Hunting Instinct - Prevention and Control Help!
I'm not a hunter, or competitor. I'm looking for some advice/training tips to help me control my dogs' hunting instincts.
This week my 3-4 yr old red Dudley lab mix (adopted) killed a rabbit. This brings our small animal kill count up to two as our 8 yr old beagle/coonhound (also adopted) killed a bird a couple years ago. They both also caught a big groundhog last year, but it escaped.
- Has a very gentle mouth, and will release things easily
- Unfortunately he does the "shake" upon fetching things (incl bunnies)
- Knows sit, stay, down and come
- Doesn't like to get in trouble and usually doesn't have to be told twice
- Has a pretty rough mouth (tight grip), will not relsease as willingly
- Is black or white with obedience (she's excellent most times, but when disobedient, ignores 100% - 100% of time involving smells)
- knows sit, stay, come, roll over, etc...
They both know how to fetch and usually enjoy the "find it" game (they wait, I hide the ball, they go find it). I think the hound enjoys stealing things from the lab the most. I understand that dogs are predatory animals and I won't be able to get rid of this instinct, but I must be able to control it better. I also feel like I'm at a disadvantage, as with two animals, I'm dealing more with a 'pack'.
Can anyone pass along any training advice? They're great dogs and we'd like to let them off-leash as much as possible.