Training Dogs to Assist on Squirrel Patrol

by Margaret Mariam
(Jamaica Plain, MA, USA)

I attached loud chimes to a pole that holds two sunflower seed feeders. The weight of birds landing on the feeders does not ring the chimes; but the weight of squirrels does! I practiced deliberately ringing the chimes in the backyard and calling my dogs at the same time. They got a treat every time they came to the sound. Now, they automatically race to the feeders every time they hear the metal chimes striking the pole. Thereby giving our squirrels a chance for good cardio-vascular exercise, while they race up the trees, to escape.

I don't dislike squirrels and they CAN safely/quietly eat seed that falls on the ground. In fact, the squirrels and pigeons do a good job of cleaning the space below the feeders - discouraging their urban cousins (rats/mice) from dining here after dark.

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