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Thread: Training with a high prey instinct

  1. #11
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    Sonny also always has his little nose to the ground when we are on walks. I always laugh that he is like a beagle. On walks he is always very alert and chases after birds, squirrels and leaves blowing around. I am not sure I will ever trust him off leash on walks because he has been so prone to chasing things. At home in our backyard his FAVORITE past time is to chase butterflies. It is so incredibly cute and hilarious. I try to go out their and play fetch or run around with him, but he stays very focused on his bug hunting! He can spend hours outside hunting different bugs. I never knew what pointing was, and would have never guessed that my little "toy breed" would assume this hunting position so often. I was looking at pictures the other day of the second day we brought him home and there he was at about 9 weeks in the pointing position. Sonny definitely has wished he was a hunting dog since day 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by marymrumfelt View Post
    Oh, I forgot all about the bugs! She is always hunting different bugs and eating them and then her brother, who identical to her, chases them while moving but then loses all interests. I've never owned a mix before so it's funny seeing the different traits of the breed in her. I am glad I was able to break the car/bike habit, but the bird lunging would be fabulous to break as it's really annoying on walks. We foster kittens and she's great with them, but we do introduce her very slowly to them. She plays really rough which can be a concern with smaller animals. She is small herself at 15lbs but she likes to paw and slap them which, of course, isn't good for the baby kitties. She will clean and bathe them, also, which is really cute.

    I'm going to read up more on the cavalier breed and see how to work w/this kind of instincts since it's so new to me. She also has Chinese Crested in her but I can't really find many characteristics of that breed. I'd like to be able to take her own walks and have her be calm and level headed.... hope that's possible! I call her a puppy but she's actually 1 1/2...which I guess is still puppy-ish?

  2. #12
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    You are right I would have never guessed that is a cavalier! So interesting!


    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    Just for fun: here's a picture from that litter! ...the red dog is the puppy from the cavalier on the lower right. Who'd ever guess!!!


  3. #13
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    Oh, I totally agree with the DNA tests... BUT it did guess 50% sheltie without knowing and it guessed 7% Chinese Crested and when you see these guys, you'll see crested through and through... so I know they're somewhat accurate. I don't see any cavalier, but then again the posted example is a great way to show how dogs can really fool you. Heck, mom is full-blood Sheltie and you've never guess. Whatever she is, she has likes to hunt! I would never trust her off-leash and really don't know if I'd ever get to the point I could. She has good recall for the most part, but when she sees a small animal, she loses all her senses and something switches in her brain. I always laugh about her acting like a beagle, too! We fostered a beagle and it was funny how they'd both sniff the ground their entire walks. It's so funny how two puppies can turn out so different. I do need to learn how to work with a dog who has a prey drive, whether it's from Cavalier or not. Their DNA test also listed a small amount of Dandie Dinmont Terrier and you can kind of see it in the back end at times.

    Here's some pictures The only part they look Cavalier to me is their tail possibly? Enjoy -- hope it's okay to post these since they really look nothing like a Cavalier lol
    Fluffy:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...8/IMG_3740.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...8/IMG_3614.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...18/LILYLOO.jpg
    Shaved and very CRESTED looking:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...8/DSC04860.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...622_131011.jpg
    Recent:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...e18/lily-1.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...e18/theo-5.jpg

    Now do you see why we think the DNA test was somewhat accurate? They look very crested to me and their groomer says they have the coat.

    Here's mom and who we think dad is:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...8/IMG_3619.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ly4thDog-2.jpg

  4. #14
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    Wow they are amazing looking dogs! An interesting appearance and mix. Extraordinary that they def have a sheltie mom -- just like my half cavalier picture that doesn't look remotely like a cavalier!

    Dandie Dinmont would seem really unlikely though and again would raise questions for me on the accuracy of these kinds of tests -- they are a really rare breed (so rare they are actually considered under threat) and it is very hard to imagine how they would ever have ended up in a cross (they are really rare even in the UK where they are from, and Ireland, much less the US!). The DNA tests depend on outward characteristics of known breeds and so many phenotypes (outward appearances) can be similar. The breeds returned, going on what people post online, who have done tests, also just seem really unlikely and weird a lot of the time -- for some reason a lot of the tests seem to return Chinese Crested (not exactly a common breed either) and afghan hound (another unusual breed) while another listed a pretty rare Irish terrier breed -- just seems a really long stretch to imagine these breeds in crosses. Those of us who have worked in rescue or spend a lot of time around dog trainers can likely confirm that we might never ever see a single example of these breeds.

