Dog Breeds With Low Prey Drive
(Photo credit: Anita Kot / Getty Images)
When you think of prey drive, you may picture a hunting dog baying away as they follow a trail. But, prey drive can manifest in many ways, from attempting to chase local wildlife to bothering other pets in the home. If you’re looking for some dog breeds with a low prey drive, check out this list of the best breeds to consider.
What is prey drive?
Prey drive is the instinct and desire to chase after prey. Many dog breeds were developed to be hunting and herding companions. As a result, these breeds often exhibit behaviors of prey drive, such as actively hunting down prey, pointing or flushing out wildlife, or herding livestock and other animals around.
Why low prey drive dog breeds might be right for you
If you own other pets, such as cats or pocket pets, you might not want a breed naturally inclined to chasing them around the house. Or, if you’re an avid jogger or hiker, you likely want a companion that will ignore the local wildlife instead of dragging you after it. If you have small children, you might also want a breed that is friendly and less likely to herd your children around the house! By looking for a low prey drive breed, you can choose a dog that better suits your lifestyle.
However, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, so prey drive can vary from dog to dog as well, despite their breed.
While the lovable Bulldog was bred to bait bulls, they actually have a very low prey drive. These dogs are often happiest serving as family companions. And while they may bark at passing wildlife, they’re unlikely to go running after it.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A companion breed loved by royalty, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed more at home on your lap than out in the field. This breed was originally designed to keep royal ladies company by warming their laps in drafty castles and carriages.
Much like their English cousins, the French Bulldog is another breed with low prey drive. These lap-sized dogs became popular with lace workers in the 1800s for both their calm companionship and lap-warming abilities.
While you may think the Great Pyrenees has a high prey drive due to their work with livestock, the opposite is true! These dogs were bred as livestock guardians, which means they have to be able to interact with livestock without chasing them.
The Havanese quickly became the companion of choice for families in Havana, Cuba. Fiercely loyal to their people, they’ve earned the nickname of “velcro dog” due to their need for companionship. You’re much more likely to find this breed snuggled against you on the couch than chasing critters.
A cousin to the Havanese, the Maltese exhibits similar breed traits with high companionship and loyalty. These dogs love spending time with their families and will stick close to your side on walks. They were also one of the earliest breeds to be seen at dog shows!
While it may seem like the Newfoundland has a high prey drive due to their love of rescuing people from the water, they’re actually a calm, gentle breed around other pets and wildlife. These gentle giants are more at home relaxing in the water or at their family’s side.
The Papillon, named for their beautiful butterfly-like ears, is a gentle, loving breed. Highly intelligent and trainable, these dogs love to impress their owners and spend time at their side. They’ll often ignore other pets, people, and wildlife if it means getting more time to snuggle with their family!
The fluffy Pomeranian is another intelligent breed with low prey drive. They were bred to be toy-sized companions that maintained the fluffy appearance of larger spitz-type breeds. In fact, the Pomeranian is so beloved, several were saved by their owners during the sinking of the Titanic.
The Pug is a popular smush-nosed breed with a cute curly tail and extra personality. They were bred to be protectors of the ruling family of China, keeping them company. And while they may bark at intruders, this breed won’t be chasing any family pets around.
Now that you have an idea of dog breeds that have low prey drives, check out the other end of the spectrum with this guide to dogs with higher prey drives.
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