prey instinct kicking in

Submitted by tamawaka on Fri, 08/13/2010 - 18:23
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My two year old pit, who is a great dog and has never been aggressive in any way. Recently our neighbor has had their new small poodle type dog, my dog has gone after it twice...once i get in to the neighbors yard my dog lies down, knowing he is in trouble..this worries me, with a dog I am normally have had no issues with anyone..I have noticed his desire to go after squires and rabbits, wondering what to do
any thoughts?
tami

It is a Pitbull they have a high prey drive. Some obedience training may help you curb this, but don't beleive some of what you hear about this breed they are what they are. Dog agression is part of what a pitbull is alot of people who get into these dogs don't beleive it can happen to them but at the age of 2-3 a pitbull starts to fully mature. Some dogs do great there whole life with other dogs "supervised" of course. Then you have dogs and I don't care what people say that no matter how much you try to train them will always be dog aggressive but that dosen't make them bad dogs. Do people get mad at coon hounds for wanting to go after raccoons or beagles that want to chase rabbbits? They were bred for this for hundreds of years...That is part of being a responsible pitbull owner it is not a dog it is a life style....Some dogs are BORN this way it all deals with the dogs genetics. hope this helps goodluck Matt

I have to agree with Matt. Raisin loves to chase after our cat. If he is in his crate and she walks out he makes a high pitch squeal and charges his crate. He has never hurt her when they are loose together in the room ( always supervised by us). At times he and she can lay on the couch together and are just fine, but I still won't trust him alone. Our shepherd also high prey drive, constantly goes after skunks. Both have been to obdience and are great dogs but that prey instinct sometimes just takes over. Hence why both dogs are crated when we not home and when in the yard together they are supervised by one of us.

Heather

Heather it is refreshing to see someone who is being responsible with there dogs. Good post.

My dog is 9 months old and his drive for prey
Is already kicking in a bit. He chases mice more than
Our cat and bigger game such as deer. Just as much as our
Blue heelers. The point is us pit owners just have to keep
An eye on our dogs. Because I have found that my dog will
Not even chase the cat if I am around.

My dog is 9 months old and his drive for prey
Is already kicking in a bit. He chases mice more than
Our cat and bigger game such as deer. Just as much as our
Blue heelers. The point is us pit owners just have to keep
An eye on our dogs. Because I have found that my dog will
Not even chase the cat if I am around.

I guess before i could comment with any possible suggestions, what has been your dogs previous socialization with other small dogs or little creatures. Just didnt want to stab in the dark I hope with more info we can all help?

I'm with Elvis. If you can give us some more details on your dogs environment we can help you better.

Amber

He has not been socialized with smaller dogs, frankly I have been uneasy with this...
recently we have moved and are now in a loft apartment...the place has allows dogs and does not have breed restrictions, which is good..although some have said they are uncomforatable with strong breads in the building.
On another note for the first time while with a dog he usually has no issues with, a dog his own size, he became agressive and I was asked to pick him up...(this was during our move)
He is 2 1/2, is there still a chance to socialize him with both large and small dogs?
I would add that he has been great since we have been here, just feel a bit worried if he got off his lead what might happen...he is not aggressive in a pulling mean way, but he is curious.
thanks for the feedback

My dog just hit 5 months and he chases cats and squirrels in the neighbohood, is this his prey drive or him being a puppy and just wanting to play with everything? Oh and he's great with all other dogs and people.

My dog just hit 5 months and he chases cats and squirrels in the neighbohood, is this his prey drive or him being a puppy and just wanting to play with everything? Oh and he's great with all other dogs and people.

my two pits are the same its in all dog breeds to chace prey. all dogs come from tribes domesticating wild dogs. wolves, dingos ect...
its up to you as a owner to teach them the difference from friend and foe. remember to keep a close eye on your pit. no matter the outcome your dog pit will always be the blame....

