Tom Hardy’s Dog Exhibits Predatory Behavior on the Red Carpet

by Patrick Mahaney on November 26, 2015

This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News  column on Pet360.com as Tom Hardy’s Dog Exhibits Predatory Behavior on the Red Carpet

tom-hardy-red-carpet.lgRecently, a bit of a scuffle broke out on the red carpet at a Hollywood movie premiere in London.

One doesn’t normally see dogs at movie premieres, but Tom Hardy’s dog, Woody, accompanied him and his wife, Charlotte Riley, to the London screening of his new movie Legend. According to the UK Daily Mail, there was a ruckus when Woody dashed across the carpet in pursuit of a pigeon. From the looks of the scene, the pigeon was able to avoid Woody’s enthusiastic capturing efforts.

I can’t locate an official social media feed for Hardy, but there’s an entire Instagram feed called TomHardyHolding Dogs devoted to Tom Hardy and dogs. On this page, there’s a lovely photo of Hardy, Riley, and calmly sitting Woody on a patch of green astroturf after entering the venue at the Legend premiere with the caption: “When you take your bae and side bae out but you don’t know which one’s which.”  By the way, for those of you who aren’t up on the latest slang, “bae” stands for “before anyone else” and implies one’s significant other.

Why Did Woody Behave in this Way?

Woody was just being a dog and acting instinctually. When faced with an intriguing creature like a pigeon, even an otherwise well-behaved dog like Woody can respond in a primordial manner. It’s hard to tell what would have happened should Woody have gotten his mouth on the pigeon, but I suspect Woody would have inflicted serious or fatal damage on the avian bystander.

The ASPCA describes this as predatory behavior in an article titled “Dogs Chasing Wildlife.” According to the article, predatory behavior in dogs is normal, however, unless a pet parent uses their dog to control pests, move livestock or act as a hunting companion, predatory behavior is usually undesirable.

I completely agree with this assessment, as since dogs are domesticated to be our companions we must train them to follow by our rules. Yet, some dogs aren’t willing to comply are just overcome by the urge to exhibit predatory behavior.

Can Predatory Behavior be Overcome?

Predatory behaviors can be dissuaded through consistent and appropriate training techniques. Doing so can be quite challenging. I recently cared for a client’s Golden Retriever puppy and found myself struggling with her drive to chase seagulls at the beach. I had to keep her on a leash the entire beach walk and strive to keep her interested in a squeaky toy or food treats instead of the bird. Drawing her attention away from the birds made for a bearable, yet less-than-pleasant walk. With repeat positive reinforcement, she gradually showed signs of being less interested in chasing birds.

The ASPCA article offers the following tips for curbing a dog’s predatory behavior:

- Keep your dog in a kennel or fenced-in yard

- Walk your dog in places and at times when prey animals aren’t likely to be present

- Teach your dog to come when called

- Work with a trainer to curb the behavior effectively and efficiently

Hopefully, Hardy is consistently working on training Woody to not react in a predatory way. Although it appears that all turned out just fine for the pigeon, a similar circumstance could be repeated with a variety of other potential prey that are appealing to Woody.

Has your pet ever exhibited predatory behavior? If so, were you able to reduce the prey drive? Feel free to share your story in the comments section.

Image of Tom Hardy and his wife, Charlotte Riley via Shutterstock

Thank you for reading this article.  Your constructive comments are welcome (although I may not respond).

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Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.
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