Help! Dog hunts everything that moves

If you want to break your dog of the hunting habit or to steer his hunting instinct into calmer channels, you have to be patient. Your dog will hunt anything that moves because it gives him pleasure – he won’t let you take that away from him so easily.

If you reach a point in dog training where you are at your wit’s end, seek help from a dog training school that offers so-called anti-hunting training or hunting training.

Why do dogs hunt at all?

The hunting instinct is more or less in the blood of dogs. Even if they have learned to cooperate with humans through thousands of years of domestication, they still remain predators.

The wild ancestor of our domestic dogs, the wolf, changes its hunting behavior in the course of its life. As a young wolf it chases everything that moves, but as an experienced and mature hunter it allocates its energy more efficiently. That means, he only hunts prey, which is worthwhile for him and which he can kill with as little effort as possible. Wolves feed exclusively on their prey and can not afford to waste energy. However, they only learn this with increasing age.

But dogs do not have to hunt to survive. They therefore behave similarly to young wolves, who hunt all sorts of things for practice and for the fun of it. In the meantime, you block out everything else and focus only on the prey. When dogs chase a supposed prey, happiness hormones are released in their brain – so hunting is a self-rewarding behavior. This can, if it is not stopped or limited in time, also take on an addictive character.

Wolves hunt in packs and dogs also enjoy following their instincts together. In dog groups it can therefore happen that the animals spur each other on. As soon as a quadruped is seized by the hunting fever, the others run along enthusiastically.

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This is how the hunting behavior is expressed in the dog

Hunting behavior is an innate trait that the dog inherited from its ancestor, the wolf.

Which dogs have a particularly strong hunting instinct?

How strong the hunting instinct is, depends largely on the breed of dog. The least interest in hunting is shown by social dogs, slightly disrespectfully called "lap dogs" denotes. They can be easily prevented from chasing prey by playing together with their favorite humans. guard, herding and watchdogs are usually content to watch over the house, yard and family or have another task that makes sense to them.

Furthermore there are hunting dog breeds. The assumption is obvious that all hunting dogs like to hunt, but it is not so clear. Because the hunt does not only consist of chasing the prey, but of the following components:

● Places
● Fixation or. Pointing
● Sneaking up
● Rushing
● Packing
● Killing
● Retrieving the prey

About retrieving and co.

Problematic are only the behaviors that have to do with rushing, grabbing and killing. However, there are also hunting dogs that were bred only for locating, fixing and sneaking or only for retrieving. The potentially dangerous hunting instinct is not as strong in them. These include:

Scent hounds are also hunting dogs

There are also hunting dogs that are largely self-sufficient, designed to track and flush prey to drive it toward the hunter. They are not responsible for grabbing and killing the prey, but can resist a scent with difficulty and tend to be stubborn. This affects the following breeds of dogs:

Running dogs bring their prey out of breath

The hunting instinct is most pronounced in so-called running dogs. They have been bred to chase game over long distances, usually rushing in a pack until it gets tired. Typical running dogs are:

Attention! Mixed breeds, which have running dogs, Bracken, earth dogs or Stoberhunde among their ancestors, can also have a pronounced hunting instinct, which encourages them to chase everything that moves.

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Hunting instinct in dogs: Inborn in many breeds

The hunting instinct in dogs can be unpleasant for the four-legged friend as well as for the master.

Breaking the habit of misbehavior: Discourage dog from hunting

You cannot train your dog away from the hunting instinct per se. However, it is possible to bring the hunting behavior so far under control that your four-legged friend is no longer a danger to himself and others. This is the case, for example, when your dog chases cars, cyclists and joggers. There is also a need for action if your four-legged friend hounds your neighbors’ pets, for example cats, rabbits or chickens.

It is also problematic if your hunting dog breed chases wild animals – such as rabbits or deer. First, it can cause game to be rushed onto the road, where motorists and the animals themselves can come to harm. On the other hand, the animals are disturbed in the spring when they are raising and caring for their young.

What to do? Prohibitions alone do nothing, because hunting behavior is instinctive. However, you can strengthen the other instinctive behaviors and needs of your four-legged friend, so that the hunting instinct fades into the background. Meaning:

● Train impulse control and frustration tolerance
● Practice basic obedience with obedience training
● Strengthen the bond between man and dog by playing together
● Draw the dog’s attention to the owner through orientation training
● Species-appropriate employment and dog sports to keep them busy

For this you need a lot of patience and must remain consistent. It is better to use short, simple training sessions, which you increase slowly, than to overstrain your dog with a full training schedule. However, you should also not underchallenge your companion, after all, boredom is often the cause of undesirable to destructive dog behavior.

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Raising a hunting dog correctly: What you need to consider

If the hunting dog is to live up to its name, you must train it in certain ways.

What is anti-hunting training at the dog school all about??

Some dog schools and trainers offer professional anti-hunting training, also known as hunting obedience training. In principle, you and your dog do the same thing that you can do at home to curb the strong hunting instinct: You teach your dog that he no longer chases headlong after everything that moves, but first turns to you.

The goal is for your four-legged friend to develop alternative behaviors that he or she enjoys more than chasing. With professional guidance and a structured approach, it is often easier to stop problem behavior.

If nothing helps: only let the dog outside on a leash

As long as your dog chases everything that moves and is difficult to restrain, you should only take him outside on a leash. It is advisable to keep passionate hunters in the house and not in a kennel in the garden, where the neighbor’s cat can run in front of his nose at any time or he permanently sniffs the scent traces of wild animals.

Some dogs will never let you walk them off-leash, despite intensive anti-chasing training. However, if the bond between you and your pet is good and you have practiced leash control with him enough, your dog will not mind much.

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