Posts Tagged ‘prey’

wolf eyes

In this video post we will take a look at how to train your dog to look you in the eyes, and why it’s important in getting your dog to pay attention to you.

 

Getting your dog to look you in the eyes is not easy to do, and the reason is set deep in your dogs primal nature.

You need to understand that in the human – dog dynamic,  your dog walks a very fine “relationship” line between being attracted to you and being resistant to you.

Your dog will respond to you in three unconscious ways..

1. As a pack member, when we are sitting in the living room watching the television.

2. As prey, when we play with them.

3. As a predator, because your gaze brings about memories of times past when they were wild and their survival depended on being resistant to their natural enemies.

Even a puppy that shows no outward signs of distress in coming near us has an unconscious, internal struggle between being attracted to us, and also resistant to us..that is why you will notice puppies act shy and nervous as they come closer to us.

Think about it, you stand upright, your eyes are set in a big head, and you tend to show your teeth a lot.

Even though the wolf is stopped dead in his tracks by the stare of the moose’s eyes, is still very much attracted to that moose.

There are some who will tell you that in order to train your dog to look at you..you should hold a piece of food up in front of your face and say something like, “Look at me”

While this will get your dog looking in the general direction of your face, I have found that your dog will still resist making direct eye contact.

They will look at your chin, nose or the food that’s in front of your face.

If you are not looking closely you would miss the fact that their eyes never really lock onto yours, they just skim over your eyes and this is usually enough to get you to give them the food.

There is no real communication in this method.

This reminds me of when I was a boy, I would come home from school, and one of my favorite shows was Batman and once I got watching it I was unaware of what was going on around me.

Grand Mother would ask me to do something and I would half look at her and half still watching t.v. and I can remember her warning me to, look at her when she is talking to me.

She understood that in order for me to really hear what she was saying she needed me to give her my full attention, and focus on what she wanted me to do.

When you are looking someone in the eyes they have your full attention.

Getting your dog to hold your gaze is not going to be easy. In your dogs world direct eye contact is not taken lightly and could result in a life and death situation.

You want to make looking you in the eyes a pleasurable way for your dog to solve problems, not a cause for concern that will hamper your dog training efforts.

You want to increase your attraction to your dog and reduce the resistance by making eye contact something your dog desires and finds satisfying.

After you watch this video let me know if you liked it by sharing this post with other`s

There are many people who struggle daily with getting their dogs to pay attention to them and this can be very dangerous to both dog and owner.

Talk to you soon,

Harley

* WARNING… It is risky to stare at a dog, so don`t try what you see in this video with dogs that have food aggression, or dogs you don`t know very well. I don`t want you to get hurt.

tug of war reuse

I am sure you have probably heard from one trainer or the other that you should not play tug of war with your dog.

Some trainers say you can play tug with your dog but you must never let them win.

 

What I teach people about playing tug of war with their dogs is in direct contradiction to the thinking of conventional dog training. I play the game based on the premise that all the things your dog does has a direct connection to their prey drive and their desire to hunt, and the more value an object has, the more attracted and emotional your dog becomes when they see that object, and if your dog catches, bites and eats that object then there is a certain amount of stress relief that the dog will experience.

Let’s examine this for a moment..

For the sake of argument let’s place a dollar value to some of the prey items your dog finds valuable..with regard to how emotional energized and attracted your dog will be to each object.

When a dog sees a mouse scurry through the grass, he might become attracted and give chase..and while it is fun to stalk and pounce on a mouse and eat it..the dollar value to your dog is about 1 Canadian dollar.. or as we call it..a loonie.

That’s cool, your dog experiences a small reduction in stress levels, and your dog will most likely do it again if he sees a mouse.

Later that afternoon your dog sees a rabbit, or a squirrel, now things are heating up..he gives chase and if he catches the squirrel or rabbit and eats it.. he experiences a bigger rush of “good feelings” and stress reduction, and that is like depositing 10 loonies or so in the dogs emotional doggie bank.

