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I have a year and a half old coonhound lab mix and he's always been known to chase squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, armadillos, basically anything that runs he follows. However, I took him with me to my dads ranch last week and he killed one of his goats. I was shocked, scared, and not sure what to do. My dad told me it's in his instincts and I shouldn't be mad at the dog because my dad didn't have proper fencing around his goats. But it makes me wonder if this will change how he is around other dogs now. I know to stay away from live stock of any kind but kind of nervous about taking him out in general. Any advice?
 

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Coonhounds were bred to hunt both smaller prey (racoons and badgers) and larger prey like cougars and bears, so they're pretty formidable hunters.

Prey drive generally is separate from social behavior with other dogs and a high prey drive does not generally indicate a likelihood to display inapproriate behavior- in fact most hunting hounds (Coonhouds included) have been bred to be able to work in packs and have a strong drive to be with other dogs.

It's good you dad is being understanding, he's completely right- a Coonhound is a dog bred to hunt and it seems yours has inherited this aspect of the breed; he was just doing what his genes dictated.
 

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While I agree with what has already been said, do you know how your dog interacts with smaller dogs? Or has he only played with bigger dogs? I'm only saying this because if he hasn't played with small dogs before, he might be too prey driven to play with them appropriately.

All three of my girls are very good on leash with small, fluffy dogs but I wouldn't trust them off leash. My Husky/GSD mix has killed several birds, rodents, snakes, and almost got a feral cat once. I am not 100% sure that behaviour wouldn't arise if she was running loose in a field with a Yorkie.
 

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Good point about smaller dogs. They could be seen as prey by larger dogs with a strong prey drive who aren't used to being around them while loose. For that matter, if there's a big size differential between two dogs, the larger one could accidentally hurt the smaller one in play. My twenty-three pound boy was knocked off his feet by a golden retriever pal because they both made the tactical error of turning simultaneously while playing chase and slammed into each other before either had the time to stop or change direction. Since then, my smaller dog won't play chase with him anymore, though they get along well enough. They run around a fenced yard together, but my boy always makes sure there's considerable space between them while they're running. If they're both standing or sitting still, he's fine with the other dog being closer. Even walking, he's fine--just not running.
 

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I agree to watch him around smaller dogs. There are a few dogs at work- two Siberian Huskies and a Catahoula, that can't be with small dogs at all because they have such high prey drives and will stalk small dogs from the other side of the fence.

Additionally, I'd discourage him from playing chasing games with dogs in general because of predatory drift, when play behavior crosses the line into predatory behavior. Predatory Drift
 

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Your father is very understanding... Good on him.

Our minpin has a strong prey drive, will kill any vermin he catches. Never have to worry about him being around other dogs - though he will defend himself against any dog, pretty impressive to watch.
 

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I agree with everyone else. High prey drive does not mean a dog will be unfriendly or dangerous around people or other dogs. If you've never seen him interact with small dogs, I would be cautious. I would also never trust him around other animals alone. Your father is right and very good to not overreact. And as an example, my dog Perdy was the most gentle dog you could imagine, trustworthy with small dogs, puppies, and children. But if there was another animal that crossed her path? They were lunch, as she was an efficient and deadly hunter. In general I don't think you should treat your dog any different. Dogs are hunters, carnivores, killers. People forget this, but it's as true today as it was millions of years ago.
 

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Revolutionrocknroll.....I think you just answered a question that has niggled me quietly for some time and I couldn't work out the behaviour. Never heard of Predatory Drift but it explains just three incidents ( over four years) with my VERY dog-sociable Collie. Started as a chase-game and then after a bit he got to grumbling and occasionally yapping at the other dog and starting to sound a bit threatening( while still 'playing' the game). At this stage in each case I stopped the play because I didn't like this behaviour but I haven't till now, been able to decide what was going on in his head.
I just read the link you posted. Thanks. Sorry if this is off-thread!
 
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