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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although, i consider myself a good animal trainer, I am at a loss for this one. My two pit mixes won't stop killing small animals that wonder in my yard. I live in Georgia with an usual amount of rattlesnakes. I am afraid that they will get a hold of one one day and die before i realize they've been biten. I started to monitor them closely when they are outside but I cannot watch them 24/7. I crate them when I can't watch them but I wish that they could play nicely outside. It's not just snakes it's anything else that comes in my yard. I've found birds, lizards, frogs, squirrels, armadillos dead. I always tell them "No!" when I catch them but it doesn't get through to them. I know how to prevent it from happening but i don't know how to stop the behavior. Will they ever be able to play freely in the yard?
 

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Some dogs have very high prey drive and will chase and kill small animals. It's the risk you take when owning dogs.
 

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i have an idea due to the post just above me!

buy a fake snake, attach some fishing line to it and pull it with your dogs watching. when they approach make some noise that will have them back off!
 

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Hello I don't think they really mean to kill these small animals it's just they don't know how strong there are.
I also a red nose pitt every time he see's frogs he jumps on them to to kill they but thats his way of playing.
If your dogs start killing larger animals I would start to question why.
 

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Is your yard fenced? If not, think about putting up some privacy fencing. It will definitely cut down on the number of small animals in your yard. Other than that, prey drive is natural, and you can discourage it but you can't be rid of it.
 

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Well at least it's not as bad as my neighbors APBT. That dog is NUTS and goes after anything smaller than him. Dogs, CATS (mainly... There are alot of strays where I live), squirrels, rabbits and so on. He mauled a cat one time in from of 3 small children. Absolutely apalling.

But yeah... like they said it's fairly normal.

J
 

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I have heard of using an e-collar to train an adversion to snakes. You use a milked rattlesnake to lure the dogs. When the dog approaches, tries to sniff, or shows interest in the snake they correct it with the e-collar. If you can't get a milked rattlesnake, you could use a large king snake. When threatened, they also "rattle" their tail to mimick the rattlesnake. You could also buy a rattlesnake rattle. I'm sure they sell them at the roundups or maybe you can find one that had been shed in the woods.

I don't normally agree with using e-collars, but we are talking life or death here. I would definitely use it on my dogs if we have a higher chance in them encountering a venemous snake. We do use a "shock pack" to train our dogs for food refusal and to not pick up anything they find in the yard. It worked on all of them, except my stupid miniature pinscher.

You could also enlist the help of a hunting dog trainer. I think that is where I originally heard about training for snake adversion.

Just a though. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like prey drive. I don't have enough experience with drives, but I do know people who can control their dog's drives. I would find a trainer who is very good at drive work (usually some form of trainer who does bitework and private evals) and go have some sessions with them. A drive isn't something you can get rid of, but through training you can manage it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all your help. I have bought a toy rattlesnake and a device that makes the noise. I have begun totry to scare them with that. They seem to want to back away from it and hide. Hopefully this works. If not I will try professionals who can help. Thanks again for all your advice :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As for the e-collar, i have heard that if used uncorrectly it could damage your bond wht you dog, is this true? Is there a place i can go to learn to use this device effectively? One of my pit mixes was used for a bait dog in a pit fighting ring. As a result he is generally scared to death if i even raise my voice to him. On top of that he has a high tolerance for pain.(more than most bullies.) would the e- collar be good for him?
 

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Once dogs start killing it's hard to get them to stop.

However, have you taught your dogs the 'leave it' command? I'd start with that...you can set up bait for them ( a cookie taped to the floor is a great start) ...and when they go to get it...yell 'LEAVE IT'...

Once they know what it means, and back off, you have a very useful command. It will keep them from chewing stuff you don't want them to...eating stuff you don't want them to (esp. something left in a park that might be tainted)...and hopefully keep them away from a small animal - at least when you're around...

Since we have parrots that are loose (under supervision) it's imperative that our dogs don't go after them should they flutter about...and the 'leave it' command is working well...
 

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Am a resident of SE Georgia, no help from me, just replying as to the killing of small animals, my lil bully is almost 6 mos, and he too will kill anything smaller than him that he can sink his teeth into. He is worrying me , and I have been asking Qs allnight tonight. I wish you the best with your problem, and hope I can get some answers as well. He also now will go after very much larger dogs than himself that wander into the yard. Kinda Scary.
 

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Kasco said:
Some dogs have very high prey drive and will chase and kill small animals. It's the risk you take when owning dogs.
Yup. Since moving onto our little dead end street in the country, my dogs have made a huge dent on the squirrel population around here. And they love it when the field mice are pushed into our back yard (despite the compound type fencing I've got....& I do NOT love it) from rains as they have field die chasing them down.

However, I've never seen a dog be more of a threat to small game & other various wildlife than my parents black lab. Snowflake (yes that's her name) has killed everything from squirrels, to rabbits, to MY rabbit, mice, snakes (King, Chicken, Corn, Cottonmouths aka Water Moccasins, & God only know what other varieties), frogs, lizards, birds & the list could go on. It's not a "pit bull" think & it's not a bulldog thing.....it's a dog thing.
 

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serverextreme said:
Hello I don't think they really mean to kill these small animals it's just they don't know how strong there are.
I also a red nose pitt every time he see's frogs he jumps on them to to kill they but thats his way of playing.
If your dogs start killing larger animals I would start to question why.
Carla has brought a quick end to a couple of frogs too. And we definatly don't spend enough time looking at the birds at PetCo!
 

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We have the same issue with our AB and possums. They will walk the top of the privacy fence between our house and the nieghbor's yard. It's a rough life being a possum around here, if its not my dog trying to snatch it off the fence, its the two chocolate labs behind us. I also agree, it's not a bully thing, its a dog thing.

Matt
 
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