“When a person is drowning, it is not a good time to teach him to swim”. – Haim Ginott
This can be due to your dog’s Prey Drive!
So, what is prey drive? According to the dictionary, Prey drive is the instinctive inclination of a carnivore to find, pursue and capture prey. The term is chiefly used to describe and analyze habits in dog training.
So, what does this mean exactly? Your dog’s brain is preprogrammed to chase cats. This is a genetic behavior that was useful before dogs were household pets, and, also how they were able to catch their food in order to survive. So, this behavior is not because they are being “bad” but is just a natural reflex.
Why isn’t my dog listening to me?
This is because your dog is over threshold! This is when your dog crosses from one emotional state to another. If you spend time with a dog who is concerned about other dogs, you have probably witnessed the moment when he or she moves from seemingly okay into out-of-control behavior.
What can I do to help with this behavior?
There are a few things we can do to help with this behavior. You can try to prevent your dog from getting in this situation but we all know that is not always possible. In this case, we recommend the following;
- Start in a low distraction area such as your home. You will gradually increase distraction overtime so it is important not to rush your dog. Training is never perfect but practice is key for success. I recommend training for 5 to 10 minutes each day as to not overwhelm yourself or your dog while you are both learning.
- You will need a high value treat. This is something your dog really enjoys like bacon, cod or even cream cheese. It will need to be more valuable than what they’re chasing. My dogs absolutely love the Lamb RedBarn while we train together but each dog is different.
- Teach your dog to “look at you” by playing the Name Game. The goal is for the dog to look at you when you cue the behavior by saying your dog’s name.
- For example, If I say my dogs name, “Captain”, I want that word (his name) to cue him to look back at me. Eventually, we want this behavior to become an instant reflex/instinct.
- Once your dog has mastered this in a low distraction environment (your home), you can move into more distracting area such as your backyard.
- Once your dog has mastered this in your backyard, you can move into an even more distracting environment such as the park.
For more help, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Foundation Behavior Course, Good Manners Course or one of our pet-related webinars! Truly Force Free Animal Training is offering a 100% OFF DISCOUNT for a Truly Force Free Webinar (purchase of your choosing) when signing up for our newsletter. Be sure to check the box next to the signup code at the bottom of the homepage in order to receive the correct discount code at www.trulyforcefree.com.