Ultimate Guide on How to Tame Prey Drive in Dogs

Make your dog more obedient

If your dog has a high prey drive and you are wondering how to tame prey drive in dogs, then you have come to the right place.

Are you curious about why your dog chases around humans or squirrels in the park? Are outings with your dog becoming chaotic? Does he get all excited when he sees a moving object? If that’s the case, it is an indication that your dog has a strong prey drive.

If your dog just horrified you with a wiggling squirrel in its mouth, it is time for you to understand what a prey drive is and how you can help your dog control it.

Dogs have that cute and innocent face and are always humble to everyone who loves them! But sometimes, some of their behaviors, moves, and habits keep you wondering for hours.

Don’t worry; every dog owner experiences this kind of behavior from their dogs. While you cannot completely eradicate it from their nature, you can teach them how to control it.

Here, you will come to know the ins and outs of how to tame prey drive in dogs!

Why Do Dogs Have High Prey Drive?

Furry-friends have that cute and innocent face and are always humble to everyone who loves them! Don’t they? But sometimes, some of their behaviors, moves, and habit keep you wondering for hours. You keep thinking why your furry buddy does that. You try to tame them without knowing and fail the attempt!

Well, you must know your dog better before you put on your master hat. Here, you will come to know the ins and outs of how to tame prey drive in dogs!

Prey drive generally indicates the act of chasing. Yes, you can recall that moment when your dog runs after any creature that catches its attention on the streets. Dog owners are pretty familiar with this gesture. But do you know exactly why they do so? Keep scrolling!

Prey drives are quite common in dogs as they are predators by instinct. Some breeds possess the instinctive habit in extremes while some have it less. Some owners confuse prey drive with aggression. But it is not so. Attack is driven by anxiety or emotion; prey drive is purely instinctual. The subconscious or reflex of dogs operates the act.

As per researches, prey drive includes five several behaviors such as stalking, searching, biting to kill, and chasing. Dogs chase both living and non-living things. Another related reason why dogs chase is that they feel pleasure and satisfaction in putting out the energy and catching prey. It is a sign of dominance in the canines.

What Are the Signs That Your Dog Has a High Prey Drive?

Learning how to tame prey drive in dogs requires that you observe the signs of high prey drive.

It is often said that dogs speak with their body parts. They talk to you every time with their gestures, moves, and expressions. All you have to do is keep your senses open to understanding them.

Here are some of the signs that will indicate medium to high prey drive in your dog.

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Your Dog Is Inattentive

The first sign via you can tell that your dog has a prey drive is that he is ignoring your commands and always focusing on something else. When dogs have the intention of preying, they strongly focus on the subject. You can make it out, noticing how they gaze.

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It Is Extremely Energetic on the Streets

The next sign is that he is highly enthusiastic about the streets. You will feel like you are not able to hold him by the leash. He will tend to drive out of the way often and focus on the things or tiny animals around. Some of the animals that he will tend to focus on might include the following.

  • Squirrels
  • Cat
  • Birds
  • Mice
  • Chicken
  • Frog
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It Chases Everything It Sees

This is the part when they are in action. Until now, the pooch was busy focusing. Now he gets into chasing. You will notice that he is chasing everything that comes its way, including non-living things. One of the blazing examples of this would be dogs running after kid’s movable toys at home. When he is out, he might tend to energetically run after a crow, mice, or similar living creatures.

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It Is Missing a Sense of Fear

Now, this is when you know that the prey drive is strong in your dog. He will tend to run after big and dangerous things like bikes, cars, or any machinery that he sees. Stray dogs often do this when they see cars passing by. However, this depends on their state of mind. You must attempt to stop the animal from putting itself into danger.

How to Train a Dog with High Prey Drive?

Prey drives vary in different breeds. Some tend to grow high prey drives. The Herding breeds are known for having really strong prey drives compared to any other kind. Prey drives are not a very dangerous thing, but it is crucial to tackle and control them.

