Prey Drive

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Postby lellis34 » December 10th, 2006, 12:20 pm

Hey All -

I'm hoping that I can get some insight from some of you veteran owners. As you may know, King is the first pit that I've ever owned. I've been reading everything and trying to learn as much as I possibly can about the breed so that he's raised to be social, well mannered, and good reprsentative of the breed. We're his 3rd home and he came to us when he was 10 weeks old - and he's turning 8 months old next week. He's been a great dog, very loving and gentle. He gets along well with our pom and the two cats that we have. Sometimes the dogs play a little rough, and sometimes he chases the cats around the house (so does the other dog), and sometimes the cats go after him. All in all they seem to have an alright relationship. Although I think our 13 year old cat tolerates the dogs more than anything else.

Anyway, I'm curious about prey drive. I know that these dogs can be animal aggressive and I'm wondering how and when that starts to manifest itself. When we're out walking he takes an interest in all the little creatures we come across. He watches the birds fly by, looks up in the trees at the squirrels, and a couple of times has chased after a rabbit or a squirrel when it went running by. He's never caught anything, so I don't know what he would do if he got it. I know that a certain level of prey drive is normal and to be expected, but at what level does it become unacceptable/dangerous. Is there anyway that I can minimize it? Right now, whenever he takes an interest, I distract him and keep on moving on with the walk. Am I doing the right thing, what else should I be doing. Don't know if this plays into the equation, but he is very friendly with people and submissive and playful with other dogs.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Lynn
Ming Ming: “celery is great after a good pee”
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Ming Ming: “celery is great after a good pee”
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Postby Romanwild » December 12th, 2006, 10:36 am

I would start teaching him inhibitions now.

I wouldn't let him case the cat for sure. I would correct him when he goes after a squirell on a walk. That's just me. The way I see it if he is allowed to chase things whenever he feels like it it could get him killed.

On the other hand allowing him to play fetch or play with the flirt pole is safe and fun for him and is an outlet for his prey drive.

I just wouldn't let him chase you cat. Even if he gets smacked by the cat it might not stop him in the future. Dreyfus always wanted to play when he was a pup with my friends cats. They would leave their claws in his face and it would just turn him on more! To this day he wants to kill all cats. :|
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Postby SpiritFngrz » December 12th, 2006, 10:54 am

Satin has seen my Siamese cat before and she ignores her meowing but my cat is very aggressive (towards dogs- she has no fear) so I keep them separated for my piece of mind, even when we're home. The cat lives in our finished basement, a huge space all to herself and Satin is upstairs. I've never let them go because I just don't want to take the chance to see what happens. If the cat started being aggressive I'm afraid the dog would take it as a fight and we all know who would lose. But if your animals don't fight that's great, I would just do what Charles said and not let King chase the cat.
Satin also has interest in squirrels on walks, but mostly cats that people let outside. I don't like that and we try to correct her when she is going crazy for a cat.
Ask Purple about rabbits lol
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Postby lellis34 » December 12th, 2006, 12:47 pm

Thanks guys. With our cats I've been using "leave it" when he gets too rambunctious with them and it seems to work. Last night I was petting/holding the younger cat (who's more tolerant), and King was sniffing and licking him. Maybe he was tasting him :D . But the cat tolerated him well and they actually sat together for a while, so I'm hopeful but watchful.

I've also started walking the two dogs separately. Its easier for me to control King when Bear is not around. Bear is dog aggressive, and appears threatening to people. Granted, he's only 14 pounds, but if the two of them key in on something at the same time, I'm a goner. And its usually King that I let go of first if need be because he comes immediately on recall and won't be aggressive towards anyone. Since I've been taking them separately, its been much easier to control Kings squirrel/rabbit interest.

And, he's at the vet today being neutered so hopefully that will curb him some too.
Ming Ming: “celery is great after a good pee”
Tuck: “you can say that again”
Ming Ming: “celery is great after a good pee”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW-ZxcPE33w
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Postby luvmypitties » December 12th, 2006, 3:27 pm

Woo hoo no more balls!!! I think it is one of the best things. My male even after having his for 5-6 years before I got him lost a lot of aggression afterwards. I trust him now with the 2 week old kittens I bring home sometimes. He is great. still aggressive towards male dogs or ones who try to be donminant over him. Good luck with him!
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