8 Methods to Train Your Dog to Avoid Killing Animals

Is your dog attacking other animals and even killing them? There’s hope.  Here are some techniques to stop your dog from killing animals.

By Guest Blogger, Steffi Trott

Have you seen your dog attacking other animals and even killing them? It is because naturally, dogs have the predatory chase drive, which is a desire to chase things. The character is something it learned since it was young, where it could see it chase bikes, small furry animals, chickens, and even other dogs.

However, the movement of prey is what triggers the animal or bird it will chase. So, remember that it is part of your dog’s normal behavior.

Nevertheless, some dog breeds are known to have higher predatory drives, and they are used mostly for herding, hunting, and working.

In this article, we have highlighted some techniques on how to train your dog not to kill animals.  See more: https://spiritdogtraining.com/online-dog-training/

1. Lock Them Safe And Secure

If your dog’s breed is one that has a high chase drive, get a safe place, and contain it. It will help protect the other animals and birds, especially when you’re not at home.

A dog with a kill history is usually declared as potentially vicious or dangerous. Such a dog can be humanely euthanized, and therefore suitable to keep it under control and secure all the time.

Some of the effective techniques to keep your dog safe and secure is to crate it indoors, strengthen the fence, and install an outdoor run. These techniques will help tame your dog.  Besides, to avoid attacking people, lock the gates, and prohibit anyone visiting accidentally or without permission.

2. Teach Between ‘hunt’ And ‘play’

In a dog’s mind, hunt and play are similar, but the two words are different. When you want to teach your dog how to play, take it outside to play with toys. Use commands and teach them how to “come” and “stay.” The practice should go for a month or more and do it regularly.

If the dog learns about the play commands, it will have a low interest in attacking smaller animals. So, even after you tell it to come back, it will listen to you. You can, therefore, command it to prevent chasing and attacking your cat.

Additionally, the other option is to hire a qualified dog trainer. The dog will be taught how it can redirect its energies towards play and not prey.

3. Early Training Works Best

Another option to protect your other animals and people from your dog’s attack is to raise them together from a young age – 3 months old or less.

Puppies love playing with cats, but the cat might not share its enthusiasm. So, in such altercations, you should not intervene unless you note serious aggression. It will be easier because the cat has boundaries and would like to teach the dog not to mess with cats. It will grow to have that in mind, and you will not find it attacking them in the future.

4. Don’t Punish A Dog After Killing

If your dog will attack your cat and even kill it, it is not a bad dog. The dog was following his instincts. No matter the tragedy that will occur, never punish or hit your dog for the mistake. You will make his aggressive behavior worse because he can’t understand his mistake.

To avoid such mistakes, don’t let the dog chase your cat, hoping it will not catch it. That might not work because one or both your animals might get severe injuries after running in a cluttered area.

5. Bad Association

A dog is different from other animals because its prey drive and the sensory environment will depend on sound and scent. If you find him associating itself chasing and catching cats or other animals having obnoxious odor or harsh noise, it is easy to stop.

However, to help your dog stop the bad behavior, work with your dog trainer. He will have the best approach to provide the dog with the right discomfort level, and it will not harm the cat or dog.

6. Conduct Behavioral Work

Conducting training exercises to your dog is an excellent way to tame prey drive. There are some essential exercises your dog can do at home. The vital one is to establish control when it is off-leash.

When training the dog commands, keep the three Ds in your mind – Duration, Distraction, and Distance. Try to avoid distractions when teaching your dog new command and give it a short time to hold the command.

As it gets better with time, increase the distance, duration, and distraction until you find it reliable to perform the commands.

7. Handling Emergencies

Proper handling your dog to tame it will require you to have the right equipment. This equipment helps you with the journey of rehabilitating the dog and mostly after an accident.

If the training will fail, try and use recommended training aids that can help you to break intense focus. Such will help your dog to get redirected back and therefore focus on you.

Some of the training tools include “stop that,” and you can use to help break your dog’s focus. These tools are air canisters emitting a loud hissing noise as it releases calming pheromones.

Besides, the use of training collars is helpful in taming your dog’s prey drive. However, these need to be used by a professional and experienced dog trainer.

8. Dropdown

The dropdown is another effective method to tame the prey drive for your dog. This method can be utilized after your dog gets something it wants to chase and focuses on it.

The main objective is to break its focus with treats as you give time for the critter to escape. However, this can only be successful if your dog already knows how to get in the “dropdown” position.

The moment you realize your dog is locked onto a target, command it to get down immediately. Then, drop a treat at its feet. With that, it will look down and break focus.

After it looks at the treat, quickly move that treat in a different direction away from the target completely.

Bottom Line

The drive to chase, catch, and kill prey is the reason why dogs chase a ball and play tug-of-war. However, don’t make a mistake to allow your dog’s playfulness to convince you otherwise. Some of these dogs have a dangerous prey drive. It might be hard to protect your dog from attacking other animals and birds. The best way is to train it not to kill other animals.

about the author

Steffi Trott is a dog trainer at SpiritDog Training (and hopeless dog enthusiast!). She is an energizer bunny who loves everything related to animals, the outdoors and – of course – training. She has four dogs of her own that she – of course – train every day and that participate in competitive agility as well.

For more great dog-related resources, including dog-training consulting services, set aside some time to stop by Acme Canine.

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