Step 1: Beginning or Preparation Phase 

Excessive prey drives can affect dog moods permanently. It can raise the level of belligerence and put them and others around in danger. Managing this behavior from an early age is the best idea, and here’s how.

Teach the Dog to Calm down and Focus

Make sure you try this in a hassle-free environment, place where your pooch can concentrate well and are free from distractions. You will need to be calm to make your dog feel calm. So make them feel relaxed and collecting by sitting in front of them for some time and then ask him to sit quietly.

Teach Dog Drop-Down Command

Get a toy or any object and keep it on the floor. The moment he picks it with his mouth, show him a treat. You can also pretend to show him a treat and ask him to drop the thing he has in his mouth.

Teach the Dog, "Leave It or Ignore It"

Train your dog to act matured around distractions in any environment. Get your dog a treat and let him sniff it. Once they are familiar with the smell, they will automatically tend to act calm around the things. This will take some practice, and he will learn how to ignore distractions in a new environment.

Step 2: Leashed and Dog Owner in Control

Keeping dogs on a leash is extremely important when you want to have a command over them. This is not like dominating your furry-friends but just getting them in obedience. With this approach, you can help dogs control their prey drive.

Use the Call Back Method

Create a specific term to use when you are calling their dog back. Whether it is his name, particular sound or signal, make sure that you are using the same one every time. Using the same sign and tone of voice will help your dog get habituated with the method.

Use Training Treats

You can also use their favorite treats as an advantage to attract them towards you. All you have to do is using the treats in the right way to keep your pup interested. Try to find out which color, scent, or type of treat he likes!

Keep the Dog on a Leash

Leash your dog but do not make him feel tied up. You must hold the leash slightly loses. Hein rough with the strap can raise the level of anxiety in them.

Step 3: Keep Dog Behind Barrier

You can also use different tricks and boundaries to keep your dog in control. This will help dogs take control of themselves and away from the prey. Here are some of the methods to do so!

Install a Wireless or Underground Dog Fence

The wireless or underground dog fence is also known as the electric or invisible dog fence. They are often used to keep dogs away from going to unsafe places and preys. Many dogs get agitated and feel tormented when held inside walls. These fences serve the best by keeping dogs in a specified boundary by creating a magnetically charged field around them.

Give Safe Dog Space Without Preys

Keeping dogs out of distraction for a certain amount of time is one of the best ways of getting into the practice of being calm. This will also keep them safe and peaceful.

Give Dog Toys to Play with Behind Fence

When dogs are bounded, they tend to feel restless, aggressive, and even bored. So make it up with some treats or toys that they can keep busy with while they are within the boundaries of the fence.

Step 4: Take Your Dog for a Walk

Walks are essential for the fury-friend. They do attain not only physical fitness but also a considerable amount of mental stimulation. Dogs love engaging with the surrounding environments, get distracted, and sniff things to explore. They love meeting other dogs, people on the roads, and it is an excellent idea to take your dogs for strolls.

But there are a few aspects to consider before when you take your dog out to keep them away from prey and control themselves.

Avoid Peak Hour Walks with Your Dog

The walks are good. But it is sometimes wise to keep them short. The longer the trails are, the more exposure to unknown environments and prey will be. It is thus best to take them out for walks for a limited time every day.

Use Verbal Commands to Stop Chase

If they start chasing in the middle of the road, use the signal or verbal command that you usually use at home. Make it a point that your dog obeys you with the same control even outside the boundaries of the house. This might need some amount of practice, especially if your dog is young.

Stay in Control with Leash

Do not let the dog lead you – Make sure that your dog is not leading the way for you when you are using the leash. This is a common mistake made by dog owners. You will need to specify this practice when he is a puppy. As once he has reached a certain age, you cannot change the existing habit in them.

Step 5: Unleashed or Final Phase

This is the stage when your pooch has quite some control over himself. This stage is not easy to attain, as your hard work and efforts will determine it. You must have seen some owners walking proudly on the streets with their dogs, and there is no role of any leash in-between.

