In Australia, kangaroos can pose a threat to dogs, as one man and his dog experienced first hand over the weekend. The man and his blue Heeler, Rocky, were out for a walk when they surprised a kangaroo that the dog chased into a pond. The kangaroo then turned, caught the dog and held him underwater. Apparently, this is a known defense by kangaroos when being chased by dogs—lead them to water and then attempt to drown them. The man rescued his dog, knowing he could get hurt by the kangaroo, but not expecting to be attacked as severely as he was. Rocky was not far from succumbing to drowning when he was freed, and the man who saved him is in stable condition despite sustaining serious injuries.
This man was courageous in his efforts to save his dog and I admire that. I don’t mean to take away from what he did, but many people would have done the same or at least tried to. Have you ever had to risk your own safety for your dog? Would you?
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.