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View Poll Results: How high is your dog's prey drive?
1 - non-existent 5 3.50%
2 16 11.19%
3 - middle of the road 37 25.87%
4 48 33.57%
5 - off-the-charts 46 32.17%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Rate your dog's prey drive

I'm curious to see what the "average" prey drive levels are of most Dobermans. We don't get many that can live with small animals (like cats) in rescue and I was curious what the norm might be.

Scale is 1-5, with 5 being off-the-charts and 1 being non-existent. If you'd like to provide extra detail feel free to add that.


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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:14 PM
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I'm not sure how to vote. Flirt can live with cats. She does still try to chase them too much for my liking (1-2 times a month). However, she chases and tries to kill any other small rodents/rabbits at the river and just caught a squirrel a few weeks ago.

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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:15 PM
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Bacchus has discovered ground hogs. The field we go to a couple of times a day is knee deep in ground hogs. As soon as he realizes where we are going I can see him scanning. When he spots a head sticking up over the field growth he zeros in until I open the side door and he zooms right to the spot and begins to dance and harass. I call him off and the ground hog disappears but Bacc goes back to urinate and make poopy on the poor thing's front door.
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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
I'm not sure how to vote. Flirt can live with cats. She does still try to chase them too much for my liking (1-2 times a month). However, she chases and tries to kill any other small rodents/rabbits at the river and just caught a squirrel a few weeks ago.
That sounds just like Shanoa. She barely lives with our cats and would certainly chase/kill them if they got outside.


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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:20 PM
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Chase has very low, but not non-existent, prey drive. He lives very peacefully with my two cats. My parents have some acreage with indoor/outdoor cats. When I am there, I always take Chase out to run, and the cats like to join in on the fun. They can run past him, climb trees, and generally act a fool, and the most he'll do is run by them to see what they are doing.

But, he did get excited watching lure coursing and will react to critters in the backyard. But, he lives with terriers who literally have off the charts prey drive, so I think he gets excited about critters in the yard because he knows they make the terriers excited. He's excited about the excitement of it all. I don't think he would get particularly excited about a squirrel on his own.

After living with terrier girls who give off the death scream when they so much as see a squirrel, or rabbit, or chicken, or goat, or even fish sometimes, it's nice to have a guy with a little less drive to balance them out.


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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:21 PM
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This is what it USED to sound like at my house when this tree finally grew and became the squirrel highway. Even though Flirt seems less interested than the other 2, as soon as the squirrel fell it was in her mouth. SHE DROPPED IT for me. My husband cut the tree down. The Vs want to "chase hunt it" The Dobe wants to GET IT

video gone bad - YouTube

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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:32 PM
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I voted 4 for Fiona and 5 for Tali.

Both are crazy when presented with an opportunity to chase and attack an animal, but Tali's eyes glaze over like there is literally nothing else in the world and she will look through a person and mow you down to get to a small animal - she has an impenetrable focus on prey. Fiona will at least look at me when presented with the chance to chase and attack an animal, but she can't be merely called off (also, size doesn't matter with Fi - the bigger the animal the more intense she seems to become about getting it). Both girls require stopping with some sort of physical force.

Fiona also has to be watched very closely with dogs under about 20-lbs because if a small dog darts off - she will treat it like prey - and she will try to bully it into running so she can chase it. Tali is only slightly better with small dogs - if she's been introduced to them and had the opportunity to play lightly, she is far less likely to see them as prey. Fiona sees them as prey immediately upon seeing them.

Tali, surprisingly, will willingly drop an animal for me once it's dead. It seems to lose all it's allure once it stops squealing and fighting.




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Last edited by brw1982; 07-26-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:34 PM
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Lottie does hunt and kill rats and birds, but she lives on a farm quite happily with chickens, cows, sheep and whatever small fluffy animals are there at the time. In fact all of our Dobes have hunted and killed plenty of animals, but they have all also lived with small animals so no chance I would say their prey drive is off the charts. Compared to some sighthounds and terriers I would say that Dobes are generally pretty mild from my experience, no worse than most pet dogs... I mean what dogs don't chase wild animals if given the chance.


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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:37 PM
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I went with number 4. Brandy seems to have a high prey drive to me at least. We saw some deer on the trail the other night and she just about dragged me off into the brush! And don't even get me started on birds, I think one of my arms is slightly longer after she tried to go after a robin this summer. There's two cats that live next door to us that the neighbor lets out on strings and she goes crazy barking at them, especially if they're moving. That said, she gets along with our cat just fine. They even play together, he gets her to chase him and they run around like nuts. I think it's because she grew up with him and he won't take any sh*t from a dog.

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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:49 PM
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OK, elucidate--

The difference between chase and prey drive.

