Changing Undesirable Behaviours

Dog Prey Drive Training: How to STOP Animal Chasing

February 24, 2024

There are a lot of misconceptions about dog prey drive and how to “fix” it. In this 4 part blog series I’m going to cover:

  1. What is dog prey drive?
  2. How does dog breed affect their prey drive?
  3. Why I train dog prey drive force free
  4. Dog prey drive training: how to stop animal chasing

I also created a comprehensive Youtube video that explains EVERYTHING you need to know about dog prey drive. It also includes a step-by-step training plan to teach your dog to stop chasing animals. You can watch that here:

How to train a dog to stop chasing animals (dog prey drive training):

Let’s “solve” your dogs prey drive! There are three components to this plan:

dog prey drive training 3 components

1) Prevention:

While we’re building a new behaviour, it’s important that your dog doesn’t practice the old one.

Therefore, for now, you need to limit your dog’s ability chase animals. Depending on your lifestyle this may mean:

  • Not going to off leash parks
  • Keeping your dog leashed for walks & hikes
  • Making sure your gate remains closed if you have a fenced yard
  • Using baby gates or closed doors in the house to separate your dog from other household pets

These temporary measures help break the predatory cycle!

2) Replacement outlets:

Since we’re asking our dogs to ignore their natural instinct to chase animals, it’s important that we provide safe outlets for their prey drive.

Some people worry that if they let their dog exhibit these natural behaviours it’s going to increase their drive or lead to compulsive behaviours.

It won’t.

I instead encourage you think of dog prey drive like a battery:

dog prey drive training

By offering safe outlets, you can help drain that instinctual need so that they don’t feel as compelled to do it with undesirable sources.

I’ve noticed with my dog Neirah as well as with clients dogs that the more opportunities the dog has to fulfill their prey drive instincts, the less need they have with real animals.

If you remember from the “What is dog prey drive?” blog post in this series, this is the dog predatory sequence:

dog prey drive

I train the dogs I work with to stop at the eye-lock stage, so these are the parts of the sequence I replace with new outlets:


It’s important to replace all parts of the sequence that your dog previously wanted to do with a live animal so that they still have an opportunity to act on their instincts.

I suggest incorporating activities such as frisbee, flirt poles, trash shredding & more to meet your dogs needs.

Tip: Using a real fur toy can really help!

Why real fur? Real fur has a scent & texture that’s hard to beat when it comes to grabbing your dog’s attention. Some of us may be vegetarian or vegan, but our dogs are not. What your dog wants in that moment is to hunt a REAL animal & fur toys help emulate that. For my favourite brand of ethical real & faux fur toys, click here. The code “happyhoundsdogtraining” will get you 10% off your entire order!

3) Dog prey drive training

The final component is training! With positive reinforcement only, we’re going to teach the dog a new set of behaviours to do when they spot an animal. Instead of chasing it, they will learn to look at an animal, watch it if they want to, but then reorient back to you.

I use a 3-phase plan for prey drive training:

dog prey drive training 3-phase plan

When people remark about their dogs strong prey drive, they’re not typically referring to the beginning of the predatory sequence where their dog discovers and watches an animal. There’s no risk in our dog watching an animal, but things can get dangerous when our dog starts pursuing the prey. Therefore, I utilize training to prevent the escalation from watching to chasing.

Dog prey drive training

How? Here are two options for how to learn my step-by-step dog prey drive training method:

  1. Watch the free video tutorial on Youtube by clicking HERE
  2. Purchase my low-cost guide for training prey drive HERE. It is a 43 page PDF that explains everything you need to know to solve unwanted animal chasing (both outdoors & indoors!)

Happy training 🙂

Disclosure: Happy Hounds uses affiliate links. Purchasing with these links will not cost you any extra, but I get commissions for purchases made through these links. Affiliate links help me to continue to offer free resources & blog posts. I would love if you used them!

Dog Prey Drive Training: How to STOP Animal Chasing

About the author:

Stephanie Rombough, DBTMc, is a force-free dog trainer in Edmonton, Alberta. She owns Happy Hounds Dog Training, offering private in-person or virtual dog training services. 

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you enjoyed this post I would really appreciate a share or comment to help other dog owners find it too!

My mission at Happy Hounds is to help owners train their dogs using positive, force-free methods. A trained dog is less likely to end up in a shelter, and a dog trained with positive methods is more likely to be confident & happy. Everyone wins!

More about me>

Please like & share!

join my email list!

How to STOP Animal Chasing

  Dog Prey DRive 

Whether your dog is brand new to leash training OR they have a long history of pulling on leash, this free guide will teach you what you need to know!

Puppy biting HURTS! In this free guide I'll explain everything you need to know to STOP puppy biting without any corrections!

free stuff

What I Use

Take a peek at all my suggested items!

favourites items

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap