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April 29, 2012 12:54 PM   Subscribe

A dog stalks a wolf decoy on a golf course very ....very ...very slowly
posted by The Whelk (62 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
20 Feet: "What is that......something....."

10 Feet: "Ok.....stay cool man....it's not moving......you got this......"

5 Feet: "Closer.....you're almost there.....just stay quiet.....you got this....."

2 Feet: "What the......"

1 Feet: "....fuck!? Are you kidding me!?

"BALL!!!!!! I GOT THE BALL, I GOT IT, I GOT IT!!!!"
posted by Fizz at 12:59 PM on April 29, 2012 [42 favorites]


[start] Don't get in the dog's line of sight, let this play out.

[camera moves toward dog] No ...

[camera circles around for a head-on view] NO!!!!!
posted by user92371 at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


"This is real time, not slowed down." --- more's the pity.
posted by crunchland at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2012


I kept thinking how irritated the puppy must be, that his person is screwing up his careful stalk by tromping around. And then getting into the eyeline of the prey!

And the concluding YAY I HAS THE BALL was so adorable.

It's a shame that Vizslas are both insanely high-energy and also very people-centered, because they're gorgeous animals. But I don't particularly want a dog that cannot entertain itself without being glued to my leg and who has higher exercise demands than almost any other breed I can think of.
posted by winna at 1:11 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The video is great, but the tag andtheneveryoneishappy made me laugh out loud.
posted by Argyle at 1:11 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't golf, so I wonder: are dogs normally allowed on courses? Or does it depend on the course, whether public or private? Or is it like everything else and some people are just assholes and bring their dog along anyways?
posted by Fizz at 1:13 PM on April 29, 2012


Or was that just a driving range? Are they allowed there? That would seem like a bad idea.
posted by Fizz at 1:14 PM on April 29, 2012


If this had been my dog, he'd have rolled over and submitted from about 2 feet away.

Just to get it over with.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's a shame that Vizslas are both insanely high-energy and also very people-centered, because they're gorgeous animals. But I don't particularly want a dog that cannot entertain itself without being glued to my leg and who has higher exercise demands than almost any other breed I can think of.

It's what makes them such awesome hiking and camping companions, though. My vizsla can hike for hours in the hottest conditions, and just never tires out. He never strays too far, as some other dogs are wont to, so it's easy to keep track of him. Then at night, he curls up at the bottom of the sleeping bag and keeps my feet warm. Best dog ever.

As for the stalking thing - if I sit on the floor with a pizza or something to watch some TV, he'll lay down a respectful 10 or 12 feet away as I eat. Every time after several minutes, I will turn to find his nose resting next to the plate and a "You gonna eat all that?" look on his face. It's so adorable, you can't stand it.

No wonder his parents gave him up for adoption.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:28 PM on April 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


For some reason this reminds me of the Clouseau and Cato fights from the Pink Panther movies. I was just waiting for the dog to dish out one of those stereotypical judo chops to the neck only to realize that it's a cardboard cutout he's fighting.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:31 PM on April 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Man, it felt like that cameraperson had freaking Parkinson's. Blech, kinda nauseating.

Agreed with the comments that screwing up the stalk like that was completely uncool. Now we don't know what he would have done if he'd "successfully" closed the gap.

Not just shakycam, but dumbfuck shakycam. Argh!
posted by Malor at 1:36 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, it felt like that cameraperson had freaking Parkinson's. Blech, kinda nauseating.

Maybe they do? Maybe they have another disability. Sorry that it bothered you enough to comment about it.
posted by futz at 1:39 PM on April 29, 2012 [19 favorites]


Don't dogs also slow-stalk as part of a play ritual? Maybe this dog never meant to actually attack the "wolf" and was hoping for something, someone, ANYTHING to play with.
posted by maudlin at 1:47 PM on April 29, 2012


A wolf decoy? To attract other wolves to play golf? To keep golfers off the course?
posted by HuronBob at 1:49 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's what makes them such awesome hiking and camping companions, though.

