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Old 09-03-2007, 08:23 AM
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Default Low prey-drive breeds?

What are some large/XL breeds that generally have a low prey-drive and could live with small animals (ferrets, guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc.) and not try and eat them when they're out of the cage and running around?

What about a St. Bernard?
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:06 AM
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I think a lot of herding breeds, but they will of course try to herd them.

My American Eskimo used to chill with my chinchillas and guinea pigs and not do anything, but he was definately not a regular eskie. (plus he was only 30 lbs.)

Bernese Mountain dog? I've known a few immpeccably trained Berners.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:10 AM
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I vote for a Newfie!
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:38 AM
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Leonbergers, Some Mastiffs...just make sure you don't pick anything with "hound" in the name...
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:48 AM
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Yes, a Saint Bernard does have a low prey drive. Puppies can be puppies, but most certainly not like a husky or a terrier. We can even have a squirrel run out in front of us while on a walk and we might get an earlift out of him while my huskyX is intent on the kill!!! We have 2 cats and they will sometimes jump on him to jump on to the back of the couch and he might not even open his eyes. Typically a Saint hsa a very low prey drive, you just have to find a responsible breeder to get a true Saint temperment.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:17 AM
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Don't forget the mutts! I've fostered a basset/beagle with pretty much no prey drive, a pure beagle with no prey drive, a lab/beagle with no prey drive, a basset hound/Lab mix with not even the slightest bit of prey drive (he had a chinchilla sit on his head. and he cuddled with the cat.), and even my little terrier/shepherd foster thing could care less.

Now that I look at these things, I see that most of them were hounds... But they lived with my chickens, mice, chinchillas, rats, and cats with nothing.

As for true breeds with no prey drive, I personally vote Newfie all the way! I don't think other mastiffs have a super high prey drive either, do they? I've not met any like that, at least.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:04 AM
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Central Asian Shepherd Males-- females have hunting finishing prey drive.
Yet some females are living with ferrets.

I have many males that live in harmony with rabbits .

However tthey all have defense drive which means they will protect what ever they are raised with ferrets sheep dogs cats horses people etc.
Which means they would defend their FERRETS if a strange Ferret is just dropped into the pack.

I have a CASD living with a Yorkie breeder cause Coyotes jump her fence to take them into the hills in CA. SO the CASD lies there all day with 20 yorkies climbing on him . And not one Coyote has a easier lunch now
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:15 AM
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I'd disagree on the herding breeds if you are talking typical breeds like GSD, Belgians, Aussies, Border Collies, etc. Almost every dog I've seen from these breeds typically has high prey drive. There are always exceptions of course.

The only other large breed I have 1st had experience with is Great Danes, and Daisy has moderate prey drive. She's still a pup at 9 months, but she will harass the cat, stalk and kill birds, and stalk and chase our pug. I've also seen on rescue sites that a lot of Danes are not good with smaller animals. Daisy also has a pretty fair ball/toy drive which is prey based.

If you want a big dog that won't kill your small animals, your best bet is strict training and uber-vigilance when they are together. I can let our parrot out with Gunnar because he's disciplined enough to be put in a down and not move. Daisy can't be trusted with the bird out though, not yet.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:43 PM
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Livestock guardians are bred to have little prey drive to insure they do NOT chase sheep vs just lay there and and protect from within.

Even then some are NOT safe around chickens.

Sadly some get flock guardians confused with herding dogs and assume the LGDS have prey drive for sport, high trainability and or herding.

Thank god my sheep come in when called cause my LGDS would never help me bring them in unless I use them to walk with me.
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:40 PM
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Speaking directly from experience, I have a 125 lb., 1 year old neutered male Bernese Mountain Dog who adores our 4 month old, 7 lb. kitten. He is absolutely gentle, loving and nurturing to our little Harley - giving daily doses of slobbery kisses and watching out for him. He even shares his dog food with our kitten. He's the best big brother a kitten could have.

Also the breeder I got my pup from has three female Berners, one of whom actually nursed 8 kittens for six weeks along with her 4 pups. The Breeder ended up keeping two of the kittens who now get along famously with their bigger Berner sisters.
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