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Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

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Char_BM
Just Whelped
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:16 pm
Tell us about yourself: Proud owner of my first DS puppy, Anouk. We will be using him for IGP and Rally-O once he grow up.

Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Char_BM »

Hi all,

I have run into some problems with my 5 month old DS puppy chasing birds.
He had a few runs off leash where he got to chase some seagulls and ever since that, he has become completely obsessed with birds. If he is off leash, he will run around chasing them, even long after they have taken off. I’m worried he might run out in front of cars following a pack of birds. He normally runs the same “pattern” in the park.
I have put him on a long leash and we are working on general obedience at a distance. However, if he goes into chase drive, nothing can snap him out of it, and I just have to turn around and go home with him and go back out later.

I have also noticed him doing this chasing behavior when we go to the park at night. I let him off the leash at night because there are no birds. But he will all of a sudden start to run around like a crazy, looking into the air, like he is looking for birds. He will not pay attention to anything while he runs around.

Do you think this could be some kind of OCD? Or do I simply need to find something better he can chase.

We are training to do protection sports, so I play a lot with him, do obedience work and take him on structured walks/socialization with other dogs and puppies, as well as attending IGP class twice a week. We also do some nose work and other brain engaging games.

Our trainer can’t really come up with any solution to this, apart from keeping him on then long leash and trying to redirect him. But this doesn’t seem to work.


Thanks in advance!


-Charlotte & puppy Anouk
-Charlotte |Proud owner of Anouk |

TimL_168
Working Dog
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am: a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. We added Endeavor in April 2016. She was not working out in HRD. I train for game recovery and general utility.
Location: central MD

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by TimL_168 »

Baby steps. I'd shorten the leash to start with.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

TimL_168
Working Dog
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am: a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. We added Endeavor in April 2016. She was not working out in HRD. I train for game recovery and general utility.
Location: central MD

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by TimL_168 »

Keep greater distance. Short durations.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Tim91118
Training Dog
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd female named Anja

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Tim91118 »

He’s old enough for an e-collar. What about his favorite toy ? You’re not going to get his mind off those birds without redirection. Don’t take him there again unless he’s able to be redirected away from the birds and he must be kept on that short leash.
Tim

Char_BM
Just Whelped
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:16 pm
Tell us about yourself: Proud owner of my first DS puppy, Anouk. We will be using him for IGP and Rally-O once he grow up.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Char_BM »

TimL_168 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:51 pm
Keep greater distance. Short durations.
TimL_168 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:51 pm
Baby steps. I'd shorten the leash to start with.
Okay we will try that. I normally find a distance where he will listen, and then we practice recalls and so on.
He recalls just fine on a 50ft leash if the distance is right. But sometimes we are unlucky and a bird lands close to us :roll:
Tim91118 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:21 pm
He’s old enough for an e-collar. What about his favorite toy ? You’re not going to get his mind off those birds without redirection. Don’t take him there again unless he’s able to be redirected away from the birds and he must be kept on that short leash.
Can’t use an E-collar unfortunately. Where I live in Europe, they are illegal and you risk a pretty hefty fine if you use one. Hence why I am stuck to a 50ft leash so I can at least stop him when he goes into his bird mode.
I have had limited success with his tug on a long line, which I managed to throw in his path and drag along the ground. It will only snap him out of it shortly before he starts looking up again and continue running. His focus on me when we are out is very easily broken with distractions (we are working on motivation and engagement in less distracting environments).

The park is our only option for walks. Our backyard is too small for him to run around in.
Do you think he would benefit work with a flirt pole?

Thanks for your replies :wtg:
-Charlotte |Proud owner of Anouk |

Tim91118
Training Dog
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd female named Anja

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Tim91118 »

A flirt pole would definitely go along way in trying to satisfy his strong prey drive. It will also wear him out. Try this before you take him to the park.
Tim

TimL_168
Working Dog
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am: a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. We added Endeavor in April 2016. She was not working out in HRD. I train for game recovery and general utility.
Location: central MD

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by TimL_168 »