The next day your dog sees a moose, suddenly every nerve in his body lights up with an emotional charge like nothing he has experienced up to this point.. in terms of money..he has just seen 10 million loonies worth of energy and emotion head off into the brush..and if he could only catch the moose and eat him..his stress would totally disappear and he would be the happiest dog on the planet.

You can see how it would benefit you as a dog owner to learn how to be the moose in the eyes of your dog,.. you don’t want to be the mouse, or the rabbit or squirrel, those prey items are fun but don’t attract your dogs emotions and, feelings like a moose, buffalo, or caribou would.

One of the ways you can begin to be the moose is to play tug of war with your dog, the only thing is you must ALWAYS let your dog win..no exceptions.

Here is a step by step guide to playing tug of war with your dog

1. Don’t stand face to face with your dog or smile a lot,.. humans are the top predators and this posture and showing your teeth will make your dog defensive and we want him to be in prey drive, so stand sideways, don’t smile, and don’t look him in the eye.

2. Get two tug toys…I like to use two foot lengths of rope tied in many knots. Put one in your back pocket or tuck it under your arm so you will have one to play with and get your dogs attention when your he or she don’t want to bring the one they have back..when your dog drops the one he has and turns his attention to you..tug and pull with him and when he runs off with that one, pick up the one he dropped and begin the game again.

3. With your dog on a 30 foot long line begin the game slowly, stay relaxed, make sure there are no other distractions, like other dogs playing or kids running around, and be sure to be on your game and paying attention..this game requires your dog to bite hard and if they miss the toy..you might get bit..but if you are careful, this doesn’t have to happen… tease your dog with the tug and entice him to bite it..this might take some time especially with nervous, timid dogs who have built up anxiety and stress..but keep at it..act like the mouse or the rabbit…run away waving the tug, lay down and roll around like a prey animal, and keep teasing your dog with the tug..he will bite it at some point.

4. Amp up your emotions and use your voice to get your dog into prey drive..say things like..” Get it boy”, Sic a hold on it,” or” bite that thang.”

5. If your dog starts to growl a lot then that is not a good thing, this means your dog is afraid he is going to lose the war..so you should quickly let him win.

Winning means he gets to run away with the toy.

A little growling is o,k. just don’t let things get out of hand.

6. When your dog bites on the tug, pull smoothly, don’t jerk hard,,and keep the play session short so your dog don’t get bored..once you have reached a place where your dog is pulling and biting hard try to time it so you release the toy when your dog tugs hard on it..so that to your dog is seems like he earned it and you are not just giving in to him..they can tell the difference.

7. When you are ready to end the game, have a piece of chicken some tasty treat in your pocket, take it out and offer it to your dog, they will take the treat and you can gather up the tug toys..and put them away until the next time you want to work with your dog.

* It is important that the game ends with you having possession of the toys, once you get home put the toys away out of sight of your dog until the next time you bring them out to play.

There you have it, if you have any questions about how to play tug of war to engage your dogs prey drive, tell me about it in the comment section below, thanks for visiting my blog and make sure to come back often.

All the best,

Harley

 

 

 

dogs hunt fox..reuse

Dog owners should strive to imprint the desired response in their dogs, based on their individual temperament, in order for them to learn how to behave as family pets.

There are three important questions all dogs need to have answered by their owners, I talk about two of them in this post and they are as follows

1) What do I kill?

2) Where is that thing that will hurt me?

3) What do I do with my energy?

The third question is fundamentally the most important one and I addressed this question in a earlier post.

What do I do with my energy?

Now lets get to it..

If these two questions are not answered by the dogs owner in a way that speaks to how their temperament has evolved to answer them.. then the dogs instincts will kick in and they will take it upon themselves to find the solution..this is the reason most dogs can be well-trained, and their owners have put many hours of hard work into shaping behaviors and practicing obedience exercises only to have it all fly out the window when a squirrel runs by or some kid on a skate board rumbles toward them on the street.

When the owner fails to imprint desired responses, this deep-rooted, hardwired, instinctual reaction to life and death situations becomes mandatory for the dog.

