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The dog that is Intentionally Displaced
Case Study... Rocky

Was Rocky really trained with boundaries in mind or... was Jill?

Jack Russel Terriers are escape artists... many of them eventually meet up with the dog catcher.

Rocky exhibited the following behaviour profile and characteristics:
  • Rocky was friendly and would readily go up to people
  • He loved a good adventure as was exhibited when he went to the dog park
  • He had never escaped before and was unfamiliar with his surrounding neighborhood
  • He approached the woman in need of help when he became hungry and thirsty

The most common incident of Intentional Displacement is the dog that is picked up by animal control.

When Jill returned home that first night and saw the gate swinging in the breeze, initially she was not as panicked. Rocky her adventurous Jack Russell terrier was trained to never go beyond the third house to the left and she felt sure his training had held.

Reality set in when she entered the front door and called out to the little adventurer and he did not come as he usually did. She was shocked and ran out the door to begin driving the neighborhood calling for him. She would later find out that a new meter reader had entered her yard and left the gate open... something she had never  thought of.  She took her own readings and sent them to the utility company herself. A new employee was not  in her realm of possibilities.

She also had wrongly assumed that Rocky was trained to not go beyond the the third house to the left when in fact she was trained... not Rocky. They had a gentleman's agreement so to speak that she would call him when he reached the third house and he would turn around and run back for affection  and treats in celebration. Without Jill  there to call him, he had eventually wandered away.

Rocky had been missing three day when we arrived. The dog team immediately tracked Rocky to the left as he had always went but then continued across the street and to the west. We followed the little terrier's scent up one street and down the other for two hours until Cade stopped dead in his tracks, lifted his head to test the air and turned abruptly North, running down the middle of the street. After about a ½ mile I pulled him up and told the pet owner that we should concentrate our efforts back were we had been tracking earlier... I did not know what Cade was doing but I felt sure the little dog had not run down the middle of the street or he would have been killed.

Meanwhile earlier that morning...
A woman had noticed a small terrier hanging around her house. She gave the little dog water and then decided it best to call animal control to come and pick him up. They came around 11:00 and put Rocky in the truck's cage compartment. They continued on their way and finished out there day before returning to the shelter. Later, when she went to the grocery store, the woman  saw our signs and called Jill to tell her what had transpired.

We would later discover that Cade had been tracking Rocky's scent as he was riding in the Animal Control truck's outdoor compartment with the ventilation vents wide open and Rocky's scent escaping creating a trail down the middle of every street he traveled. The dog team was less than a ¼ mile from the woman's house where Aninal Control had picked up the little dog and they had transported Rocky down the very street that Cade had run down the middle of... Lesson learned... always trust the nose of the tracking dogs!

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