Kirjoita tämä teksti suomeksi siten, että asiat tulevat kerrotuksi mutta teksti ei ole kopioitu, Älä käytä brändinimiä. Kirjoita teksti yhtä pitkäksi, mutta erilaisella rakenteella kuin alkuperäinen. Alkuperäinen teksti: ” It’s normal for dogs to chase squirrels and other small animals! In this article, I’ll share some ideas for how to stop a dog from chasing squirrels in your yard, on walks or on trails. Why do dogs chase squirrels? Some dogs have a higher prey drive than others, depending on their breed and personality. Beagles are bred for tracking and chasing rabbits, for example. Springer spaniels are bred for flushing birds. Many terriers were originally bred for catching rodents. Other dog breeds are bred for pointing, tracking or chasing prey! Because of this, it is not possible or fair to try to remove a dog’s instinct for chasing squirrels and other small animals. Instead, you can try to manage your dog’s squirrel chasing the best you can. Is it bad if my dog chases squirrels? No, it’s not bad if your dog chases squirrels unless it’s a behavior that you do not like. For most of us, squirrel chasing is not a big deal, but there are some scenarios where chasing squirrels might be a problem: If you don’t have a fenced yard and your dog chases squirrels into the road. If your yard is barking at squirrels and driving the neighbors crazy. Your dog is obsessed with squirrels during walks and pulls hard on the leash. The dog chases squirrels in off-leash areas and can’t be trusted. How to stop my dog from chasing squirrels in the yard Take your dog out on a leash for potty breaks If you need to stop your dog from chasing squirrels in the yard, then you need to remove her opportunity to chase squirrels. This is simple but takes a lot of work on your end. You’ll have to take your dog out on a leash for her potty breaks – for now. This doesn’t have to be forever but will need to be done for a couple of weeks or months while you work on training. You are blocking your dog from chasing squirrels by keeping her on a leash. This stops the behavior from being reinforced. When you do see squirrels and your dog is on a leash, you can say “leave it” and reward your dog with food for looking at you. Use a long leash and high-valued treats to stop dog from chasing squirrels A regular leash is fine at first, but it’s best to get a 20 or 30-foot long line eventually. This will give your dog more freedom to make decisions. That way you can reward him for choosing not to chase squirrels or correct him if he does. Let your dog wander around the yard when you know there might be squirrels around. Once you spot a squirrel, step on the leash and get your dog’s attention with the treats. Say “watch me” or “here” or whatever cue you want to use. Reward your dog for looking at you instead of the squirrel. It’s easier if you’re able to stand between your dog and the squirrel and move towards your dog, even bumping into him to get him to back up or sit. Hold the treat right up to your dog’s nose, if needed. Keep popping small treats into his mouth as he pays attention to you and ignores the squirrel. “Good boy.” Practice every day for a couple of weeks Your dog’s behavior is not going to change overnight. The more you reward your dog for looking at you instead of the squirrels, the more this behavior will get reinforced. Try to practice for a few short sessions each day, if possible. You will need to use very high-valued food at first. It could be hot dogs, chicken, ground beef, steak or salmon. As your dog is successful, you may be able to use regular treats but keep mixing it up with some high-valued treats every so often! You’ll need to be out in the yard supervising your dog for her exercise or find other ways for her to get exercise such as long walks. Work on your dog’s general obedience Yes, this is boring but it’s important! If your dog does not come when called or stay when told when there are no distractions, how can you expect him to do so around big distractions such as squirrels? Work on basic obedience like come, stay, sit, down and heel out in the yard when there are squirrels around. Keep your dog on a leash and use high-valued treats so he can be successful. An obedient dog has more self control! Increase your dog’s exercise Most of our dogs need more exercise. If your dog is having an issue with chasing squirrels, it will only help him out if you’re able to provide him with enough exercise. That probably means longer and more frequent walks than he’s already getting. Provide your dog with appropriate ways to chase and sniff Provide your dog with another way to use his prey instincts. This could be playing fetch, using a “flirt pole” toy or signing up for a nosework class or “barn hunt” class. Sometimes games of fetch or using a flirt pole get the dog even more “riled” up instead of tiring him out or relaxing him. If that’s the case, keep the game to a short session of 5 or 10 minutes and do some calming work with your dog like working on down and stay before and after the game. Nosework is often relaxing to dogs. In nosework, your dog learns to find various scents or odors in different environments. And in the sport of “barn hunt” they get to look for actual rats in a controlled setting. Finally, one of the simplest ways to give your dog a good opportunity to sniff is to put him on a long leash and scatter some food or treats in a field for him to find. This could be an empty soccer field or even in your own backyard. How to stop my dog from chasing squirrels during walks You might not mind if your dog chases squirrels in the yard, but what about when he obsesses about squirrels during walks? Here are some ideas that can help. My dog pulls when he sees squirrels! What to do? Walk him where there are no animals As a temporary solution, walk your dog where there are no squirrels or at a time of day when the squirrels are less active. I realize this is easier said than done. As you work on training your dog, walk him in areas with more and more potential distractions. Use the right “no-pull” device to stop dog from chasing squirrels A lot of people walk their dogs on a regular buckle collar or on a regular harness with a clip on the back. This makes it very easy for the dog to pull you around, even if you have a small dog! Instead, using a no-pull device may be all you need to get a little more control of your dog on walks. The options for “no pull” tools are endless. You have to choose what works best for you and your dog. Tools such as prong collars and slip collars have a bad rap as being “punishing” or “aversive” tools. And that can be true. However, the dog gets to decide what is aversive to him. We do not get to decide for him. For example, my dogs love their prong collars. It means they’re going for a walk! They do not love their no-pull harnesses or their Gentle Leaders. The harnesses and the Gentle Leaders feel more restricting to my dogs and that is why they will actually walk the other way when I get out these tools. We have articles on all of these tools here on That Mutt if you need more information. Some options for “no pull” devises to try: Martingale collar Slip collar Prong collar No-pull harness such as EasyWalk harness Gentle Leader or Halti I recommend a leather leash vs. a nylon leash or retractable leash. Leather leashes are easier to grip and will also give you more control. Nylon tends to slide through your hands and retractable lashes are a bad idea if…
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