Why do dogs chase rabbits

Impulse control

Anti-hunting training is always about impulse control. Ultimately, the dog must learn to resist its impulse to hunt. But this controlled behavior contradicts its animal nature and naturally leads to frustration. Impulse control also means that the dog is able to endure frustration.

And like everything else, he only learns the ability to control himself if this path proves to be worthwhile. For example, a dog that impulsively jumps up at every visitor must learn that this is the wrong way to get attention. Only when he sits down obediently will he be noticed and praised by his people.

It works in a similar way with anti-hunting training. Only when the dog shows that he can control his impulses can he hope for a reward. If he does not just chase after the prey, but first reports it and patiently waits for the command of his reference person, his human will praise him and reward him according to his disposition.

It is a good exercise in impulse control if you first let your dog lay down by giving the command "down" and then throw a dummy. If he jumps up without waiting for your next command, ignore him. If, on the other hand, he manages to wait patiently and only jumps up at your command "Search" and fetches the dummy, you will reward him extensively.

Of course, this exercise will only be successful if your dog is relaxed and calm. A dog that runs back and forth excitedly and whose stress level is visibly increased will hardly be able to get involved in such training.

In this case, your dog should be allowed to let off steam first. Go jogging with him, play with him in the garden or let him run next to your bike. Only when your dog is physically busy and his need for exercise is back in the normal range will he get involved in your impulse control exercise.