Whether your dog is motivated by prey drive or herding instinct doesn't matter very much to the scared cows, and it doesn't matter much for your training goals either. Regardless of why your dog wants to chase cows, your training goal is to teach her to resist that impulse continuously unless asked for, until eventually she is desensitized to the cows.
If your dog is very aggressive when chasing cows, jumping on them or biting, or if she has injured livestock in the past, it may be wise to use a muzzle until training has progressed.
A good harness and long line are essential for all training techniques. If your dog is too powerful for you to easily control with a harness, a chest lead harness or a head halter may be necessary.
The cows have just come out where I live and I can no longer allow Sasha off lead as she chases them and tried to bite them. I've tried walking her around them and she pulls a lot. There is no way I can let her off lead within a mile of them as she has very strong senses! Can you suggest a method of training for us please? I feel very restricted as to where I can take her now and if she chases them again she could get shot
Hello Maya, I suggest that you purchase a high quality remote electric collar, also known as an e-collar, and use e-collar training to teach Sasha to leave the cows alone. E-collars are very powerful tools that can be extremely effective when used properly, but they can also be abusive if the person using one does not know what she is doing. They have successfully been used to stop livestock chasing behaviors, which is very hard to break without the use of an e-collar. I suggest that you hire a dog trainer in your areas who has extensive experience training with electric collars. Make sure that you only purchase a high quality e-collar brand such as: E-collar technologies, Garmin, SportDog, or Dogtra. Do not buy a cheap, low quality e-collar, especially one from online from a less reputable company because those collars can be dangerous, prone to inconsistencies or very high levels or shock, and have less levels than a good collar will have. A good collar typically has between fifty and one hundred and fifty levels, to allow you to find the collar stimulation level for your dog without going too high. A great trainer to learn a bit more about e-collars from is James Penrith from Take The Lead Dog Training. Here is a link to one of his YouTube videos where he discusses livestock chasing. He also has other videos where he demonstrates the training so you can see what he is doing a bit more. Here is that video and YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh225NelfmY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We live on an 80 acre farm with cattle. We have cattle across the road from us as well. Ollie is free to roam during the day. Once he decides to chase cows I cannot get him to listen to me, he just chases until he decides to stop. He is smart, and I feel confident that I can train him with the method you described above. My concern is when I am not around. I am worried about him chasing when he is home alone. I do not want to chain or fence him, but our neighbor a mile over is getting annoyed with his behavior.
Hello, I am glad that you will be able to work with the methods in the guide as described. Good for you for working with Ollie. This guide may help, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. As for staying in the yard when you are not home, this is not an easy task unless you have a fenced yard. Can you build a large fenced area (much more kind and less hazardous than chaining)? Supply Ollie with an interactive feeder or a kong filled with treats to keep him busy while you are away. Since he is typically free to roam, I would start off with short sessions away, gradually stretching the time longer. Alternatively, set him up with a space within the home where he may just choose to rest while you are gone (again with the feeder or kong). Ollie's safety is the most important thing - if he roams while you are away, there is the chance of an animal encounter, a vicious dog, a vehicle accident, etc. And of course, you want good relations with your neighbors. https://wagwalking.com/training/stay-home-alone. Good luck!
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