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Prey drive

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by JudyN, May 13, 2019.

  1. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Spotted on an RSPCA rescue site:

    This is NOT what prey drive looks like! You'd really hope that RSPCA staff would understand it, as it is so important in understanding behaviour. This is reactivity, plain and simple, and is not a 'typical' feature of sighthounds (they can in general be excitable, but that's nothing to do with prey drive).

    A dog with a high prey drive may react out of frustration if they can't pursue prey, e.g. if they are on lead, but prey drive is more about focus - they are more likely to focus intently, every nerve ending thrumming, just waiting for the right moment... You can't focus when you're bouncing around on the end of the lead yelling your head off.

    Jasper can throw a tantrum if he gets too close to a cat, he may growl at a dog who has a strong whiff of testosterone, might chase a squirrel up a tree if he's in the mood, and if he sees a deer or rabbit, he will freeze and stare intently. If off lead he will silently disappear after it in the blink of an eye, and if on lead he can be led on after a while, though it's a bit like walking a neutron bomb just primed to go off... Only his reactions to the rabbit & deer are prey drive. And he absolutely distinguishes between squirrels and rabbits - the former is 'just for fun'.

    Other sighthounds may generalise to all small furries, often depending on their early experiences, but it ain't necessarily so.

    Rant over.... :D
     
  2. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Murphy is a hunter and that's what makes him ideal to walk in countryside with. He does not bark.... ever. If he gets a scent he indicates and stares.. He would only chase if we sent him after it.

    George tracks the scent he will freeze lift a paw although being a hound if hes on top of something he will bay..

    Different breeds both hunters niether reactive around small furries or our parrot !
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  3. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    Totally agree with you. Oliver's prey drive for cats is a lot worse than Marley's if we're out on a walk and they see one all hell breaks loose it can even result in my 2 having a fight! My neighbor's bought a rabbit and put it next to the 3 feet wall that divides our gardens well my 3 got a whiff off it and I'm glad they wear muzzles! Within a week we had a 6 foot fence put up, but they still know it's there.
    Shocked that the RSPCA isn't more educated on sighthounds
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  4. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    "Jasper might chase a squirrel up a tree if he's in the mood, and if he sees a deer or rabbit, he will freeze and stare intently. If off lead he will silently disappear after it in the blink of an eye, and if on lead he can be led on after a while, though it's a bit like walking a neutron bomb just primed to go off... Only his reactions to the rabbit & deer are prey drive. And he absolutely distinguishes between squirrels and rabbits - the former is 'just for fun'"

    You are describing Harri to a T here! When in hunting mode he is totally oblivious to anything else. Absolutely deaf and blind to everything other than the scent he is following or the rabbit he's chasing
     
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  5. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have often thought that failure to recall during a chase is not the dog deciding to ignore you. I am certain that its just that all their brain is focused on the chase they do not actually hear you. I know I am a reader, and many a time my wife would tap me on my knee and I realised she had been talking to me, but honestly I just hadn't heard a thing being lost in whatever world the book was.
     
  6. BEF

    BEF Member Registered

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    Whisper has a very high prey drive, we think she was bred and trained for hare coursing or lamping back in Ireland.
    But she is reactive to dogs because she was bitten on the face by another dog before we rehomed her.
    The RSPCA should know better.
     
    leashedForLife likes this.

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