Why Dogs Have A Strong Prey Drive
Long ago, the ancestors of domestic dogs roamed the wild and lived as predators. Even with domestication, many dogs still possess a strong prey drive. This instinct has been recognized as an important tool in dog training, next to food. Using a dog’s prey drive prevents the animal from being too engrossed in having food as a reward during training. The practice of giving food or treats during training can be an important cause of weight gain especially if given in excess. A dog that possesses a strong prey drive loves playing a game of fetch or chasing after Frisbees or balls. These games and objects can be used as rewards or positive reinforcement in the same manner as food or treats. For example, you are teaching your dog to come on command. Once he comes when called, say “good dog”, and immediately throw a stick or ball for him to chase after. It is best not to leave out your pet’s favorite ball or toy in between training sessions, so he won’t get bored of the toy. The novelty of a toy that only comes out during training is a stronger motivator. Keep your dog healthy and active by bringing him regularly to your Naperville, IL veterinary clinic.