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Old 08-03-2006, 06:07 AM
RetrieverLove RetrieverLove is offline
Golden Love
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 543
Default Please, advice needed.

I was told earlier today that when Emma went for a run in the country with my dad she chased a deer. Now, apparently she ran for at least 3km, was completely out of sight after awhile and was very close to catching the deer. My dad was calling her as she ran but she didn't even turn around. (Actually, whatever made her stop running and come back after awhile is beyond me, i hope to god she didn't actually catch the deer though) Now, Emma has amazing recall except when it comes to things she wants to chase whether it be coyotes, squirrels, deer etc. She always comes back eventually (usually after 10-20 seconds this time was an exception) however, it is on her own terms when she is chasing an animal. My first question is, how can I work on her recall so she doesn't chase things? Is this considered having a high prey drive? When she catches things (rabbits, squirrels, ducks) she literally stops, does nothing, and comes back to me. She has no interest in hurting it.

Also, when she came back to my dad she had the "uh oh I know i've screwed up" look. She was keeping low to the ground and was very submissive. My dad said a stern no, growled at her, and gave a bit of an ear pinch. (No, it wasn't hard or anything). Now, I don't know if I agree with this. We were told by her breeder that this is an appropriate thing to do however I've heard conflicting opinions about it. (Any insight on whether this is the wrong thing to do would be helpful). Keep in mind, that she is mainly trained with positive reinforcement. Actually, her training is ALL positive reinforcement unless she does big things, such as this. I don't do the ear pinch at all however, it's been drilled into my dads head that this is okay because of the breeder.

I know that it can sometimes be negative to "punish" her after running away because it may confuse her and perhaps she'll think it will be a negative decision to come back to us. However, this is a pretty big thing. As a matter of fact, I'm an **** lucky that it was a deer. If this was a coyote, or a bear she'd be a gonner. This scares me to no end, especially since we have a place in the country and will be running around there a lot.

I'm sorry for writing a novel. I just wanted to get some tips for her chasing, as well as hear about the ear pinching thing. If that is not appropriate what should I do in these instances? I've read SO many conflicting opinions. Some are saying that it's natural to pinch because it's what they'd do in the "dog world". I do realize that it's done to train hunting dogs and such. -sigh- I feel so awful that he does that. I know it doesn't hurt her because she actually doesn't really even blink and eye when it's done. I don't know... Oh, and inform me if that is an example of a high prey drive so I read up on that.

Please, I really want to get education on this matter. I hope no one gets upset.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
- Mark Twain

Life is like a dog sled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.
-Lewis Grizzard

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