Controlling Prey Instinctf - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Controlling Prey Instinctf

Aloha, all. I have read here a lot about controlling a GSD's prey instinct, some say it is near impossible with commands, some say they can teach boundaries even in relation to a dog seeing prey and wanting to take off.

Here is my situation: A week ago Rasa saw a cat while we were on a leash and took off. (she is strong). I was in my wheelchair (and I am not a weak person) and using my 7 speed bicycle hand crank attachment on the front of the wheelchair and had the brakes fully on and skidding and Rasa was still picking up speed after the cat and nothing would slow her down. (I could not put the leash down). Anyway we went over hill and dale and finally found a curb high enough that the bike/wheelchair would not jump over, so me and the chair parted company while I was still attached to Rasa. Yesterday Rasa saw a chicken and tried the same thing, but I yanked back really hard and shouted No No. and was able to get Rasa to stop and sit after about 20 feet.
The scary part now is (in retrospect), we were moving along the very narrow shoulder of a busy street and if a Prey was on the other side of the street, well it is a very dangerous situation. How to guarantee that Rasa can be under control when prey is involved?

frank
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 08:59 PM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Oh dear. First off, I would sign up for training classes to have that good foundation of working together. Have you signed up yet? You've had Rasa for awhile now. Second, what sort of collar do you use? Have you tried a prong collar?

Third, and lastly, check out Lou Castle's crittering protocol: http://www.loucastle.com/critter.htm It does involve use of an e-collar but given that this situation can be life or death for BOTH of you, you may want to contact Lou (he is a member of this board as "LouCastle") for some advice and to see if there are any trainers in your area. Normally I don't jump to this but it sounds like you could have been in serious trouble. I would much rather you try other methods first, but do your research and see what other, more experienced people say on here.

Please, please sign up for training classes!

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 07:48 PM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Frank, I just discovered "Control Unleashed" by Lesley McDevitt.

Watched the DVD and just ordered the book -- it's fantastic and life changing!

She offers a serious of "games" to help your dog disect and manage the enviroment!

One of the fundamental games is "Look at that!" -- it teaches your dog to look at something/someone and then mentally "leave it".

It teaches a dog to look without trying to make a physical contact.

Our puppy with a huge prey drive (lunging at cars, etc.) is good with kitties but want to play with them.

We have been playing "Look at that!" for 3 days with amazing results!

In addition, we started using Haltie on Xargos -- it works! It's the second day of using it, and even though he doesn't like it, he is already pretty good with it (with lots of treats and playing) and the amount of control you gain is huge!

We started private lessons with Xargos with a trainer who gets 100% on Obidience with her dogs and this is what she recommended.

Let me know if you want more details -- I can keep you posted on details!

Tanya

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LoveBug, a brown-with-white Siberian cat, the kindest cat on earth (born Oct.27,2007)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Aloha, Tanya, I am looking into training classes and will check the videos. I only need to go onto a busy road once a week early on Sunday to the farmers market, and even then i think I can cut through a shortcut and a school. (after checking out google earth). Around my place there are no cars so I will have the luxury of training the control of the Prey instinct without too much danger. What makes me mad is that Rasa will obey down to the letter WHEN she wants to. Just a stubborn B***h (can I say that?) (g)
Frank
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 03:16 PM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Quote:
Quote:What makes me mad is that Rasa will obey down to the letter WHEN she wants to. Just a stubborn B***h
She's likely not as stubborn as you think. You may need to build your bond more and do some more quality training. Clicker training might be a big benefit. I notice a HUGE difference in the speed of learning and the quality of learning with Renji when I break out the clicker. It's very possible to "clicker train" without the use of a clicker but using one can really help your timing, plus it's only a positive tool that's linked with food and fun so it works wonders!

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 03:26 PM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Hi Frank,

Yikes, that sounds really scary! I'm glad you weren't hurt. Having gone airborne attached to dogs who outweighed me and were treeing a squirrel, I do understand your pain! I agree that stubborness is not the explanation.

I have had the best luck curbing Rafi's prey drive by turning everything into a game and making myself more interesting prey. You have to start it when there are no distractions and gradually up the distraction level.

Also, instead of a prong collar (which could be dangerous for Rasa if she's pulling a wheelchair!) I would recommend a harness. That will give you more control over her in a situation like that.

Ruth & the 4 Legged Rescue Gang

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 06:42 PM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Im sorry to laugh, but I have had it happen to me. These dogs are breed for prey we use work to occupy them, but there are just some that you will not stop,my male is one. My female lays with my cat, my male looks at her like dinner and has caught her 2 times just shook her like a rag doll, so he is out of house till she passes, but you being in a wheel chair is not good.Maybe work on collars that stun the dog when he tries to go ,it not safe for you as like you said they are strong. Best

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

Aloha, Rasa is not pulling me as I am peddling and need the exercise, so the leash is basically loose between us. I wrap up the leash to 3 foot when on the busy street and she is NOT tugging. (I just have to see the prey before she does and she will "stay") And I was referring the "stubborness" to recall and come commands when she is busy sniffing, etc. not referring to the prey drive.
She is not stubborn and listens very well when things are calm. I can speak to her and she will follow commands such, lets go "Potty" over here, or go find a ball. Then I direct her to the ball with "over there, no not that way, yes right over there, etc. But when excited and she is in the sniffing things mode, she will take her sweet time and even lag behind me by 1/4 mile if she feels like it.

frank
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:20 AM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinctf

I have to say, havin a GSD with a really high prey drive and a huskey that wants to pull, prong collars are better IMO, than ecollars or things like that. She will try to pull, but the prongs are not sharp, they make it unconfortable to pull. as they have links you can adjust it and make it not tight but a "loose snug" if you get my meaning. and you will have to use less strength in the correction. a lvl 4 correction with a regular collar would be a lvl 1 or 2 with a prong. read up on them, and i will guarrenty it will change her charging.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 09:40 AM
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Re: Controlling Prey Instinct (wheelchair drag)

Glad you weren't hurt, that could have been really scary...

Quote:
Quote: Rasa will obey down to the letter WHEN she wants to. Just a stubborn
Rasa is not being stubborn. She's just not trained yet. Until we do the proper training (and we know it proper when the dog is obeying ) all our dogs usually tend to be more likely to do what they want or CAN do, if they are able.

Dog classes would really be the first and best thing. Give you the skills to learn and then teach.... then Rasa will also learn to LEARN from you.

In the meantime, I agree with using some kind of management tool on the walk that fits you both. Whether it's a Gentle Leader head halter, or no pull harness, or the prong (think the head halter would be best for this until you get into classes).

Click here for more info on collar...



Click here of info on no pull harness





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