Def go with flirt pole.
You're fighting for engagement. He's young. Don't give up. Break your problem down into it's individual parts and work them until solid. If there's one piece of advicei can give that I put above all else, it's this:
Set your dog up for success! Build you training exercises in a manner that he's most likely to do well with. Add distresses, distractions, and new work in small increments only after the previous lesson is solid in the dog.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

ladyjubilee
Training Dog
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by ladyjubilee »

May not help, but in addition to the ecollar, what helped us most was the trainer stressing to treat Bramble like a working dog. He had me change my mindset with her which changed her focus. She is consider a "high prey drive" dog, which makes her job a challenge. But when I started treating her like a working dog....when she had to start earning her rewards 24/7, she started changing that drive focus to work focus. Now we have a big fenced back yard with plenty of white squirrels to chase when she is off duty, but on we start working she really changes that focus, especially when my son is involved (her main job.) Now instead of running off to chase she comes running to work.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

Char_BM
Just Whelped
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:16 pm
Tell us about yourself: Proud owner of my first DS puppy, Anouk. We will be using him for IGP and Rally-O once he grow up.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Char_BM »

ladyjubilee wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:13 pm
May not help, but in addition to the ecollar, what helped us most was the trainer stressing to treat Bramble like a working dog. He had me change my mindset with her which changed her focus. She is consider a "high prey drive" dog, which makes her job a challenge. But when I started treating her like a working dog....when she had to start earning her rewards 24/7, she started changing that drive focus to work focus. Now we have a big fenced back yard with plenty of white squirrels to chase when she is off duty, but on we start working she really changes that focus, especially when my son is involved (her main job.) Now instead of running off to chase she comes running to work.
What do you mean by " treat him like a working dog"? We already have him working for all his meals (can be simple engagement sessions or go seek games or similar). He is crate trained and will spend time in there when we are not doing stuff with him. He doesn't have access to toys unless we play with him etc. I am not sure if that is what you mean?

He has actually started to see me as a fun person over the last week. I have played some really silly games with him, which has worked like an icebreaker. So that is a great improvement.

We did however also have a setback today. He was off leash playing with another dog (in a completely different park with no birds) and out of nowhere he started his crazy circles. It took us over 30 mins to stop him. It got a bit too exciting a few times as he ran close to a bike path. And obviously, frantic running like this is not good for a 5 month old puppy.

But we are working on impulse control with the flirtpole and hopefully he will start to get it.
-Charlotte |Proud owner of Anouk |

Tim91118
Training Dog
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd female named Anja

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Tim91118 »

Have you started working on an “ out “ This is a good start in getting control of his drives.
Tim

ladyjubilee
Training Dog
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by ladyjubilee »

The change was having to work for any attention. We arent supposed to just pat her head. Instead we have to look for opportunities to have her do something for that affection. Basically she work for her pay....and she is a by the piece worker. The result is (when we are consistent) she is always on the look out for a chance to get paid.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

Char_BM
Just Whelped
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:16 pm
Tell us about yourself: Proud owner of my first DS puppy, Anouk. We will be using him for IGP and Rally-O once he grow up.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Char_BM »

Tim91118 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:09 pm
Have you started working on an “ out “ This is a good start in getting control of his drives.
Yeah he knows how to out, although we were advised not to train it yet (until his bite work is more solid)
ladyjubilee wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:08 pm
The change was having to work for any attention. We arent supposed to just pat her head. Instead we have to look for opportunities to have her do something for that affection. Basically she work for her pay....and she is a by the piece worker. The result is (when we are consistent) she is always on the look out for a chance to get paid.
He is not really that much into affection. So unless we have food, then he really couldn't give a damn. That's why I'm trying to improve our relationship by taking him out to play several times a day (and then back in the crate after for a nap). But we will try working some more on him earning his "pay". Thanks for the suggestion :D
-Charlotte |Proud owner of Anouk |

Mark77
Training Dog
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:19 am
Tell us about yourself: Own two Dutchies and a Mal.

Re: Chasing/high prey drive/OCD?

Post by Mark77 »

Mine ate one of my wife's pet birds on the first day we brought the dog home. I mean nine week old puppy and he ate a parakeet whole. It took a long time to break of that but now- we can leave him out while letting the birds out of the cage to fly around the living room. Now outside the home, him and my two females have killed several squirrels, opossums, rabbits, and the occasional bird. It's just a dog thing I guess, they hate anything in their yard.

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