Prey Drive

Since this new goggy has come into my life, I've been doing a lot of thinking and researching on breed discrimination and what makes people fear certain kinds of dogs.  Well, a lot more than usual.  One thing that kept popping up and seemed particularly interesting to me was something called prey drive.

So what's prey drive?

Well...prey drive is an instinct all predators have.  It's broken down into five steps:  search, eye-stalk, chase, grab-bite, kill-bite.  All dogs have this pattern, but through selective breeding, different breeds of dogs have been encouraged to show certain steps of this pattern more than others.

Some great examples are herding dogs - they don't need to look for sheep or kill them, but they do have a very strong instinct to stalk them.  Hunting dogs have a hyped up search instinct.  Greyhounds running around a track are showing chase, but don't need to sniff out what they're chasing first.  Different parts of the prey drive can be emphasized in different breeds.

In any case, this also plays a very strong part in multi-pet homes.  I've definitely heard stories about border collies herding other pets or even small children, and I know when we rescued an American bulldog, he was very, very, VERY driven to chase down and bite smaller animals that ran.  By observing the prey drive, it becomes easier to understand why some kinds of dogs don't get along with smaller dogs or cats, for instance.  You can also use it to your advantage in training...I hope, heh.

Okay, so it's pretty cool, right?  Our new little girl comes home later on today, and since I have a cat, I'll definitely be putting this prey drive modification thing to the test.  My remaining kitty is very important to me!  We will be WAY on the safe side, and eventually, when the house calms down, I'll let you guys know what I learned about introducing (duh-duh-duh-DUHHHH) a pit bull to a cat!

In the meantime, here's an awesome link on the matter.

Talk to you guys soon, and I'll post up some pictures of the new puppy when she finally arrives!
-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

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