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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
Dave T
 
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Prey or Predator

Not to scare every hav owner, but just something to be aware of. One of the biggest worries with dog parks that allow large and small dogs together is something called predatory drift , here's an article and a good link. Also is a pic of Molly in predator mode. Much more fun than prey mode. LOL

Predatory Drift
Even dogs that are not usually into hunting-type activities may have predatory reflexes triggered if the situation is close enough to a predator-prey interaction. A good example is when one dog flees from another. The rapidly retreating animal looks like prey. Another example is when a doggie argument occurs and one dog panics and begins to vocalize or struggle like a prey animal. A predatory reflex in the other dog may then kick in. When this happens, it’s called predatory drift – what began as a social interaction drifted into a predator-prey interaction. Predatory drift frequently results in serious injuries or death to the dog that is struggling and panicking. This is because the prey killing reflex is a much more serious kind of bite – often a grab and shake - than that which occurs in a regular dogfight.

The risk of predatory drift is greatly increased when there is a significant size difference between the two dogs arguing. For this reason, all interactions between very large and very small dogs should be closely supervised, especially if there is reason to expect any arguing. The risk goes higher still if the smaller dog is prone to panic and/or the larger dog has demonstrated any predatory propensities. Because of this risk, many animal rescues use a “50% rule” in its adoption policy – the smaller of two dogs must be at least half the weight of the larger dog.

Courtesy of the San Francisco SPCA

http://www.bandamastiffs.ca/PredatoryDrift.html Article by Jean Donaldson
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 08:22 PM
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"The risk goes higher still if the smaller dog is prone to panic and/or the larger dog has demonstrated any predatory propensities."

It is for this reason that I avoid dog parks. Ricky is quite anxious around bossy, overly boisterous dogs and then snaps at the air, backs into a corner and 'screams' at times. Nope. Not good! Good article, Dave, thank you.

I know he needs more socializing, but the dog park is not the place I'm going to do that. I've gone there and we've walked around the park, a good 3-4 feet from the fence, just so my two can hear and see, but still feel safe. With the summer heat, doing that just ain't gonna happen. We'll be back in the fall.




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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you Marj, I feel the same way. The parks around here are not separated when it comes to small and large dogs. Under the right conditions they can be great, I just don't bother. We had a sad story here last year. A Yorkie was killed by a Husky right in the checkout line at Petsmart. From what they learned ,it was probably a case of predatory drift. The worries of owning a small dog ehh.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 10:11 PM
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Wow. I never heard of this predatory drift condition. Thank you so much for sharing this information.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 12:10 AM
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thanks, for the reminder dave.



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 05:50 AM
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I totally believe this.. it happened with Capote at the park one time and since then big dogs scare the crap outta him. I fought with the HOA to get a separate small dog park in the neighborhood and they finally put one in.. so we only go there. No mastiffs chasing capote anymore!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 06:35 AM
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I know several people who won't go further with competitive obedience with their small dogs than CD, simply because they won't leave their small dog in the ring ring alone for the long sits and downs. They are too afraid that if their little one breaks the stay between a Rottweiler and a Siberian, the little dog will be lunch before anyone can reach them.

Even for well-trained dogs, that instinct can take over, and all you need is once to lose your little dog.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 09:02 AM
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Excellent Article! We are very careful when we encounter larger (any) dog while out on walks. I think Daisy became fearful of larger dogs after we tried doggy day care to provide her with more canine friends.... Daisy and Beau now have several dog-friends that we walk with or they visit to RLH in our backyard. (2 neighbors have havies) Other than that - they visit with my adult children's dogs or visit our breeder to play with the pack!

There is one mixed breed dog owned by a neighbor that Daisy and Beau like and have NEVER had a problem with. However, this same dog did "go for" one of the neighborhood havies when he was a little pup. I am very watchful around him - but never see any signs of aggression towards my two....

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 09:09 AM
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Excellent Article! We are very careful when we encounter larger (any) dog while out on walks. I think Daisy became fearful of larger dogs after we tried doggy day care to provide her with more canine friends.... Daisy and Beau now have several dog-friends that we walk with or they visit to RLH in our backyard. (2 neighbors have havies) Other than that - they visit with my adult children's dogs or visit our breeder to play with the pack!

There is one mixed breed dog owned by a neighbor that Daisy and Beau like and have NEVER had a problem with. However, this same dog did "go for" one of the neighborhood havies when he was a little pup. I am very watchful around him - but never see any signs of aggression towards my two....

Lynda (Daisy & Beau's mom)
Daisy Mae - born 4/05/08
Beau - born 4/25/09
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2010, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for posting this Dave. Great information. All of our local dog parks have separate small dog areas. Even still, I hardly ever take Tori to them. Last time we were in one (8 mos. ago), there was a pug mix that wouldn't leave her alone. He kept following her around trying to sniff and hump her. Unfortunately, his owner just laughed and made jokes about his behavior toward her. That's when I decided the pug and his owner were on the same mental level and left... Honestly, Tori doesn't really enjoy dog parks that much. She's an observer, not a participator. She'd prefer to sit on my lap and just watch the other dogs so, what's the point?

While Tori can be the predator (remember the lizard thread? ) She was definitely the prey on our walk the other day. My DD, DGS and I were walking on the busy 4-lane street nearest us, when I looked up I saw a coyote, on the sidewalk about a block ahead, walking toward us. We immediately turned around and began walking in the opposite direction. It followed us for about a 1/2 block or so. Coyotes (and foxtails ) are the reason I don't walk her in our local wilderness park. Geesh, it's beginning to look like I won't be able to walk her on the busy streets around here anymore, either...

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