Predation - Dogs That Kill or Chase Small Animals
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
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, even in more rural areas.
Walk him on a leash and collar, install a fence so he can’t
leave your yard, confine him in an outside pen or enclosure,
or allow him off leash only in permitted areas and where
he cannot harm other animals.