Common Behavior Problems
Predation - Dogs or Cats Who Kill or Chase Small
Predation is actually a sequence of behaviors that if taken to
their end point, result in the killing of an animal, presumably
for food. However, dogs and cats can show part of the predatory
sequence, such as chasing, stalking or pouncing without ever killing
Fast movement of any sort can stimulate the chasing part of predatory
behavior. Joggers, kids on skateboards or scooters, bicyclists and
motorcycles are common triggers for dogs.
Your pet can become infested with parasites by killing animals,
so it’s in your best interest, and your pet’s, to prevent
this. Check with your veterinarian about the health issues involved.
Your first step in stopping your pet’s predatory behavior
is to control your pet’s environment. This may mean no off-leash
runs or walks for your dog and keeping your cat indoors. Respect
While a bell on your cat’s collar may help, some cats learn
to creep up on critters and keep the bell silent. Any collar must
be of a safe, break away type so you cat can’t get caught
and strangle herself.
All things considered, it’s just not a good idea to allow
your cat to roam. If you want to give her outside time, train her
to walk on a leash and harness, (yes, cats can be trained!), install
a cat-proof barrier on your fence so she can’t leave your
yard, or give her an outside pen or enclosure.
We can teach you how to provide your cat with what she needs to
lead a stimulating, fulfilling life indoors with our What
Cats Want CD that gives you
an abundance of ways to create a cat-friendly indoor environment.
Schedule an individual
consultation for more personalized help with your specific issues.
Take steps to help your dog become more manageable and less reactive
to his triggers for predatory behaviors. This may require counter
conditioning and desensitization, behavior management tools
such as the Gentle Leader,
and even appropriate punishment for the behavior.
In rare cases, dogs can show predatory behavior toward people.
This most often happens when dogs are running loose in a group.
Individual dogs have been known to show predatory behavior toward
infants and young children as well, although this is not common.
There is no evidence that dogs who show predatory behavior toward
animals are more likely to show the same behavior toward adults
If managing your pet’s world by not giving him the opportunity
to chase and potentially hurt small critters or people is not enough,
then we suggest scheduling
a consultation with us. Predatory problems can range
from just annoying to extremely dangerous, and you must take steps
to either control or change your pet’s behavior or both.