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Behavior Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 281 comments and questions on Behavior issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 15 letters




Want to bring 10 squirrels with us when we move Squirrels USA
Squirrels come to visit every day Squirrels USA
Are their two types of behavior: good and bad? Special Types Tanzania
Squirrel seen carrying another squirrel in its mouth Squirrels Canada
My dog rolls Dogs Roll USA
Wants video clips from TV show Candid Camera USA
Faimly of squirrels withough tails Squirrel Defenses USA
I think my daughter is mentally ill Special Types USA
Dog likes to roll in perfumed clothes Dogs Roll USA
Behaviour in observational studies Observations UK
Squirrel brought me an apple to eat Squirrels Canada
Upset that pet squirrel moved to neighbor's yard Squirrels USA
My dog rolls on cigarette butts Dogs Roll USA
Saw mother squirrel put her baby in her mouth Squirrel Defenses USA
My yorkiepoo loves to roll on vomit Dogs Roll Australia

Next 15 letters


First 15 letters


Want to bring 10 squirrels with us when we move

October 20, 2011


we have about 10-15 squirrels that are pets we rescued as babies from hurricane ike years ago. they live in the backyard as wild and free as they should ...but they are tame ,friendly and we know them by name as we give them fruits and nuts daily . here is my question...we are thinking about moving across town. but my husband will not move if we cant bring his squirrels with us... is it possible to move them with us ??? and if so any advice on how to ...

tawnee - USA (22103)


Squirrels get very friendly and set up a regular visiting schedule if they know you will feed them. I know that you can get attached to these little friends.

One problem you might have is catching the squirrels. Since they are outside, they are also somewhat independent with their own lives. They also probably have nests made in the nearby trees.

Another problem I see concerns the other squirrels who live in the new area. There may be some territorial fights when new squirrels are introduced.

But still, it may be possible if you bring some to the new place, release them and feed them right away, so they know where the food source is. You might be able to do it a little at a time.

Best wishes in deciding if to move your squirrels. Let me know how things work out.

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Squirrels come to visit every day

October 12, 2011


I have several trees in my backyard -- and a couple of squirrels seem to live in one and visit daily. I've left a few roasted peanuts for them on the fence. Sometimes at midday, both will come rushing along the backyard fence from neighbors' yards and rush up a tree.
At other times, one squirrel will be in yard when I come out to sit and it will bury nuts/seeds in the lawn. Then rush up a tree and rush down and turn flips in the air. Sometimes it rushes around the yard and then rushes up to within 3 feet of me and crouches. I can't tell if it's just playing, wants food or is about to attack? It doesn't seem afraid. If i make loud noise, if only backs off a few feet. Any advice would be helpful!

- USA (22066)


Squirrels tend to have regular routines. If you put out the peanuts at a given time, they will come at that time, expecting their treat.

Younger squirrels like to play by chasing each other up and down a tree and sometimes doing flips and such.

Blue Jays like to watch the squirrels bury their nuts and often go to dig them up right afterwards.

When the squirrels come up to you, it is probably checking to see if you have some more nuts to eat.

They are fun animals to watch.

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Special Types

Are their two types of behavior: good and bad?

September 20, 2011


How if we say there are two types of behaviour,which are
a.Proper or good behaviour.
b.Improper or bad behaviour.
I'm I correct?

Japhet - Tanzania (22001)


In general, behavior concerns how a person or animal responds to external stimuli and actions.

When you start to judge whether the behavior of a person is good or bad, you are talking about the person's character. See Succeed with Positive Character for more information.

Also note that there may be situations where the behavior is not really proper or improper.

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Squirrel seen carrying another squirrel in its mouth

September 14, 2011


my friend observed a squirrel carrying what appeared to be another squirrel,alive, in its mouth.the squirrel being carried was in a ball. we were wondering is this something they do with the injured, or the young to transport them? we found it rather odd but interesting as we had not seen this before. please advise, the curiosity is killing us! thanks!

suzanne - Canada (21987)


In the Spring, mother squirrels may carry your squirrels from one place to another. However, squirrels also can be cannibals. When a squirrel is carrying a full-sized squirrel, it is either injured or dead. Typically, the squirrel being carried will be eaten in some safe location.

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Dogs Roll

My dog rolls

April 23, 2011


i found your page very informative on this "rubbing" my hairless Chinese Crested dog loves to roll do on dried worms and bird poop. thank you for the info and end quiz.

may - USA (21505)


I'm glad that the material was useful to you.

It can be a nuisance, but dogs will be dogs.

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Candid Camera

Wants video clips from TV show

February 5, 2011


I am doing a presentation and I would like the clips that you talk about in your study. Can you send the clips to me?

Shalice - USA (21152)


Unfortunately, the material mentioned was from the old Candid Camera Show, done so long ago that it was in black and white.

