Chasing pigs !

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annej
Posts: 110
Joined: 07 Apr 2009, 08:44
Location: Shaftesbury, Dorset

Chasing pigs !

Post by annej » 19 Feb 2010, 15:32

Hi

I have just come back from a 'walk' with Otto on one of our usual patches across several fields. I had thought he couldn't get into the neighbouring fields (which are all sheep fenced) where currently there are some pigs, but he hurtled off over the horizon - I whistled - he often responds well to that - but nothing; I waited, no sign...... then I heard barking. Panic, ran over to where I had seen him disappear and there he was in a field with pigs running round and round and they were squeeling etc. He had picked on one particular pig which he tried to chase into a ditch.... One of the pigs was a very large one but I took my life in my hands and went in - of course he would not come, kept rushing off, still trying to chase the particular pig which he obviously saw as a victim, still barking. I was worried sick and trying to get to him through thick sticky mud. I tried being nice and inviting with a treat, I tried being firm, shouting sit (this can work, seems to shock him out of his neurotic behaviour), I tried his favourite ball.... but he would not come (not helped by the fact the pigs were following me everywhere)! Eventually he got close enough for me to get the lead on and frankly I was shaking.

I just don't know what to do - he is totally untrustworthy with animals and it makes going anywhere a terrible ordeal. I am always scouting to see what is in the next field etc.

We have a long lead and I have used this in relation to him chasing off to play with dogs and it does work when he's on it, ie he does come back for treat then is allowed to greet the dog. However, he knows when he is not on it and does not come back then!

He is now 13 months old. We have changed his diet (as per discussion with a couple of people and advice taken) and he does seem to have calmed down a bit as a result. But on a walk he is just not trustworthy with animals.

Do I keep him on the long lead for ever? Is there any way of solving this? Any thoughts, experiences, tips, much appreciated. I notice there are a number of threads from people who had this or similar issue a year or two ago - it would be really interesting to know if they still have the same issues or if things have improved.

Anne (and Otto, in doghouse).
Anne & Otto

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KateW
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Joined: 21 May 2007, 21:52
Location: Cornwall
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Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by KateW » 19 Feb 2010, 16:26

Rufus is a hunter and I am so grateful that we have the beach to use for our main walks and that we don't have sheep,etc locally so I sympathise, Anne.

I am afraid you will have to keep him on a permanent long line unless this issue can be resolved; farmers, as I am sure you know, have every right to shoot on sight dogs worrying livestock. And that doesn't bear thinking about....

Bid has done a fantastic amount of research and work with Poppy on this. I know she has some great trainers and if she doesn't spot your thread I would pm her.

Katherine
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Clairejen
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Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 16:31
Location: Kings Lynn

Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by Clairejen » 19 Feb 2010, 19:09

I feel for you on this, Leon has improved a lot on his recall as he has got older (he is now 19 months) but still finds animals irresistible. I can imagine how terrible the experience was for you, and when you finally catch them and they look at you with that wasn't it fun expression - grrrrrr! Horses are our worst problem, fortunately he is afraid of cows and hasn't met sheep or pigs.

All I can say is that Otto will probably improve significantly, but he may always be an incorrigible chaser, as I fear Leon is. We are careful where we walk but it is difficult to avoid deer or rabbits and hares are a problem at this time of year.

Like you I would love to hear if any dog has grown out of this, or been trained out of it. We managed to train our last dog to ignore sheep etc and she was a natural hunter but rather more tractable than Doods seem to be.
Claire
slave of Leon & Sally
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annabanana
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Joined: 29 Mar 2008, 22:20
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by annabanana » 19 Feb 2010, 19:22

You have my sympathy I have the same trouble with Willow. She once got into a field of sheep and acted in exactly the way you have decribed in your post. Luckily I managed, by poor fluke, to grab her before any damage was done but I was badly shaken. I live in the country surrounded by fields and only a few have sheep in but the farmer moves then regularly so you never know where they are going to be which makes our walks very tense. At one time I was driving Willow out of the village for her walks which is ludicrous when I am surrounded by such lovely countryside!

