#Nature Awareness 5/15/2013 - Prairie Dog. Prairie dogs are part of the squirrel family, but their tails are shorter and less bushy. They are also approximately twice the size of grey squirrels. When they are not standing upright on hind legs, barking their adoration to the sun, or acting as sentinels, prairie dogs are diving headlong into their burrows. Black-tailed prairie dogs are actually in danger of becoming extinct, along with their primary predator, the black-footed ferret. Poisoning or plowing under a dog town means the destruction of a tiny world. Burrows are shared with snakes, burrowing owls, spiders and salamanders. Symbolism: communities and neighbors, close relationships, courtesy, preparedness.