This is because they are fully trained, and even if they come across prey, they will not make any shocking moves or put themselves or others into danger.

Getting into this stage will take some time. In case your furry buddy is already into this stage, here are a few practical tips for you.

Keep Things Unpredictable or Exciting for Dog

Keeping them interested, curious, and happy is the best thing you can do. Once they are free, they will not store the aggression to break any rules or chase things unnecessarily. Also, this would be a mental stimulation for dogs, and they will figure out how to react to what situation making things much easier for you!

Use a Dog Muzzle

If there is no leash involved, a small safety measure that you can use to replace it I a muzzle. This is a great way to keep dogs from harming prey while they chase it. A muzzle is almost like a mask or a biter that prevents dogs from biting. Many owners use it, even if their dogs are well trained to be safe while walking through crowded places.

Keep Dog Safe and Secure

Lastly, apart from the ones mentioned above. You can use some of the straightforward approaches from your side to keep your pets safe. Get your dog microchipped, get them into the habit of wearing a collar most of the time, have a command on them or any safety measure that you think best suits.

What Are Some Activities to Tame High Prey Drive in Dogs?

You will come across several fun activities while figuring out how to tame prey drive in dogs.

Many techniques can cease the prey drive in dogs, and involving them in activities is one of them. Playful activities get out the energy and enthuse they have treasured in and make them focus on the game.

They also get to enjoy the activity and satisfy their urge for preying with the proper object used in the game.

Here are some of the exciting games that you can play with your furry friend!

Play Frisbee with Your Dog

Frisbee is also known as the game of flying disk. Almost every dog enjoys playing this game. Also, many of the owners chose to play this particular game with their dogs as this helps them be fit as well! But this game serves beyond just physical fitness.

With the help of this fun game, you can train and teach your furry buddy a lot of things and tricks. The first thing that you can teach is the drop-down trick. They can learn how to catch the disk and known when to drop it or throw it. This also satisfies the urge to chase every random thing that comes their way, and they are much safer on the roads!

Not only that Frisbee is also known for strengthening the bonding of you and your dog, and they will tend to listen to your command more easily and willingly listen to what you have to say.

Fetch a Tennis Ball

The next game that you can choose to play is the French tennis ball. This is another pick and throws game that will help your dog get a lot of control over themselves. They will also be introduced to plenty of rules in this game. Dogs anyway love playing fetch, and many owners play this game while they are walking with their pets.

This keeps the dog distracted from the real prey and just focused on the game. But make sure to use bigger tennis balls. This is to avoid the risk of pets getting choked while picking the ball with their mouths.

Give Dog Toy Puzzles

Puzzles serve multiple benefits to furry buddies. There are different kinds of puzzles available in the market that you can provide your dog. Puzzles are an excellent way to stimulate your dog’s mind, pep up their moods, keep them engaged, happy, and enhance their intelligence.

You can avoid going for long walks or always get into outdoor activities by keeping your dog engaged indoor — some dogs overplaying puzzles. There are even food puzzles available for dogs nowadays in the market that you can try out!

Efficiently Train and Learn How to Tame Prey Drive in Dogs 

Raising healthy and happy dogs is just like raising children. They require specific training, taming, and effort to turn into their best versions. There are several kinds of training activities that you can provide your pet, and one of them is controlling prey drives. So, this was all about how to tame prey drive in dogs.

Many owners struggle with prey drives in their dogs, calling for professional help. But hope this article will help you get your dog’s prey drive in control all by yourself.

With the help of the above mentioned simple and useful tips, you can groom your dog bit by bit. But make sure that you begin to train your dog from an early age when they are at their stage of development. There are also mentioned tips that will help you understand your dog better and how to tackle the prey drives in different types of breeds.

The above-streamlined information is well researched and read for you to go by so that you can be the ‘one and only’ of your one master dog! So what’s stopping you! Drive into the training more today!