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Instagram post by @livingwiththemba LivingWithThemba

Young Themba overcoming his fear of donkeys ;) #themba #realwolfdog #wolfhund #tierpark

11 Comments

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    That is awesome. Ringo caused every horse, mule, sheep, llama and quadraped to start foaming in his presence....awful. couldn't take him to all kinds of places as prey instinct was so outrageous. Made animals intensely uncomfortable as well as me...

  • 4w ago livingwiththemba livingwiththemba

    @barrett46278 Did you ever find a way to manage his prey drive?

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    There are 2 answers to this. Offleash he is a nightmare and the answer is no. On leash, constantly redirecting him helped but that only got me so far. The other animals would get his scent, get very nervous and that fed on the his interest as well. Walking him past a cat is epic, let alone something larger. So I try and manage what I do such as proximity, less proximity tends to help vs. Up at the fence. I think the more introductions you make like the mule the more you will be able to anticipate future issues, e.g. we were at a Christmas event, there was a Shetland pony, if he had been offleash it would have been awful and something I would never imagined to be an issue but it was. The same with the female reindeer and a host of other 4 legged animals. I did exactly as you are doing, introducing him to lots of animals and have learned that his prey drive is always front and center. Any animal anxiety is immediately sensed, it's nuts. You may see that Themba doesn't react which is great, that takes out some off the guessing. The last thing I learned was that Ringo would get still or calm and then would launch, other times he would yank my arm out of the.socket. Things in motion got his prey drive screaming, interactions were less predictable. Those I just had to learn about over time.

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    I have found using a harness a bit better for other animal introductions because he has gotten out of his collar. A. It awkward trying to explain to someone with their pet in his mouth...

  • 4w ago livingwiththemba livingwiththemba

    @barrett46278 thanks for your explanation. :) When Themba meets donkeys or horses it isn't his prey drive that leads him. At least not as a priority. He was afraid of them as a puppy and he still doesn't really know what to think of them. It's different with deer. You can see his prey drive then but I can only say working with prey dummies from the beginning has brought us to where we are, meaning his prey drive is controllable. I wouldn't let him run off leash when I'm assuming deer in the area now but I'm positive that in a couple of years this will be possible. I've found that you can't get rid of a hunting animals prey drive but you can control it and use it to bond with your dog. :)

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    I love your strategy and how you are training him only wish I had seen what you were doing 8 years ago to try it with Ringo. It will allow you some measure of predictability to his reactions, that is worth its weight in gold in my book. Love your posts!!

  • 4w ago livingwiththemba livingwiththemba

    @barrett46278 thank you very much! I know many people who started working with dummies with grown up dogs, even dogs who have successfully hunted before. And we're able to call them back from running deer then. Only thing is, the philosophy of natural dogmanship hasn't spread much outside of German speaking countries, so that makes it hard to find someone to instruct you. :/

  • 4w ago livingwiththemba livingwiththemba

    @barrett46278 Where are you from exactly? :)

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    Germans understand order! My mother was 100% German and by god, shit in our house ran like a Swiss Watch or German BMW....great memories! I live in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • 4w ago livingwiththemba livingwiththemba

    @barrett46278 haha, nothing in my house runs like a Swiss watch 😂 I know there's a natural dogmanship instructor in Canada but that's probably too far away?

  • 4w ago barrett46278 barrett46278

    Yes it's quite far. Ringo will be 8 y/o years old at the end of the month and think that he is probably beyond training at this point but he is a model citizen other than his habits in the woods.... :)

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