In the pet trade, "prairie dog" tends to refer to the "black-tailed prairie dog", Cynomys ludovicianus.I am curious...just what species are people here considering 'prairie dogs'? The name is a catch-all for quite a few species under subfamily Xerinae (The five Cynomys species being the primary ones)...I know that Richardson's ground squirrels, Urocitellus richardsonii, a species local to myself, were being harvested and exported as 'prairie dog pets' a few years ago in quite some volume.
In the pet trade, "prairie dog" tends to refer to the "black-tailed prairie dog", Cynomys ludovicianus.
But by whom, and where? Amongst my colleagues, we tend to almost never use common names, in Western Canada and much of the northwest USA, they are typically called 'gophers', but in the pet trade here (and, as earlier mentioned, Japan), they are referred to as 'prairie dogs'.Urocitellus richardsonii is generally referred to by its common name, Richardson's ground squirrel, not as a prairie dog.