Prey Drive In Greyhounds

12 Mar 2024, 6:16 a.m. by Tracey McLennan


This breed is a sighthound and is said to be among the most ancient of dog breeds. Evidence going back at least three thousand years indicates that these dogs were bred to hunt other animals. They are said to be able to reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour while running.

It is not uncommon for Greyhounds to live a life that sees them in vastly different environment. Many of the breed start out life in racing kennels and they are then rehomed as companion dogs.


Predatory Motor Sequence statistics for Greyhounds. The graph shows the percentage of Greyhounds in my research study that had no interest at all in each behaviour.

Bar chart showing the percentage of Greyhounds with no interest in each part of the predatory motor sequence

Hunt: 4%

Orient: 0%

Eye: 11%

Stalk: 32%

Chase: 4%

Grab-bite: 4%

Possess: 18%

Kill-bite: 14%

Dissect: 14%

Consume: 46%

There were 28 dogs of this breed in my research. As you can see, although the numbers show that they were number ten on the list of dogs with no interest in some parts of the predatory motor sequence , that does not mean that Greyhounds have no interest in prey animals. In fact, all 28 of the dogs in my research had an interest to some extent in orient which, is said to be a key behaviour for greyhounds with researchers, Howell and Bennett stating that sighthounds like Greyhounds usually orient and then immediately chase before going for a grab-bite.

Of the behaviours, orient, chase and grab-bite, therefore, a high level of interest would be expected in Greyhounds. However, only 25% of them were listed as living to orient, 32% were listed as living to chase and just 7% were listed as living to grab-bite. Researchers Starling et al., noted a lack of research into what motivates Greyhounds to chase as well as it being the case that not all Greyhounds bred and trained to chase do so.

If you have a Greyhound and would describe them as having a high prey drive, you are not alone. The fact is that they are all individuals and many of them have a strong interest in prey. Find out more about your own dog’s preferences by filling in my quiz and letting me give you detailed information about what your dog loves the most when it comes to prey drive.

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Hi - I'm Tracey.

I am the founder of Best Dog Learning and Stuff and a massive prey drive enthusiast. I've lived with high prey drive dogs for over 20 years and I love them. I run the awesome High Prey Drive Club where I help my members learn to have fabulous walks and happy lives with their high prey drive dogs.

I am a published researcher in my field with both my original research and my review of the literature looking at prey drive in dogs being published in the respected journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

I am the author of Canine aggression: Rehabilitating an aggressive dog with kindess and compassion.

I want to show you how easy and fun it can be to have a high prey drive dog.

If you'd like help with your dog, I'm ready to help you right now.