When people think of adopting a dog, most of the time, they don’t think of predatory aggression and expect everything to be swell automatically. Predatory aggression is very real in dogs of all kinds and a lot of people may wonder if it’s natural. They are animals, however, so a level of prey drive is going to be natural no matter what.
What’s prey drive?
Prey drive is the desire to chase, catch, attack, or completely kill a small creature, furry or not. It’s the circle of life and something that is natural in the wild, especially for thousands of years prior. With predation, it’s a natural instinct dogs have for survival and can be trained away. Until then, it’s a natural instinct to attack and obtain for some breeds of dogs. This is why many chase, bite, attempt to eat, and even kill other living things.
Through various breeding practices, predatory aggression has been decreased and eliminated completely. Depending on the type of breed, the level of prey drive is quite different from type to type. According to the renowned American Kennel club, there are seven breed groups of puppies and around four of those have an advanced and enhanced prey drive level. These four groups are:
Dogs that are specifically bred in the sporting and herding groups have a higher prey drive because of sporting reasons.
How do I know if my dog has predatory aggression?
You may think it’s easy to catch, but there are plenty of other symptoms that you can notice and make note of in terms of predatory aggression and a prey level. One of the prime factors and symptoms of this aggression is when a dog’s behavior as such is triggered by a movement of some sort. This could be anyone from the mailman to a skateboarder down the road, a car pulling up or driving away, and even a bicyclist. These types of movements activate the instincts that are usually dormant and leave the rampant. It does not matter the age or gender of the dog, as this type of behavior can be found in any.
How do you treat predatory aggression?
Because dogs are born with this prey drive and it’s something that is in their brain that is triggered, there is no cure or treatment to fix this; this is why it’s usually done through breeding, because you can’t quite teach a dog to lower their level or prey drive. It can be toned down, but it will never go away as it is programmed in their animal brain, and rightfully so. However, as you see in our 1200+ videos on YouTube, we use obedience to outweigh their prey drive. So, their obedience essentially becomes stronger than their prey drive.
If you need help getting your dog’s prey drive under control, contact Off Leash K9 Training!