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Thread: Training dogs with strong prey drive

  1. #11

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    YOu can fix it yourself without the pack order BS. You will need time, patience, lots of love and tons of very very high value rewards. I prefer VIP Lamb or chicken chunkers broken into no bigger than half a chunk.

    It will take time but you need to concentrate on teaching him his name, getting a really strong and immediate focus, instant recall and super strong stays. Once you have those 1000% proofed you can start desensitizing him by rewarding him handsomely for staying, or recalling to you in the presence of distractions, such as a toy cat dragged across a door way or passage. (toy so he does not do any real damage until he is fixed.) (Dragged - quick movement looking like a real cat dashing across the opening).
    Good luck.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Summer Hill, NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nev Allen View Post
    YOu can fix it yourself without the pack order BS. You will need time, patience, lots of love and tons of very very high value rewards. I prefer VIP Lamb or chicken chunkers broken into no bigger than half a chunk.

    It will take time but you need to concentrate on teaching him his name, getting a really strong and immediate focus, instant recall and super strong stays. Once you have those 1000% proofed you can start desensitizing him by rewarding him handsomely for staying, or recalling to you in the presence of distractions, such as a toy cat dragged across a door way or passage. (toy so he does not do any real damage until he is fixed.) (Dragged - quick movement looking like a real cat dashing across the opening).
    Good luck.
    I just ordered a 10m long line online and I hope to receive it soon to start our recall training in the backyard.

    I tried using some dried beef liver to distract him from the dead possum near our house but it didn't work. He is probably not at that stage where he can snap out of that "hunting state" with a treat. I hope I can train him to the point where he will come back to me no matter what is happening around him.

    Always thought the pack structure theory was not 100% correct but I still think a dog should have some proper discipline.

  3. #13
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    I would get a front attach harness

    And I would get the book "control unleashed" by Lesley McDevitt, because it has a really good bit in it about how to train your dog to be able to look at (previously extremely) distracting things - calmly "Look at that" or "LAT". Eg look at the cat, look at me (treat) look at the cat (treat) look at me (better treat). Etc. That's a very simplified version. You do have to start at sufficient distance from the distraction that you dog can still pay attention to you and hasn't gone over the top (too excited to respond). There's a zone between bored/disinterested and ballistic - that you want to be in for training. And then you can push the edge of where the dog would normally go into one of the other zones.

    Best dog trainer in Sydney region that I know of, especially for dogs with aggression problems is Steve Courtney at k9pro.com.au - he will recommend someone closer to you if he can't fit you in.
    One of trainers (DogTech) believed that it was a dominance issue because I am not the "pack leader". His solution was to follow his ideas:
    •Hand sits: pushing down my dog's ass to make him sit to prove that I'm stronger than him and to reduce dominance.
    •Keep my dog outside if possible.
    •Chain him for a 1 hour per day.
    •I eat before he does. Make him see his food while I am eating my food.
    •I walk out the door before he does.
    •Walk like a grandmother's pace to make my dog walk slowly because he thinks it is harder for my dog. He does not believe in running with dogs. He said walking slowly is like crawling on the ground and the dog gets better exercise.
    •Keep the leash short and walk him on the left.
    •Keep dog off beds and sofas.
    •Stop petting my dog temporarily.
    •No rough play.
    •Keep toys after play session.
    •No smacking or raising of voice.
    •Reprimand dog with "ah ah" instead of saying "No" because dogs don't understand English and "ah ah" is a sound they can learn to associate with no.
    This is a half baked list of things to do - things that are good mixed with things that will make your problems worse.
    Things from that list I think would help....
    •No rough play.
    •Keep toys after play session.
    •No smacking or raising of voice.
    And that's it.

    Here is a good list of why most of what that trainer said is bunk. Jean Donaldson writes a lot of good dog training books and is highly qualifed and experienced dog trainer.

    Myths about Dog Behaviour - The Pet Professional Guild - Blog

    Jean's Blog
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-08-2012 at 04:57 PM.

  4. #14
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    I wouldnt use a front attach harness, it wont teach the dog a thing and probably rip the owner of his feet.

  5. #15
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    Thanks for the recommendations Hyacinth. The "control unleashed" by Lesley McDevitt book looks very helpful.

    I currently own a Ruff Wear harness and regular collar for my dog. I attach my leash to both the collar and the harness but when my dog pulls, it tugs on the harness and not the collar. The hook to the collar is just backup because he has removed both the collar and harness a couple of times by reversing and pulling as hard as he can.

