How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19835
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
2361900
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

How to stop my dog running off while hunting

Customer Question

How to stop my dog running off while hunting
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
.
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
.
What are you hunting?
Are you hunting with one dog or multiple dogs?
How old is your dog?
What breed is your dog?
Is he neutered?
Is he chasing the prey or just not obeying?
How is his recall otherwise?
Can he hear you?
What kind of treat are you using?
Is this new behavior?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No - its not me who is hunting. Its when he goes hunting for something especially cats, birds, pheasants etc. He just seems to run off and wont come back - going into dangerous situations - ie onto road.

He is a rescue dog. 18 months old. Mixed - probably some terrier and border collie. He is neutered. Chases the prey. Does hear but disobedient I think. Treat - ham, sausage, cheese. He has always been like this. He has terrific energy and we think he may have been kept locked up in his old home - he was rather shell shocked when we got him and then he came out of his shell in a big way! We have had him for six months. He has been to dog training classes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Did you get my reply?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He does come back to us and has been getting better but when he finds something of interest he doesnt until he is ready to

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Gaynor,
.
I have received your replay and it will take 30-45 minutes for me to type up my response to you.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Gaynor,
.
What you are seeing is not unusual for your average dog. Most owners train their dogs to come to them but do not finish teaching the command with distractions present. Trying to tempt them back once they are already distracted seldom works especially since the treats while tastier than store bought treats may not be "high value" enough to override his need to chase, track and prey drive.
.
In addition, many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative. They also find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. So what you need to do is make coming to you more pleasurable.
.
The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. If he knows "Come" but ignores it changing the word to "HERE" often results in him coming every time. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward.
.
Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me. Hot dogs are smelly, oily and tastier than most treats. Liver slivers work well too. Both tend to leave a smell on the hand and the dog usually find these more compelling than the prey.
.
The other thing to do is to call your dog to you, reward him coming to you, then give a release command that allows him to run back around. This way he will learn that coming to you gets him a treat but then he can run again. This helps him learn to come every single time immediately for the treat. I'd also work on the obedience commands every day. Since he seems to like tracking, you might want to incorporate tracking training into your sessions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/tracking.html
Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.
.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
.
Another option which might help to use as a training aid is a remote training collar. They make spray versions and shock versions of the collar. They sound a tone first and then give the correction when the one button is pushed. In most cases, the correction causes the dog to return to you. When he does, you reward him with a treat. It usually only takes a couple of corrections until he starts coming back without receiving the correction upon hearing the tone. At that point, you would only need to push the tone only button to get him to return to you. These are quite effective and I have used them for long recalls. There are many such training collars available. I prefer petsafe and innotek models, but most are similar. See one here:
http://www.petsafe.net/training-behavior/remote-trainers
.
The collar also allows you to bring a dog back home that is out of sight and sometimes even too far away for them to hear your call depending on the type of collar. They work at various ranges. I use them for young energetic dogs on unleashed walks.
.
You can also try to desensitize them to the smell of the prey by bringing them around the prey such as a rabbit. When they try to go after it on the leash, give a correction. It will likely take a lot of corrections before they stop reacting to it, but when they do, you reward with the treats until they ignore it. Prey drive is hard to overcome, but is worth at least trying.
.
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques I've suggested, you may have to consult a professional in person behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
http://www.apdt.com
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Just a quick follow up to see if you had a chance to try any of my suggestions. I hope you found my suggestions helpful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We bought the remote shock neck collar but found we didn't like the idea of using it . In the end we decided to just lead walk him on a very long lead, along the river which he enjoyed. I think lead walking him for a long time has caused him to bond with us and we now let him off the lead for short periods and when we want him to come back we hold up his ball and he comes for the ball. We then continue on the walk as you suggest. He does run off a bit but comes back in a few minutes so he is much better. Before he had pulled on the lead so much we haven't lead waked much but hunting along the river is great for his hunting and he isn't pulling as he can range on the long lead. We were very happy with your help.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Gaynor,
Thanks for the update. I generally only used the remote training collar on the shock setting a couple of times and then switched to tone only. After a few times, the dogs would come back just on the sound of the tone. Of course, several times, my dogs would be out of line of sight since we would be in the woods. Glad to hear things are improving.