so fast. Has she seen what it was? Has she heard what it was? I couldn't see the nest myself, until I went back to investigate.

Reading all the stories about dog encounters with porcupines, the odds of a dog learning from such things seem low. At least they don't seem to ever learn when it comes to porcupines. Regardless of the painful result, they will try again and again.

However, it does appear that Cookie did learn from her experience with the hornet's nest.

When she sees a bee close buy, she'll jump of to a side, freeze and then walk away. The other day we were walking through some tall grass and Cookie was leading the way, while I was peering for dangers so hard my eyes almost fell out.

We got to a spot where she walked in a little bit and stopped. Then she back out and chose a different way. I didn't see any nests or hornets; perhaps it was just enough bees feasting on the last flowers of the season. Sometimes you can hear a loud buzz as they are all over clover flowers.

One way or another, Cookie found it suspicious and chose not to go there.

Good girly. Has she learned? Kind of looks like she did. I certainly hope so.

What about your dog? Have they learned from a painful encounter?

Related articles:
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet

2 comments

  1. That's great that it looks like she learned from it. I don't have any evidence that mine have, but you never know.

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    Replies
    1. Better no evidence they learned than evidence to the contrary :-) One can always hope.

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