  6. #16
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    Southern NSW
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    Jean Donaldson and Patricia McConnell are both great..So Is Dr Sophia Yin..She has tonnes of video's that are very helpful on her site
    Pets are forever

  7. #17

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    One thing I teach all my dogs, is GENTLE and IT'S a BABY. They are non negotiable. Earlier than than that, tho, the dogs that came home as cat chasers, who were labelled catkillers, as far as I remember, were living with my 2 cats, by the end of the week. I never had a days worry about the cats. I was always worried about the girl dogs. It is SO difficult to try to describe my methods, to be repeated, because I'm thinking back about 15 years. You have a more awkward situation, in that your dog is aware that not all the cats are the same. I will say this, I would insist that the dog comes to my place without you, as when you are there, you are the most important person and I believe that if you are there, it implies your dog has permission to act as normal. Even if you are not happy, the dog clearly doesn't care much and he feels the pattern is established. I want to be the most important and I want the respect that comes from unsureness, of no familiarity. It's very important that I start, almost as the dog arrives. It involves reacting to the tiniest movement of the dog's ears and I use a NO in a sergeant major's bellow. But it is a very involved process that needs a great experience in body language and being very close to cats, so I would be reluctant to describe it to someone I didn't know If I am successful, I return to you,establish my rules at your place and then transfer my authority, to you. I've just lost half. I just can't risk trying to explain more.
    Last edited by Menageriemanor; 05-08-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: tried to add another sentence

  8. #18
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    As Hya mentioned, when you do the LAT training, start at a distance and then work your way closer to the distraction. As soon as the dog stops reacting to your 'look at that', move further away from the distraction and start again.

    And dried liver treats are probably not high value enough to start and for something that distracting. I used to use mainly cooked liver. I just microwaved it (it stinks!) and then cut it in little cubes. It doesn't get your hands dirty much at all. Sometimes I would use cooked chicken too. If you can bear handling it, raw meat is probably the ultimate reward. You won't have to keep using these high value treats forever. Just to make your dog see that you are the bringer of awesome stuff and worth paying attention to, if you know what I mean. I started training my dog 8 months ago and now I will only use Nature's Gift or dried liver treats. Though if I want to try the desensitisation to kangaroos again, I'll have to take better treats.

    With the recall, it really helps if you do this as often as you can and not always in structured training. It's a good habit to always have a treat bag on you while you are doing this, even at home. And just call him as often as you can and always reward. At home, in the backyard, at the off leash park if you go there, on a long leash. As many different situations and as often as you can. If my dog comes immediately, she gets a treat, if I have to wait, she just gets a casual "good girl". But I never call more than twice. If she doesn't come after that I go get her and put her on lead. It is good to often call your dog and then release again. That way you trick him into thinking that coming to you is just a bit of a detour to get a treat and they are more keen to come. Also make a habit of touching/grabbing his collar before you give the treat so he cannot get his reward and then dodge you if you do need to put him on the lead.

    Training on a long leash is a good way to get the message through that not coming when called is not an option, but in my opinion it is not enough to only do a couple of sessions of structured training for recall. If you do it all the time and everywhere, you will see much faster results.

  9. #19
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    The Look at that is similar/the same as BAT training.Even though it is used for aggression it is used for anything reactive

    Check this out.........I have a great book and it is available as an e-reader/PDF/book from dogwise.com

    But here is some info Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA
    Pets are forever

  10. #20
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    Nekhbet

    Have you ever used a front attach harness on any dog? It has the opposite effect to what you describe. Because the lead is attached to the dog's chest. If the dog pulls it gets rotated to face back towards its owner - so it learns the more I pull the more I don't get to go where I want to go. And the rotation effect gives leverage and strength to the owner in the same way as a wheelbarrow allows someone to carry a heavier load than they could without it.

    One person I know with a sled dog rotti - went from not being able to walk her dog, to being able to walk her dog and roll a smoke - not that I condone smoking.

    The rip the owner off their feet - is the effect you get from a normal harness that attaches to the lead behind the dog's shoulders eg what I'd use for a sled dog. I suspect the Ruff Wear harness - fits this category. Ie great for harnessing your dog to a cart. But it's hard to tell from the pix I could find with google. Nobody had a lead attached. Nope, no place to clip at the chest. So it would work as Nekhbet describes.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-08-2012 at 08:45 PM.

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