Canine Predatory Aggression

Aggression characterized by the dog pursuing and attacking a moving object. This can be other animals (dogs, cats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.), toys or people (particularly small children).The attack can be from a single dog or in a pack situation. It can be extremely damaging to the victim.
It is important to realize that predation is a very normal activity in dogs. After all, without being predatory, it would be difficult for the canine species to survive. Food must be acquired, threats to the pack must be eliminated. The key to addressing predation in our pet dogs is recognizing the tendency in the individual and then provide an outlet for this instinct.

  • Provide sufficient exercise in the form of regular leash walks and, in addition, play activity.
  • Engage the dog in games which simulate predatory activity. Examples are fetch and retrieve type games, hide and seek (placing treats somewhere in the home and having the dog search them out), and dissecting games (hiding treats in a loosely wrapped cloth for the dog to try to dig it out)
  • Formalized activities like fly ball, luring, utility trials, field trials, etc.
  • Never allow a dog with a history of Predatory Aggression to be unsupervised with young children or small pets. Use of a muzzle in these circumstances may be warranted.