Features July 2010 Issue

Understanding Highly Predatory Dogs

Many dogs exhibit predatory behavior when playing. Though we can't see the German Shepherd Dog's face, his low, tense posture - and the posture of the concerned Australian Shepherd! - clearly tell us that he's stalking the smaller dog and about to pounce.

Understanding Highly Predatory Dogs

I remember a day when I was waiting in the vet's office for my dog's appointment. The man sitting next to us started telling me, with beaming pride, about how his little white Westie had caught seven barn rats in the past week. I couldn't help but admire this cute, fluffy dog's superior hunting skills. Predatory behavior in dogs is something I respect. From following a scent trail, to stalking a bird, chasing a ball, or herding sheep, I am intrigued with the many forms predatory behavior manifests in our dogs; it is part of what makes dogs so amazing! But, predatory behavior is not so admirable (and much less socially acceptable), when, instead of it being a country terrier ridding a barn of rats or an Aussie herding sheep, it is your city dog chasing a skateboarder or the neighbor's cat.

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