You might be able to get the clips through the Candid Camera website.

Best wishes in your presentation.

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Squirrel Defenses

Faimly of squirrels withough tails

January 28, 2011


we recently moved to the country in bealeton, va and surprisingly have a family of squirrels with no tails that we feed daily. they get along with other squirrels but seem to get bullied a bit. I read somewhere this could be a genetic defect and/or ground water contamination (arsenic?) but I worry it's potentially from animal abuse (tail collectors). there are a couple of young ones, one very old one, a couple of adult male/females. they do not mingle with the other squirrels.

some have a little stub, some nothing at all. they seem to be more chatty too. the one old male has a skin problem of some sort but I think the sunflower seeds and almonds we feed them has helped it.

do you have any clue and/or referrals on this?

annie - USA (21102)


I know that some hunters collect squirrel tails after they kill the squirrel. It would seem too difficult to catch a squirrel to cut off its tail. Although I'm sure their are some nut-cases that might do such a thing.

Since it is the whole family, it probably is a genetic defect. Since they aren't as agile as the other squirrels, they probably are easier to pick on. Squirrels also communicate with their tails, so that may be another problem.

We had a squirrel at our feeder who had a stump tail. However, after about a month, he stopped coming. I assumed some animal killed him. Also, an older female with a skin ailment comes here to feed. Some of her past litters also come to feed.

Hopefully you tailless squirrels will be doing fine, since you are feeding them well.

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Special Types

I think my daughter is mentally ill

January 24, 2011


My Daughter, Leslie is i think mentally ill. She is always following squirrels around the park and is barking like dogs. No docter's have an answer to her mental problems. Please, PLEASE help me bring my daughter to be normal and social like everyone else at her school.

John - USA (21067)


It certainly depends on how old your daughter is. Some children are fascinated with animals and almost relate to them better than with other children. In fact, your daughter may not be mentally ill, but instead she has special skills.

The famous "dog whisperer" related to animals better than humans when he was a child. Now he is well-known for his ability to train animals.

Never think of your daughter as mentally ill. That is for someone who sees things that aren't there and such. Instead think of her as being special, and she should respond to your different attitude.

Best wishes for your daughter and her health.

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Dogs Roll

Dog likes to roll in perfumed clothes

October 9, 2010



I am doing some research on why dogs roll in smelly things, but my situation is a little different. Our Jack Russel Terrier mix likes to rolls in my daughters clothes that have perfume on them. We tested this theory by spraying perfume on the dogs bed...she obsessively rolled and rolled on her bed for quite a doesn't seem to matter what kind of perfume it is...Do you know why, because it isn't poop, urine or dead animal?

Kelly - USA (20509)


Well, you are lucky that your dog isn't rolling in real smelly stuff. Sometimes cats will roll on the ground around their house, eager to mark the ground as bearers or two get the smell of their property on them. This might be the same thought process of your Jack Russell. She may associate things in your house with the perfume and want to get the smell on her to indicate that a house is her place.

Sometimes dogs seem to like to roll in things that are just unusual and not something like poop. For example, our dog likes to rule on the white markings of a soccer field or football field.

Perhaps, the behavior is more complex than we understand.

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Behaviour in observational studies

October 5, 2010


how can you rate behaviour in observational studies? how can behaviour be sampled in observational studies? What are the advantages of choosing a participant observation design instead of a non-participant design? Thank you!

Jaya - UK (20487)


When you examine the behavior of individuals, animals or groups by observation, you can classify the different types of behaviors. Rating a behavior makes it a judgment, and being nonjudgmental is preferred.

Once you have a list of behavior traits, you can classify various traits you observe. You really need to have a sufficiently large sample to draw any statistical conclusions.

Advantages of participant observation are that the approach is close to everyday interaction, involving conversations to discover participants' interpretations of situations they are involved in.

Disadvantages of the participant observation design are seen at:

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Squirrel brought me an apple to eat

September 26, 2010


There's an apple tree on the mountain behind my work, I go there often and eat the apples. As such, one day I was having difficulty reaching the apples (I'd been picking all I could reach) and a squirrel brought one down to the ground and left it there. Then it ran back up to eat apples from above (they're messy eaters and bits of apple fall down when they're eating, then they discard the rest of the apple from the top of the tree).
I ate the apple it brought down, which I believe was for me. I'd never seen a squirrel do that in all the days I'd spend on my breaks eating the apples and watching the squirrels play.

I would like to know if you have any tips on communicating to the squirrels to bring me apples in the future, as I don't know what it is I did to entice it to bring down an apple and place it on the ground, unbitten. I was shaking the tree, and pulling the branches down trying to get at it, I was throwing downed half-eaten apples up into the tree in an attempt to knock a fresh one down... I don't know.