Now this kind of reaction is perfectly normal for wild canines like the wolf.. who lives far removed from people and knows its terrain and it’s place in it, anytime a dog resorts to its natural instincts in the human world, things can and do go horribly wrong..the dog that chased the squirrel, runs across the road and gets hit by a car..or the boy on the skateboard gets to close to the dog and gets bitten..

When a dog is raised the natural way and the owner has imprinted on the dog the answers to these fundamental questions of,. what do I kill, and where is the danger..and the dog is in agreement with his owner..the dog will feel attracted to their owner  because they have the answer they seek..the dog becomes as close to 100% reliable and under control as it can be.

When a dog and his owner becomes part of the same team..and the two questions have been answered ..the dog will feel safe and trust that his owner has the satisfactory solution to the problem..

You don’t have to train a dog to be social..they are social to the highest level naturally..the only thing the owner need to do is answer the two questions.

all the best,

Harley

Resource: Natural Dog Training.com

CHECK THIS OUT

moose and wolf reuse

Drive training your dog is about engaging your dogs prey drive to bring about the behaviors we deem favorable.

Obedience behaviors like, come, heel, sit, down, and stay.

Some of the more popular dog training methods tell people who in order to have well-behaved dogs they have to be the alpha, or pack leader in order to gain their dogs trust.

While I can’t argue that this method does not work, I suggest it misses the mark by a fair bit, and in the process a dogs true nature as a predator gets squashed and the dog can never live to its full potential, or feel like it’s part of a team, which is what all dogs crave and need .

Now why would I say something as silly as your dog loves the moose?

Why not a rabbit?

Or a squirrel?… (We all know how most dogs love to chase those nut hoarding chatter boxes.)

Let me explain.

In a dogs world, a rabbit or squirrel offers a small reward when it comes to helping to drain their stored energy, and let’s face it, a rabbit or a squirrel is not a big dinner to a group of dogs or even for one dog.

The satisfaction is fleeting.

The moose on the other hand has all the requirements of a high value prey animal, it possesses everything a dog needs in terms of high level stress relieve and belly packin’ punch.

Another trait the moose has that draws the dog in like a moth to a flame is the fact that the moose can be very formidable, it is way bigger and stronger that a dog or even a group of dogs, and if the moose wanted to he could easily dispatch with extreme force, each and every one of those dogs..

And they know it.

Yet if they see this moose they will not be able to resist, and even with the very high risk of injury or death, they will begin to test this moose to see what his energy is., and if the moose follows the path of least resistance in the face of a threat, he will run, and the dogs will give chase.

However if that moose suddenly stops and turns to face the dogs, they will hit the dirt in an energized down and stare at the moose with all their energy..trying to get the moose to break down and run again…if the moose snorts, paws the dirt, and holds the dog’s stare… they will most likely break down and leave the moose alone.

Now the question begs to be asked,

Who is in control of who?

Is it the dogs, or is it the moose?

It would appear that the prey always controls the predator.

When the moose runs, the dogs run, when the moose turns on the dogs the dogs go down waiting to see what the moose will do next.

They are in harmony with the moose’s energy and that energy is what dictates their behavior.

There is no Alpha dog high on a hill, commanding the dogs to flank right, now rush in fast, their behavior is a feeling that runs through the group of dogs.

It is what they were born to do, to intuitively work together toward a common goal.

So the benefits of being the moose your dog loves are many.

I have listed but a few of them.

1. Being moose-like makes you the most satisfying thing they have in their life.

2. Because the prey controls the predator, your dog will always look to you to resolve their feeling about any intense situations that may come up, like an dog off leash, or when a squirrel crosses your path.

3.  You can become the predator to get your dogs juices flowing..and bring all their social skills to the surface where you can then become the prey and shape obedience behaviors as they are offered by your dog.

4. The most important thing that can happen when you start to act like a moose is that you will begin to think about your dog in a different light, no longer will the term alpha apply to the relationship with your dog,  you will begin to replace old habits with new ones, and that will allow you to develop a deeper more meaningful bond with your dog.

all the best,

Harley