BH310: Making Choices, Managing Prey Drive 1

Instructor: Jamie Robinson

Course Details

Satisfying prey drive is one of the most enjoyable things a dog can do. That prey drive is a sequence of behaviors: First, your dog looks around and checks out today’s smells. What’s out there that might be good to eat? Right there, the predatory sequence has begun. Your dog catches a sight or scent and orients toward it - then goes still: watching, scenting, taking in information about the prey. Your dog stalks it, and then bursts into a rush and a pounce. Grabbing the prey, your dog bites it hard enough to kill it, tosses it around, and rips it up. And then your dog eats it, or stashes it for future meals.

Centuries of breeding has not only created unique breeds, it has left some dogs with incomplete predatory behaviors. The result can be a dog who kills or injures a dozen chickens without eating even one. 

Learning to manage your dog's prey drive is necessary, not only to prevent undesirable scenarios like the one described above, but also because a dog whose prey drive is engaged and channeled in an acceptable way will have a much easier time getting along with humans and other dogs. 

This class - the first of two parts on managing undesirable prey drive - has two goals. First, we will work to create a strong recall that will allow you to interrupt your dog in the middle of a predatory-type chase. This will create a dog who will think first, ask questions second, and only move when cued. And second, we will introduce activities for you and your dog that will satisfy the parts of the prey sequence that your dog loves the most.