Insanely high prey drive...How can I focus her drive?

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michelle bacon's picture
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Joined: 2011-12-30

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J.J. is doing good adjusting to life with us, she has made great strides as far as I'm concerned.  It's almost as if when we got her home she knew somehow that she was with us forever.  It's not been all fun and games, but no major problems.

Anyway, she has got an extremely high prey drive.  If it moves, runs, flys, wiggles, or anything at all she is after it!!  Her whole personality changes when she gets the scent of a bunny, squirrel, or even a cat.  She is on alert, and gets very anxious if she can't get to it due to our fence.  And she doesn't stop wanting to get at it, even after whatever it may be is out of sight.  If we are in our yard and some poor birdie gets dumb enough to land, J.J. is all over that bird.  And sadly, they don't get away too often.  It's just strange that she just won't stop.  I can't even get her attention when she is on the prowl! That does worry me quite a bit that I can't get a good recall on her.  But, it's still early and we have a lot of work ahead of us.  I've got a rigged up toy for her...it's just a long stick with a stuffed animal that I drag around the yard so she can chase it. 

Is there anything else I can do to help her?  I want my furbabies to be happy in life and in their training.  I believe it was Glengate or RND that has said that they base a lot of their training on things their dogs already do naturally. They just take the natural behavior (or drive) and turn it into positive training.

Any advice, ideas, suggestions would be  great. Thanks!

Hickory67's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-20

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Schutzhund is a good sport for high prey drive working dogs. Other than that, lots of games. A frisbee might be good fun for her.

michelle bacon's picture
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Joined: 2011-12-30

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I've thought about doing Schutzhund with Niko and J.J., the problem I'm having is finding a place that does it around here that is reputable.  We live in an area  where there aren't very many options for that sport.  If any of you know of somewhere I can take them to train around Springfield, Illinois or down towards St. Louis, Missouri please let me know.  I don't mind travelling a little ways for quality training (for me and them).  The one place that I found that was close by was nice and all.  But, they wanted me to train Niko on my own without any real help.  They just told me some basics: lay scent tracks, increase prey drive, and watch the more experienced people with their dogs.

I'm new to this, and I guess I was just hoping that I would be able to find a place or someone who would be more involved and help guide me through the training.

But, like I said if anyone knows of a club, or a trainer that is reputable let me know.  I would love to get them started.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

what about "fly ball" where the dogs are waiting for a ball to be popped into the air and they have to go get it and return with it to their owner?? it's like a relay run for dogs??? it's fast and furious which sounds like what she likes... your local agility training/obedience should have some ideas of how to locate flyball options in your area.......can't wait to hear what you decide on......

cuddlbug00's picture
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Joined: 2012-03-06

I would look into schutzhund, but that is just my opinion. I always wanted to do it with Chevy, but didnt have the time between school and work. I think agility would be good for her too, but she wouldnt be chasing anything I guess.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

what about search and rescue since she likes to chase things??? find something that directs the chase instinct and to find or catch something.......

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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Games like tug, chasing each other, nosework, etc. are great ideas for high prey drive dogs.