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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 02:15 PM
Original message
How do you handle your dog's hunting interests?
I'm not a hunter but I've got a year old Aussie mix who is interested in chasing or swimming after every living thing. He's quite friendly and gets along well with dogs and humans.

He caught a mouse in an open field and played with it- then it got away after a few minutes. He had actually picked it up in his mouth a couple of times and tossed it while he was 'playing' with it.

This morning he caught a bird at the dog park- and a rather large one. I was surprised and had no idea what to do- but he set it down after about 10 seconds and it flew away, apparently unharmed.

There are mama ducks with babies on the lake and he swam out after them yesterday... they got away from him but of course mama wasn't too happy about it. I called him back when I saw what he was doing but he kept going until he was tired. He's an amazing swimmer.

Other than that he is constantly looking for rabbits, and squirrels. Usually he is on the leash when he sees them and doesn't have the opportunity, but I am pretty sure he could catch the babies without too much effort. I don't know what he would do if he caught one.

I've never had a dog that actually had the speed and skill to actually catch anything. I don't want him to get hurt and I would prefer that he didn't hurt other animals. BUT, he is an animal so I just am not sure what to do when he is so prey-focused.



What do I do if he brings me something? So far he's only brought me 3-4 carp that were already dead but and he was quite proud of it. I didn't really show gratitude!
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like he might have been a cat in a former life.
Cats always bring you their dead (or semi-dead) catches. If the dog is on a leash most of the time he probably won't be able to hunt, but there's not much you can do about that predator instinct. Just be glad he doesn't drop a dead mouse on your pillow right next to your head, like certain cats I have known.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. You should see if there are ranches that have cattle dog camps!
Edited on Fri Jun-12-09 08:18 PM by MadMaddie
They train the dogs to herd sheep.

I have two of my own and one of them is a Rhodesian Ridgback Mix and her prey drive is really high. She is (thankfully) addicted to her Frisbee, we go through one a month...not the hard ones, they tucker her out.

Look in your area for dog organizations that have different types of training. Maybe even the course training where they do the obstacles would be something fun for both of you.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. +1
Except a cattle dog camp wouldn't teach a dog to herd sheep. They'd teach them to herd cattle.

And it'd take more than just a "camp" to train the dog to herd.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. This is true!!
Edited on Fri Jun-12-09 11:33 PM by MadMaddie
Here is where I got the thought from, I remember there was news story on the TV machine about it..

http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2008-04-21-city-do...

:hi:
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Yeah, herding is a great way to burn off energy from herding dogs
I just cringe reading that article and seeing the AKC involvement, though.

The AKC waters it down so much. I mean, to put it in perspective, my dog is no where near trialing at the lowest level of herding in a real trial, but he could've completed an AKC trial his 2nd time on the field.

They've absolutely WRECKED their version of the Border Collie. I hope the ABCA sues them to make them change the name, just like the Jack Russell people won against the AKC.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Interesting article.
I don't know if there is such a thing close to here, but there probably is.

About 7 years ago I met a man with a border collie... when it was 10 he rescued another young border collie. It was too much energy for the older dog to handle, so he rescued another young bc. I used to see him at the dog park occasionally and last count he had 5 bcs, counting the original. He was taking his dogs for herding training.

Then he bought a sheep farm. Yes, some people buy border collies to herd their sheep, but he bought a sheep farm so his dogs would have a herd of their own. Last count he had 6 dogs.

I'm not willing to go that far!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Some dogs do it naturally though.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well, they have natural instinct, but that doesn't mean it's channeled in a good or safe way
My dogs have shit loads of herding instinct/innate ability, but they needed training for it to be useful.

Too many people confuse chasing stuff around with "herding."
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. True. But some dogs when given the opportunity at these "ranches" do it naturally.
I have both herding and sporting Breeds at my home. My sporting brings us a bird every now and then from the yard but we have him because he was abandoned by his previous owner due to his fear of gun shots and his inconsistency with retrieving. My rescues are house dogs so I do not take them out without a leash so they cannot pursue their "traits" so easily. Normally they are in their fenced yard.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Training is good, but I don't think we'll do any herding training
I can certainly see the herding instincts coming out in his energy level, the way he loves to cover territory, and occasional herding of people and animals. Sometimes when another dog goes in the lake to fetch a ball, Ollie will swim out after him and herd him back to shore! He does an occasional nip at me to get me going faster, a habit I'd like to stop. One person told me to just stop moving if he does that.

