this is a cross nutrition and training question. please feel free to move it if I have posted in the wrong bit.
our (8 weeks old to us from rescue) 7 year old dalmatian has a high prey drive. He is (so far) perfect with children, we are doing weekly dog club class, walking at least 5 km a day, and he is really settleing in well.
However- we live in an area where domestic rabbits have gone feral and are everywhere. Walking him (esp at dusk) is full on as he is driven wild attempting to get the rabbits. Today he caught one in our backyard- and is now eating it!! Help- is this ok? Healthy? what should I do? I think he is now rewarded by eating the rabbit he has caught- but found it rather grusume to get away fro him.... I would rather be able to trust him. Anyway- jumbled post.
1. how to lower a prey drive?
2. although usually obedient he completly ignores me when in chase/capture mode- any tips??
3. would he be a danger to cats also? (worried about neighbours beloved cat that he has taken a keen intrest in through the fence)...
4. is this very unhealthy? All the fur and guts etc..
5. should I be worried this will turn nasty towards other things?
Do to the above I am keeping on leash at all times when out as I am worried he will attack something he shouldnt. No leash free dog park etc- and in the perfect world I would like to be able to unleash him (at some time in the future). He is only unleashed in the backyard- where he has managed to get a wild rabbit today (I am a bit scared to go and see whats happened to it...)
and now- another question- re rats! We have (very well fenced seperatly) chooks, and sometimes rats. We have an electric rat zapper which kills rats instantly without piosons. A friend suggested feeding the dead rats to the dog! I was revolted, however on reflection figure it could be good cheep protein, but again- what are the health implications? Eating the fur and stuff??
Thanks for any thoughts.