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Thread: Hunting Instinct - Prevention and Control Help!

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting Instinct - Prevention and Control Help!

    Hi All,

    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.

    The lab
    - 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

    The hound
    - 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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    The Lab perhaps can be trained and contained, the Hound good luck, I've never seen a hound who's hunting-kill instinct could be controlled, just in the blood with those breeds
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
    "I train dogs, Not papers"

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  3. #3
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Other than the risk of injury to your dogs in attacking something like a groundhog, what is your concern?
    Darrin Greene

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    My concern is that I lose control of them. I can't call them away from the animal 'hunt'. This may not be so bad for one rabbit, but we also have porcupines up here. The lab has already had 2 run-ins with porcupines. I've pulled 25 quills and had to have the vet get the rest. Not cool.

    It's good that the lab may be more trainable, as he seems to be the most successful "hunter"...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    I'd think Porcupines would be self training items
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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Beil View Post
    I'd think Porcupines would be self training items
    You'd think. But, some dogs are masochists.

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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Beil View Post
    I'd think Porcupines would be self training items
    I was hoping for the same. Maybe third time's a charm?
    Unfortunately, I think that the fact that he CAN'T get at the animal because of the quills only eggs him on more...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Beil View Post
    I'd think Porcupines would be self training items
    Some dogs don't learn from that experience and also very dangerous to the dog. best he learns to control his dogs!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Clearly, the fastest most effective method is e collar conditioning. The +r crowd would tell you that you need to train with high value rewards, but in my experience I've found that even for a pet owner, learning to use the e-collar takes 1/8 as long and is 1000% more effective. If the dogs really know sit and here e-collar conditioning takes about two weeks (less if done by someone experienced). You can buy a good collar for about $300. I recommend Dogtra to most pet ppl because the controls are simple and the transmitter is small.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 03-15-2013 at 06:01 PM.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #10
    Member jim_de_hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 067734m View Post
    I was hoping for the same. Maybe third time's a charm?
    Unfortunately, I think that the fact that he CAN'T get at the animal because of the quills only eggs him on more...

    Lost our Wiem last year who had been sprayed by and killed 8 skunks. She thought they were tasty, smell and all. She would go through the invisible fence that would usually knock her off her feet to get them. The fence would stop her at any other time but did nothing to curb her skunk habit. She just couldn't help it. We finally bought a box of douche (4 pack) and rubber gloves (Douche will taint your hands also - just loved going to work smelling like skunk and douche until I started wearing the gloves) because it was the only thing that would kill the smell. She felt bad about it but she just couldn't help it. You may just have to get used to it.

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