a dog site houndThis post follows on from the previous one about the wolf predator modes, but shows you a table of what all dogs will do to some extent.

The researcher Coppingers identified seven step sequence used by the wolf when it is in predator mode:

Step Number Predator mode
1 Orient
2 Eye
3 Stalk
4 Chase
5 Grab
6 Bite-Kill
7 Bite-Dissect


How to make a specific breed happy

Using this model, it can be seen that certain types of dogs, and the breeds within these types have specialized in certain of these predator modes of the wolf, and have dropped others almost completely.

If you can find a way for your dog (and its breed modes) to play out their strong suites, you will be going a long way towards making them very, very happy.

Below is a short list of some of the dog types and their ‘passion’.

  • Hound dogs chase. (mode 4 & often mode 5)
  • Retrievers love to grab the prey, but should not dissect (mode 5)
  • Herding dogs must ‘eye’ and ‘stalk’, but never ‘bite or kill’. (border collies display wolf predator modes 1 through to 4)

Then there are dogs that have been breed to even more domesticated specific human needs:

  • Lap dogs were bred to sit in laps and display many of the predator characteristics
  • Sled dogs live to pull sleds, their reward is in the pulling itself
  • An Australian shepherd dog must herd. If it doesn’t have sheep its drive to herd may manifest itself in herding children other animals or inanimate objects. You can actually take herding dogs to farms once a month where they can satisfy these herding urges.
  • Dalmatians were bred to have incredible stamina to run alongside coaches. That is why some owners use stationary tread machines to exercise their dogs, after they have been out for a social play.
  • Hunting breeds such as beagles have highly developed noses. Because this is a dog’s strongest sense, rigorous training is usually required for handlers to control such dogs. If a beagle gets to use its highly skilled sense and is rewarded, it will make them happy and strengthen the bond with its owner. This is much better than trying to suppress what is natural
  • Rottweiler’s were bred to drive cattle and muscle them into line. Walking big dogs like these with saddles and weights are often the only way to give them a proper work out in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Spaniels were breed to retrieve game birds from swamps. They have very soft jaws so as not to damage the game. They are highly geared to chase and grab (modes 4 and 5 ). You can play games around the yard with hiding their toys, but as a bonus taking them out to a safe area where there is plenty of game such as rabbits for them to track will make them very happy.

As you can see, every type of dog has a specialty that if encouraged, in a controlled manner, will make for a very happy and satisfied dog, and owner.

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