Dogs are natural predators. While decades of domestication have eased their hunting instinct, their prey drive remains. It shows when they chase after cats, rabbits, squirrels, and other animals that they consider as “prey.” If left unmanaged, the drive result in inappropriate behavior such as, chasing children, inability to focus and calm, destruction to companion animals and livestock. Control your dog’s predatory instincts with expert dog training near Leesburg, VA and these effective behavior management tips.
Predatory vs. Aggressive Behavior
Dog owners must know how to distinguish predatory attitude from aggression. Unlike aggression, which is driven by social conflict and territoriality, the motivation to chase prey is born from social survival and instinct. For example, Basset Hounds hunt rabbits because they were bred for the job for centuries. Meanwhile, herding is in the genes of Border Collies, and Terriers search for vermin which is why they can have a tendency to chase anything that moves.
Prey drive-motivated behavior is indicated by the following:
Hunting (e.g., searching, sniffing, scanning, tracking, waiting for prey, etc.)
Attacking (e.g., chasing, pouncing, catching, shaking or choking to kill, etc.)
Breeds with Strong Prey Drive
Dogs that were bred to chase and kill animals are more likely to display predatory instincts compared to other breeds. Canines with strong predatory instincts include:
Terriers – Jack Russell Terriers, Bull Terriers, Scotties, etc.
Hounds – Bassets, Greyhounds, Beagles, etc.
Sporting Breeds – Spaniels, Retrievers, etc.
Herding Breeds – Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, etc.
Northern Breeds – Huskies, Malamutes, etc.
Tips for Controlling Predatory Instinct
Predatory behavior often interferes with a dog’s ability to walk nicely on a leash, come when called and ability to focus. All of these behaviors are addressed during group classes at our Hamilton dog training. If prey drive is in your canine’s genes, it is important to take active measures to keep his instincts under control. The same goes if your dog is prone to chasing animals and children. Here are some simple but effective management and training methods:
Fence your yard to keep your dog contained during potty periods and outdoor playtimes. Make sure the border extends a bit underground, especially if your canine is a determined digger.
Keep your canine leashed when you take him on hikes to keep him from going after wild animals, such as deer, rabbits, and squirrels. Do the same for short walks around your neighborhood and brief excursions to the park.
Enroll in a specialized course for dog training near Leesburg, VA to get expert lessons on how to calm your canine’s desire to chase, and improve their focus and response to you.
Tame Your Dog’s Predatory Instincts for Good
Dogs with high prey drive can co-exist with other species with the right training. Hearts in Harmony is the perfect partner to help you in your quest. We use rewards-based training methods to manage your pooch’s predatory instincts and teach him to something different instead of chasing. Choose from a wide array of Leesburg dog training courses, such as Dog Group Classes, Private Sessions, and Puppy Group Classes. Contact us NOW at 1-540-454-4098 to inquire about our training services.