Prey Drive In Labrador Retrievers

12 Mar 2024, 5:58 a.m. by Tracey McLennan


Labrador Retrievers are a gundog breed, prized for their ability to retrieve. The breed is thought to have originated in Newfoundland where they were said to have been used to retrieve fish. They are popular around the world as assistance dogs and family companions.


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

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

Hunt: 1%

Orient: 1%

Eye: 21%

Stalk: 46%

Chase: 3%

Grab-bite: 6%

Possess: 0%

Kill-bite: 27%

Dissect: 24%

Consume: 45%

There were 67 dogs of this breed in my research. As you can see, although the numbers show that they were number two on the list of dogs with no interest in some parts of the predatory motor sequence , that does not mean that the breed has no interest in prey animals. For instance, 100% of those dogs had some interest in possessing items with over a quarter of them being described as living to possess. Over a third of them were described as living to chase and nearly 40% of them were described as living to hunt.

If you have a Labrador 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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Woman with short hair and a purple top walks through stunning countryside carrying a pink dog lead

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.