Does your high prey drive dog ditch you as soon as the lead is off?

22 Jul 2022, 6:26 a.m. by Tracey McLennan


Is this what happens to you? You arrive at your walk and as soon as your dog is released, they take off without a backward glance and head off to do their own thing. Chase birds or rabbits or run around sniffing. If it is, you are not alone. It’s so common.

And – so often it happens for reasons that are all about caring deeply. Almost always, this is what happens:

✅ You’d get to the walk and your dog would be beside themselves with excitement. Unable to contain themselves, knowing that soon they would be running free.

✅ You would unclip the lead as quickly as possible so that you could see your dog having fun. Maybe you’d even park so that your dog could fly straight out of the car and start running.

If you have a dog with a high prey drive, the thing about that habit is that it means you aren’t part of the picture when your dog is having fun. The fun is all out there chasing, following smells, and running. Over time what tends to happen with high prey drive dogs is they listen less and less to people and spend more and more time enjoying themselves with prey. Then usually they find themselves confined to a long line or a lead.

If this is something you’re living with, first of all, do not beat yourself up. Remember that it started because you love your dog and want to see them having fun.

Second, here is a super quick and easy tip to help you. Every day before you unclip the lead or clip on the long line, toss a piece of food to your dog.












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Or you could join my Facebook group Support for high prey drive dogs.











Hi - I'm Tracey

I am the author of Canine aggression: Rehabilitating an aggressive dog with kindess and compassion and founder of Best Dog Learning and Stuff Ltd. I specialise in helping people with dogs who have a high prey drive. I have an honours degree in Canine behaviour and training, am a Tellington TTouch practitioner, and an ACE Advanced Tutor. I am currently studying for an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training.


I love to hear from people who read my blog so if you want to let me know what you thought, email me on tracey@bestdoglearningandstuff.co.uk