Tips For Dogs That Chase Prey.


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This month, buddy and i went back to a school yard/football field where we had not been to for a while. We used to go to THAT one all the time, but, then they locked the fence for a while, so we had to use other schools.

this football field/track/soccer fields are chockful of bunnies,
and many of the bunnies all seem to hang out in this one spot,
where there is a small stand to sell popcorn during games. Lotsa bunnies under that building/stand, usually.

So this time, we stayed away from that area, where the bunny stand is,
and worked on recall,
did some tricks,
and finally,
after a few trips there,
we finally walked by that area where the bunnies usually are, which in that past, Buddy has been MESMERIZED with, circling the stand, peering under it for bunnies, sniffing at it, often finding bunnies THERE...under THAT building/stand

when we got near the stand,
Buddy ---without even a cue---WITHOUT EVEN BEING ASKED-------fell in beside me, and kept looking up at me,:rolleyes:
as if to say, "Mom, look at me! here i am, right beside you, not paying anyyyyyyyyy attention to that stand where the bunnies live!!!!"
and Buddy stayed right beside me, walking beside me, eyes up on me, til we past the stand!!
and i had not said a thing, i had not ASKED him to ignore that building where the bunnies live,
i had said nothing! HE KNEW!!! that is the amazing part! HE KNEW !!!

He KNEW i wanted him to ignore bunnies HERE too!!
Buddy HAS PUT IT TOGETHER, in his lil doggie brain, that i want him to ignore bunnies!!

buddy generalized this concept!! see?
Buddy may not always be able to ignore bunnies,
but Buddy putting all his previous bunny lessons, in OTHER AREAS,
together with this bunny-stand,
amazed me anyway.

I had said nothing! (except later, i then did begin to praise/treats for staying with me/ ignoring the bunny-stand.)

OFF LEASH, TOO!! wow, he COULD HAVE run over to look for bunnies there, where he HAD found bunnies so often in the past.....
now, true, he did not actually SEE a bunny,
and if he had, most likely, he would have chased it and killed it.
but Buddy KNEW that building/stand probably had bunnies under it,
and he paid it no attention.

yet, another brick in the wall for us! YAY!!


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THANKS EVERYONE!! see,this is one of those things,
that only a DOG PERSON would even understand or celebrate!:ROFLMAO: lol, my real life pals, "Yeah, big deal, so you and your dog walked by a small building on a football field, and you are all excited about that, eh? okayyyyy..." :ROFLMAO:

//"Darn right Buddy knew if there were Bunnies, and where they were."//
Yeah he did! :ROFLMAO: but i was excited Bud KNEW i wanted him to ignore the bunnies, cuz i had not said a thing, nope! NO instructions were given, Buddy fell in beside me, to avoid being tempted by the possible bunnies, all by himself! No verbal cue from me at all there! HE decided,on his own, to just not mess around with any bunnies there,all by himself!

and we had never ever worked on "be calm by bunny" THERE, at THAT field, not ever!


Well-Known Member
I'm jumping in on this thread now as we had an incident with our Springer and some sheep last night. He's never ever shown any interest in chasing anything other than his ball, he ignores cats and rabbits, is pretty timid and has a good recall so we were walking him on open land without his lead. Jess is always on the lead as she will chase everything.

Suddenly a group of sheep appeared and Finley stopped and stared at them, I called for him but he looked at me then decided to chase them all. He bounded through the heather looking thrilled to bits with himself as the sheep ran in all directions. He came after I called him a few times but all I could think was that the farmer would suddenly appear and blow Finley's head off. I also couldn't help but think that if the sheep stayed still he would have been scared by them and run back to us!

Time to do some serious work on this, I was always so confident before that he wasn't a chaser, and living where we do, we come across sheep pretty often!


Honored Member
jennyw - Truly steady to sheep is not as hard as it looks because you DO come across sheep pretty often. The fact your dog doesn't chase so many things means you have a really good chance to work this out with him. You can do this :).

Tigerlily - just saw your post about Buddy and the Bunny patch :). Congratulations! It is amazing how much progress Buddy has made! You're going to have that 100% recall with Buddy, I KNOW you are.


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Sorry Sara!
Thanks Dogster!

I'm just dropping in to keep the dogs that chase prey thread alive in the absence of it's two most obsessive posters... really I just want to boast about Zac, but he's no-where near as good as Buddy yet.

He is gradually improving with my sister's cat. His first priority on going in the room with Sammy (the cat) is to head for the food bowl, after he's eaten all the food he looks to my sister for treats. Sammy stalks him. We're not at an off leash stage yet but now he isn't triggered into killer mode even by short bursts of rapid movement by the cat.

Zac is also improving in the speed of return after chasing and he does not look for things to chase as much as he did. Maybe this is because we now go to a woodland where there are lots of crisscrossing paths. Whenever he goes out of sight or takes off I change direction. He has to work a lot harder not to lose me.

Several times recently he's called off a scent or an exploratory hunting run. He blanks out all his usual recall cues but one shout of "Hoo-eeee" and he races back like it is the greatest game in the world. It feels unreal and totally magical to see him sweep round in a great arc and come flying back! I'm trying hard not to wear it out.

As ever when there is something in sight to chase... that still needs A LOT of work. He still turns into a loony if you point at a tree and say "squirrel" and that is okay because I'm hoping to work that in as a reward.

Hope I haven't bored anyone too much!


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Oh RD, glad you're around, if even for a few min - WE MISS YOU!!!:confused: :love: Glad things are going well. Sounds like the pups are doing GREAT!!! (y) All your hard work is def paying off!! Zac's recall sounds amazing, kudos to both him ... and YOU!!! You'd never bore us with an update - and I hope you come back for good!! :cool:


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That sound FANTASTIC!!!!:D You're doing a great job with Zac, I'm so jealous of your recall.:p WE MISS YOU!!!!!!! We really do!:love::) hope you come back soon!!


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Duh! back to square minus 10 with the cat.

Sister didn't think that changing the room changes everything and blithely let cat run around while she held the dogs. Cat had more sense and sat on obliging person (you don't get a choice with a cat, you have to oblige them). Sister let go of dogs to get cat, cat squalled and Zac reacted in an er... less than desirable manner with terrified obliging person getting full benefit of a view of his snapping jaws at the same time as 20 cat claws meshed into the same obliging person's skin.

To Zac's credit he did stop when I yelled.

Moral is that when it involves your dog never ignore what your sister is doing however fed up you are with her (not even when her aforesaid cat has just used your formerly waterproof tent as a climbing frame to exercise her 20 aforesaid claws).


Honored Member
Oh no...:( Don't give up, keep working at it, I'm sure Zac will improve quickly. I would keep him away from cats though, lol.;)