Yeah, I have a friend who has one, and they're wonderful puppies. But for my lifestyle I need a dog who thinks that a daily walk total of five or so miles is an adequate journey. A doggy that can work all day and party all night is a doggy that would be most vexed with my energy level. Vizslas are charming dogs if you have the energy level to match their own.
posted by winna at 1:51 PM on April 29, 2012


Wolf and more commonly fox and coyote decoys are planted to deter geese. I sorta doubt it works very well though.
posted by jamaro at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2012


A wolf decoy? To attract other wolves to play golf? To keep golfers off the course?

Probably to keep geese away.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2012


Or, uh, what jamaro said.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:58 PM on April 29, 2012


The guy with the camera should have waited until the dog was about a foot from the decoy... and then yelled WOOF as loud as he could.
posted by Splunge at 2:00 PM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


My cat does this sometimes, with whatever prey (trash) we have lying around. It's hilarious and it's very hard to keep from laughing - and if you laugh the cat gives you a resentful look like "hush you imbecile!"

I love the precision of the foot placements.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:07 PM on April 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


I thought the vizla looked astonishingly cat-like until right before the happydogdance began. That's the part where a cat would look disgusted and quickly settle in to an extended grooming session to prove to all onlookers that she knew it was nothing all along.
posted by jamaro at 2:15 PM on April 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


Don't dogs also slow-stalk as part of a play ritual yt ? Maybe this dog never meant to actually attack the "wolf" and was hoping for something, someone, ANYTHING to play with.

In the pointing breeds (GSP, Viszla, Weimaraner, etc.), the slow stalk instinct has been bred for. In fact, one of the things they are trained to do is to resist the urge to creep in, and stand steady on point.

Some dogs are trained to point the prey and flush it; others are merely to point and wait for the human to flush it. There are several schools on how the hunt should evolve.

However, I think part of what we are seeing here is (to some extent) neophobia. The wolf decoy is a novel and unexpected thing and the Viszla in particular is an anxious and attentive dog. I see my Viszla do this routinely when there is something new in the yard.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hehe, Splunge I did that to my cat who was stalking a belt (ie; snake ) that I had in my currently-being-packed suitcase. After watching kitty do the slow-my for a good five minutes I just yelped something loud, cat jumped so high he almost hit the ceiling.
posted by dabitch at 2:27 PM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Geese...! They think that Styrofoam phony canine is going to keep the geese way??
Braaaaaaaahahahahahha...

When the Husky stalks geese at the park, the geese just look at it with a "yeah, right, try it buddy" look.
posted by HuronBob at 2:46 PM on April 29, 2012


He learned from the best.
posted by Alnedra at 3:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The guy with the camera should have waited until the dog was about a foot from the decoy... and then yelled WOOF as loud as he could.

Or just farted loudly. And then both would have been attacked by a direwolf.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:17 PM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


My goof-ass Boxer had a similar experience, a long time ago. I'd taken her to a pet store, and as one does, we were looking around, examining the toys and tools on offer, when suddenly. She saw it.

It was dangerous and bad. Evil evil evil. It was perched atop a stack of giant sacks of dog kibble. Crouched. Waiting. Endlessly patient in its desire for delicious human flesh.

It was a plush wolf toy, about the size of a Beagle, and my dog just would not be having with the look in its eyes. She firmly put herself between it and me, kicked her hindfeet like a bull, raised her hackles, arranged her face-wrinkles in their most intimidating configuration, and gave the stuffie a growl that said I AM ONTO YOU, MISTER, AND IF YOU TRY SOMETHING YOU WILL REGRET IT. NO? I DON'T SEE ANYBODY ELSE HERE YOU'RE LOOKING AT THAT WAY. OKAY. YOU WANNA GO?

Sadly, I broke the spell by cracking up. I tugged her away before she shredded the toy and started in on those sixty-pound bags of kibble it was sitting on.

