Does our new little Childrens python think the dog is food?

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toddjconklin

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Hey all,

New keeper here, had our little Childrens for about a month now. He's a champion eater - maybe a little too good which I'll post separately when I've collected more info, but I had an interesting incident yesterday, when our dog (a medium Groodle) discovered the snake for the first time.

Before we got him, I did heaps of research, which essentially said dogs and snakes are not a problem. There are a bunch of very rare, sensational headlines about a large Diamond swallowing someone's little Terrier or Chihuahua, which if I was the snake I probably would too just to shut them up. But in each of these cases the snake massively outweighed the dog. Otherwise, google only comes up with two supposed outcomes, which I mostly found on the Ball Python forums (like here or here or here):
1. The snake will not register the dog's smell as food as it's not in their food chain, so will not have an impact.
2. The snake may act defensively around the dog as the dog would be perceived as a predator (which is probably a safe assumption on the snake's part)

So you can imagine my surprise when our new little 70g Childrens appears to be sizing up our 25kg dog! Talk about a death wish - if it wasn't for the glass, he wouldn't have even had time to strike before he became the dog's newest chew toy.

I took a video and wanted to get some thoughts. Check it out:


So... yeah. I guess I would like people's thoughts on the python's behaviour. Is he just real curious, or am I right in thinking the python is looking at my dog as food? And if so, surely wanting to eat something that is like 20 times it's size is not normal? And what does this means in the way we handle him? I always have fresh clothes and washed hands when we pick him up, but if the dogs scent triggers a feeding response we have problems, because the dog's smell is everywhere in the house and is unavoidable. He'll pretty much always be in feeding mode if that's the case.

Thanks
 

Herpetology

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why would a snake the width of a pencil think a dog 1000x bigger than it is food?
behaviour suggests he is trying to find a way out, you would do well to put a lock on the glass with a dog like that pushing on it
 
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toddjconklin

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Mate that snake is more likely to hide from that dog than eat it.
Thanks for the response. Yeah that's what I thought before I caught this interaction, but the snake wasn't just randomly cruising the front of the tank. He first discovered the dog through the top of the tank, and came down quickly to the front when our dog lay down in front. He was definitely pursuing the dog - no question. I am just not sure if it was just curiosity, or maybe thought perhaps the dog could provide food (like a keeper), or.. that the dog was food.
 

Vixen.

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Snake has 0 interest in dog. Just doing snake thing of looking for way out, can see dog is outside, trying to work out glass and how to get outside simple as that. Have a 45kg German Shepherd and a yearling childreni, snake couldn't care less about dog, dog couldn't care less about snake, both have smelt each other extensively while watching tv all together. Would recommend lock because dog is going to accidentally push that glass open one day and you'll lose your snake somewhere in your house or your dog will kill it.
 

Dustproof

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I have cats and they have an interesting relationship with my Murray Darling Python, they come face to face through glass and there is no animosity at all. If there is a noise, the cats will let us know if there is a problem. Dogs on the other hand will try to kill a Snake, I wouldn't allow any other meeting than between glass. Stimson Pythons are very chilled animals, they would not put up a fight.
 

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