    Since a lot of breeds are recently constructed -- and as most purebreds come from commercial or backyard breeders who aren't too meticulous in the background of the dogs they have and can easily lie on registration papers -- I think some 'purebred' lineages can be fudged to start with as well.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    Wow they are amazing looking dogs! An interesting appearance and mix. Extraordinary that they def have a sheltie mom -- just like my half cavalier picture that doesn't look remotely like a cavalier!

    Dandie Dinmont would seem really unlikely though and again would raise questions for me on the accuracy of these kinds of tests -- they are a really rare breed (so rare they are actually considered under threat) and it is very hard to imagine how they would ever have ended up in a cross (they are really rare even in the UK where they are from, and Ireland, much less the US!). The DNA tests depend on outward characteristics of known breeds and so many phenotypes (outward appearances) can be similar. The breeds returned, going on what people post online, who have done tests, also just seem really unlikely and weird a lot of the time -- for some reason a lot of the tests seem to return Chinese Crested (not exactly a common breed either) and afghan hound (another unusual breed) while another listed a pretty rare Irish terrier breed -- just seems a really long stretch to imagine these breeds in crosses. Those of us who have worked in rescue or spend a lot of time around dog trainers can likely confirm that we might never ever see a single example of these breeds.

    Since a lot of breeds are recently constructed -- and as most purebreds come from commercial or backyard breeders who aren't too meticulous in the background of the dogs they have and can easily lie on registration papers -- I think some 'purebred' lineages can be fudged to start with as well.
    My thinking was Dandi Dinmont is probably bred into one of the breeds they're mixed with down the line. A Sheltie breeder told me they've added cavalier before to shelties so same could apply. Either way, I'm pretty sure they have crested in them. We got her from a BYB who bred cresteds...we rescued her from CL and found this all out LATER. She bred cresteds, but not good ones and mixed ones. Dandi Dinmont, I agree, unlikely. Cavalier might not be right. But I know Sheltie and I'm pretty confident in crested based on their looks and the fact she bred them. I do doubt everything else on the test but if it picked up Sheltie correctly, and her previous owner bred Cresteds, I think it's likely. Get this... it also listed SIBERIAN HUSKY! That was the second highest. I'm like reaaaalllly? They weigh 15lbs... lol

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...18/crested.jpg
    Last edited by marymrumfelt; 4th June 2012 at 01:23 AM.

  6. #16
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    I do agree that the face is very like a powder puff crested and the coat is different from a sheltie or a cavalier. Could well be cavalier in there though. If there were cresteds at the breeders, that would seem a likely possibility in this case. Husky seems a bit less likely!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marymrumfelt View Post
    When we go on walks, she has the strongest prey instinct and wants to get anything that moves. It's not herding, because she's caught birds before and killed them. She actually, oddly enough, has no virtually no herding instinct. She wants to get bunnies, squirrels, cats or anything small that moves.
    My Lucky is like this. My Sparky is not, but he'll join Lucky.

    I'm convinced that for Lucky it is an inherited trait. I think his lines must have had some solid hunters in them! I know of a few Cavaliers who like birds, butterflies, bunnies or squirrels. Even stray leaves and debris that blow in the wind on a rainy day! My Lucky is squirrel obsessed (like "Dug" from "Up"). As others have said, not all Cavaliers exhibit this behavior, but my Lucky always has.

