Tips For Dogs That Chase Prey.

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tigerlily46514, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"But chasing real prey is a much stronger motivator than chasing a ball or whatever."//

    this might vary from one dog to another, it might depend on the dog.
    there are some dogs who are ball-obsessed, and don't otherwise display much prey drive, and can be called off chasing prey.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"Yeah, you can have a dog that can be called off chasing prey, but you can't have a dog with zero prey instinct"//

    you might be right on that, Pawbla, you might be right. but i am unsure if controlling this prey instinct is the quite the same as their toy-play or fetching, as you had suggested. It doesn't always seem to correlate in some dogs, who can have high urge to chase prey and only lil interest in toys, -------or-------just the reverse, maybe a dog with a massive obsession with tennis balls, but less interest in bunnies.. Many to most ppl have dogs they can control around prey much better than i am able to.:rolleyes:

    But i guess i am mostly interested in just being able to correct mistakes i have made in raising my dog, back to being able to call him off chasing prey, like all our other dogs were. I might succeed, i might fail, who knows, but i sooo want to be able to accomplish this. I will keep trying, using Runningdogs advice there, step by step.
    i also think, my guy telling Buddy to sic prey, is not helpful.......:cautious:
  3. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Definitely. Same goes for when I taught my dog to catch bugs... Not really the smartest thing I could've done. But well, we all make mistakes :ROFLMAO:.
    And yeah, training humans is harder than training dogs. I mean, try explaining my mom she doesn't have to yell at the dogs when they show aggression! Hahahah. Sad but true.
    Not saying it's exactly the same but I'd imagine there is a partial correlation. Of course I could be wrong :LOL:. It's just what I imagine. But like you said, many dogs show no interest on prey but do fetch, and vice versa.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    lol, my dog loves chasing and eating all flies in our house, if any get inside the house, Buddy tries very very hard to get the fly, and usually, sooner or later, Buddy WILL get that fly. I did not teach him to do that, he just does.

    I like it...less flies in the house!!:D Is this bad for his health, or anything?
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    and YES, i think dogs are easier to train, than some humans are!!!!:ROFLMAO:
  6. Pawbla Experienced Member

    My dog likes chasing flies too! I never actually taught it either, I just added a command for the natural chase. I think it's not harmful, or at least not more harmful than having your dog go to a park and smell around the ground. I mean, at most, flies could carry parasites, but if your dog is regularly dewormed I don't think it should be a problem?
  7. running_dog Honored Member

    I know (and walk) two dogs that are obsessed with toys and fetch but have very low prey drive - so much so in one of the dogs that other animals know he is a push over and WILD deer will touch noses with him. I doubt that this is a result of training as the other dog in that particular pack of 3 has little interest in fetching a ball or playing with toys but is a terminator to all unwary small animals.
    tigerlily46514, Dogster and Pawbla like this.
  8. dogcrazy Experienced Member

    My dog will chase after raccoon's :rolleyes:and bark at moose, but ignores squirrels, bunnies, birds and cats. She is realy random in what she chases.
    Pawbla, I think you should ask the vet if the flie catching is okay because I heard they carry diseases but as you said your dog is dewormed.
  9. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I mentioned it casually to my aunt who is a vet and she didn't mention anything. I'll ask her tomorrow when I see her.

    I mean, given that dogs spend half of their time outside, rubbing their nose in dirt, it's hard to think eating flies vs rubbing their nose in places were they eat and lay eggs would be very different. However dogs should be periodically dewormed because of this.
  10. running_dog Honored Member

    Ho hum... maybe this controlling prey drive isn't working as far as squirrels are concerned... Zac chased one and it went up an almost vertical (maybe 5 degrees off) tree, I thought Zac would run round but no he just kept running straight UPWARDS. He was 10' up before he gave up and fell back, neatly on four feet like a cat to the ground.

    I'm glad there were no side branches for him to scramble on, imagine calling the fire brigade and asking them to rescue your dog out of a tree...
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    hilarious runningDog, way too funny! er, i mean, sorry about your set back, and that your dog fell and all that.

    wow, what a tree climber! wow! what an athlete! Is not a lot of tree-climbing dogs out there. wow. I would have fell over just watching that.:ROFLMAO:
    running_dog likes this.
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Hang in there, runningdog, some days it is three steps forward,
    and 10 feet upwards..i
    mean, one step backwards.
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  13. running_dog Honored Member

    Wished I'd been able to film him :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:.

    Zac finally became sensible again when every time he headed off I went off in the opposite direction. It wouldn't work if he'd seen anything but at that point he was just stirred up and looking for anything - a squirrel, a rabbit, a blown leaf, a bird, a flickering shadow... once he realised he wasn't controlling the direction he seemed to simmer down... come back to earth and switch off the prey drive (lets face it by then it he was getting tired :ROFLMAO:). I was even able to send him to find and pick up his ball in a thicket where he'd been hunting and he did that flawlessly without even sneaking a look for a squirrel.

