More prey drive work – this time closer!
Working with prey drive is hard!
If things don’t go so well, here are some troubleshooting ideas:
My dog doesn’t want my food/toys at all. He just wants to go and chase 🙁
First, make sure that you have built up the dog’s ability to engage with you through environments with gradually advancing difficulty.
Being in the presence of prey is a straight 10/10 on our difficulty scale!
If your dog cannot focus in you at a park yet, there’s no way they can focus at a park while there are bunnies running around.
If you are confident in your dog’s ability engage with you in higher distraction environments but they still are unable to do so in the presence of prey, vary your distance.
Distance is a hard thing when it comes to working with prey drive.
On the one hand, you want to be close enough that your dog is actually aware of and enticed by the prey.
(Because if we just move away so far that the dog doesn’t actually see any prey – we also won’t be able to change their behavior)
On the other hand, you want to be far enough away that your dog is able to pick the second best choice.
(Because if you are super close, your dog will be way too crazy!)
Increasing distance and repeatedly offering your second best choice is a good first step when your dog cannot engage with you.
At first this will probably feel awkward. Totally normal.
You will get a feeling for how to vary the distance for your particular dog over time.
As always: If you are struggling, please send us a video. It is so much easier for us to advise you well when we can see the training in action!