I have a Min Pin (Zuko), a cat (Azula), and our Pit (Katara)... Katara has shown signs of the prey instinct as well. She is about 2 years old and loves chasing the cat around. She is always very playful about it though. As far as Katara's attitude towards Zuko goes, she seems to get a little rougher with him. We never leave the two alone together. They do very well together when they play outside and even nap together. We live on a farm and my pit is very curious with every small animal that pokes its head out. I feel this is normal behavior. I would recommend some training and being very firm with your dogs actions. If a certain behavior is unacceptable, you need to make sure your dog knows it. With a little patience and some time, hopefully you will see a positive outcome. There is nothing wrong with supervised play or separating animals when left unsupervised. Katara is a social butterfly! But as her owner, I always supervise her play dates. She doesn't need to be blamed for anything if it isn't her fault! I love my Pit Bull and only want a positive impression left behind.

go to realpitbull.com and it will tell u all about ur problem

My pit Herman won't tolerate cats. He has gone after cats at Chuck & Don's pet food store and the manager once had to block him as I pulled him away from the cats. I don't trust him with cats Period. Herman is still welcome there, and it's been made clear that he is not a "bad dog", he is just a dog who hates cats. Part of that is probably genetic, as I've been told by the manager at Chuck & Don's that cats are sometimes used as bait animals in dog fight training. Still, Herman is loved and accepted there. The staff come out with treats for Herman and love on him every time we go. Animal aggression is a problem with Herman, and we have taken steps to address this.

I rescued my dog's mom who was a bait dog. That's what happens to pit bulls who don't want to fight, if they aren't killed. Theres alot of dog fighting here and I've seen some horrible things. Dogs are carnivores. Because of this they often chase and kill small animals. Your dog behavior genetic in the sence that dogs are carnivores, but not because of breed. Thats not to say that some breeds have a higher prey drive than others, but any dog will want to chase other animals under the right circustances. Bait animals for pit bulls include anything people can find running around. Cats, chickens, possums, other dogs, pigeons, kittens, rabbits, rats, squirells, puppies, raccoons, foxes, anything that's alive. Sounds like your dog is being a dog and your doing what you can to keep everything under control :) kudos to your pet store for being understanding as well!

I rescued my dog's mom who was a bait dog. That's what happens to pit bulls who don't want to fight, if they aren't killed. There's alot of dog fighting here and I've seen some horrible things. Dogs are carnivores. Because of this they often chase and kill small animals. Your dog behavior genetic in the sense that dogs are carnivores, but not because of breed. That's not to say that some breeds have a higher prey drive than others, but any dog will want to chase other animals under the right circumstances. Bait animals for pit bulls include anything people can find running around. Cats, chickens, possums, other dogs, pigeons, kittens, rabbits, rats, squirrels, puppies, raccoons, foxes, anything that's alive. Sounds like your dog is being a dog and your doing what you can to keep everything under control :) kudos to your pet store for being understanding as well!

My pit is very curious and naturally anytime she encounters anything new I am with her.  I may be lucky but I have never noticed the "prey drive" with her.  More of a curiousity drive.  I owned a greyhound and I definitely saw the prey drive with it, rabbits were basically doomed if she could get to em.  My pitbull's first encounter with a small dog was an italian grey hound.  You could tell she was like what the hell is this little thing yapping at me.  Soon she realized it was her new pet and they just played for hours. We had to re-introduce them everytime they hung out though to make sure Kenzee didnt hurt the smaller dog.

She has always been around cats so she has absolutely no problem with cats.  Its almost like she doesn't even notice them. 

Leaving your Pit alone in the yard when she may encounter other dogs without supervision isn't a smart move.  In my opinion without a 100% my dog cannot get out and other dogs cannot get in, your pit should not be left alone.  That is something that should just be understood when you choose to own the breed.  A pit bull will never ever be a golden retriever its just the way it is.  Most owners can also curb these situations by spending more time with their pitbulls.  Pits can develop all sorts of personality disorders if they don't have very engaged owners.