The hunting instinct in dogs is genetically anchored and, depending on breed and breeding, more or less pronounced. But what makes the four-legged friends happy, does not make the owner happy. To wean dogs from the hunting instinct is one of the most difficult chapters of education, how you can do this best, you will learn here.
What means hunting instinct in dogs?
Hunting instinct is when a dog picks up the scent of an animal and pursues the prey. If the quadruped is successful in this, the so-called hunting instinct sets in with a possible escape plan of the hunted, in which the hunting success does not necessarily have to be goal-directed, but also alone the chase can be the highlight.
Innate hunting instinct in dogs
Most dogs have a natural instinct to hunt prey. Because the natural characteristic of hunting comes from the ancestors. Wolves were dependent on obtaining their food completely independently by means of hunting. In some quadrupeds the hunting instinct is more pronounced than in others. The mere rushing of an animal makes the heart of the furry noses beat faster. As soon as the prey is no longer within realistic reach, many dogs abandon the hunt. Others, however, don’t give up until they themselves are completely exhausted. In the education you need in these cases enough patience, assertiveness and different measures. Hunting behavior can usually not be stopped, but it can be controlled and steered in an orderly manner.
When the hunting instinct in dogs becomes a danger
An uncontrolled hunting instinct can become a deadly danger for humans and animals. Hounded deer or, for example, cats panic, and when a dog poaches, it does not stop in the frenzy even in front of fast cars. From the sixth to eighth month of life, the hunting instinct of the quadrupeds sets in. Flying leaves as well as flies and butterflies provide successful play and hunting fun. If you don’t get your faithful companion used to such activities, he will get more and more into this hunting and chasing instinct.
Discourage dogs from hunting
It is without doubt one of the most challenging chapters of dog training. There is no reliable method. The happiness hormones that the dog feels during the hunt are incomparable. What is suitable for the education of the one quadruped, does not apply to the other for a long time. You have to open yourself to it and approach it with a lot of empathy. Even if you succeed in curbing the hunting instinct through experience and learning sessions, you still have to continue with the training and refresh what you’ve learned again and again.
Dog school: With respect and bond to success
Your quadruped must orient itself at you, again and again examine whether you are still in its proximity and obey on your word. You should always reward appropriate behavior. If your dog runs away during a walk, you can use the situation to hide yourself. Your sudden absence will unsettle him. The pelt-nose will start looking for you and will not let you out of his sight in time. It creates a strong bond between you, which at the same time gives you better control.
Use a drag line, in order to make clear to your dog, where it belongs. The motto is: allow freedom and still keep control. The leash should be durable and not too narrow. It is also important that you use a chest harness to avoid cervical vertebrae injuries or other health damages. Products from leather or Biothane are to be recommended. These are very tear resistant and of first class quality. Your own posture is also important. In order to have your beloved four-legged friend firmly in your grasp, you have to be steady and concentrated. The drag line signals to the dog that he should stay close to the pack, and therefore close to you. If your dog changes direction during a walk, you should calmly teach him not to do so. Before the leash is even tightened, you call your faithful companion to heel and reward his coming with praise or a treat.
Also the use of a dog whistle is to be recommended, since this is success-bringing straight with larger distances. If your dog is stubborn, change direction immediately and refrain from any verbal communication. Always remain consistent and above all patient with this training method.
Use the play instinct of dogs
You can focus the attention of your dog ideally with search games on you. Also suitable are retrieving exercises and races. The four-legged friend will quickly notice that you provide him with plenty of variety and joy. Also the praising words, strokes and treats signal him that it is worthwhile to stay near you. If your dog is distracted by a cat or a wild animal, you can easily show him an alternative with a toy, food dummy or retrieving exercise, which is accompanied by a tempting reward.
Hunting with dogs
During the two world wars the English and French hunting dog breeding came to a standstill. Most four-legged friends were killed because of the food shortage. In England, after the end of the war, it was finally decided to import German Shorthair dogs, which were recognized as gun dogs. Also some other pack could be increased in its species population again, lost however by the substantially reduced game existence at meaning. Hunting with dogs still exists in England today. Due to changes in the landscape, fast and large dogs are no longer as popular as small, slow-chasing four-legged friends. Bloodless riding hunts are still popular in Germany as well as in France. The delivery of suitable dog puppies takes place meanwhile, however, almost exclusively to hunters.
From now on the highlight is you
If your dog has a strong passion for hunting, then you need a lot of patience and the necessary assertiveness. There is no sure way to break the four-legged friends’ hunting habits. Nevertheless, you can get your faithful companion into the habit of focusing on you, so that the hunt for game, cats or birds gradually fades into the background. The highlight is from now on you. Keep your dog busy with retrieving and search games or, for example, food dummies and thus strengthen the bond between the two of you and at the same time prevent the usually annoying hunting instinct in dogs.
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