The trigger, prey or defense?

  • Many myself included believe that the trigger for a protection dog to engage a threat is defense ie the dog feels pressure, and is genetically predisposed and/or trained to react to pressure with aggression. This is definitely true for some dogs.


    Does anyone think that an effective trigger can be prey? It occurred to me because my male rott is hard wired to go after any fast movement. An aggressive person's movements are fast and strong, and will definitely trigger the dog's prey drive/interest. Where it goes from there is another story, but in this case prey was what drew the dog's attention not any kind of pressure. Thoughts?

  • I would rather the dog see the aggressor as just another prey animal to be taken down, ideally a perfect dog can not be pressured into defence...note I said ideally.


    so many look down upon prey as another word for play - as personal preference I will take the good nerved, confident dog high in prey with some defence.


    I always feel I should be apologising for that, but that is what I want and what I will pay my hard earned dollars to get.


    I also do not believe as many do that prey means someone running away from dog or waving their arms and legs about. prey also works when the aggressor is running towards or completely motionless and the dog goes to them imo.

  • Many myself included believe that the trigger for a protection dog to engage a threat is defense ie the dog feels pressure, and is genetically predisposed and/or trained to react to pressure with aggression. This is definitely true for some dogs.


    Does anyone think that an effective trigger can be prey? It occurred to me because my male rott is hard wired to go after any fast movement. An aggressive person's movements are fast and strong, and will definitely trigger the dog's prey drive/interest. Where it goes from there is another story, but in this case prey was what drew the dog's attention not any kind of pressure. Thoughts?


    Prey defiantly can be the trigger, most of it pertains to the levels of drives in the dog ie...which side it balances to. My old Mal when taking him for a walk would fire up in prey even as a pup if someone was walking, running or riding a bike AWAY from him. The exact same reaction as if a rabbit ran across the hiking trail. But if you would have stared at him on the trail as you approach walking slow teeth would be barring and he'd get angry, same thing when left alone at home. But even when started in defense as soon as you got within 10 feet he would switch to angry / emotional prey response stop barking and just try and bite you.


    Some of my old bulldogs that were capable of civil work but weren't very sharp were very much dependent apon fast sudden movements. But if hit really hard while on the bite would switch to a more serious fighting mind set bite harder start growling and overall start showing emotion....assuming they were capable of this most were just all prey.

  • Dogs that feel pressure and react defensively are often too sharp and have lower thresholds. It's an idea I've been struggling with for a while, I like a dog that reacts on his own but not at the expense of stability and the ability to take pressure in the fight.

  • Dogs that feel pressure and react defensively are often too sharp and have lower thresholds. It's an idea I've been struggling with for a while, I like a dog that reacts on his own but not at the expense of stability and the ability to take pressure in the fight.


    When you say lower thresholds are you saying that it takes less stimulation to activate the dog's defensive drive?


    How is a dog's courage related to its defensive threshold?

  • Yes, less stimulation to trigger an aggressive reaction from the dog also referred to as sharpness. Sharpness is not necessarily attached to a lower threshold in a fight. But very often you see dogs that activate easily in defense also can take less pressure.