Okami Amaterasu

Can dogs have prey drive towards puppies?

I just thought this was an interesting question. Say you have a breed with a really strong prey drive...can that dog have that same prey drive they may have towards say squirrels or even cats also have a prey drive towards very young puppies? I'm not having an issue with this or anything =). I'm just curious if anyone has ever seen or heard of something like this. Or do dogs generally know that puppies are their same species and won't react in this way?


Asked by Okami Amaterasu on Dec 18th 2011 Tagged preydrive in Other Behavior & Training
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Bruno CGC

Actually dogs generally have a hard-wired reaction to YOUNG puppies. Put a video of puppies yelping on your computer, and see what your dog does.

They are generally interested, but gentle and non-aggressive towards pups. Wolves (which of course have extreme prey drive, it's how they make their living) are SUPER-gentle with pups. Some "sanctuaries" will breed or buy puppies to put in with their adult wolves because it cheers them up. The just love puppies.

The grace period eventually comes to an end though, and they start to treat pups like adults and not let them get away with everything any more. This happens sometime around 4 months.

Dogs can generally recognize other dogs, even small ones. "Predatory drift" happens when the big dog is amped-up, and the small dog happens to be moving like prey- quick and erratic. It's accidental, not calculated. I think the predatory reaction happens faster than the "kin-recognition" reaction sometimes.


Bruno CGC answered on 12/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer