Tamaskans and Prey Drive

All topics pertaining to the temperament / character of the Tamaskan Dog.
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Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Shounenbat » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:24 pm

Hello,

I'm a guy who lives with his brother, two smallish dogs, two pygmy goats, and five cats. I've been very curious about the Tamaskan dog lately. When I was a kid, I had a German Shepherd who was my best friend. I've been thinking of getting something like that, but was thinking of a dog with a more wolfy appearance (shallow reason, I know). However, I've run into a few problems.

The biggest problem is prey drive. I know that Tamaskans have Husky and Malamute in them - both dogs with enormous prey drives. A Husky was actually the first dog I was considering getting, as their activity level was high, and a Husky would be a great walking/jogging buddy. However, I also live with two small dogs (one is a mutt and another an Italian Greyhound rescue with severe epilepsy), a couple of pygmy goats, and 5 cats. My brother and I love them to pieces, and I've heard too many horror stories of Huskies getting along with other pets for years and years only to kill them out of the blue. I really didn't want to take that chance. Northern breeds look pretty cool, but their temperament is usually unsuitable for living with anything smaller and weaker than they are.

I was wondering how Tamaskans are. There was a thread on here about Tamaskans and cats, but it was rather old, and I think new breeds have been introduced into the lines since then. I've also seen a few stories on here about Tamaskans with high prey drives, so I'm very cautious. I want a wolfy-looking dog, but I'm not about to endanger my other four-legged family members in order to have one.

Basically, I'm wanting a dog that can be my companion not only whilst I'm at home (I'm self-employed, so it's not like it'll be sitting in a crate all day), but also while I'm out on walks and such. My little dogs can go on short walks, but they tire quickly, and the Italian Greyhound tends to go into a seizure if she trips or something. She loves her walks, but I have to be cautious with her when we go out, and be prepared for a quick trip home or a long rest whilst she comes out of her episode.

I love my other animals, and I always do my research before deciding to add another family member (the cats and my IG get along amazingly, and they really depend on each other). Any input at all will be most welcomed!

From Northern Minnesota,

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Katlin » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:44 pm

I'll give my experience with my Tamaskan, Wylie.

He was introduced with small animals from the time he was a baby. When he got to my house he loved my cat Bailey and our work cat Doug. I took him out to the park every night and he did very well, no chasing bunnies...nothing.

Then when he hit 4 months everything went to hell for some reason. Everything that moved must be chased. Still loved cats but if they ran, he would chase them. He saw a rabbit and chased it, barking the entire way. He still will despite 3 solid months of training that bunnies shouldn't be chased. He has gotten away several times and will follow bunnies for several kilometres screaming (I kid you not, he screams bloody murder during the chase) the entire way. He will NOT stop unless I manage to tackle him. I timed him in an entirely fenced area chasing a bird, full tilt, for 17 minutes.

In short, my dog does have an extreme prey drive that I have yet to be able to train out of him. Doesn't matter the awesome treats, toys, or friends that can be offered he'd rather chase. I'm not sure if he'd kill an animal if he caught it but I doubt it.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Booma » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:54 pm

If something runs, balto wants to chase it, however he plays nicely with small dogs, he's fine with my cat, and has met my friends 6 cats. To my knowledge he met one cat one time when he was a puppy so didn't have a lot of socialisation with small animals. He's very interested in horses, but hasn't met one yet, and hasn't seen any bunnies, guinee pigs (etc) either.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Karen » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:47 am

My tamaskans have no problems with small dogs and our 4 cats.
Think a wild rabbit or hare ( which we have more here) would be killed easily tho. Also they chase al the stray cats from neighbor farms. But our own are theirs... No way somebody ia allowed to hurt them ;)
Think it is more an individual thing. Prey drive on stray or wild animals; Sure!
But I think far out the most of the tamaskans will accept any animal they are well socialized, and live with.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by AlexandraS » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:53 pm

I have a 5 month old Tamaskan and a 5 year old Labrador. My Labrador has the higher prey drive than the Tamaskan. I also have 3 chicken, 3 rabbits and 3 cats, my Tamaskan likes to chase the cats but he doesn't harm them, I think he is a little bit afraid of them because one cat once showed him who the boss is..so he chases them and when he gets them he just sits and stares at them. :lol:

Outside the house his prey drive is mostly confined to bugs and grasshoppers, but he tried to chase a deer last week but gave up after a few meters. Of course I do train them both together and separate every day, at first with a long leash with different distractions (from low to very high) and then without leash and I also have the possibility to visit small private deer-parks to train there. One chasing dog is a problem, two chasing dogs is a BIG problem, so it is very important for me to train them well.

Long story short.. my Labrador would chase a wild animal until the very end, my Tamaskan not really (yet ;) ).

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Whiltierna » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:40 am

cali294 wrote:I have a 5 month old Tamaskan and a 5 year old Labrador. My Labrador has the higher prey drive than the Tamaskan. I also have 3 chicken, 3 rabbits and 3 cats, my Tamaskan likes to chase the cats but he doesn't harm them, I think he is a little bit afraid of them because one cat once showed him who the boss is..so he chases them and when he gets them he just sits and stares at them. :lol:

Outside the house his prey drive is mostly confined to bugs and grasshoppers, but he tried to chase a deer last week but gave up after a few meters. Of course I do train them both together and separate every day, at first with a long leash with different distractions (from low to very high) and then without leash and I also have the possibility to visit small private deer-parks to train there. One chasing dog is a problem, two chasing dogs is a BIG problem, so it is very important for me to train them well.

Long story short.. my Labrador would chase a wild animal until the very end, my Tamaskan not really (yet ;) ).

In the future, when I am able to adopt a tam and if my pet bunny is still with us, you are going to be my angel if you'll share your training ideas and advice!

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Lynwae » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:09 am

Be careful, prey drive is something that could happens very late in a pup's life.
Ayla waited to be beyond one year old for chasing her first prey.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by AlexandraS » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:03 am

@whiltierna no problem,but it's a long lasting training and i have to say that i still can't trust my labrador girl 100% when wild animals are around. :roll:

@lynwae i know,that's the reason why i train them every day. He already has a prey drive for sure,but i can handle it atm. I'm expecting the times when it'll seem that he forgot every training and will test my nerves... :D

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by martinbernstein » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:14 pm

I'll make this short and sweet: if you want a dog that you can train to reliably leave 'prey' animals alone do NOT get a Tamaskan. I'm sure some tams have higher prey drive than others, and some are more trainable than others, but I wouldn't count on receiving a highly trainable, low prey drive puppy. Chances are you will get the opposite.

All breeds have some amount of prey drive. My advice- get a highly trainable breed- German shepherd or collie or something, and train it to leave animals alone if that is important to you. My tam will leave animals alone while on leash. Off leash however, there is no amount of training techniques (and I have tried a lot) that snaps her out of hunting mode. She will hunt and she has killed many animals including my own chickens and meat rabbits. Needless to say she no longer is allowed off leash.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Karen » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:37 pm

Think we have to clearly make a distinction between prey drive on outside /wild animals and the (smaller) pets in the house.
The one has, for a lot of prey driven dogs, nothing to do with the other when socialized with them.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by martinbernstein » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:04 pm

Karen, that's a good point. In the case of the OP's situation, having miniature goats outside, even tame pet goats, may pose a very real challenge to a tam, or any type of dog.

My tam doesn't mess with my indoor pet lizard, but will kill any of my other animals that I have in the yard. This despite hours of training and socializing. If it moves and makes a noise it is prey.

I caution the OP to make sure he is aware that this is a challenging breed in many respects. Having a number of live stock animals at home (which i acquired after i got my tam) I can say that my own tam is the last dog I would choose as a 'farm dog'.

But, she is the most awesome, sweetest, most lovable dog indoors, and on leash.
As long as you know what boundaries to work within and to give your dog, you'll be fine.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Karen » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:18 pm

None of my dogs have ever tried to hurt our neighbors goats. Cant say the same for the chickens, cats and geese tho...
But they respect our own cats and even those of my sister when visiting her. I dont bring all 14 dogs to my sister... :roll: But the oldest used to go with us and never even tried to do anything to them.
Strange cats outside?...hmm. Not an option.

Still training them to ignore all the farm cats we have next door. We see them almost every training in team during winter. Gives pretty intense and weird situations from time to time. But we are working on it :lol:

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:29 pm

We have three Tamaskan. Our first two were raised with cats in the house with them. I think the key is if you want them to get along with smaller / other animals they must be socialized early and often so that they see those other critters as pack members.
Other than that, yes, our Tamaskan kill wildlife. Darwin has killed birds and rabbits and squirrels. Freyja has killed mice, shrews and most recently a woodchuck. Raven has yet to put a notch in her belt.
I think there's a difference between these things: the animals we want them to get along with in the home, and the wildlife that surrounds our home.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Shounenbat » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:02 pm

Thanks for all the input so far. I'm beginning to think that a Tamaskan just isn't the dog for me. Between the goats and my epileptic dog (not to mention our horrible rabbit infestation), I don't think it would work out.

I guess my big fear is having a dog that I feel I can trust around my cats, goats, etc., only to have him turn on a dime and go after them.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by martinbernstein » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:11 pm

martinbernstein Hey, if you have a horrible rabbit infestation then a tam will quickly help you control it! I've seen Froya literally swallow young cotton tails whole. She doesn't even chew. And of course the poor buns scream the whole way down. But yes, I think you are making a wise decision not to introduce this breed into what sounds like a harmonious animal home. If it's the wolfy look you're after, I really think you're best bet is a German shepherd (east European working lines) since they look fairly wolfy, and are easier to train. Good luck!

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Sylvaen » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:47 pm

It really depends on the individual dog... I know a female German Shepherd that has a far higher prey drive than the female Tamaskan she was living with... the Tamaskan was totally fine with cats and chickens, whereas the German Shepherd would chase and kill them at any available opportunity.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by TaylorHowe » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:26 pm

My pup, Victor, has been a chaser since day one.

However, always a lover too. He has caught cats, squirrels, and rabbits. Each one he would just hold their heads in his mouth and hold their body down with his paws. He never bit hard, chomped, anything.

He would, and still does, just hold their heads in his mouth, hold them still, and after they finally stop panicking/screaming, he lets them go.

Seems from all these testimonies that the breed as a whole is very chase-oriented, but the "what's done after catching up" varies.

I'd err on the side of caution and go for the Shepherd like others have said, to be safe.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by HiTenshi16 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:42 am

Shounenbat wrote:I guess my big fear is having a dog that I feel I can trust around my cats, goats, etc., only to have him turn on a dime and go after them.
As long as your pup is brought up with the animals, I don't see them suddenly turning on them.

My dogs (aside from Zelda) did not grow up with cats, or goats. Though we have 2 cats with us that we got after our dogs. As soon as the cats run, yes, they all will chase them, and bark at them, even mouth on them, but not hurt them. There are some photos around here somewhere of my Tamaskan Ulric cuddling the cats when they were kittens. While visiting a friend, Ulric wanted to play with her cats like he does with ours, chase and bark at them, but never harmed them.
Our German Shepherd mix (Rukia) has a higher prey drive than my 2 Tamaskans. When they see rabbits in our yard, I can't get Rukia to even look at me, and she will notice them right away, Ulric and Zelda I can at least get them to look at me, and they don't notice the rabbits until the rabbits decide to run.
Our neighbors next door have goats, have only been there for about a year, our dogs only want to play with them. They have even met a horse, Ulric at first thought it was a big dog as he did the play bow when he met one.

The only thing I believe that was killed by my dogs was a mouse (before we had our cats and Zelda). I walked into the kitchen one morning and found a squished mouse, I could only assume it was Ulric trying to play with it, had it been Rukia who did it, there would of been a bloody mess.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:18 am

I believe it's also important to note that prey drive doesn't refer to the urge to kill a moving animal/object, but moreso the urge and persistence to chase the moving animal/object. I don't think prey drive intensity has anything to do with what the dog wants/will do after their target is caught.

I also agree with Karen that it's equally important to distinguish prey drive with small pets vs wildlife.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Shounenbat » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:24 pm

arianwenarie wrote:I believe it's also important to note that prey drive doesn't refer to the urge to kill a moving animal/object, but moreso the urge and persistence to chase the moving animal/object. I don't think prey drive intensity has anything to do with what the dog wants/will do after their target is caught.

I also agree with Karen that it's equally important to distinguish prey drive with small pets vs wildlife.

Do you think it's possible to tell from puppyhood what a dog wants to do with the 'prey' once it catches it?

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:04 pm

Shounenbat wrote:
arianwenarie wrote:I believe it's also important to note that prey drive doesn't refer to the urge to kill a moving animal/object, but moreso the urge and persistence to chase the moving animal/object. I don't think prey drive intensity has anything to do with what the dog wants/will do after their target is caught.

I also agree with Karen that it's equally important to distinguish prey drive with small pets vs wildlife.

