Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Stopping labs from chasing bunnies

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Userconflictville Alaska
    Posts
    98

    Default Stopping labs from chasing bunnies

    I have a great lab (except for his gun shyness) that loves to chase bunnies. I just got another lab to hunt with since the other is so gun shy but he is catching on to this bunny chasing thing. Any suggestions on how to stop them?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Stop chasing

    Shoot the bunnies!!!!

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kink Alaska surrounded by sled dog kennels, a fabulous view and lots of hunting.
    Posts
    383

    Default Chasing

    Are you doing any formal training? If he has a good recall you can introduce the e-collar. Start with him on a long line (I used a 50 foot cloths line) and just go about my business calling him once in a while and give him a treat. I know, field people never gave treats but I do now to make me even better to be with. When he comes reliably, put on the collar, don't use it yet. Let him wander on long line and call him back. Then with the collar, on leash in a closed area, find his level just to the point he reacts. Vocalizing is too high,no reaction is too low. Try it on your own hand to see where its at. It won't kill you.
    Repeat the recall with the collar still on the long line. Very quickly the dog will respond without hesitation.
    Now you have to add distraction, throw a ball, have other dogs around, and make sure he comes all the way back each time. At some point you'll see a conditioned response to "Here".
    Now to set up the rabbit. That's the hard part. If you can take a walk with the long line where the rabbits are see if you can scare some up. If he takes off " Here" buzz. You'll find the lower level on the collar may have no effect when the dog is motivated. Turn it up and "Here". What you don't want to happen is to have the dog bolt or to run out of range so you have to be sure to stay on the collar and that he is conditioned to respond before you let him off of the line.
    I've re-trained 3 older free roaming rescued dogs this way with much success in obedience and chasing game small and large.
    For this to work you must always be with the dog when he is loose outside. If you just let him loose without supervision.. I don't know what to tell you.
    www.alaskadognews.com

  4. #4
    Member Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    735

    Default dont shoot the bunnies

    Ak Bearcat might be joking, but if you shoot the bunnies he gets to catch them and that is some what of a reward. He will certainly try again if he thinks the bunny is the game you are after.
    I have had retreivers and pointing dogs...retrievers never really went for anything like that, but for YOUNG pointing dogs i try to let them figure it out on their own. They can chase birds and rabbits until they are blue in the face (they dont usually go too far), they never catch them and eventually they figure out that it is not worth it and it is not what you want them to persue. You do have to be following some sort of training regime. Dogs soon figure out what it is they get rewarded for. However, later on or with older dogs, you may have to use the e-collar as Linda mentioned. As long as they have been conditioned to the collar and know how to "turn it off", you can break them of those bad habits.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    424

    Default

    I have my lab whistle commanded. 3 blows is his " Here " command. Conditioning him to learn the whistle followed by a nick on the E collar has done him wonders. When he takes off after a rabbit, 3 blows on the whistle he comes back. Sometimes hes a little hard headed and just stops but another reenforcement of 3 blows puts him back at my side.

  6. #6

    Default Gradual training

    You didn't mention the level of training the dog has or your experience in training, so I'm gonna go pretty basic on this topic.

    E-collars are very effective when used properly, but if you are not experienced with them, I would only suggest an e-collar as a last resort and generally under the supervision of someone with such experience. Employing e-collars can quickly get out of hand and are not the panacea of dog training.

    Depending on the current training level of the dog, I'd start on short lead recalls without distractions, gradually increasing the distance to long-line. Then I'd introduce distractions at short distances, then gradually increase the distance with them as well, occasionally reinforcing the basics by going back to short distances. The types of distractions shouldn't be too important as long as they're distractions for that dog, but when the dog performs well in the training environment, you'll need to test the training against the rabbits if possible, using a long line.

    Even if you use some compulsion/negative reinforcement (the type of training I was originally schooled in), there should always be some sort of positive reward, activity or response when the dog complies with your command or simply passes on an opportunity to chase. Not all opportunities to train need to be regimented, pre-planned, constructed. The same applies if he bolts but returns to you on command.

    This may seem to be stating the obvious, but if he likes chasing rabbits, he likes a chase. It may not even be about the rabbits (often it is but not always), but the chase itself and challenge the rabbit presents. Give him some sort of regular activity that allows some sort of chase, for fun, daily exercise, and/or as a reward for obedience, good recalls, etc.

    Dog training is like anything else; people disagree on methods, etc., but what works with one dog will not necessarily work with another. So, take as much advice in as you can get, try what your comfortable with first, discard what doesn't work, and move on to something else.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Userconflictville Alaska
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies. Firstly I have trained a few retreivers in my time so I have some basic background. Both labs I have are rescues and the older one has had quiet a bit of training and failed for some one as he has issues and was given up on, (breaks and chases rabbits, gun shy, breaks through invisible fence (to chase rabbits) breaks even with e-collar correction) So I have tried most basic training methods, He wont go any-where if placed on a long lead (the lead puts him in heal mode). He does catch the bunnies as well as grouse so he gets a reward and it keeps him doing it. He is so obsessed that he'll break when you least expect ei.. getting out of the car @ home. opening the door ect.. it is just unpredictable. Now he's dragging my youner lab with him and I'm sure teaching him the bad habit. Thanks again to all for your input.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Get real close to the bunnies on leash and settle your dog down and give the 'leave it' command. It will take a few lessons, but what ever you do don't let the dog catch a rabbit unless you want a hybrid beagle.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •