Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dog Chasing

I covered the reason behind 'Dogs That Chase' in today's article. So here I am going to go over how to stop unwanted dog chasing. I am also going to show you a few different things that will help you further in training your dog not to chase things.

For everything you do with your dog, there are different ways to go about training it. Most people out there now are all about Positive Reinforcement training. Hey I'm with you! I love positive reinforcement training. Though you can use positive reinforcement training with dogs that chase, lets look at a few things first.

Using positive reinforcement for dogs that chase can take months of training at times and sometimes is never fully reliable. Another thing about positive reinforcement is most dogs find the thing they want to chase MUCH more rewarding than what you are trying to offer them. Still, using positive reinforcement can have great rewards when training your dog. Though it might take months of training, it can be quite effective. How reliable your dog becomes is completely up to you on how much you work with your dog.

If you use the removal technique, where you remove the dog from the situation every time they show interest, though it can prove to be effective but again it can take a long time before your dog catches on to what you are wanting. Even though it can take a while, it's a good way to teach your dog how to act around that animal.

Now someone mentioned to me the other day, they were having trouble with their dog being obsessive with their cat, that they would rather not use pain or fear to train their dog. I didn't recommend pain or fear to train their dog, I was suggesting a trainer who uses the same technique a pack of dogs would use on themselves. A language dogs understand. Not pain or fear.

Besides the point, how about asking the cat about this? How do you think the cat feels being tortured by the dog on a daily basis. Do you think the cat would want you to take months trying to fix this problem or a few minutes? I'm pretty sure the cat would disagree with the statement the person said above.

Now what if the dog had a serious problem of chasing cars or people on a bike and the dog was biting the person on the bike? You chose the positive approach, taking a long time to teach the dog and not always reliable. What if one day the dog got out and a person went by on a bike? Your dog has not had any discipline for chasing and biting the person on the bike and so does it anyways, even with you calling them to you. I bet the person on the bike would much rather you took the few minutes to teach your dog not to chase and bite as well. What if the same situation went on, but with the car. What if that time your dog got hit by that car? Wouldn't you wish you would have took the few minutes to teach your dog not to chase the car instead of the few months trying not to be 'mean' to your dog?

I will point out again Positive Reinforcement can be very effective and in the long run can be very beneficial in teaching your dog not to chase.

Lets talk about Discipline for a minute shall we? All life forms need Discipline! It's they way of life. Try never giving your kid any discipline and see what happens. They will test you, usually become unruly, and do whatever they want. They will walk all over you. All animals use some sort of discipline on each other. Adults have Discipline too, if we didn't the world would be insane. Rules, the law, it's all a form of Discipline. So why when it comes to our dogs do we think they don't need any? They most certainly do.

Discipline can be as simple as setting rules then reinforcing those rules with rewards or with holding of a reward. It can be a dog not getting what they want or it could be a correction with the use of a collar. Discipline could be a simple ah ah or no word, a tap on the shoulder to remind them to pay attention. Discipline comes in many forms. Please don't think I'm saying to go hit your dog or anything of that sort!

Again I will say I love positive reinforcement training, it works very well and can be very effective. Though with out Discipline, what is to stop a dog that is about to chase a rabbit? You think you have a great recall, you've used lots of treats, then a rabbit takes off and your dog loves rabbits. Your dog takes off after the rabbit, you call the dog and the dog responds 'Be back in a minute for my treat! I have to get this first!'. What if that rabbit was headed for the road? You see where I'm going with this?

Depending on how well you've done with your dog with positive reinforcement training, depends on how that situation would actually play out. Maybe you've done a great job at training your dog and your dog whips right around and comes back to you. That's GREAT! It is possible! So if you like Positive reinforcement training, then definitely go that route!

I'm just saying it is something to think about when your trying to stand up for positive reinforcement training. I've been there, I've done the same, but my eyes have been opened. Of course there have been many people that are very successful with pure positive reinforcement training, that's wonderful. More power to them.

Yes I went off topic a bit in all that but it was something that needed to be said.

The system that I have, have tried, and has worked the best in the chasing things area is Don Sullivan's Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog [DVD]. He shows you how to take his techniques and quickly put an end to Dog Chasing. No more chasing cats, cars, animals, or anything else. His DVDs cover a wide range of topics and are well worth the money.

Here are some videos on people who have used his system;

As you can see this dog also had an issue chasing the horses, it's not mentioned but it's in there. At the end you can see him walking calmly by the horse, off leash.

This dog didn't have a chasing problem, but you can see some of the other behaviors Don's system can help you with.

These guys show you a way to apply more boundary training, in the DVDs, he shows you how to train your dog not to run into the road at all.

Don's system does not use pure positive reinforcement, he uses a system of prasie, toys and freedom of being off leash and discipline. His system fixes the behavior quickly and long term.

If you'd rather go a different route, you can try Don't Dump the Dog: Outrageous Stories and Simple Solutions to Your Worst Dog Behavior Problems. I haven't read this book so I can't tell you if it will help or not. I also don't know if they use positive reinforcement or a different method.

You could also try Dog Training Secrets. They have a lot of things to offer you and looks like they could help in a lot of areas as well. I haven't tried them so I can't tell you from my own experience.

If your against the Discipline, this looks like a good system, it's called the Dog Training Tutor. Once again I can't tell you from my own experience how good their system is.

Take a look at all of them, read the reviews and see what you think. Hopefully you can stop your dog's chasing behavior quickly before somebody gets hurt. Train positively or use some discipline, choose what you want but do something about it. Dogs that chase is very unsafe for everyone and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Use the method that works for you and your dog. I'm not trying to talk bad about positive reinforcement, if it works for you and your dog then by all means use it! It's a great way to train and fun. If your against using treats in training or they aren't working well for you, then try Don's system.

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