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Old 11-18-2015, 09:54 AM   #1
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Default Ridgeback gave chase!

I am new to the forum and my most recent hike changed things for my 3 year old ridgeback and I. We love to hike in Arizona and I often drive the extra hour or so to take him to trails where I can let him off leash and he can get good exercise. I have never had a problem with him chasing or taking off until last weekend and I feared it may be our last. I had a bear bell on him and as I heard it jingle farther and farther until I couldn't hear it anymore I was devastated. After calling him and whistling for over 40 minutes I started to make my way back to my jeep. Thinking he may have given chase and not be able to find his way back I ripped pieces of my shirt off dropping it along the trail hoping he would find his way back by scent if he hadn't already. We were at least 30 miles into Prescott national forest with no help in sight and my chances of finding him without him coming back slim to none. He eventually came running back to me down the trail but was pretty banged up. Looks like he probably got tangled in some barbed wire (cuts and bruises everywhere) and maybe even kicked by a deer. I am now trying to figure out if our off leash hiking days are over. It has always been his favorite thing and he has always been such a good boy off leash making sure I'm ok! There is such conflicting information on the Internet ("he can't be trained not to chase because of his breed, use a shock collar etc). I am open to a trainer but not even sure what I should be looking for when selecting a trainer. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated

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Old 11-18-2015, 11:31 AM   #2
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Did he ever come back?
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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Yes he came back but was pretty beat up 😢

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Old 11-18-2015, 09:18 PM   #4
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This is definitely a tough one. Not so much because you can't train predatory behaviour, but more because it's really difficult to control the triggers. You never know when you will encounter deer, and often the dog will see / smell them way before you do. In addition, predation is really really fun and self reinforcing for the dog.

First you have to start with training a recall away from things your dog will find tempting that you CAN control, before attempting wildlife again. I would recommend getting hold of a copy of this book:

How good is your general level of obedience? Can you stop him in his tracks if he is mid toy chase at a distance? Can he call away from a bowl of high value food on the floor? How good are your reinforcers?

Edited to say my link doesn't seem to have worked. Book is Stop by David Ryan.

Last edited by Kaos; 11-18-2015 at 09:23 PM..

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hiking, rhodesian ridgeback, training advice

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