Samoyeds are often considered some of the friendliest and most loyal dogs in the world. They come from the cold regions of Siberia where they were bred for hunting, herding and shedding. They are also the most closely associated with wolves. Often given the nickname Happy Sammies, Samoyed dogs have a charming personality and always smiling face.
With an amazingly white fur coat and a super cute smile, it is easy to think of Sammies as docile and lazy. They’re not. They are caring, affectionate and social dogs that make excellent companions for families with kids. Because of the way they were originally bred, their prey drive becomes a concern for some dog owners.
Do Samoyeds have high prey drives? – Yes, Samoyeds do have an instinct of hunting. And although this makes it a bit challenging for some people, especially families with children, to welcome Samoyeds in their homes, it doesn’t mean they can’t have a Samoyed. They just need to take extra precautions and care with their Sammies.
Let’s shed some light on the following questions:
- Dog breeds with high prey drive.
- How do you know if your Samoyed dog has a high prey drive?
- What precautions to take when walking a dog with a high prey drive.
List of Dogs With High Prey Drive
- English Springer Spaniel
Bred to flush out quarry, this breed still has the instinct to lunge forward and drive small animals from their hiding places. It is because of high prey drive that most English Springer Spaniel enthusiasts believe they are the best dogs for hunting.
Chihuahuas might appear small, but they can be aggressive when needed. And often because of their size they tend to be reactive towards moving objects. This is because of their guard dog instincts rather than their hunting instincts.
- American Bulldogs
Originally bred to hunt, bulldogs have a natural desire to chase and sometimes, kill other animals. Anything can trigger that instinct including a running cat, squirrel or even cars!
Greyhounds are laid back animals. They are rather cozy up to their owners than run and chase. However, you will be surprised to see just how fast they attack when a furry animal crosses their line of vision.
Because of their unique ability to smile and their oh-so-soft white coats, we are tricked into thinking they’re domesticated dogs not bred for hunting or guarding. However, Samoyeds are genetically prey dogs because they were bred for hunting and sledding. Despite their natural instincts though, they are not aggressive and thus, mean no harm. Check out our useful tips on how to help your Samoyed get along with your cat.
How do you know if your dog has a high prey drive?
Dogs with high chase drive often like to run behind other animals. Small animals like squirrels, cats and rabbits are their favorites. However, this does not necessarily mean that they have a high prey drive. They might only be irritable or enjoy the thrill of the chase without wanting to kill them. In such cases, your dog might just be aggressive. It is when their desire to chase, grab, bite and kill motivates them that’s indicative of a high prey drive.
So, if you ever see your dog being chaotic during outings or in the park, chasing other small animals – you don’t have to panic. But, when they scare you with a dead animal in their mouth, it’s a different story. That being said, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up your Samoyed dog. You will just have to take some extra precautions and give them behavior training to control their instincts.
What precautions should you take when walking a Samoyed dog with a high prey drive?
According to dog trainers and behaviorists Hill’s Pet and Positively, these are certain things you can do to manage your dog’s prey drive:
- High prey drive is mostly fueled by the desire to chase and grab. In such cases, engaging your dog in sports that involves chasing, catching and retrieving (like playing fetch), can be a good outlet.
- Engaging them in high agility sports like running or dog jumping or tracking is another medium.
- When walking them, make sure to keep them on a leash in public and if not, make sure to keep them in the fenced-in areas.
- Do not leave your dog unsupervised when interacting with other animals or children.
- You might need to train your Sammy to listen to your instructions diligently and follow them.
- Get them vaccinated in time and keep it documented.
Your dog’s high prey drive might create a conflict between the parent in you and the dog lover in you. One does not need to win over the other. With a little care and attention, both can survive quite happily with each other. Samoyeds are beautiful creatures who probably just want to cuddle up to you!
Does high prey drive mean you have to give up your Sammy?
No, you don’t. We do not like to bind our dogs and would love to set them free as often as possible. The choice might sometimes become difficult or more challenging with breeds of high prey drives. However, you can learn how to manage them with training and patience and continue to co-exist with them happily. You will have to take some precautions when taking them out in public but that’s it. Samoyeds mean no harm, it is often their genetic instincts that result in their high prey-drives.
Is it safe to bring a Samoyed home if you have kids?
Completely! Samoyeds are very affectionate creatures, especially towards their owners and the people they love. Once your Sammie becomes familiar with your kids, they’ll be nothing less than best friends. If anything, they have a natural protective instinct and won’t let anything harm your kids. They are very friendly animals. They will love to play around with your young ones and then cozy up later. And before you know it, your Samoyed dog might become your kids’ favorite fluffy toy!