I believe that all animals are born with a prey drive,
some just stonger than others. Having a full belly helps to reduce this
in cats, but I have not seen anything that will keep a dog from chasing
a squirrel - it is just inevitable. :wink:
it is just that. PREY (chase hunting object) desire.
It is the desire to chase and bite/get the prey object. That prey object could be a ball, rag, tug toy, sleeve, ANYTHING moving. In prey drive they have NO stress. It is the hunt and chase drive.
Some dogs have such high prey that they are mesmerized by the prey object even at a stand still. They WANT that object. BADDDDDDDD. Needless to say, you need high prey drive for your OB to look good. Focus is the goal.
With such a dog, withholding the reward (prey object) becomes the GREATEST punishment and you get a VERY focused animal with high intensity for the work.
Prey aggression takes it a bit further. It is the desire to FIGHT/KILL the prey object. Still in Prey Mode, but a lot more serious about the intent.
The dog either has prey drive or it does not. You can develop it to a small degree, but it is mostly genetic.
Working dogs have high prey, for the most part. That is why belgian malinois rule the dog sport/protection world. Off the charts prey.
Now here is a deadly combination............high prey driven dog with low nerve thereshhold. That is a danger to society and that is why most people underestimate their pooches. That is why nerves are soooo important in a pet.
My Pit Loves chasing birds and squirrels but wont chase a cat...I dont even have a cat and he's fine around them. But some little dogs he will run up my leg from! Lol....Its always something that happens when we go to pet stores and I take him with me. So if you go to Petsmart or Petco and see a 105lb women standing with a red 85lb. pitbull basically on her shoulders its b/c a 6lb Yorkie got to close! LMAO!!!
Lets remember that high prey doesn't assume that the dog can work either. I want to see some balance... good prey for the reason Peter mentions, but with that I want some defense combined with fight and a little civil to keep it real.
What is the best way to evaluate a dogs nerves, if you don't do PP work?
I'm not a breeder but am interesting in learning more about how to evaluate a dog. My OEB seems to have a ton of prey drive - she'll run herself ragged chasing tennis balls and frisbee's around the yard (she can catch a thrown frisbee at a full gallop 50+ feet from where she started) - and isn't bothered by loud noises or strange objects around the house. She also has a ton of focus when she watches things from the yard or house. It could be a person, dog, bird, or even leaves blowing in the wind - she'll stop and watch until it's gone and out of sight and then return to doing whatever she was at before.
Would her reaction to loud noises be a good indication of nerves? Or do you need to introduce them to a higher degree of stress to really get a feel for the dog?
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