My dog would like to point out that we have not had any trouble with stinkin' wolves since then. She sure told them.
posted by cmyk at 3:20 PM on April 29, 2012 [26 favorites]


I assumed the camera shake was from laughter, which is what I would have been doing too. Loved it.
posted by ambrosia at 3:22 PM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is exactly what my vizsla mix Dirtbike would do. The squirrels way up in the trees in my yard are always in her cross hairs. It's probably a good move on my part that I haven't taught her to climb ladders, and that she wasn't born with thumbs. we would all be in trouble...
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 3:25 PM on April 29, 2012


There's a local city that bought their very own herding dog to try to deter Canada geese from hanging around a park that featured a large shallow lake. The dog was a border collie named Luke Skywatcher who has long since retired but the local news reports back then occasionally showed him very energetically chasing these giant drifts of geese from one end of the park to the other. The geese would take wing, fly about 50 yards and settle back in and in his obsessive border collie way, Luke would tear after them over and over until the birds flew away from the park. The flock always returned within a few days so Luke had a lot of work for the several years he was a city employee. So yeah, I'm not sure how effective a plastic model would be to deter geese given that Luke couldn't permanently scare them off by barreling full tilt into their midst.

This product in particular makes me laugh because it looks like a cartoon of what a human thinks a big bad scary wolf looks like, rather than what wild geese have observed on their own.
posted by jamaro at 3:26 PM on April 29, 2012


Wilson would just bound up to this thing to say hi. This is what he did with a skunk in the backyard (and why it smelled like burning tires in the house for several days).

Two fake coyotes are used beside a school near my office in Illinois. They are placed in different spots each day, which I'm sure is totally helpful! I have seen a flock of geese in the field with them a couple times.
posted by Glinn at 3:26 PM on April 29, 2012


<terminator>Rasta the Vizsla...baby.</terminator>
posted by The Tensor at 3:32 PM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


A wolf decoy? To attract other wolves to play golf? To keep golfers off the course?

On courses where sand traps are no longer Xtreme enough, they are relying on wolf traps. Currently, there are not enough wolves around, so they have to rely on fake wolves. Frankly, the wolf trap is a silly idea.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I was in university I once saw a small cat, not much bigger than a kitten, sneak up on a seagull and jump on its back. The seagull took flight and got a couple of feet off the ground before the cat fell off and bolted, enough time for me to get excited by the prospect of watching the gull fly off into the distance with the cat still attached.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:01 PM on April 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


Now I know where Big Dog got it's moves. The music choice at the end was perfect though!
posted by Iteki at 4:57 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's something in my eye. Damn you, The Whelk.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:10 PM on April 29, 2012


Cmyk, I am in love with your dog. Also, I fast forwarded through the video but did enjoy the happy dance at the end. Man, I need to get a dog. Soon.
posted by bquarters at 5:12 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Near my home is a pair of statues of panthers, elevated on tall pedestals. My dog usually pays more attention to the ground, but once he happened to look up and see a big cat in the sky. He immediately started growling and kicking the dirt. And then he forgot all about the sky cats and has ignored them daily for years.
posted by moonmilk at 5:22 PM on April 29, 2012


I have a husky that will take 20 minutes of slow-motion to stalk a gopher or rabbit, only to have it run away in the end.

My malamute, Bob, however, had the slow stalk plus the kill at the end. He killed gophers, rabbits, feral cats, turtles (underwater), squirrels, woodchucks; some of them when he was tied out on a 20 foot chain. Several times he would disappear on a walk, only to return muddy as hell, with a wild duck in his mouth.

Malamutes are the king of bad-ass dogs.
posted by ITravelMontana at 5:28 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Near my home is a pair of statues of panthers, elevated on tall pedestals. My dog usually pays more attention to the ground, but once he happened to look up and see a big cat in the sky.

Reminds me of Simple Dog's big adventure.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:36 PM on April 29, 2012


I was hoping the dog would hump the statue.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:41 PM on April 29, 2012


Payoff was MUCH better than I was expecting. (and I was expecting a pretty amusing payoff)
posted by ShutterBun at 6:53 PM on April 29, 2012


Doesn't the dog smell that the thing is plastic? Or is this just the way this breed deals with something unusual and possibly threatening?
posted by jrochest at 8:08 PM on April 29, 2012


jamaro, that wolf is in a stalking position and ready to leap. it's exactly what the geese should fear.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 8:15 PM on April 29, 2012


I don't agree that's what a live coyote in a stalking position looks like, it's a caricature of a stalking coyote, which repeats the errors of its model, this taxidermied specimen. Both oddly confuse submissive and defensive body posture for stalking. This is what an about-to-leap coyote looks like, note that the ears are facing forward toward the prey, the body posture is low and poised forward rather than hunched back in defense, the mouth is not agape in a prey-alerting snarl and the tail is out and straight behind for balance, not curled under the belly.

