Hi everybody, long time lurker first time poster.
I adopted my guy about two months ago, and he's very sweet and settling in nicely. I have almost no problems with him at all, and he seems to love living with me.
But the one problem is fairly big. I live in an apartment with a lot of smaller dogs and cats in the other units, and since I've had him he's attacked two of the smaller dogs. He seems to have a very high prey drive and will get very fixated on any small animal, including small dogs, and unfortunately I've accidentally let him get too close on two different walks. With very little warning (no growling, barking, etc) he just lunged at them, grabbed them by the face/neck area, and started trying to lift them off the ground. The first time he let go when I yelled and gave a hard tug on his collar, but the second time it took me hitting him pretty hard in the ribs to get him to let go of the other dog, who he was lifting up right off the ground and looked like he wanted to shake.
Needless to say it was upsetting for everyone involved. Thankfully the other dogs weren't seriously hurt and the other owners have been very understanding.
This makes walks with him extremely stressful, since I have to be constantly vigilant about essentially making sure we aren't on the same side of the street as any small dogs, of which there are a lot in my neighborhood & building.
Anyway, I've been trying to figure out if this is something that we can work through, or if I need to just bring him back to the shelter so that they can find him a more suitable home. I really don't want to bring him back because he's just been awesome in every single other way, and I'm willing to put in some work, but if it's something that he just won't be able to get over then this probably isn't the right home for him.
Have you had any success with taming prey drive towards small dogs and cats?