Squirrel Obsession, HELP!

emmhipSeptember 24, 2009

Well we've had our German shorthaired pointer for awhile now, and she has become a great family dog. She's getting a 3-5 mile walk every morning, and several play sessions in our yard. She behaves very well in the house (very mellow), and has been improving on her commands.

The one problem that we have been experiencing, is her squirrel obsession. When we are out on walks, she is constantly looking for squirrels. When she spots one, she pulls on the leash, and usually (sometimes I can stop her) starts whining and barking. Once the squirrel is out of sight, she goes back to walking nicely. The only time she barks, is when she sees a squirrel.

Our backyard has a lot of trees, and several squirrels. She'll be outside, perfectly calm, and then BAM! She sees a squirrel and starts barking and running, and fixating on it. I can NOT get her to focus on me, or come to me. She goes into her own little world and will not listen.

Lately, if she isn't super tired, she's been sitting by the window, searching the trees for squirrels. Sometimes she sees one, and the whole freak out process starts again, this time inside the house.

I realize that she is a hunting dog, and this may be impossible to correct. I would just like to get her out that "red zone" she seems to go into when a squirrel is spotted. Has anyone ever dealt with this before???? I just don't know how to train her out of this.

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Nope not impossible to correct. YOu are doing good in taking her walks that far but it sounds like she is bored. I suggest finding a fly ball team or taking her to a local dog park if you have one to play with other dogs to wear her out a bit more.
When walking stop every few minutes, call her by name have her focus on you and sit and give her a treat. Keep doing this at unexpected times during the walk. When she see's a squirrel call her. Now this is not going to change over night. But if she is food oriented, it will work better. Keep her focused on you by offering treats. Natural Balance meat sticks work great they are tasty wont make her overweight and keep well. You can either use a small zip lock bag or spend a couple of bucks and either get a fannypack or a trining treat bag from the pet store to use while you walk so your pockets dont fill with treat crumbs.
No matter how frustrated you are keep up the training. In the house, tell her to leave it, call her name and make her stay. I have more suggestions, lets see how you do with these for now. Good luck. Be persistent

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 2:45PM
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