Her crazy hunting drive - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-22-2015, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Her crazy hunting drive

Deja is doing great in everything except one area for which I need some tips for. She has a crazy hunting drive that I haven't even seen in my 20-some years of having sight hounds. It goes from beetles, snakes to deer.
Sight hounds hunt by sight only and as long as there was nothing in sight, they were always hanging out with me on the trails, beach and outside in our yard and I never have had a problem with these guys.
Deja, on the other hand, hunts by sight, smell and sound, and when she senses something, she is gone. It really is instant and nothing that I can do works. Besides for a hunt, I can put her in an emergency down-stay when she is about to follow her impulses.
Before this issue I never, ever considered working with an E collar but it is slowly appearing on my radar screen. I just have never worked with one. I am looking for ways to avoid te E collar. Tips on what worked for you?
Her hunting instinct overrides her obedience or ball drive and I don't know how to reverse that at this point since it seems to be so hard wired. Besides keeping her leashed at all times I wonder how to prevent her from getting lost or hurt by some wild critter.
The wild animals will be getting their young soon so she does run a risk there. She does disappear for several minutes but returns always (so far) and I don't punish her when she returns.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-22-2015, 09:36 PM
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You could try working her with a long line. If you do want to let her off leash, the e-collar may be the way to go. I used an e-collar with Sting because he would run deer and it did work. I would suggest looking into Lou Castle's videos on e-collar training.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mary Beth View Post
You could try working her with a long line. If you do want to let her off leash, the e-collar may be the way to go. I used an e-collar with Sting because he would run deer and it did work. I would suggest looking into Lou Castle's videos on e-collar training.
Thanks! I am going to research all options.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 02:19 PM
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Deja is doing great in everything except one area for which I need some tips for. She has a crazy hunting drive that I haven't even seen in my 20-some years of having sight hounds. It goes from beetles, snakes to deer.
Sight hounds hunt by sight only and as long as there was nothing in sight, they were always hanging out with me on the trails, beach and outside in our yard and I never have had a problem with these guys.
Deja, on the other hand, hunts by sight, smell and sound, and when she senses something, she is gone. It really is instant and nothing that I can do works. Besides for a hunt, I can put her in an emergency down-stay when she is about to follow her impulses.
Before this issue I never, ever considered working with an E collar but it is slowly appearing on my radar screen. I just have never worked with one. I am looking for ways to avoid te E collar. Tips on what worked for you?
Her hunting instinct overrides her obedience or ball drive and I don't know how to reverse that at this point since it seems to be so hard wired. Besides keeping her leashed at all times I wonder how to prevent her from getting lost or hurt by some wild critter.
The wild animals will be getting their young soon so she does run a risk there. She does disappear for several minutes but returns always (so far) and I don't punish her when she returns.
Shadow was the first dog I ever considered an e collar on, for exactly this reason. She is a born hunter, and she's quick! Like nose twitch and gone in a heartbeat. I keep her on a long line, that's it. I simply will not ever trust that any amount of training will over ride an instinct all the time. When she was little I used to have to bodily remove her from tracks, that tells me all I need to know.
Sorry, but I personally would risk it.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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So funny: yesterday she saw a couple of deer in our yard and was watching from the window. Her body was tense; every muscle loaded. We ignored her. So she demonstrated some good planning and intelligence and showed up with her collar! I had taught her to "find your collar" before going outside. I didn't fall for her cleverness.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 09:35 AM
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For much of it I let a dog be a dog. Now I'm not talking about allowing certain things out in public, but if she wants to chase a critter out of 'her yard' I don't have a problem with that.

We do have an underground fence around our 5 acres, she knows where to stop chasing a squirrel, deer, or the other week a coyote.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sourdough44 View Post
For much of it I let a dog be a dog. Now I'm not talking about allowing certain things out in public, but if she wants to chase a critter out of 'her yard' I don't have a problem with that.

We do have an underground fence around our 5 acres, she knows where to stop chasing a squirrel, deer, or the other week a coyote.
In a sense you are using an ecollar it's just called underground fence and what it does is keep her from running past the line, not stop her from the chase.
I'd rather correct the behaviour so I could have an under control dog when not in the "fenced" yard.
How do you allow it at one location and not another?

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mary Beth View Post
You could try working her with a long line. If you do want to let her off leash, the e-collar may be the way to go. I used an e-collar with Sting because he would run deer and it did work. I would suggest looking into Lou Castle's videos on e-collar training.
Sorry Mary Beth, I don't have any training videos. Just the "How-To" articles on my site.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Update: today she gave chase twice on two different hunting modes. I stimmed her immediately after she ran away from me for a few seconds until she felt it, yelped, stood still (I stopped the stim), called her name once and she came. Then she was her normal relaxed self and never associated it with me.
Then I walked the same route again and she hung out with me without being anxious. I was really happy with that result as that was one of my worries about the E collar (that it would turn her nervous). She has a nice stable personality to start with so that helps.
Wow, it is good to be open minded when working with dogs like that. So different from the average pet dog.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 02:40 PM
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Update: today she gave chase twice on two different hunting modes. I stimmed her immediately after she ran away from me for a few seconds until she felt it, yelped, stood still (I stopped the stim), called her name once and she came. Then she was her normal relaxed self and never associated it with me.
Then I walked the same route again and she hung out with me without being anxious. I was really happy with that result as that was one of my worries about the E collar (that it would turn her nervous). She has a nice stable personality to start with so that helps.
Wow, it is good to be open minded when working with dogs like that. So different from the average pet dog.
I am not sure if you conditioned the dog with the collar prior to this. I would not suggest putting the collar on and just stimming the dog without a long flexi leash for control. Dogs will respond in numerous different ways and can easily run through the stim in a high drive situation. I have seen some disregard the highest level on very high stim collar when in drive.
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