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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Our 2 year old rescue terrier had had very little training before he came to us 3 months ago so has to be walked on the lead. He is very reactive to everything, which we are working on, but he walks surprisingly well on a lead and doesnt pull.

However, I have now discovered that he has a real thing about pheasants! The sight and/or smell of them sends him into a frenzy of excitement and he will charge about madly pulling like a train to try and get to them. Its a real pain at the moment because everywhere we go there seem to be loads of pheasants and I am getting really fed up with him trying to drag me about.

Do I treat this like normal lead pulling, stopping every few minutes and waiting for him to calm down before we set off again? This doesnt seem to be having much effect at the moment but I will persevere if its the right approach. He is like a dog possessed when there are pheasants around and its hard to get through to him.

Once we get away from areas where there are pheasants he goes back to walking nicely and I reward him for this.

Oh and I also take him off the flexi-lead and put him on a short fixed lead around any pheasants in the hope that he learns he doesnt get freedom when he pulls. Is this a good idea?

15,185 Posts
You cannot "train out" a genetic instinct but you CAN control it.

I would strongly suggest you look here for some help.


How to Change Predatory Chase Behaviour in Dogs with David Ryan

When: Sunday 12th May 2013

Where: Otterbourne Village Hall, Otterbourne, Winchester SO21 2ET

Details: 10am- 4pm registration from 9.30am. £35 per person, lunch included

Throwing a ball for a game of chase is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for many owners and their dogs. For other owners canine chase behaviour turns into a nightmare when their dog chases cyclists, cars or sheep. When their dogs choose what to chase it can compromise owners financially, cause the target severe injury or even death, and threaten the life of the dog. This seminar looks at the reasons for the problem, the more effective solutions and how to control the behaviour.

David Ryan followed 26 years as a police dog handler and Home Office accredited training instructor with a postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction, from Southampton University, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal behaviour studies. In 2008 he was certificated as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

He was chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors from 2009 to March 2012 and currently works as a companion animal behaviour consultant, being an independently vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses since 2008.

David has appeared in the internationally scheduled television series 'Crimefighters' focusing on his remarkable and fascinating work with police dogs, and as a guest on the BBC 4 programme "It's only a theory", discussing how dogs have evolved to bark. His dog behaviour articles have appeared in publications as diverse as the Daily Telegraph, Woman's Own, Your Dog and Veterinary Times.

He has been invited at various times to lecture to the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, BSc Animal Behaviour Students at Bishop Burton College and Myerscough College, and Pet Rescue/rehoming Centres, including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Merseyside Dogs Trust and Wood Green Animal Shelter. He is currently a guest lecturer on Newcastle University's MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

David's unique blend of practical experience and theoretical knowledge of canine behaviour fuel his particular interest in inherited predatory motor patterns and the lengths to which pets will go to find a way to express them, usually despite their owners' best efforts

Events - Positive Training for Canines

Stop! How to control predatory Chasing in Dogs
by David Ryan

Chase! Managing Your Dog's Predatory Instincts
By Clarissa Von Reinhardt

Total Recall
By Pippa Mattinson

Teach your Dog to Come When Called
By Erica Peachey


Really Reliable Recall
by Leslie Nelson

Training the Recall
By Michael Ellis

Your clever dog: Getting your dog to come when called
by Sarah Whitehead

Does your dog whizz back to you as soon as you call his name?
Can you call him to you even when there are other dogs or distractions? Teaching your dog to come to you when you call is the cornerstone of training and the gateway to allowing him more freedom in the park.
If your dog has selective deafness, ignores you in the garden or the park, or would rather play with other dogs than come when you call, this specially designed training session is for you.
Ideal for starting out with puppies or rehomed dogs, and also for dogs that ignore you or are slow to come when called, despite previous training.
• How to know what's rewarding for your dog and what's not
• Five times when you shouldn't call your dog!
• Using your voice to call versus using a whistle
• What to do if you call and your dog doesn't come to you
The pack contains: A clicker, long line (worth £10), training manual, instructional DVD: 55 mins approx running time including Bonus trick, Bonus Training Session, Intro to Clicker Training, Q & A with Sarah

Website articles:

Deposits into the Perfect Recall Account

List of Reinforcers

Distractions For Your Recall

Recall Collapse | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

How to Create a Motivating Toy a whistle recall.pdf

Teaching Come « Ahimsa Dog Blog

How do I stop my dog chasing?

Train a

Teaching Your Dog to "Come When Called" | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Become More Exciting Than a Squirrel: Teaching a Reliable Come When Called | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
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