In any case, geese seem...unimpressed.
posted by jamaro at 8:42 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Doesn't the dog smell that the thing is plastic? Or is this just the way this breed deals with something unusual and possibly threatening?

If it's never smelled a wolf or coyote before, it wouldn't know they don't smell like plastic.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:50 PM on April 29, 2012


When I was in university I once saw a small cat, not much bigger than a kitten, sneak up on a seagull and jump on its back.

My parents' youngest cat (unfortunately died after being hit by a car not long after) once did the same, managing to get her jaws around the seagull's feet, who promptly took off, but the cat was slightly to heavy, so there was this flap flap *thump* flap flap *thump* for a couple of metres until the cat finally got bored and dropped off.

She was an aggressive fscker.

Incredibly funny to see.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:12 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it's never smelled a wolf or coyote before, it wouldn't know they don't smell like plastic.

Okay, but if it hasn't ever seen a wolf or coyote before, how would it know what it was? And conversely, if you sprayed wolf scent around, a dog would probably react to it. I don't get this about animals. How do they just know?
posted by double bubble at 5:17 AM on April 30, 2012


In any case, geese seem...unimpressed.

To be fair, that particular coyote looks like it escaped from a discarded Big Daddy Roth drawing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:23 AM on April 30, 2012


Hehe, Splunge I did that to my cat who was stalking a belt (ie; snake ) that I had in my currently-being-packed suitcase. After watching kitty do the slow-my for a good five minutes I just yelped something loud, cat jumped so high he almost hit the ceiling.

What a mean and insensitive thing to do to your cat! That's not funny, it's cruel!

posted by crazy_yeti at 6:25 AM on April 30, 2012


Things that have caused my Dexter to go into protect/attack preparation mode:

A $10 scarecrow from Joann's Fabrics.
A 12"-high cast metal goblin head.
A Father Christmas tree-topper, the morning after he saw me put it up there.

Come to think of it, coats on chairs, cardboard cutouts, and passing shadows have done the same to me, albeit for more like a second than 6 minutes. But, then, I don't have 100,000 years of breeding to prime me for the job.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:29 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, but if it hasn't ever seen a wolf or coyote before, how would it know what it was? And conversely, if you sprayed wolf scent around, a dog would probably react to it. I don't get this about animals. How do they just know?

double bubble, in the case of wolves & coyotes, they're first cousins (gray wolves are even the same species as dogs). They instinctively know the scent of their own, and/or recognize it from litter/family/friends.

I'm guessing the dog kept thinking, "No dog scent yet - weird. Maybe the wind isn't right...?", instead of thinking, "Gee, why does this coyote smell like plastic?".
posted by IAmBroom at 7:33 AM on April 30, 2012


Okay, but if it hasn't ever seen a wolf or coyote before, how would it know what it was?

Hardwired instinct. If somebody scratches their nails across a chalkboard we shiver, because we still retain an instinctive reaction to an ancient predator that made a similar noise. Inside our brains there's actually some kind of physical structure that encodes a "memory" of the predator's cry. It's the same for the dog, more or less. It's wired to recognize other canids on sight, and then react appropriately depending on the situation.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:35 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd guess it's like the Uncanny Valley, for dogs, when seeing/scenting a wolf or coyote. It's almost a dog, but just different enough to set off that threat-detector we humans have been breeding into the dogs since we were all living in caves together. It's a big mess of instincts and sensory input all pinging off each other and triggering the Predator Danger Alert.

