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TOPIC: Two questions

Two questions 31 Oct 2015 11:13 #10023

  • hep275
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We have had Kimi now for nearly 3 weeks and she seems to have settled in well - it actually feels as if she has been here for ages!! She has 2 vices though - one is that she goes mad when she is in the house and sees a squirrel or cat in the garden. She barks, jumps up at the french doors and stands with her front paws on the glass, she'll run around and generally get herself really worked up. I know small furries and akitas dont really mix but is there anything I can do to minimise how worked up she is getting? Our other issue with her which is actually more serious is that she pulls like a train on her lead. I have stopped walking her on the harness we got from Dogs Trust because that seemed to allow her to pull more. She will sometimes, briefly, walk nicely but its always on a tightly held lead and its killing my hands! As with her reaction to small furries in the garden she is the same outside, she goes up onto her hind legs and gets really worked up - I'm actually quite concerned she may pull me, my husband or daughter over - especially when its icy. So, I guess I'm after some advice - is there anything I can use to try to get her to walk better in general, and any recommendations for actions we can take to minimise how much small furries get her worked up - short of blindfolding her!!! (meant in jest, nor seriously). Thanks, Helen.
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Re: Two questions 31 Oct 2015 14:38 #10024

  • akitalady9
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Hi
I use a K9 bridle & swear by it , i've also used a Halti in the past . Both of these are nose straps rather than shoulder harness type . The K9 bridle is about £14.99 , but its the best solution i've found & it really does work when pulling is an issue

As for the being over enthusiastic around small furries, being a hunting dog by nature its in the breed & just comes nauturally to them .Have you tried using treats as a distraction ? if she is food orientated or even have a favourite toy close by to just take the focus off the offending furry that's taunting her

Dawn

Re: Two questions 31 Oct 2015 17:54 #10025

  • hep275
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Thanks Dawn - will look out for the K9 bridle. I was looking at haltis in Pets at Home earlier as well. As regards distracting her - she is food orientated in the house - she will sit, down, high 5 and now thanks to my daughter, double high 5 for treats but when she is out I can't get her to focus on me if she has seen something she's more interested in. I've tried standing in front of her but we end up just dancing around each other. I guess she will always be interested - as you say its in the breed - but that and the pulling doesn't really make walkies times as enjoyable as they should be - and the fingers on my left hand are hurting from having her lead wound around them constantly!

Re: Two questions 31 Oct 2015 18:09 #10026

  • akitalady9
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Hi Helen
Glad to be of assistance. Definitely try that K9 bridle, one of my rescue dogs was a terrible one for pulling. I have a bad back & couldn't hold him. After tring the bridle, all the pulling stopped 7 now my hands are relaxed instead of hanging on for grim death like before.

Let me know how you get on

re correcting the prey drive issues:
Prey drive is a natural instinct because dogs are predators and hunters – this is something the human has in common with the dog. A dog and a man relate at a primal level better because of this ability. But, modern dogs need to have an understanding of where to practice playful hunting activities in domesticated settings, just as most humans go to their local butcher or grocery store for their sustenance. The danger in prey drive comes from two things. One, the prey itself can be harmful, such as snakes. And two, chasing a squirrel or cat into a street where they can be hit by a car is not safe.

“Play” and “hunt” are different states of mind, and what you need to do is find ways to challenge that instinctual desire so it becomes more “play” and less “hunt.” Try this – come to the backyard with the dog’s leash on and practice activities in the yard with food or toys before the dog sees a squirrel. The leash gives you access to redirection, or luring the dog to other fun activities. Two things you need to teach before this – sit and stay. When your dog knows those commands and responds to them, you can reward her with food or a toy. Do this for at least a month. Then – you’re going to use what she’s already familiar with as a way of rewarding. You can then ask her to chase the squirrel on command. Remember that you are in a situation where you have to work with Mother Nature. Since the dog has already developed prey drive, you have to work with it.

So, once she’s at the tree, don’t call her. You know she won’t come and you don’t want to show her that this is acceptable behavior – to ignore you. This is the perfect time to bring out a piece of chicken, hot dog, or leftover steak (and don’t show it to her). Hide it in your hand so you can wave the scent in front of her nose – that’s what’s driving her the most. Once the dog is attracted to your scent and her attention is away from the squirrel, put the leash on and give the treat. Then walk away from the tree, make sure you’re at least 10 feet away before you ask the dog to sit, and wait until she completely relaxes there before you bring her into the house. This is the process to teach her that she has an on and off switch to prey drive, created by you and controlled by you.

Don’t worry or feel bad when she goes towards the squirrel again or makes a mistake. It doesn’t mean she didn’t learn the lesson – she’s still learning – and this is one instinct from Mother Nature that is very difficult to overpower. However, for a dog to be controlled by instincts, the humans are not giving the dog what he needs. The dog is telling you, “You don’t challenge me at a primal level.” You have to be more than a dog lover to be a good pack leader – you have to be a knowledgeable dog lover because knowledge gives you access to instincts.

Prey drive is scent driven, and dogs experience the world through their noses first. Find activities where you can challenge this sense as often as you can, such as hiding treats and playing hide-and-seek, using a treat ball or toy that encourages the dog to use her mind, or try participating in a search-and-rescue group. Prey drive is almost always a rehabilitation case that will take some time. Be patient and remember to always maintain your calm-assertive energy through the process.

Stay calm and assertive!

Re: Two questions 01 Nov 2015 20:16 #10028

  • hep275
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Thanks for that info although I'm not sure that Kimi's prey drive is scent driven. Out for a walk she is constantly alert and almost 'scanning' the environment for any movement and once she has seen that squirrel or cat then the fun begins!!

Re: Two questions 04 Nov 2015 13:07 #10031

Hello Helen

Your Kimi sounds very simular to my Asia. When I got Asia she couldn't be left alone in the garden because all she wanted to do was dive up at the pigeons and birds, in fact all she did was stay on look out for any furry or feathered creature to turn up, even on her street walks she just dived up at strangers faces , But I manged to get her out of the bird thing in the garden (I feed the birds so there was always a lot of them around) by putting her on her lead and standing in the garden with her (in silence) while the birds were flying around, at first it was really hard to get her to stop diving at the birds, but I'd give her the command "NO!" and get her to "sit stay" said in a gentle controlled tone of voice, when she dived again, I repeated the command, eventually I gave her treats. I did the excersize every day and over a period of a couple of weeks she gave up the chase when we were over the forest we did this with squirrals too, she is never off lead, only on a retractable lead.

With time she was able to sit in the garden with no problems at all She's now almost 11 years old and hasn't had any interest in birds for years, but she still has to be watched carefully when she see's a hedgehog, squirral or small creatures like frogs and field mice, she'll always want to dive and kill them sadley, but with consistency you can get some kind of control
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