Stop dog from chasing…. (you fill in the word!) How do you stop it? by teaching your pet to ask for permission!
This is one of the most helpful things you should teach your dog. It's basic politeness. Your dog is like a child and as such he should ask for permission before he can do anything. Mom, can I go play with the other dog? Dad, can I eat that dead bird?… Whatever it is your hound wants to do, he should ask first.
This is not really a "command". You won't say any word to prompt your dog to do anything. Instead you need to teach him to always ask for permission. How can your hound ask? It's simple, you should require him to look at you before rushing into greeting someone or chasing a squirrel…
The secret for success: you must pay attention to your hound too! If he asks but you are not listening, he will decide for himself.
You will start with three easy exercises that you can fit into your day because they should not take more than 10 min!
You will need:
- buckle collar and 4-6 foot leash (non-retractable).
- Treats, regular food (Kibble) and toys.
Inside your home, without too many distractions put your pet on a leash, then toss some kibble on the floor. Hold on to your furry friend and do not let him reach the kibble. Do not talk to him or call him, just wait…WAIT… As soon as he looks at you say your marker word (or click) and let him have some of the kibble on the floor.
Repeat many times in different rooms of the house, the backyard, the front yard.
Let your pet have the treats only sometimes. Other times just say "No, not now" and call him to get closer to you at which point you can give him a treat from your hand. This will teach him that sometimes he will get permission, but other times he won't and either way he will get a reward!
You know your pooch is learning when he starts looking at you faster and faster. When your dog looks at you readily, start adding some distraction to make things a little harder. Toss yummy treats instead of kibble on the floor, or a toy or a ball. When your pet succeeds in all of these things you can move this exercise outside while on walks or at the park.
The principle is the same, you will wait for your hound to look at you before letting him do anything. If he tries to slightly pull on the leash to go smell something, stop (do not jerk on the leash, just stop right before he can reach whatever it is he wants to smell) and wait for him to look at you. Then either let him or not depending on the situation. (You won't want to let him roll-on a dead bird!)
If another dog or person approaches, do the same thing. Wait for him to look at you and then decide if you will let him greet the person or hound or walk away from them. You might need to stop with some distance to give your furry friend the chance to look at you before reaching the person and/or dog.
When you reach the dog park, your canine friend will want to go and play with the other dogs or explore around freely. Do not let him off the leash right away, wait for him to look at you … then let him off.
What if other dogs come up to him? That's ok. Let him greet the dogs on the leash, but do not let him off the leash before he looks at you! Do not walk with him around the park either, just wait in one spot. He will eventually look at you. Be patient.
The first time you try this it might take a while for him to realize that he has to look at you to get to go play. You are not allowed to call his attention in any way! It has to come from him! This is a training method called capturing and it's the best, because you are letting your pet figure things out on his own.
You will notice that with many visits to the park your dog will start looking at you faster and faster! He is learning!
Please be aware that if you are not paying attention to your pet and his surroundings, you will miss him asking for permission (a.k.a looking at you). So, always stay tuned to your dog, specially on walks, at the dog park or the vet.
The more you practice this, the better your dog will become at controlling his impulses and asking for your permission first instead. Eventually this will happen even off-leash and you will be able to stop you dog from chasing things! Well trained this is probably the best thing you can teach your dog.
These are examples of why teaching your dog to ask for permission is very useful:
Prevent your dog from...
Let me know how it works for you!
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