However, I now have got my nerve back and walk her locally. I have found a spot on a hill that I can walk to on lead and then get a pretty good view of where the sheep are. I don't think it is an age thing (Bid will tell you about Poppy) if they are going to chase they will.

Good Luck!

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Bid
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
Location: South Dorset
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Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by Bid » 19 Feb 2010, 19:45

I've sent you a pm Anne.

One thing I have learnt about chasing, is that it gets worse the more opportunities they have to chase, so if your dood has got a taste for it, you need to make sure they don't have a chance to chase if you want to stop it! Poppy is now obsessive about her chasing - she will walk to heel off lead with no interest in anything on a walk, other than getting a scent and chasing, and because she doesn't come back she is now on a line until/unless I can be confident that I can recall her mid-chase ( a tall order!). I would never forgive myself if she caused an accident, and in the 2 or 3 hours she can be missing she could cross a lot of roads!

THis is a very informative site about chasing ... http://www.dog-secrets.co.uk/how-do-i-s ... g-chasing/

We are using gun dog training methods (reward based ones - no shock collars or similar!) to get Poppy more interested in hunting for her wabbit than chasing. The latest with her is that with a herd of deer about 100 yards away, I can blow my whistle to get her attention, and send her to find the wabbit and bring it to me. It's a long way forward from where she was, but is also a long way from being off lead on a walk! It's not all bad news though - Poppy loves her training sessions - you should see her little bottom wag as she searches :lol:

I said on another post that I have made notes of all our training, and am happy to pass the on if anyone wants them - just pm me your email address. Pauline also has some training notes of things she is working on with Dexter.
www.dogtrekker.co.uk
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Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron

Clairejen
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Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 16:31
Location: Kings Lynn

Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by Clairejen » 20 Feb 2010, 10:04

That is an interesting link Bid, thank you. You've done wonders with Poppy by the sound of it. Leon has a tendency to hunt, although he doesn't disappear for more than about 10 minutes they can run a long way in a short time. He also runs off to meet other dogs, but this is getting better, whereas it used to be every time without a backwards glance it is now maybe 60% of the time. Not great, but progress. We've booked a holiday cottage at a place which breeds ponies, with Leon's interest in horses I hope this wasn't a huge mistake!
Claire
slave of Leon & Sally
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MrsAdmin
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Location: Brixham, South Devon

Re: Chasing pigs !

Post by MrsAdmin » 20 Feb 2010, 10:45

A really excellent article Bid :P

It makes it so much clear to me about my twos' behaviour. :shock:

Jack absolutely loves to chase round at break neck speed all over the woods, sniffing everywhere, and we thought he was just adventurous and enjoyed the fun. Now I think he is hunting.

Whenever he goes in the garden he immediately goes into a full crouch, stalking mode and then launches an attack (in a fun way) at Becky, who wanders out there looking around dimmly :) . They then go into full, on hind legs, wrestling mode. The only way I can get him to break off is to chuck their rubber tuggie or a frisbee towards them to snap the spell on him.

He also does the stalk crouch when we meet other dogs, but only sometimes now he's a bit older. This is followed up by a rush towards them, skidding to a stop and a friendly sniff. Not harmful but somewhat alarming, as shown by the look of complete bewilderment on the other dog's face 'Who is this nutter?' :?

Becky is completely ball obsessed so that is our way (along with a special squeaky toy she never actually gets hold of) of getting her back or recalled. This has resulted in a VAST improvement in her since she arrived, along with her realisation that we love her and she is part of our pack (at last - not blessed with much except one pink, fluffy brain cell is our Beccles :roll: )

After reading this article I can see we need to put far more work into Jack to try to divert his stalking into other outlets, just the same way we 'cured' his mouthing by getting him to fetch a toy for us now.

When I get back from hols I am off to find a source of Wabbits as I need to get on top of this before the sheep arrive in our country park in the autumn.
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