They climb up so easily, how can I train one, or get one to know that I'd like one, so it can bring one down for me in the future?

p.s. This is a serious inquiry. I'm not finding help anywhere online on getting along with squirrels, only how to get rid of them. Think outside the box, they could be very useful if we stop looking at them as pests!

Michelle - Canada (20439)


Squirrels are very intelligent and clever. It is difficult to tell if the squirrel was actually trying to help you get an apple or just happened to leave one near you. They don't normally help out other squirrels, although they will bring food to their mate or to their babies. Perhaps this squirrel felt a kinship to you.

Two particular squirrels there my whole will run to the patio door when they see become whole, seeking a handout of some peanuts or such. They recognize me, but it isn't anything where I am communicating with them.

Some people have trained nearby squirrels to come when the click acorns together, but again it is a case of reacting to potential food. I don't think it would be easy to get them to bring food to you.

I guess if you had a pet squirrel that you have at home, you might be able to train it to get apples for you. However, it might take some time to really train it to perform such a task.

It is a shame that some people consider squirrels as pests. They are good animals and enjoyable to watch and interact with.

Even if you can't get them to bring you apples, enjoy them as your little friends.

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Upset that pet squirrel moved to neighbor's yard

August 9, 2010


We have a squirrel we raised from a baby here in SW Colorado and we released her out behind our house and she visits us everyday plus to feed on nuts and whatever other treats we have for her. She had built a nice nest back behind our house and used it for about 3-4 weeks but now we have noticed that she has another bigger one back behind our neighbors property. My question is this: What would cause her to leave her nest she built in a tree in our backyard and build another in a tree in our neighbors? We watched her spend a lot of time on the nest in our yard, even giving her pieces of rope which she stuffed in her mouth and carried up to her nest. When she was weaned off the milk and started eating solids we bought a squirrel house for her which she started in for about 2 weeks and then built her own nest in a tree 40' high in our yard, but now we don't understand why she abandoned this home and built another up in a tree in our neighbors yard. What could be the reasons behind this?

Rick - USA (20209)


Although it is a joy to be able to watch your squirrel and to have her live in the tree in your yard, it is sort of like when children grow up and leave home to go on their own.

A probable reason your squirrel moved to the other tree is that it she wanted her own, natural nest that may seem safer to her. Perhaps she just wanted more independence.

The big thing is that she still can come back to visit and get snacks from you. Who knows, she may decide to go back to the old nest or use it as a storage bin.

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Dogs Roll

My dog rolls on cigarette butts

June 13, 2010


How come my dog rolls on cigarette butts. He does not eat them.

Susan - USA (19898)


It is unusual for a dog to roll in cigarette butts, because most do not like the smell. However, some even eat them, and that can get them sick.

Dogs do strange things, and I guess your dog must like to have this particular smell on his back. You just need to keep an eye out for the butts and pull him away when he tries to roll.

Scold only when you catch him rolling. Five minutes later is too long for him to make the association.

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Squirrel Defenses

Saw mother squirrel put her baby in her mouth

April 21, 2010


I just saw a nest of squirrels get attacked by a cat and to save one of her babies she put it in her mouth and ran to a nearby tree an started making a noise like a duck. Then we saw a dead baby on the ground one frozen in shock in a tree and on on a wall we threw rocks near the cat to scare it of when it went after on and it worked.My question is do mother squirrels normally put their babies in their mouth like nuts?

- USA (19574)


It is too bad about those poor baby squirrels.

Yes, mother squirrels will sometimes put a baby squirrel in her mouth to carry and protect it.

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Dogs Roll

My yorkiepoo loves to roll on vomit

January 2, 2010


My yorkiepoo (2yrs old) loves to roll on vomit, rotting lizards and other disgusting things.I go nuts at her by shouting and taking her back to the smell and leting her know.
Today she rolled on a dead lizard(skink). She stinks so bad I washed her 5 times and she pongs!!!!!!!!!! 5 different shampoos.

Do you have any tips on stoping her from doing this and how to get rid of these smells.
Any help would be good. Thankyou.

Peter - Australia (18955)


what you really need to do is to catch your dog in the act of rolling into something smelly and then make the experience unpleasant for her, such as squirting her with a squirt gun. Often scolding her and taking her back to the smelly stuff is too late, and she may not make the association that what she did was bad.

There is a solution called citronella that has a smell that dogs don't like, so that would be something to squirt her with immediately when you catch your rolling in something smelly.

You could set things up by placing a dead lizard nearby and waiting for her to roll in it. Then quickly give her a squirt.

But also, if she just smells it and walks away, you can give her some praise.

Since dogs seem to love to roll in smelly stuff, because it is somewhat in their nature, it is a difficult behavior to correct, so you need a lot of patience.

Best wishes on stopping her from doing this.

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