Dogs with Low Prey Drive

How relaxing could a walk with your four-legged friend be if they didn’t have something else in mind: hunting! The hunting instinct is different in dogs. We give tips on all aspects of dog breeds that hunt little, and we introduce often underrated hunters on four paws.

Are There Dogs Without a Hunting Instinct?

Yes and no. There are dog breeds that naturally have little to no hunting instinct. However, you cannot rely 100 percent on it when a new four-legged friend moves in with you.

Consistent upbringing is crucial for breeds or hybrids that naturally have a low hunting instinct. Therefore, from an early age, make sure to react quickly. Call your dog back if he chases butterflies or birds as a puppy. As cute as it may look – it awakens the dog’s hunting instinct. By the way: ball games also appeal to the dog’s hunting instinct. Most four-legged friends enjoy them.

Anti-hunting Training with Dog

If a dog has a weak hunting instinct, you can get this under control with suitable anti-hunting training. But be careful: if you have the slightest doubt, keep your four-legged friend on a leash. A hunting dog puts itself in danger and stresses other animals. Consideration for nature is the top priority in forests and meadows.

Dog Breeds Without a Hunting Instinct

Many dogs were originally bred primarily as hunting helpers. Nevertheless, there are some breeds that have little hunting instinct today. This includes former hunting assistants as well as pure companion dogs. But be careful: some dogs of these breeds can still tend to hunt. Talk to the breeder or previous owner about this issue. In addition, four-legged friends who have too little activity tend to hunt more.

Sporty Dogs Without Hunting Instinct

Whether Labrador, Golden, or Flat-Coated – all retrievers are excellent hunting assistants. But the key difference to other breeds is that traditionally they are only used after the shot. Because they are supposed to bring back the booty. Because retrievers have to stay quietly close to their biped during the hunt, they have hardly any hunting instinct today.

Quiet Dog Breeds Without a Hunting Instinct

The need for the running of these dogs is limited: Pugs, French bulldogs, and Pekingese are not passionate hunters due to their stature and short nose. The risk of them tracking down a deer can therefore be classified as low. Nevertheless, the following applies: it depends on upbringing.

Small Dogs With no Hunting Instinct

Small, fluffy, and cuddly: Most Bichon breeds enjoy being with their humans far too much to be inclined to go electric. These four-legged friends have been popular “lapdogs” for centuries and show little hunting instinct. Warning: The Coton de Tuléar will not go far from you in the woods and fields. But he won’t say “no” to a mouse that he comes across in the garden.

Japanese Chin, Maltese, and Bolognese are also among the companionship dogs with little hunting instinct.

They are Typical Hunting Dogs

Of course, everyone who brings a Weimaraner or a Munsterlander into their home should be clear: These dogs are real hunters. Well-behaved, running dogs and sweathounds do not hunt uncontrollably, but the sporty four-legged friends can hardly be used appropriately for non-hunters. The beagle is often underestimated: If he has picked up an interesting track, it is not uncommon for the next few hours to say: Always follow your nose!

All “original dog breeds” such as huskies and Spitz are also considered dogs with a high hunting instinct. Sighthounds, which are sight hunters, do less nose work. As soon as they spot potential prey, they go on a chase. Podenco keepers can tell you a thing or two about it.

Little Hunters

Hunting is tricky with many small dogs. They have blossomed into popular companionship dogs, but are real hunters at heart.

This includes all small terriers such as the West Highland Terrier or the popular Jack Russell Terrier. As cute as they may look: Chihuahua and Papillon are also passionate mouse hunters. Just as many former stable dogs: Pinschers, Griffons, and Schnauzers have for centuries fed rats and mice on farms. It goes without saying that they won’t say no to such a four-legged treat.

Whether the mouse catchers go rabbit hunting in the field is individually different – and a matter of upbringing!

Beware of Water Dogs and Poodles

These four-legged friends combine rummaging and retrieving work. That is why some of these breeds – contrary to some information circulating – have the hunting instinct. Waterdogs like the barbet or the Spanish water dog need a lot of activity so that they do not develop a hunting instinct. Otherwise, they’ll be only too happy to be distracted by a passing rabbit. They are not suitable for easy dog lovers.

Poodles are descended from water dogs. The small variants are not very interested in the game. They have a weak hunting instinct. But with the standard poodle, the desire to hunt can present the keeper with one or the other challenge.

More Dogs with an Underestimated Hunting Instinct

Browsing dogs like the English Springer Spaniel are supposed to find prey and then drive them to the hunter. Today they are also characterized by great enthusiasm for hunting. Anyone who thinks that herding dogs are not interested in prey is mistaken: the herding behavior and hustle and bustle go back to hunting behavior. Man has only bred the last step, killing, from the behavior repertoire of the herding dogs.

However, among the classic farm dogs, there are some breeds such as the Landseer or the Newfoundland dog that show little hunting instinct.

Tips When the Dog is Hunting

Your “dog without hunting instinct” is suddenly chasing squirrels? Be careful – if you don’t stop these beginnings, the relaxed walks in the forest could be a thing of the past. Therefore:

  • Whether butterfly or deer: consistently stop any hunting;
  • Does your dog not hear reliably? A dragline increases its radius when walking;
  • “Hunting games” with balls and frisbee only controlled: sit first, walk on command;
  • Leash puppies and unpredictable dogs to protect them from accidents – a leaf can encourage them to hunt;
  • A dog trainer helps with anti-hunting training;
  • Keep the dog busy.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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