Looking for advice on controlling prey drive in the home (worried about the cats)
I am looking for some advice on working with my 1 year old male GSD. I have had Lars since he was 8 weeks old and in general he is a big lovable, goofball. I have worked with him on basic obedience (sit, down, stay, come, roll-over) since I first brought him home and when I take him places outside of the home he is always a perfect gentleman.
The problem is, he seems to have a very strong prey drive and I also have 3 cats and 2 small dogs living in my home. I have a tall gate in the doorway of one of my spare rooms so the cats are able to get away from him and the other dogs, but should he see a cat out of that room he will go after it. If it runs he will chase it. And I've been working with him on "Leave it", but he tones me out completely if one of the other animals runs by. With the other dogs, I think it is more a desire to play than to hurt them though I obviously can't let him wrap his jaws around their small bodies and can't figure out how to teach him to play nicely. With the cats though, even if I hold one up to him to show him what they are he will bite at them. And he has grown up with these animals in our home so this isn't anything new to him.
My breeder (who is also a trainer but unfortunately lives in another state) has suggested that I keep him on his prong and leash in the house and correct him if he attempts to go after one of the other animals. The problem is that as soon as I remove the prong, he is uncontrollable again. It's the same when I take him for a walk. He knows that he must behave when he is on the prong and I almost always walk him with it, but if I happen to take him out without it it's like walking a different dog.
Lars is of Czech Working Lines, but his breeder chose him for me as a pet quality dog. He is impossible to physically wear out lol. I can make him run in the yard for an hour after the ball to the point where he drops out there and then comes into the house and chases after the first animal he sees. I cannot leave him out in the yard unattended though as we have fairly new sod and he gets bored and digs/rips it out. So inside if he gets too out of control he goes to his crate, and then must follow a series of obedience commands when he comes out to attempt to settle him down a bit. (otherwise he will just barrel through the house at full speed)
Lars is my second GSD but he is very different from my first. My last GSD (who I later found out carried older Kirschental lines) was from a backyard breeder. He had very strong herding instincts as a young pup but outgrew it fairly quickly and was a dream to own his whole life. I never really did much training with him but he never caused any trouble around the house. He was very gentle with my other pets and the most loyal dog anyone could have ever asked for. I have no doubt Lars is a loving dog and he is definitely still full of puppy at only a year old. But I desperately need help in working with these behaviors as I hate spending so much time fighting with him rather than enjoying our time together.
Thank you in advance!
Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 10-27-2013 at 06:02 PM.