Weasel war dance
In colloquial language, the weasel war dance is a behavior of excited ferrets and weasels. It is speculated that, in the wild, the dance is used to confuse or disorient prey. In domestic ferrets the war dance usually follows play or the successful capture of a toy or a stolen object and is commonly held to mean that the ferret is thoroughly enjoying itself. It consists of a frenzied series of hops sideways and backwards, often accompanied by an arched back, and a frizzed-out tail. Ferrets are notoriously clumsy in their surroundings during their dance and will often collide with or fall over objects and furniture. The act usually includes a clucking vocalization, known among domestic ferret owners as "dooking". It normally indicates happiness. Although the weasel war dance may make a ferret appear frightened or angry, they are often just excited and are generally harmless to humans.
The stoat (also known as the ermine or the short-tailed weasel) often employs a "war dance" when attacking rabbits.
- King, Carolyn M. et al The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats , P. 120
- Balmain, David (2008). Ferret. O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 101. Retrieved June 9, 2011.