CONTROLLING PREY DRIVE IN DOGS
Many people believe there is no controlling prey drive in dogs, but that simply isn’t true. Let us show you a couple of examples.
Does your dog chase birds, dig for gophers, or try to catch the neighborhood cat? Many people are of the mistaken belief that dogs cannot control their prey drive. But they can.
You just need to get past basic training and move onto more complex distractions bit by bit, until your dog understands he needs to listen to you under all circumstances.
If your dog can barely listen to your commands in your house, he certainly won’t be obedient when he’s outdoors and distracted by other animals. (See our article on the steps of building up your dog’s ability to listen: Levels of Dog Obedience Training).
It’s also important to introduce your dog to other animals early. If you teach them right away what you want them to do when they see a bird or squirrel, then they will be able to learn to comply. But if you let them discover the thrill of the chase on their own with no formal outdoor training, then they are likely to become obsessed with chasing them as a new “job” they love.
If you give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise, and train them to listen in all circumstances, then you’ll be able to trust them like I’ve trusted my pups.
Take a look at these 3 videos below… First, where I captured Kompis interacting with a baby gopher and then another with a flock of seagulls. You’ll see that I can tell her when to run and when not to, so she’s always safe – and so are the other animals!
Kompis interacting with baby gopher… it’s much meaner than she is!
Kompis showing us she can listen to my commands and not chase birds –
until she’s given permission.
Lastly, here is a video of my new puppy, Musik listening to my commands as she chases birds (or not) on the street.
So, please don’t assume there is no controlling prey drive in dogs. With enough training, he can be at his best behavior around all sorts of other animals!