The problem, for dogs, is that we've since added a bunch of unnecessary civilization junk, so occasionally the threat-detector gets tripped by decoys or stuffed animals or garbage cans or statues or scarecrows.
posted by cmyk at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2012


Statues can totally trip a dog's wires. It looks like a person but not moving or smelling but looks like person DANGER GOTO: BARKBARKBARKBARKPANICBARK
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on April 30, 2012


This is what my dog tries to do when he meets new dogs (or would do, before he got older and cranky), and we delighted in mocking his stalk, as the other dog could clearly see him and was quite confused at his actions. He also tried it on a horse once, but the seemed to realize that it wasn't just a bit dog a ways away, but a REALLY BIG "dog" really far away. At which point he thought better of his plan.
posted by katers890 at 10:41 AM on April 30, 2012


I wonder how a dog knows to do this? Are they trained or is it natural?
posted by usermac at 11:22 AM on April 30, 2012


I wonder how a dog knows to do this?

It's a little of both, what's on display when you look at a hunting dog pointing or retrieving, a herding dog herding, a racing dog chasing down a mechanical rabbit or a shepherd or mastiff breed protecting its owner is the outcome of hundreds of years of selective breeding which capitalizes upon natural canine behavior plus training which links those behaviors to the dog's handler's commands.

To pick one: all wild canines stalk, as predators it's an innate behavior. In domesticated dogs, as mentioned above by Pogo_Fuzzybutt, this behavior has been amplified in certain breeds such as pointers by many generations of selective breeding to pick the most "birdy" dogs, dogs which are particularly inclined to to creep up on their prey rather than chasing them down as well as being amenable to putting its responsiveness to human commands over what its instincts are telling it to do. In the case of that vizla, I don't know if it's been formally trained as a gun dog but I doubt it because an owner who used that dog for hunting would never allow it to creep all the way up on the target like that as the last thing a hunter wants to do is to break training and allow their dog to, in another setting, get in the line of fire of his or her shotgun.
posted by jamaro at 11:46 AM on April 30, 2012


Dog and statue.
posted by feste at 1:10 PM on April 30, 2012


Confused dog watches the family cat on YouTube, while the cat is in the room. You can practically see the gears turning in her head...

found via reddit.
posted by futz at 3:54 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


My dearly departed Rose, a Shar Pei/Lab mix I had for fourteen flummoxing years, had a particular hatred for the skyline of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the damnedest thing—she had her usual hatreds, like children, kazoos, and elderly white men between the ages of 71 and 82, but if she was in the back seat of the Citroën, relaxing and watching the world go by, and the skyline of the city of Charlotte had the absolute gall to rise up suddenly from behind the trees as you were making your way to Atlanta via I-85, she'd go into a genuine foamy-mouthed rage. We thought maybe it was a one-time thing, a moment of canine astonishment limited to a single episode, but each and every time that dog saw Charlotte, she'd leave the window flecked with a furious spray of spittle and look more like a raging wolf than a dog. She didn't have an opinion about, say, Columbia or Rocky Mount, but man, that Charlotte was her sworn urban enemy.

I miss her, and I bark at Charlotte in her place, though I don't get down there much anymore.

Of my new pack, my pocket beagle, Lou, is just a standard dog, albeit stubborn, dull-witted, and a bit of a napoleonic bully, but Daisy...well she's a learning experience. She's a Carolina Dog, a distinct North American breed with a fascinating history and lots of peculiar traits in common with dingoes and other primitive breeds. Weird little fixations, hilarious pouncy attacks on tufts of lint and suspicious dandelions, and an aversion to snuggly intimacy—hey, why are you doing that? What's your hand doing on my head? What's that for? You're a very strange person. Here, let me get you a toy. Toys are good. Touching me is weird. Why would you want to touch me like that? Wait, what is that shiny thing doing? I smell toast. Why are you near that shiny thing? That shiny thing is bad! I don't trust that shiny thing. Oh, you have toast? May I have some toast? Toast? Grrr, shiny thing. Toast!

Shiny thing.


Grrr.

posted by sonascope at 8:05 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I once had a cat that tried to stalk a small group of deer. He sloooowly got very close, then most of the deer took off. One was holding her ground, though, so I had to step in and rescue/frustrate the cat. He sure thought he was about to get some venison...
posted by maryrussell at 10:04 AM on May 1, 2012


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