How to Train Your Dog to Not Kill Animals

To help solve the problem of your canine friend attacking chickens, cats, or rabbits, we have constituted a guide on training your dog not to kill animals.

By Guest Blogger, Mike Stiven

A dog can be destructive in a lot of ways sometimes. For instance, they can kill animals, domestic or not. When your canine friend starts to attack and kill chicken, cats, or rabbits, then it is time to train it not to do that. Your dog should not be the reason why the local squirrel population is low. Instead of blaming it for his actions, you should teach him since the desire to stalk and eat such animals is natural to dogs. To help you solve this problem, we have constituted a guide on training your dog not to kill animals. There are online classes for this training, methods, and tips.

 How to get started

It would be best if you prepared yourself and the dog for the training program at hand. One of the most vital things you will need is your dog’s favorite food or treats to reward him whenever he has followed instructions for completing a stage in the training program. The training should be conducted in a quiet space outside where there is no distraction from small animals or children.

You will also need a muzzle and long leash to help you contain the dog, at least until his aggressive behavior is put under wraps. With all these things in place, you need about 15 minutes a day for the training. It would be best to have a proactive attitude to instill good behavior into your stubborn dog.

 Training Methods

There are several training methods for this, though some are more effective than others depending on various factors. We have chosen two of the best techniques. If you need positive results with little effort within a reasonable time, try these two methods.

  1. Socializing Method

In this method, you need to use a small animal such as a rabbit or chicken secured in a cage and take your dog outside while holding it on a leash. It would be best if you also had a pocket full of treats. Proceed to familiarize him with such animals slowly and patiently while drilling positive behavior into him at the same pace.

Walk together with your dog towards the small animal secured in the cage while firmly holding onto the dog’s leash. Every step you take towards the cell, check the dog’s behavior towards the caged animal. If it acts like it wants to be aggressive towards the animal or impatiently wishes to attack it, you warn him to show him that it is wrong.

However, every time it does not lunge for the animal, you take a step towards the cage, praise him, and reward him with a treat. That is how you show and reinforce to the dog how to behave correctly around other animals.

Every time the dog shows signs of aggression towards the caged animal, pull him roughly in the other direction like you are disgusted by his behavior. By pulling him firmly in the direction opposite to the one you were going, you will show him that his signs of aggression are what denies him the chance to go where he wants. Then, after he has calmed down, proceed towards the animal with him.

You have to practice and repeat this routine every day for at least 15 minutes to get the results you desire and soon. Every day, edge closer to the animal that you did the previous day. That makes it necessary for you to keep track of the distance you cover every day. After several days of the routine, your dog will get closer to the caged animal without showing even the slightest sign of aggression.

It may take several weeks for the dog to learn to stay calm even when he gets closer to the animal. As he makes such progress, slowly reduce the frequency at which you give him treats. The treats should fade concurrently with the improvement of the dog’s behavior until he no longer needs any pleasures to behave around animals.

  1. Replacement Method

This is a simple but very effective training that involves the use of plenty of treats. It would be best if you had your dog’s favorite treats, such as hot dogs, chicken, and other delicious food. With the treats ready, take your dog for a walk on a leash while carrying the food. Go to the park or out where there are lots of chickens hanging around. The idea is to take him near small animals where he will have the urge to attack them. Your mission is to kill that urge in him.

First, hold a treat close enough to his nose so that he can smell it. Then, each time he pulls on a leash, you should hide a treat away from him, considering that it knows you have a treat. If he tries to come for the treat, tell him to sit down and keep him waiting a little bit before you give him the treat. That way, you will teach him to restrain from lousy habits and show him that you do not support such bad behavior.

It would help if you had a treat with a pungent smell for this training method to work out successfully. The smell should be strong enough to keep the dog distracted from the animals in the park or the compounds’ chicken. This method teaches your dog to associate his predatory desires with the ability to receive a treat from you instead of killing. It would help if you only gave the dog treats when he is relaxed and not in the mood to hunt the animal even when he sees it.

 Final Verdict

In both the methods discussed here, you should not let your dog out of his muzzle or off the leash until you are sure that he will not lunge towards the animals in sight. Otherwise, you may release him to causing the same kind of mess you are trying to train him not to get involved in. it may take several weeks, but in the end, this rigorous training will slowly break your dog’s bad habit.  If you are not patient, you may never achieve these goals. You should also check out the online classes to help you learn more about how to train your dog not to kill animals.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.
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