    Edited to add ... OMG, those are the cutest puppies ever!! I see why you had to keep two.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  8. #18
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    Hi Mary...
    How old is you dog? Fairly young? If she is a few years old..it may take some time..but she CAN be broke of this.
    I am no expert...but I can tell you how we trained our Retreivers & Labradors through the years.
    ( Btw..our little Cavalier has his nose to the ground all the time too..and he is in training to be paying attention to US !!)
    ALL dogs have a built in prey drive...some are just more "bred" into them than others. If you have taught your girl Lily using a clicker....how does she respond to you with it? Can you get her attention to "come"... "stay" or "sit" using the clicker?
    ..and then do you reward her for doing so? If you have mastered that..then you are two steps ahead.
    Since her "nose" is the driving force for this prey drive...then perhaps you can challenge her by keeping her leash on "inside" the house & practice by allowing her to find treats...then firmly say " leave it" when she does. ( using the clicker when she obeys..then reward her by giving her the treat). We have done this for years w/ our dogs. They don't even get their dog food until we tell them it's okay. Hopefully Lily will quickly learn to listen to that command. While you are on a walk..you can then distract her by (clicking) & saying "leave it". She should start associating the clicker w/ a treat. If you do set out for a walk..and she begins the nose to the ground...and you can see she is focused only on the "hunt"..THEN use your clicker make her sit "quietly" for a few minutes...reward her for doing so...and then begin the walk again. It may take some time..but you can make it to where she is less focused on what is going on around her..and more on just the walk itself. HTH

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DZee View Post
    Hi Mary...
    How old is you dog? Fairly young? If she is a few years old..it may take some time..but she CAN be broke of this.
    I am no expert...but I can tell you how we trained our Retreivers & Labradors through the years.
    ( Btw..our little Cavalier has his nose to the ground all the time too..and he is in training to be paying attention to US !!)
    ALL dogs have a built in prey drive...some are just more "bred" into them than others. If you have taught your girl Lily using a clicker....how does she respond to you with it? Can you get her attention to "come"... "stay" or "sit" using the clicker?
    ..and then do you reward her for doing so? If you have mastered that..then you are two steps ahead.
    Since her "nose" is the driving force for this prey drive...then perhaps you can challenge her by keeping her leash on "inside" the house & practice by allowing her to find treats...then firmly say " leave it" when she does. ( using the clicker when she obeys..then reward her by giving her the treat). We have done this for years w/ our dogs. They don't even get their dog food until we tell them it's okay. Hopefully Lily will quickly learn to listen to that command. While you are on a walk..you can then distract her by (clicking) & saying "leave it". She should start associating the clicker w/ a treat. If you do set out for a walk..and she begins the nose to the ground...and you can see she is focused only on the "hunt"..THEN use your clicker make her sit "quietly" for a few minutes...reward her for doing so...and then begin the walk again. It may take some time..but you can make it to where she is less focused on what is going on around her..and more on just the walk itself. HTH
    This is excellent advice and so much appreciated. Lily will be two at the beginning of September so she is still young. She does respond to the commands sit/stay/come with the clicker most of the time inside the house. She still needs some work outside the house, though, with distractions. She doesn't know leave it, but I will start implementing it and then work on it inside the house and once we've mastered that, go outside the house. Today on her walk, she did much better.... I find taking just her on the walk, and leaving her brother at home, works a lot better. They're a real handful together because she influences him to be bad -- She likes to bark -- a lot. She also doesn't like approaching a dog on the leash -- once she sniffs the dog, she's fine. But approaching she tries to act vicious. I think she's actually scared, though... not mean. Tips on how to get her to feel comfortable and know I've got in under control so she doesn't need to act like that when she sees another dog? I have my hands full with this girl --

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by marymrumfelt View Post
    She also doesn't like approaching a dog on the leash -- once she sniffs the dog, she's fine. But approaching she tries to act vicious. I think she's actually scared, though... not mean. Tips on how to get her to feel comfortable and know I've got in under control so she doesn't need to act like that when she sees another dog? I have my hands full with this girl --
    My Lucky has this issue too. It's been a struggle. The more socialization you can do the better, but I have started carrying treats on our walks and putting her in a sit when I see another dog approaching. Before Lucky sees the dog. Then we do a "Watch Me". This has helped a lot. Do you subscribe to the Whole Dog Journal? It is an excellent magazine (well, newsletter really, it's thin ... recent issue was 24 pages ...but loaded with information, no ads). They recently did an article on this very issue which I found really helpful.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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