    So I wasn't totally discouraged, in fact I was quite pleased. With Zac there is a mode switch (that was SO clear with the kitten). If I can control that switch I'll have won. And right at the end of that walk, just for once, with a hyped up dog, off leash, next to a wood full of squirrels, I got control of the switch...
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  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    YAY!! GO ZAC! GO RDOG!! whoot!! kudos for the progress, as this is NOT an easy thing to do with prey-driven dogs. YESsssssssssss!!!
  15. running_dog Honored Member

    I came across this article by a David Ryan about training your dog to stop chasing, I quite like the method and have tried to use something similar.

    The problem for us in the past was that once Zac is moving he keeps moving - in a real chasing context sometimes he's enjoying runnning in a straight line so much that he just keeps going straight even if the rabbit runs into cover off to the side :rolleyes:. Anyway this means that Zac fetches the 1st ball and then the 2nd ball... maybe it was all that training I did with hold backs and encouraging him to fetch a "dead" ball. He's usually so locked on to the first ball he would sooner fetch it first even if the 2nd ball is squeaky and moving :rolleyes:. I guess that's a problem that would be easy enough to work through by playing with the "dead" ball almost at my feet at first and switching balls/toys regularly during play so he doesn't lock on to them.

    If none of that made any sense you probably didn't read the article :cool:.
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  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    i am fascinated by the article, and i think it'd be especially helpful for those dogs who already love to fetch, it makes sense to me, the article. THANKS!! I've gotten Buddy up to FOUR fetches now! well, if i keep him sort of distracted, and break up the fetching with a lil bit of this, a lil bit of that.:D AND use exhausting amounts of enthusiasm, too.:ROFLMAO:

    and RunningDog, i HAVE BEEN USING your advice, on working to help dispell /recalm him,/redirect his focus on bunnies,
    In that "after the bunny is gone but i'm still excited" tip you gave me, AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!!!!!!!!!!:D

    It is becoming easier and easier to get his focus off the bush where the bunny disappeared, and back onto me again, each time i do it.
  17. running_dog Honored Member


    4 fetches! Wow that's really great! You're on the way!
    So glad the bunny refocussing seems to be helpful too :).
    Doesn't it feel GREAT to see progress after such a long stalemate?!?!

    I keep going back to the squirrelly park a couple of times a week and working on refocussing and getting control of the "prey switch". We've had good days and bad days but no more tree climbing.
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  18. running_dog Honored Member

    The deer are back...

    Zac has gone into high alert scanning mode a few times in the last few weeks - the radar ears are my cue for leashing him and doing lots of trick training/rewards (of course sometimes if Zac is getting bored he pretends he can smell a deer to get the attention :rolleyes:).

    Today he went into high alert but settled down alright when we changed direction. But just when we were coming off the fields (right at the back of the street houses) we saw a deer about 15 yards away stood looking at us. For once Zac was leashed and I had a clicker and treats in my hands :cool: .

    The deer was most obliging and stood there for a few minutes while I worked with Zac, then it walked towards/past us and away down the field but when Zac yipped with frustration the deer came back O_o. We left before the deer, it was still stood there watching us go. I think maybe it had a young one somewhere near the path (otherwise it's behaviour is more or less inexplicable).

    Zac did well. He did yip a few times (the deer WAS close) but he responded to every command except sit (something going on there with sit that I don't really understand), his attention was about equally divided between me and the deer (that's good for him), he NEVER refused any of the treats (high-mid value). When I moved away from Zac he mostly followed me - even when I was trying to get him to do a wait/recall :rolleyes: but I wasn't worrying about as that the more he wants to be with me when deer are around the better :) ! Judging by the yipping I'm sure Zac would still have been demented if he'd been off leash or if the deer had run rather than walking but he is showing progress.

    I was so pleased with Zac...
    wasn't it an OBLIGING deer!
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  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member


    no way at all, can i picture Buddy doing that.........can't even PICTURE this for my dog.............yet.

    i DID get Buddy to be calm, and focus on me a few days ago, he was already ON leash,
    and a bunny was probably 20 feet away,
    and Buddy knew it was there, yet, he did look at me, and do some tricks, and i was shocked.

    BUT i don't think i could have done that off leash..........nope. But that was a first, and i did run the rest of the way home to brag on it.
    and, next time, Buddy could lose his total mind over a bunny that close....i sort of wonder, if this is from following your advice,
    was this a fluke moment, never to be repeated? time will tell, i guess!!!

    i have zero progress whatsoever to report on deers, though, nope....he still loses his total mind. And frankly, the deers sometimes startle ME too,:ROFLMAO: when they just jump out of bushes right beside us.:ROFLMAO: My dog does lose his total mind.
  20. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    yeah, sometimes, sometimes,
    bunnies and deers both 'freeze' sort of, as if we can't see them if they hold still.


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