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 can show part of the predatory sequence, such as chasing, stalking or pouncing without ever killing an animal.

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.

Dogs will sometimes show predatory behavior toward other species of family pets such as cats, birds, small mammals, and even other dogs (usually very small ones). If your dog is attacking your other pets you MUST separate them IMMEDIATELY and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of the animals being attacked.

Dogs will also show predatory behavior toward wildlife including deer, birds, snakes, rabbits, and other species they have access to. If your dog is harassing or killing wildlife or livestock you can be prosecuted by the local authorities for your dog’s behavior. Your best choice is to keep your dog on a leash and not permit this behavior.

Your pet can become infested with parasites by killing animals, so it’s also in your pet’s best interest to prevent this. Check with your veterinarian about the health issues involved.

All things considered, it’s not a good idea to allow your dog to roam at large if he is prone to going after other critters.  If you are in a situation where you can’t prevent this, it may be a VERY difficult behavior to modify.  Management is often the best, and only, option.