My dog hunts and kills. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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My dog hunts and kills.

I have a 1 year old GSD mix. She has very high prey drive. She is fast and intense when it comes to little animals. Today when I was at work she killed a baby bunny that was under our deck. My husband is so up set with it and he feels that she is out to kill. He wants to get rid of her for it.

My husband took cookie out for a run. He let her off leash and she was not listening to him well. Well he does not do anything with her he NEVER does training with her. So why would she listen. She is good with me great off leash. I wish my husband would take the time to work with cookie I have asked him to do traning with me said that's your thing. Grrrrr.

What do you do with a dog that as my husband out it "has a taste for blood" I have been working a lot these past days and have not been working with her as much as I should. I feel that is part of the reson we are having issues. I will go back to running her everyday again.

What do you do when your dog is a killer. We have a 3 year old daughter and do not want her seeing cookie kill something. What can we do.

Cookie - 4yr GSD mix rescue
Indy - 8 Yr Pom/chi mix
Meatball- OLD! pit bull rescue
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 02:38 AM
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Doesn't sound like hubby understands the breed. My boys, especially Bailey, would totally go after a bunny. Or a squirrel. Or whatever animal that ventured into the yard. He just would. If it ran, he'd chase it. That's what he loves to do.

I wouldn't let hubby take dog offleash.

Explain to him as best you can that it isn't about a taste for blood so much as the desire to chase it down.
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 02:52 AM
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Prey drive is completely normal. It's too bad she killed a baby bunny, but that doesn't mean "she's out for blood". She's just doing what comes natural to her. I'm sure she's not going around chasing little kids and trying to kill them, right? It's a prey thing.

Does your husband know much about dogs? If he wants the dog to listen to him, he's going to have to form a bond with her. I wouldn't expect my dog to listen to every command she knows from just anyone, especially without any incentive, even if she's familiar with them. Training isn't just about training a dog that saying X means to do Y. It's about working as a team. If he really wants her to listen, he's going to have to put in some work too.

And a little off topic, but if your dog has prey drive, try building a flirt pole for her. It could help her let out some of that prey drive steam on something she can't actually kill. It might help tone things down a bit with her.

Last edited by Lucy Dog; 06-02-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 03:24 AM
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Besides German Shepherds, I also have done Weimaraners. Take my word for it----even the highest drive GSDs don't even come near a high drive, bred to field Weim.

Even the HIGHEST drive dogs can learn what and when to hunt. Training trumps. I don't know how many times I've had people tell me that you can't train out inherently genetic drives----when my dogs are right there doing it in front of them, even people who should know better. With the right training, you can call off a hunt in mid stride.

I could do it with any of my dogs----Weims included. But you MUST do the training. And you MUST use it, everyday. This will give you positive control, off leash, no matter what the situation.

And a little off topic, but if your dog has prey drive, try building a flirt pole for her. It could help her let out some of that prey drive steam on something she can't actually kill. It might help tone things down a bit with her. "--------

Not a bad suggestion----however, she already knows HOW to hunt----you need to work with her on positive control over what and when she hunts.

Dogs are predators----you need to let them hunt---but you also need to have control over what and when they hunt. This is true of all breeds, hunting or not, from Chihuahua to Great Dane.

PM me if you want an outline of an obedience course that you can use to give you positive control in all situations. Both you and your husband need to do the course with your girl if you want results. There are no shortcuts.

I have a Weimaraner puppy coming in Sept.----but like all my dogs, the first thing he'll learn is that I call the shots about when and what he hunts. All working field dogs have to learn that----they are no use at all as a hunter if they ruin the hunts by bolting, not staying steady to shot, or failure to retrieve.

"I'd better go with you Huck, civilization can be dangerous."-------Tom Sawyer(Mark Twain)
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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My husband does not understand dogs that well. He got his first dog a Pom mix when he was in his late 20s before I met him. His dog is far far from perfect. I have been working on fixing the problems he let build into issues. Like barking at every stranger he saw. Not letting people in the house. Running up to strangers barking and even nipping. He is much better now. But he still runs up to strange dogs barking like a little jerk that's why I always keep him on leash.

I try and tell my husband I need his help with training the dog. If we want her to be the perfect dog. He kind of gets it. I am going to start really tightening up on cookies training bring the bar up. I am going to really work on focus an no messing around. Good enough is not good enough. I am going to look for a trainer to work with too. My husband needs to be more involved in cookies training. I have seen improvement were he sees her getting worst. Well he has been doing less with her so it makes sense. We have only had cookie 9 months. She is still young a little over a year now. She is still learning what we want from her. I know it takes time.

We do lots of frisbee and that helps burn off a bit of the need to chase. She has become really good at frisbee. She jumps and catches it watches for it really focuses. She is fast becoming a great frisbee dog. I love it.

I am just stressed out because my husband is so upset over this animal killing thing. I tried to tell him that most dogs would have done what cookie did. He does no believe me.

Cookie - 4yr GSD mix rescue
Indy - 8 Yr Pom/chi mix
Meatball- OLD! pit bull rescue
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:34 AM
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killing a rabbit, squirriel, field mouse, bird, etc is natural.
your husband needs to be more involved with the dogs
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 07:33 AM
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She is not a "killer" at all. she would have treated the bunny just like any other fast moving toy. Run, grab, shake - unfortunately bunnies don't survive that kind of treatment.
She wasn't sitting there "plotting" to kill the bunny in a nasty vishous blood rage - dogs don't think that way.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 09:06 AM
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Maybe if you explained it to your husband that it's no different that a cat going after a bird, it would help him understand. Not all dogs do it, but it is something that's very instinctual.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 09:14 AM
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I will say the first time you see your fur baby shake & kill a small animal it's kind of shocking. My boy also got ahold of a baby bunny.

But prey drive is higher in some...I can tell you my boy enjoyed the deed HOWEVER the neighborhood children & the raw food my neighbor throws on his grill are safe! lol

I certainly hope your husband sees the logic to this...they are animals. But also training a good leave it, out, stay, down is also important.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 09:36 AM
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I had this concern with mine in the beginning because of all the things I read. When mine was about 4 months I had to babysit my sisters rabbit and did so for about 3 months. I took that opportunity to train the puppy not to chase/hurt the rabbit. She was able to associate the inside rabbit with the outside rabbits rather quickly and now when we go outside, they can run right past her and she doesn't even look twice. I did this with a huge turtle I found crossing the road too, not that we should be seeing an abundance of turtles in the area any time soon I would think that maybe the best kind of training would be somewhere she can see these things, but can't get to them and is taught that its not allowed--a pet store maybe?

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