Sheep worrying by people’s pets is a huge problem for farmers and dog owners alike. Prey drive is what makes dogs do it – and what causes dogs to get lost or injured while chasing wildlife.
Even the smell of sheep or wildlife can make some dogs run off to find them. In 2021 I did some research on it and found that in just over 50 per cent of the 730 responses, people had been forced to change their walking habits because of their dog’s prey drive. Yet there is little in the way of research to help people deal with this common problem.
My name is Tracey McLennan and I am an MSc student of Applied Animal Behaviour and Training. I am aiming to use my thesis to address some the lack of research and have a survey running to gather information to find ways to help people affected by their dog’s prey drive.
Whether or not your dog has a high prey drive, you can help by filling out the survey here.