Understanding and Controlling Prey Drive
Prey drive is the “buzzword” among dog people these days. Its textbook definition states that it is the instinctive behavior of carnivores to chase and capture prey, but it is commonly used to describe habits in dog training. The prey drive is what motivates a dog to chase a running ball, animals, car, or child, so it is important to teach children never to run away from a dog. The prey drive is what makes dogs chase them. Understanding your dog’s prey drive will influence how you control it, keeping your dog out of trouble.
Prey’s drive follows a sequence and is the same in all predators. The sequence begins with the search that leads to the eye, the chase, the grab, and finally the murder. Through the process of selective breeding, some of these five sequences dominate or diminish in different breeds of dogs to suit various human purposes. The search aspect of the sequence is essential for detecting dogs such as bloodhounds and bloodhounds. Eye stalking is important in herding dogs while chasing is a must for racing dogs and terriers are valued for their bite and bite. Some aspects of the prey drive are undesirable in certain dogs, such as the retriever who must chase the prey and then return it to the human hunter without biting or harming it in any way. Sheepdogs stalk and chase, but inhibit grip and kill the urge to bite to avoid injuring livestock. Bull terriers have amplified grip because humans used them to restrain bulls by hanging from their noses, but there was no need for the bull terrier to seek out or stalk prey. Terriers are small, but that means very little when it comes to prey drive, as these little dogs were bred to chase vermin underground. But not all small breeds have a huge prey drive. Pekingese and Maltese make better companions and watchdogs, as they have little ambition to chase them. Dogs that were bred to protect livestock and homes have low prey drive compared to those bred for sports, herding, or those in the group of dogs that have high drive. Siberian huskies, which are from the working group, show a high chase instinct, which they will do with total abandon, ignoring the call to return. Sight Hounds and Bloodhounds have a great prey drive and once the instinctual drive takes over, even the best-trained dog will ignore the call to return as well. A dog with high prey drive should always be on a leash, no matter how confident you are that it will return when called. By having an outside dog safely enclosed and on a leash, you will be able to control his instinctual reaction to chasing what he sees moving.
Different dogs will have substantially varying levels of prey drive. Search and rescue dogs, as well as narcotics detector dogs, must have enough drive to keep them searching for hours for their prey. In dog training, a strong prey drive motivates dogs to chase moving objects, which is an advantage. Breed characteristics, temperament, and reason for which he was raised define his behavior, and by understanding what he was raised for, you can control his behavior through knowledgeable training and exercise. A dog prey drive is “hardwired” into them and cannot be turned on and off at will, which is what makes them good at performing specific jobs. Daily. If you don’t enjoy taking long walks or participating in dog sports, then a dog with a high prey drive would not be a good choice. Dogs that are diggers and escape artists, such as huskies and terriers, will attempt to escape if you are not supervised and you will be responsible for what you do if you are successful. Understanding the prey drive is important as it will help you decide the right breed of dog for your lifestyle. Shelters are full of dogs whose owner chose a high prey dog that they couldn’t handle.
When an owner encourages the immersion of his dog’s prey, then satisfies the urge through play, the dog is happy and his overall demeanor is balanced. However, if his owner works long hours, has a hectic family schedule, and does not spend quality time with him, the dog’s energy level will increase to the point of behavioral problems resulting in a frustrated owner and possibly a new one. home for the dog. Dogs with high drive must vent their energy or destructive behaviors, such as chewing, will be their release. Chewing will soothe a dog’s adrenal system in the same way that a cigarette relaxes a smoker. Dogs with too much energy can bark too much, jump over fences or mouth parts of the human body. Dogs were bred for a specific purpose and having a dog based only on appearance or image without understanding the characteristics of the breed is a problem. Conscientious breeders carefully screen prospective buyers to ensure that the breed of their choice is right for their lifestyle. They ensure that these buyers have a fenced yard, time in their day to properly exercise the dog, if the buyer is physically capable of handling the dog and has knowledge of the breed and its characteristics. If the breeder feels their dog breed has too high a prey drive for the buyer, they will refer you to a quality pet breeder of inferior prey drive breeds and discourage you from having a dog that doesn’t fit your style. of life.
For owners of highly prey dogs that exhibit destructive behavior, daily exercise, such as long walks, is helpful or playing chase with a ball or Frisbee will consume energy. The stress of learning in an obedience class will drain you. Enroll your athletic or olfactory dog in agility and tracking classes to use the stored energy. Owners who got their high drive dog through adoption or a private party should research the breed through the library, the Internet, or by talking to breeders and other owners. Breed clubs will educate you about your breed, talk to other people with high drive breeds, and offer breed-related activities.
And for “chewers” and diggers, confining them to a box when they cannot be observed will keep those unwanted behaviors in check.
Choosing a dog is not like choosing an article of clothing. A dog is a companion, a member of the family, so know what breed you choose and be honest with yourself when it comes to the breed you choose and your lifestyle. In other words … choose wisely.