Dog Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I really don’t know what to do and I am hoping someone here can help. We have chipmunks that run in our back yard threw the “rock wall”. I let my dog outside to do her business and she will just dart over to this one area of the rock wall with her nose in it waiting for the chipmunk to come out. She is so focused on this that when I call her or try to get her attention it’s like I’m, not there (she has an excellent recall normally). She will not move from that spot unless I pull her away but when im not looking she goes right back.

I have tried so many different things and I just dont know what to do next. The one thing that seemed to work the best is… standing between her and the rocks, then saying a firm “NO” and backing her up away from the spot. I then say good girl once she moves her eyes away from the area and I try and play with her BUT… she will lose interest in playing and she go’s right back over to that spot again.

She actually got ahold of one of the chipmunks already and killed it . It was awful and I understand that she has prey drive but I need her to listen to me when I call her and I need her to stop obsessing over the chipmunks in the rocks. I really do not want to see another one hurt 

Does anyone have any suggestions at all? Someone suggested the remote citronella collar and when she goes near the rocks to spray her. I am not sure that is a good idea… Someone also said a dog whistle but if she is not even looking at me when I call her name what is a dog whistle going to do?

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,929 Posts
You can try this training it worked for the cats and then extended to the park and the ducks, geese and squirrels. My dogs used to go nuts with all of these animals. A squirrel can be on the ground 5 feet away and I can say leave it and the dogs move away from the squirrel. You are going to have to spend some time with the dog leashed and reward when the dog looks away from the chipmunk and relaxed with the chipmunk in view. It takes time bit it does work.
Diamonds in the Ruff
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
I feel your pain!
Dexter is very high prey drive and gets obsessive. He caught and killed an adult rabbit a few weeks ago... He also killed several birds (had to move our feeders) and a couple baby bunnies earlier this summer. He has several holes in our yard from digging at chipmunk holes.

Personally I manage a lot of it. Lot's of supervision and blocking/eliminating Dexter's access to problem areas is big. Especially for the digging! He's only 20 lbs but has made some serious craters and quickly too. Sigh...

For the chipmunks and squirrels that have learned where they are safe (they torment Dexter from less than a foot on the other side of the fence and just high enough in trees that he can't get them) I've worked on some premack recalls (he's rewarded for attention and recalling with being released to chase, bark and act a fool). I've also been working on rewarding attention and having having him redirect onto the flirt pole and other toys (think LAT with play reward that allows prey drive to be satisfied).

Nothing I've done has actually eliminated or reduced his prey drive. Just has gotten him to the point where it's easy enough to control him and get him to come away (in our yard- I so don't trust him off lead elsewhere yet) when needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
I've actually used BAT with good success on dogs with prey-drive and lunging on leash after cats and squirrels. Instead of teaching/building the ability to not fixate on another dog, you are giving them practice at not fixating on squirrels. All the same, it eliminates the "I have to, I have to, I HAVE to ________!" From the dog's brain.

I don't doubt, however, that under normal circumstances of your dog being in the backyard with the chipmunks, that this training would start to erode pretty much as soon as you ceased the program. I am wondering if there is a way that you can deter the chipmunks from hanging out in your backyard? Or perhaps put a bell on her collar?
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top