I'm thinking Capri is pretty high if she can chase stuff, but I don't know that she would grab a varmit off the ground if it was just sitting there. The cat she just nose pokes--which the cat absolutely hates. I think Capri has a sense of humor.

Kip at least indulges in a split second of THINKING before he heads after something.

And of course, they encourage each other--if one chases, the other will be too, within a short time.
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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:09 PM
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Gave Delta a 2 as she chases but does not kill. If she catches up to a squirrel or cat (both of which she's done), she nose-pokes it.

Birds she ignores unless they are flightless. Chicks fallen from the nest and not yet able to fly get barked and bounced at in hopes of making them run. (Bonus! They also make squeak toy-like chirps!)

She's pretty decent about leaving the ferrets alone most of the time, but not to the point I'd ever trust her unsupervised with them. Roni (the younger spastic ferret) I think would actually play with Delta if Delta could find a way to remain calmer and play while lying or in a down. As soon as she jumps up, though, she's too big and scary for Roni's liking.


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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Good point, mel, about chase versus prey. I'm really not sure how to distinguish the two, to be honest.


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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:13 PM
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I marked 5 - a solid 5 indeed. One of the reasons given for why my rescue girl was turned into the shelter was because of her "extreme" interest in the squirrels who would run around the perimeter of her backyard - always just out of reach, much to her dismay.
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:19 PM
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He still gets HUGE eyes and leaps/snaps at the cats when I pick them up to carry over him...

I rated Atlas at 4

well...if hes laying down and they are quiet, they can get 15 feet away from him even with eye contact. But if they meow, hes up and heading for them...
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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:23 PM
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I gave Elka a 2. She will, playfully, chase moths and spiders. She shows an immense Disney friends interest in cats. I do not allow her to chase squirrels, chipmunks, or deer, and sometimes she'll take a couple of steps to that end, then stop and look at me.

Evidently my fiancé encourages her to chase squirrels (we've had to have them removed from the house a couple of times). However, she's smart enough by this point to realize that I don't necessarily allow what he does.

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post #16 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:24 PM
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I voted 3 because...
Jones does well with MOST indoor critters (Rats/Cats/rabbits/Ferrets)... Under close supervision of course... He gets pushy and nose pokey with smaller critters, and will chase if they run, but that is it....

Outside Jones see's it as free game... We have LOTS of wild rabbits around the house... And some come into my backyard, and Jones wouldn't think twice about maiming one of them or a cat that came into his yard.

I also voted 3 because I do have the ability to call him off whatever he is chasing (it's not a great recall, but he will slow down and make his way back to me)


When I think 5 I think of no recall, no listening, refuse to focus on anything but the "target"

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post #17 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:43 PM
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I meant to ask this earlier but does anyone else have a Dobe (or dog) that likes to 'rub the cat fur between their teeth? I don’t allow it but that is what Flirt likes to do. She’s almost pinching the fur

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post #18 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 05:49 PM
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Leo is a 5. He's a killa. So far ive witnessed the demise of 2 squirrels. Only had to clean up one, the dober death shake launched the second over our 6' fence. Neighbors problem. :-). He's actually a danger to himself sometimes, he has focused in so hard that he has plowed straight into the columns on our patio. He's also lost his "off leash" privileges on our beach after an incident with a shorebird.

Mac is probably a 3 or 4. She will stalk and chase, but she doesn't go into that foggy prey drive that makes her oblivious to the world.
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post #19 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:37 PM
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Your poll would have a whole lot more meaning if you defined what kind of behavior fits each category.

Prey drive is both a general drive and somewhat breed specific. A Lab with “middle of the road” prey should behave differently than a German Shepherd Dog with “middle of the road” prey.

When speaking of prey drive in general and not specific to a breed, I would consider “Off-the-charts” prey drive to be where a dog has a super strong desire to chase, catch and kill virtually anything that he views as a prey object, and the dog views not just a few objects as prey but rather views many, many things as prey. Those things could include animals, cars, bite sleeves, lawnmowers, balls, a simple plastic bag being blown across the street, or even a human.

An off-the-charts prey drive dog has very poor survival skills. He will chase through fire, off a cliff or out into traffic. He will try to catch stuff that can and will hurt him (cars, large animals, chainsaws, etc) He will withstand aggression from a large animal or even a human to catch his prey object. An off-the-charts prey dog is a pain in the butt and in some respects dangerous. You are not going to put control into those dogs without some pretty serious corrections.

Someone else may disagree though and consider “Off-the-charts” prey drive to be a dog who will play Frisbee for hours on end, or one who tries to goad the neighbors cat into running so he can play chase.

It's your poll, so you get to define things however you'd like, but unless you offer some clear definitions folks will be voting without consistency.
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post #20 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:43 PM
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I voted 5, and would have picked 6 if there was one lol. We manage it very well, however. If someone had my dog that didn't have a very solid understanding of dog behavior and training, they would not be able to handler her, and she would not be like she is now. Right after we cleared her coccidia and worms, and she started getting her energy back, I realized she had a high prey drive even at a very young age, and I started using that to my advantage in training. From an early age, I also started incorporating pretty intense distractions into our training, so that we still have control at all times, no matter what. If I didn't do that training, I would not be able to have her off leash, outside, ever. She will stop a dead run if I tell her to, but again, this is something that we spent alot of time working on. When she is with my parents or anyone else, I make sure I remind them every time, that even though she is the most well behaved dog you could ask for, please don't allow her off leash outside the fenced yard. If you know the commands, she is perfect. If you stress, and say the wrong thing, she'll be gone... When we were on our honeymoon I had nightmares about her chasing the neighbors kids down the road lol.

This was how wound up she got when I told her to leave a bee alone lol I think she was like 6 or 7 months old

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTXtm5u9Ep4

Last edited by KevinK; 07-26-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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post #21 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adhahn View Post
When speaking of prey drive in general and not specific to a breed, I would consider “Off-the-charts” prey drive to be where a dog has a super strong desire to chase, catch and kill virtually anything that he views as a prey object, and the dog views not just a few objects as prey but rather views many, many things as prey. Those things could include animals, cars, bite sleeves, lawnmowers, balls, a simple plastic bag being blown across the street, or even a human.

An off-the-charts prey drive dog has very poor survival skills. He will chase through fire, off a cliff or out into traffic. He will try to catch stuff that can and will hurt him (cars, large animals, chainsaws, etc) He will withstand aggression from a large animal or even a human to catch his prey object. An off-the-charts prey dog is a pain in the butt and in some respects dangerous.
I would agree with this. Tali would chase bikes and motorcycles, for sure, if allowed to although I'm unsure about small cars. And anything she's ever gotten ahold of she kills or rips up, depending on what it is. And she would run flat into a brick wall, off a cliff, you name it - whatever - chasing something with absolutely no hesitation. Fiona is just shy of that kind of "dedication" in a few areas but they're both PITAs when they're after something.




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post #22 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adhahn View Post
Your poll would have a whole lot more meaning if you defined what kind of behavior fits each category.

Prey drive is both a general drive and somewhat breed specific. A Lab with “middle of the road” prey should behave differently than a German Shepherd Dog with “middle of the road” prey.

When speaking of prey drive in general and not specific to a breed, I would consider “Off-the-charts” prey drive to be where a dog has a super strong desire to chase, catch and kill virtually anything that he views as a prey object, and the dog views not just a few objects as prey but rather views many, many things as prey. Those things could include animals, cars, bite sleeves, lawnmowers, balls, a simple plastic bag being blown across the street, or even a human.

An off-the-charts prey drive dog has very poor survival skills. He will chase through fire, off a cliff or out into traffic. He will try to catch stuff that can and will hurt him (cars, large animals, chainsaws, etc) He will withstand aggression from a large animal or even a human to catch his prey object. An off-the-charts prey dog is a pain in the butt and in some respects dangerous. You are not going to put control into those dogs without some pretty serious corrections.

Someone else may disagree though and consider “Off-the-charts” prey drive to be a dog who will play Frisbee for hours on end, or one who tries to goad the neighbors cat into running so he can play chase.

It's your poll, so you get to define things however you'd like, but unless you offer some clear definitions folks will be voting without consistency.
Agreed. I wasn't trying to be super scientific, though, so that's okay. I just wanted a general sense of what people thought.


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post #23 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:34 PM
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Through the effing roof.

Go working Dobes!
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post #24 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:40 PM
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I rated Daims at a 4, and Zil at a 5.
Daims would chase, but could be called off.
Zillah on the other hand....deaf and blind to any commands when there was something to be "had" be it possum in the wall, chicken on the ground, running kid, cats, mice, birds, flies, lawnmower, even horses or animals running on TV! Sadly he never earned off leash priveliges, which was something I was sad about as it was one of my greatest joys with Daims to be able to let him run when we were camping or hiking.

Interestingly, in comparrison to Zil, I'd rate Basil's terrier tenacity at a 4, as he can still sit still whilst the possum moves around in the roof. Zil was obsessive with the possums.

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post #25 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faireview View Post
After living with terrier girls who give off the death scream when they so much as see a squirrel, or rabbit, or chicken, or goat, or even fish sometimes, it's nice to have a guy with a little less drive to balance them out.
Couldn't agree more... compared to my 2 frantic terrier killing machines the Dobe is like a dream around small animals.
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