We are finishing a second agility course this week. I'm not so much interested in competing as in providing stimulation for him and getting more practice handling him. He seems to really like it although he sometimes loses interest if we do the same trick too many times.

He isn't big on fetching. He will return about 2-3 times, then he gets bored. His priorities seem to be 1)prey, when available 2)playing with other dogs 3)people 4)food. When prey aren't around he happily spends his time playing.

I guess the hunting is a natural instinct. The first time he brought me a big dead fish at the dog park I was grossed out... so now he doesn't bring them to me any more. He hasn't lost interest, however! He finds the fish, tells his dog buddies, and they all roll in it. Fortunately there are a few good people who are willing to pick up the dead fish and get them out of there.

Yesterday when he had the bird in his mouth I didn't say or do anything- I actually thought it was a dead bird that he picked up. Then he set it down and it flew away. Do I scold him, praise him, or just take it in stride when he catches another animal?
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Mmmm...nothing like stinky dog freshly rolled in dead critter!!
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. And no worse smelling dead critter than fish!
Yet dogs seem to love it. Its the hardest smell to get rid of.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. In the Seattle area we have the Salmon running certain times of
Edited on Sat Jun-13-09 03:30 PM by MadMaddie
the year and I swear every year one of our dog walking dogs manages to find that just right dead fish. Of course all of the owners laugh until we can't laugh anymore and then we start cussing because of course...dog has to go in automobile, dog has to go straight to bath, bath has to be tomato juice and whatever other concoction. And then repeat.....ahhhhh nothing like a dog owners life.....wouldn't trade it for the world.

It's so funny the dogs are in bliss when they are rolling in stinky critter!!
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Sensitive noses think dead fish smells good.
In the local lakes we have carp- I guess they are a catfish variety which are bottom feeders. They grow pretty large and spawn close to shore- this time of year. So the dead bodies are right there. I still haven't found the right concoction to get rid of the stink.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. Have you tried
substituting toys to fetch?
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-13-09 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Yes, he will fetch a few times
but he really isn't into it like some dogs are. After a few throws he stops returning and looks for something else to do. Very short attention span.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
17. A few minutes ago I had a little "chat" with the vet
about whether it's healthy for dogs to eat lizards.

Maddy will not leave them alone. Earlier today she found a big one that was regenerating its tail, and I think I've seen it before. So annoying.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. So what did the vet say?
Edited on Tue Jun-23-09 06:31 PM by undeterred
Maybe your pup will get tired of eating the same tail over and over!

Since I first posted this Ollie caught and ate a fish about 6-7 inches long. I am pretty sure he killed it in the shallow water. Didn't seem to bother him in the slightest.

He's been swimming out after momma ducks with their babies. He's a good swimmer but they are faster than he is. He got a big reaction from one mother duck who turned around and swam back to him and flapped her wings and squawked in his face. Didn't hurt him, but he did swim back to shore after that.

And he captured a little bird which wasn't grown up to flying yet. I think he wanted to play with it-but after he tossed it around awhile it was dead. I couldn't talk him into dropping it while it was still moving.

I've talked with a few people who said the only way to prevent them hunting prey is to prevent from having contact with wild animals, which is pretty hard to do. Well, I could take him to the dog park which is just a big empty field with no water and no trees. But I'd rather take him to the park that has water and woods, even if there are small animals.

I guess its better not to get too upset or make a big deal about these things because then he wants to do it even more.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. The vet said it's okay
as long as you keep a good lookout for parasites.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-30-09 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
20. I am answering my own question here...
Since I first posted this my dog has picked up 3 baby birds that apparently fell out of their nests and couldn't get back up. Once he had the bird in his mouth he didn't want to give it up. Finally I traded him for a hot dog, but as soon as I had it in my posession I realized it would not survive.

Then there was the baby rabbit my neighbor's dog caught. She commanded her dog to drop it and he did. The rabbit laid on the sidewalk screaming for a full two minutes before it died.

I think prevention is best. But once the dog has picked something up and has it in mouth, its probably kindest to let them finish killing it...unless you plan to take it to a vet.

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Butch350 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-15-09 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. I buy a few bunnies from the pet store...

let them go in a small confined area and let my Rottie have at it, but just on the weekends when he is
not visiting with mick vick.
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