Why are Prairie Dogs Called Dogs?

Prairie Dog Face image
Cute Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs (genus Cynomys) are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. The five species are: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison’s, Utah, and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

They are  a mammal family of true squirrels. This includes Ground Squirrels, Marmots, Chipmunks and even Flying Squirrels.


So, Why are they called Prairie Dogs?

Because their warning call is a series of short barks.

This lets other prairie dogs know that it’s not safe to be outside of their homes.  So they bark to help spread the warning before vanishing into their underground tunnels. By communicating the danger to each other, all the clans of prairie dogs stay safe.

Why Don’t We Engrave Prairie Dogs?

Because no one has asked us yet.  Wanna be the first?  


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