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Old 07-25-2009, 07:20 AM
 
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I know my dog is prey driven...nice walks are always spoiled if she sees a cat (whining and pulling), a squirrel (the chase w/attached to the leash) is on, and her nemesis, crows..

Is there anything I can do about this? I bring treats (she drops them and isn't interested).

She's a lab/possibly mixed with a pointer or border collie who gets plenty of attention, 2 long walks a day, and several times a week free run off the leash (we only let her off in very controlled places).

She'll be 2 in November.

To be honest, she even goes nuts when my husband (the alpha) is walking her.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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I adopted a miniature schnauzer with a HUGE prey drive. I already owned a cat and knew there would be a lot of problems. It took tons of warnings and corrections and she now totally ignores the cat. Probably about 6 months of it. No amount of treats would get her to look away. I don't think that she had a lick of training before I got her and she was a total brat, now she is incredible. She does very well with food-based training for everything else except for seeing other animals. That is where I had to use leader-of-the-pack training, and yes, I had to be very bossy and demanding. She had to understand that everything that I said goes. Each dog is an individual and training needs to be tailored for each individual. If you need more info on how I did it DM me! My cat now plays with her! I'm still working on my goofy dobe puppy (1yr old), but it's coming along nicely.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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I think you need the help of a trainer/behaviorist as that is going to be very hard to correct. Please find someone who does ONLY positive training, not punitive. They're expensive, but BarkBusters helped me a lot w/my adopted Pittie. They come to your house and work on what's needed for your dog. My first session was 2.5 hrs at home. Then we met several more times, including at parks w/other dogs under her program. Not sure if the link will stay up: www.BarkBusters.com.

Since he might be too distracted by other dogs to learn in a class, I think one-on-one training is the way to go. If you can't afford it, try some good books on training, one I've seen rec'd is "The Other End of the Leash."
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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I agree with consulting with a trainer...but one thing I did learn with my dog is that all "treats" are not created equal. The reward of chasing a bird/squirrel/cat to your dog feels better than a reward of food. I had to experiment with various food treats to find one that my dog liked enough to respond to. Store bought treats were not good enough...I sometimes use cut up pieces of hot dog, which seem to ALWAYS get his full attention.

You may also try using your dogs prey drive to train him. J&J dog supply has a real fur squeaker mouse; rabbit fur in which the hide is cured with salt, not chemicals, so it is safe. Keep it in your pocket, and when your dog sees a squirrel, bird, etc, pull it out and squeek it and let him grab and play with it for a moment. This was very effective with my dog, the real fur mouse with sound was so appealing, he would forget what he was distracted by.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:32 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies.
She's so annoying (sorry but just came in from trying to walk her) and the distractions made her pull me in 3 different directions in 5 minutes (neighbor's 2 cats, someone else walking a dog down the road, another dog inside a house barking).

Hiring anyone is out as I am long term unemployed and there just is not money for this.

What I do is bring hotdogs (her favorite) on walks and when we take her to free run in the park but she will lose interest even in this when she sees something that sets her off.

I know she is just a high energy dog...she'd benefit from a yard...hopefully someday we will have one.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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Sometime the prey motivated dogs are not so food motivated. I mean hot dog vereses squirrel? The squirrel will win. Is your dog ball or toy motivated? I found with Jazz when there was nothing around food worked but in the face of a great distraction like a squirrel, food was not interesting at all....any food: however a ball or a good squeak toy was another story as she would focus on the toy in a flash. I did use alot of play training with her and her ball was the reward,such as if she did what I asked she got to go fetch the ball. ) I worked her on a flexi lead as yes then I could toss the ball a short distance as a reward)

When I worked with my sisters dog who wants to get the squirrel on walk I put a squeeker in my pocket and when she would start looking at squirrels I would squeek the squeeker and when she looked at me tell her good dog and we would go on our way with her refocused on me. Sometimes I would take the toy and use it and let her have a tug with it when she refocused. Dogs with high prey drive usually love to play!
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
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Sounds like she needs training. Have your tried to switch a walk with a hard core obedience session? With the rotties I had, while physical work was great, getting their brain to work wore them out. In the process it enhanced my role as leader and got them to pay more attention to me when I give commands.

Just a thought.

Also keep in mind, you've got a lab mix. They're high energy dogs and usually don't start to settle down until they're about 3 years old.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,813 posts, read 55,762,637 times
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Go to the library and ask for "The Other End of the Leash." It will give you an idea of how her mind works. Also, scan thsi forum for a thread on books for dog owners. There are some great books out there and the library should be able to get them for you. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:54 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,027,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Go to the library and ask for "The Other End of the Leash." It will give you an idea of how her mind works. Also, scan thsi forum for a thread on books for dog owners. There are some great books out there and the library should be able to get them for you. Good luck!
Yes, by Patricia McConnell, a great animal behaviorist. She had the Calling All Pets radio show until last year when it was canceled. She has a blog that could be helpful: Behavior Modification versus Management TheOtherEndOfTheLeash

One of her favorite tricks is to teach the dog "watch me" You use a really yummy treat or toy and teach the dog to look at you on command. Of course you start in a no stress place, then increasingly do it in more stimulating environments. What it does is make the dog direct its attention to you instead of whatever is setting her off. Then whenever you need to stop a dog behavior, use the watch me command to redirect the dog.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,316,403 times
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I'd suggest you contact local rescue groups to see if there's a dog behaviorist (who specializes in positive training) willing to do a couple free consultations over the phone. Two of my dogs were highly prey-driven. One was good about coming when called and obeyed the "leave it" command, too.
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