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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Controling Prey Drive   Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:05 pm

Since day one Ive been working with Patchs to control her prey drive. It is HUGE!!! Im not talking about stopping it, I just want to control it so she doesnt chase one of the neighborhood's many wild critters into the street and get hit by a car.

To this end, I have worked on boundry (border) training every day. Ive had great success using a long lead and off leash when there are no distractions. In fact, she will stay in the yard for hours if there are no distraction.

For this reason, I know that she knows where the boundries are. I have even established a visual boundry by mowing the line at a lower hight than the neighbor's grass. Because of the time of the year (grass is not growing now) so I have taken some small construction flags and put them on the border and established it with both Neka and Patchs. (They Get It).

The problem only comes when she is off leash and a squirrel or ferrel cat comes into view. We have a lot of trees and a few brush piles in the neighboring yards and Patchs feels that it is her duty to keep the squirrels in the trees and off the grass and the cats out of site completely.

When these events arise, and she is off leash, it is impossible to keep her in the yard and under control. I spoke to a trainer recently and she mentioned that I turn this "Squirrel Chase" into a game. The idea is to keep her at the border, and make her wait until I release her to give chase. Then call her back after a short time.

Id love to here your thoughts on this issue. Since we are still in the beginning stages of this, we are still working out the bugs, so I'll keep you up to date on our progress.

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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Re: Controling Prey Drive   Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:08 pm

A very good topic! I too have problems with prey drive with Junior...being a Chow it surprises me that he would have such a high prey drive. Its definitely is hard to get control over it. The best thing I can think of is to countercondition by providing a stronger stimuli (sometimes a running squirrle IS the strongest stimuli though), for instance redirecting Junior's attention to the leash instead of barking like mad at rabbits.

Something that may work in the long shot is to use the "Leave It" command but done in a different manner than most. You would start with the regular way of teaching this command, but putting a piece of food and asking the dog to leave it alone. With more success you start to make it more challenging. Say for instance you are doing with with little cubes of ham (on a clean surface), roll the ham and say "Leave It", the movement will trigger a stronger instinct to chase and you will be able to start slowly gaining more control over that urge. With every success roll faster and bigger distance until your dog never goes running after it when you say Leave It!. If you do at least one or two of these exercises everyday, when the real chase begins with a squirrle, you may be able to gain control over this urge to charge. Doing this with pieces of food AND furry toys may well work too.

Lastly, we have to remember ourselves too. Yelling "NO! Come here! Over here! Stop!" doesn't help in the least. Repeated and loud noises actually encourages others to move faster, You need one simple "Hey!","Stop!", or your dogs name. Then remember that hey, stop or the dog's name IS NOT a command, you have their attention now tell them what you want, so you say "Hey!" (wait a second) then you say "Come here" (in a encouraging tone).

Its something to think about, I'm interested in seeing if any others have more ideas Grin

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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Re: Controling Prey Drive   Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:25 pm

I posted this on another forum and one person also suggested the "Leave It" command. Whail I have trained it and use it for other stuff, i never even concidered it for this. DOH!!

This afternoon i started working her with a tennis ball (one of her favorite toys) and Im getting her to leave it for me.

STAY TUNED!!! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Controling Prey Drive   Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:30 pm

Hehe I just saw that you posted this on K9M.lol.

Will do, let us know if you find anything that helped you out. I'll give it a try as well Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Controling Prey Drive   Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:46 pm

UPDATE:

In our late afternoon training session, I took a High Value toy (a tennis ball) and High Value treat (a T-Bonz) and I tested her "Leave It" response.

The results were as I thought they would be. She will leave both with no question asked. I even threw the ball and allowed her to start after it. Then I called her off of it with the "Leave it" command. The result was: She stopped and turned away and stood there looking at it. She didnt go after it until I gave her the "OK - Fetch It Up" command.

I feel confident that she has the command down very well. Now I need to find a "Higher" value toy ... but I dont think there is one!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Controling Prey Drive   Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:19 pm

Yeah I think the highest value "prey" for her would be the actual squirrles and cats.lol. You might want to have someone "unexpectedly" throw it, this way it takes her by surprise and the instinct to chase would be harder. However even if you keeping doing what you are doing now, I'm sure eventually she'll get the picture and be able to stop herself when she is chasing something.

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