As with any big decision, it’s important to make sure you research the dog breeds you’re interested in before you bring your new pup home.
Basing your choice solely on how cute they are could land you in some hot water later down the line and it’s essential that you know what to expect from your dog, so you know you’ve selected the best choice to suit you and your lifestyle.
Something to consider when doing your research is the level of prey drive your dog is likely to have. Prey drive is simply your pooch’s natural instinct to find, chase and catch prey – and it’s not to be confused with aggression, which is typically driven by emotions like fear or anxiety.
All dogs will have prey drive to a certain extent, but it’s definitely more prevalent in some breeds than others. The likes of Afghan hounds, Airedale terriers, border terriers, Chihuahuas, greyhounds, Irish wolfhounds and Yorkshire terriers all have high prey drives so focusing on recall training and commands will be vital early on.
Accepting that you’ll never be able to rid your dog of this hunting instinct is the first step towards success in controlling the behaviour.
It’s all about channelling this energy in another way, whether that’s through getting them involved in dog sports or playing with them a lot, getting them to go after balls and Frisbees so they can still enjoy that chase element they love so much.
Also note that when it comes to obedience training for breeds with a high prey drive, it can be beneficial to carry out the training in an area with strong distractions going on, although you should start off somewhere with a low distraction threshold. Using a long line is a wise idea, particularly at the start, so you can remain in control no matter what.
Fill your pockets with high-value treats and reward your pup whenever they make eye contact with you. Continue in this vein until you’re able to let your dog off the lead and still get them to focus on you. It can be tricky, however, so get in touch with Sean Hyden today if you’re finding it hard to see the success you’d like.