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Question
Posted by: Liesl Heckler | 2004/01/15

Killing instinct in my dogs??

I have a year old Sibrian wolf / Husky and Alstain / Malmute dog who is nearly a year. The Sibrian wolf one has taken to roaming the streets at night and killing lifestock (goats / chickens / ducks). I live in Grahamstown and there is a lot of livestock that people keep and my dog roams far across town at night. Why is he killing these animals. He is not hungry? People say they will always kill, once they start killing. Is it true? Now the other dog has started following him and also killing. HELP!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Liesl
I'm afraid I agree that this is instinctive hunting behaviour which is obviously much stronger in wolf hybrids than normal dogs. It's "sport", not hunger that is driving the behaviour. Wandering is often a problem with the wolf crosses and once they start to hunt livestock, which is easy and "fun" prey, nothing is going to stop them. The only way you are going to stop it is to keep your dogs inside at night. I suggest you also make sure you are exercising and feeding them correctly and sufficiently. This is serious as they could get so excited that they attack other dogs or even small children, especially if they form a pack with other dogs. I am concerned that they will start to hunt during the day, which will mean you will have to cage them in very securely all the time or re-home them to a larger more secure property or somewhere that specialises in wolf-dogs (There is one in Knysna). The GSD cross Malamute may be ok on its own, as long as it doesn't learn from the other one.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

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