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How trained is your dog?

Golden Girls
August 31st, 2006, 09:06 AM
I'm curious, would your dog listen to you if there was a cat, skunk, squierrel, raccoon (anything they'd consider prey) right in front of them?

Mine do not at all, their in a trance. I'm wondering if I had them trained (not the really really trained method, just what we consider training) would they of? I'm thinking that some dogs would chase no matter what or am I wrong?

August 31st, 2006, 09:21 AM
You are absolutely not wrong. Most Beagles are not off leash dogs. If they get a scent in their noses they are gone. They don't even hear your voice as they chase down their prey. I think a lot of the hound group is the same be it sight or scent. You don't see a lot of off leash greyhounds either.

mama samoan
August 31st, 2006, 09:54 AM
I now own a 7 year old yellow Lab mix, and I also foster cats and kittens. In nice weather cats and kittens that are old enough are kept in a 10 by 10 foot shed. In nice weather they sit in front of the screen door, Phoebe will not even make eye contact with them unless I encourage her to go see them. We also have foster cats in the basement and own a cat of our own, however Pheobe is also an avid hunter, and we do have problems keeping her under control once she has sighted something in the backyard. I would never trust that she wouldnt give chase. And she is very serious about it. And once she has started to actually give chase forget about her stopping. We have a lot of wild life around us and she is willing to take on anything she can chase. It scares me that she has such a love of hunting , with the chance of killing. Even on leash in the dog park, or going for walks she is on high alert. But she is not interested in small dogs, cats or even our guinea pigs when they where still alive. Our back yard fence is 5 feet high but when she sees deer over the fence she runs down the fence line on her hind legs. She has cornered raccoons before but lucky for us they where in trees.

August 31st, 2006, 10:02 AM
Our Brittany is very well trained but you can't do much about breed traits (IMHO). He will ignore every kind of distraction if he's on leash but if he's off leash and gives chase there's a good chance he'll ignore our attempts to call him back. Occasionally, if my husband yells sharply enough it seems to break through 'the trance' and he'll come back but you takes your chances if there's no leash involved. And I think, really, what can you expect. He's bred to be a hunting dog and he's being true to his breeding.

August 31st, 2006, 10:23 AM
These are predators we have invited into our lives. Reality is they are prey driven to one extent or another.

However, there is plenty you can do to desensitize them to these distractions. Also work the 'leave it' and 'come' and 'stop' directions to aid in guiding them through their decisions.

I have a Lurcher (sighthound/terrier cross) who lives happily with cats. Had he not been trained with cats and respected our guidance I think he would have been a cat killer for sure. As it is I just brought in 4 new cat rescues and he is being challenged once again to get desensitized to them.

That being said I will not risk him with my birds. It just isn't worth the loss and trauma - one wrong move on his part and a bird could be killed - they are just to fragile.

Golden Girls
August 31st, 2006, 11:21 AM
These are predators we have invited into our lives. Reality is they are prey driven to one extent or anotherReally well put.
However, there is plenty you can do to desensitize them to these distractions.I'll assume using a real prey person is out of the question :p but how could I desensitize them, it happens leashed or not?
Also work the 'leave it' and 'come' and 'stop' directions to aid in guiding them through their decisionThey do this extremely well, I can do it with food, their favorite stuffy, a ball - we "played-train" everyday they just don't listen if it's alive and moving. Mind you they have killed a blowing leaf :frustrated:

August 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM
Jemma stays when there is something, unless I say "ok, go get it", at which point she runs after it like a bat out of he**. Boo is ok with dogs and cats, (as in he won't go after them if I say not to) but squirrels or anything that sneaks up on him, forget it (hence newtrix, yey!). He's pretty good with the property boundaries if I'm out there with him.

August 31st, 2006, 03:14 PM
I've got groundhogs and hares in my yard. My dog is totally fascinated with them of course. She loves the chase - and so far has caught a groundhog but let him go when I told her to. Groundhog was ok and was back the next day. Saying "TREAT" loud & clear makes her lose interest in the chase and come running to me! I caught her again last weekend running alongside the groundhog - with tail wagging, and doing a 'play bow'. :thumbs up It certainly didn't happen overnight though.

August 31st, 2006, 03:43 PM
Super cute - doing a play bow for a groundhog! Brought to mind the videos of Polar bears PLAYING with chained huskies in Churchhill.

Oh, another good term to use is 'easy' or 'gentle' so that you can guide the dog through his behavior when he actually gets to be with the cat or groundhog.

Anyway...when ever you are teaching we prefer that the dog is on a LOOSE leash to ensure control of the outcome and success. We have people come with their dogs who are too intense with cats and we have the dog on a loose leash and bring the cat to the dog in our arms. The dog is not permitted to rush the cat or create a tight leash to get to him. All things with manners. As long as he has manners we will approach. But even one toe going infront of my toe line and we go backwards away from the distraction and start again.

We present the cats hind end for the dog to sniff unitl he gets bored. Then we gently release the cat and maintain a 'leave it' on the dog. Never really had it go wrong. Course our cats are great with dogs and don't run (inciting prey drive). Some people have been brought to tears watching what they thought was their cat aggressive dog simply sniff and even lick a the cat.

In every day life with a variety of distractions it is more about your relationshp with your dog and how well he listens to you in all kinds of situations. It sound like he is great at low levels (middle school) but not ready for college yet. You need to start introducing higher and higher levels of distractions to "test his metal" to so speak.

Without putting another animal at risk - you could tie a stuffed toy to a fishing line and cast it out past him and then reel it in. You could tie it to the end of a lunge line (horse whip) and fling it all around him as he holds a stay. There are lots of way to tempt him and get him to make a better choice.

September 1st, 2006, 12:23 AM
I'm curious, would your dog listen to you if there was a cat, skunk, squierrel, raccoon (anything they'd consider prey) right in front of them?

Yes and no answer from me!! :D

I can call Dodger off the scent of prey and off sighted prey if I am paying attention and react quickly. But if I don't react first and stop him before he is in a full sprint towards the prey, it doesn't usually end well for the prey:sad:

Aside from my reaction time, Dodger's listening skills also depend on how much exercise he has had leading up to the hunt and what animal it is (groudhog, squirrel, fox, deer, rabbit etc all rate differently). IMO, it is my responsibility to get Dodger's attention before he is overwhelmed by his rather high prey drive - if not, I don't expect him to listen. I would like him to of course but as a scenthound I am more than happy with his listening skills.

September 1st, 2006, 06:40 PM
My grey Sunny is quite high prey drive, when I did the cat introductions it was taken nice a slow, My 2 cats he treats like members of his pack but I would not trust him with an unknown one, if it came into the yard, while chasing a rabbit in the yard he ran into the fence face first knocking out 2 teeth but not even that was going to stop the chase.

Since a greyhounds eyesight if far better than mine(they can spot movement 1/2 mile away) on walks I pay close attention to his ears, his ears will perk up when he spots something , before he gets wound up and excited, if I get in a warning right away I can keep him from going ballastic, but once he gets worked up, the only resort I have is to turn him around so as to break his eye contact, inorder to get him focused back on me but it does take some doing. He has put me on the ground a couple times when a rabbit or squirrel darts out in front of us from under a near bush, unfortunately when that happens I don't get the "I spy it" ear warning to prepare myself