A telling excerpt from Dogs Behaving Badly by Dr. Nicholas Dodman: My sister told me a story about her young German shepherd, who thrilled in chasing squirrels in her backyard. Fawn never actually caught the squirrels but would chase them up trees and off the property and then bark in lengthy exclamation. Both dog and owner were satisfied with this arrangement until one day a fleeing squirrel became entwined in the tennis net.
With the dog advancing from the south and the tennis net blocking the northern escape route, the squirrel was spinning its wheels in desperation. As Fawn loomed closer, the squirrel suddenly flopped down motionless, playing possum, so to speak. Fawn had never seen anything like this before and cocked her head in disbelief, creating an image of the RCA-parlaphone signature dog. My sister, an animal lover, saw the squirrel’s plight and called Fawn off in a stern tone. “Leave it, Fawn. Leave it alone!” A confused but well-trained Fawn obeyed by taking a pace back and in so doing taking her eyes off the squirrel for a split second. The squirrel, making its second error of the day, then leaped at Fawn, attaching itself firmly to her lip. Fawn howled in pain and ran around in circules attempting to detach the half-crazed rodent. She was eventually successful in this quest and, having shaken it loose, now knew exactly what to do. In fell swoop, she snapped its neck with her powerful jaws. Game, set, and match to the dog. That squirrel will not be passing on its genes to the next generation.