At one point, the prairie dog that has grown to be more dominant than the rest, Scout, began lunging at Jen whenever she came near the cage. A couple of minutes would pass, and the lunging turned into unprovoked, angry chittering/clicking.

A couple of months have passed, and things remain the same. Needless to say, they’re a little skittsh of angry little animals to begin with, and this manages to keep them away from the cage, most of the time.

My advice? I don’t know. However, I -wouldn’t- exhibit fear towards them, or let them otherwise control you. Jen’s done her research, reportedly, and the most winning explanation, that she’s been able to find, is that it could be specific to how the dog is responding to an owner’s particular gender, as well as potentially depending on several different times of the year. She mentioned, in passing, that male dogs might become distempered in the later part of the year. Though, this last point doesn’t make sense to me as 1) females are in heat, and thus distempered, in the earlier part of the year, and 2) any sexual aggression coming from the male prairie dogs should probably align with the same season as the females.

My own experience hasn’t changed from anything not related to the evolving habits and personalities of the dogs. There were a couple of times that Scout tried to have the same type of aggressive behavior with me. When this happened, I took him out of the cage, firmly pinched and held the skin behind his neck (not so much that he would be in pain, but enough to both establish dominance and keep him from having the range to bite me), held him out from my face, locked eyes with him, spoke to him sternly, and then held him there for a few seconds so that he could think it over.

After the moment was over, I held him to my chest and just scratched his belly for a bit. Problem solved. Immediately. I’ll run through the same process whenever he starts snapping at the other dogs for an extended period of time. As a result, it doesn’t happen much.


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