The hunting instinct in dogs can be uncomfortable for both the four-legged friend and the master. But there is a completely natural instinct behind it. In many dog breeds, the drive is innate.
Most dogs naturally have some instinct for chasing prey. However, this hunting instinct in dogs is more pronounced in some breeds than in others. Anyone who buys such an animal needs a lot of patience and consistency in training. It is important that dog owners see the hunting instinct as natural – because it is nothing else.
The innate hunting instinct in dogs
This hunting instinct in dogs is a natural trait that they inherited from their ancestors – the wolves. The wolf was dependent on obtaining a large part of its food from hunting. Therefore, some dog breeds have also adopted this drive – even if they don’t have to hunt to get their food, of course. It is also important to know that dogs hunt to be happy. It is not hunger that drives our dogs, but a state of happiness that is felt when hunting through the release of certain hormones.
During walks in the forest or in other spacious areas where the dog can roam a little, a small animal such as a rabbit or a duck naturally falls victim to it from time to time. With larger, stronger animals, it can even happen that they see a smaller dog as prey, chase it and possibly even seriously injure it. Here, of course, educational measures are required to prevent worse. On the other hand, hunters like to choose just such animals as companion dogs.
What triggers the hunting instinct in dogs?
Depending on the dog breed, the passion for hunting is different. What triggers the drive in nature is always a certain stimulus. Dogs with long noses and lop ears like the beagle or the basset hound usually only need a fresh lead to immediately switch to hunting mode. Other dog breeds, such as retrievers, switch when they see a visual stimulus, such as a fast-moving creature. Valuable tips for avoiding hunting scenes when going for a walk can be found in the guide: “Dogs with a hunting instinct: Tips for more relaxed walks”.
These dog breeds have a special hunting instinct
Dog breeds with a pronounced hunting instinct include pointing dogs such as the Weimaraner or the Magyar Vizsla. Hounds like the Beagle also have a strong hunting instinct. But smaller dog breeds also have instinct: dachshunds or small terriers are suitable for driving badgers or foxes out of their den. Here is a brief overview of dog breeds with a hunting instinct:
• Basset Hound
• German Shorthaired Pointer
• German Longhaired Pointer
• Wire Fox Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier
• Jack Russell Terriers
• Magyar Vizsla