Do you think it's possible to tell from puppyhood what a dog wants to do with the 'prey' once it catches it?
I wouldn't say so because as a puppy, they just might want to chase something for the fun of it. As an adult, they may also do the same, but not know their own strength... In short, their goal of catching their target may change as they mature.

I mainly have experience working and observing adult dogs working on prey drive control. Puppies, not so much...

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:46 pm

Prey drive is evaluated by the Temperament Test that we do (Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test). However, the results we have need to be followed up with the pups as adults to see if / how the data can predict how a pup will turn out as an adult.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:46 pm

That sounds rather interesting, Tracy. I'd be interested to see if there's a relationship between puppy drive test results vs their adult test results.

Do puppies get evaluated every few months? I've been told that a dog's drive levels can change within 6 months, so if an owner is doing behavior modification training, then they should fill out the Volhard Drive Test (not to be confused with the Puppy version) every 6 months.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by TerriHolt » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:45 am

I'm a bit late in adding here... I can only give my experience on my dog as every dog is different.

My dog has a very high prey drive, i thought he dislocated my shoulder once because i wasn't ready and didn't brace for the yank. Anything that moves he will give chase.

But he has always got on with my cats, altho he does chase if they run, he gives up once he's caught them.

One thing I didn't think would happen was, he would leave my birds alone because of his age when i got them. My boy was over 2 when i got my first birds and after much persistence (and treating) he has accepted them and doesn't bother chasing them at all. I got a cockatiel last Wednesday and it tried landing on his nose, he didn't even flinch.

I, however, wouldn't risk leaving him alone with them but then again he's great with my kids but i'd never leave him alone with them either (too many horror stories)...
For me, there will always be a slight risk no matter how small because whether i like it or not, he does have a high prey drive and it would be irresponsible to forget that.

I do think that, they are able to distinguish from 'family' to outside of family. I know i will never be able to stop him wanting to chase animals outside the house but as long as everyone gets on inside the house it's all good.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by martinbernstein » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:28 pm

Terri, I agree, I wouldn't leave my dogs alone with kids. They have never been anything but loving towards kids, but my tam especially is fairly unpredictable. At three years old she continues to surprise me with new behaviors (mostly good, but some destructive) and I just wouldn't it.

I hope i am not coming off as a tamaskan breed basher. I got my tam from a breeder who A) told me everything she knew about the wolf ancestry of the breed, and B) made every effort to ensure that I knew what I was getting myself into. She made sure I understood that this was no regular dog breed. And I am very grateful for it.

I think this forum is a great place to share experiences and to make sure that anyone who wants this breed and comes to the forum looking for info knows all the challenges they might be signing up for before getting one.

I still love the Tamaskan as a breed. But more and more I think that it is for people with specific lifestyles and temperments and home environments.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Shounenbat » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:42 pm

martinbernstein wrote: I think this forum is a great place to share experiences and to make sure that anyone who wants this breed and comes to the forum looking for info knows all the challenges they might be signing up for before getting one.
I agree, hence the reason why I stopped here before talking to any breeders. Some people are just eager to sell a puppy and will say exactly what they think you want to hear. I'm thankful for all the answers everyone has given to my questions.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:28 pm

Shounenbat wrote:
martinbernstein wrote: I think this forum is a great place to share experiences and to make sure that anyone who wants this breed and comes to the forum looking for info knows all the challenges they might be signing up for before getting one.
I agree, hence the reason why I stopped here before talking to any breeders. Some people are just eager to sell a puppy and will say exactly what they think you want to hear. I'm thankful for all the answers everyone has given to my questions.
Well I can say I won't sell a pup to just anyone. I do tell people this is a breed not like other breeds, to not buy based on looks (you'll be sorry!), that they must have an active lifestyle, a 6' fence, work from home, have other dogs, or can take their dog to work with them, must be willing to learn from their dog, previous dog experience a must, must take their dog to obedience class, etc. etc. etc.

I would not leave ANY dog alone with small children. No matter how great the temperament, children can do nasty things to a dog. Children just don't know better and you can't blame the dog if he just can't take it any more.

But the bottom line is--these are not labs, they are not goldens, they are not happy to sit on the couch all day every day. This is a breed that requires daily exercise, a commitment that many people are not willing to make. Running around in the back yard isn't enough for this breed. They are too athletic for that. And they are too intelligent for that. But that's what I love about this breed: intelligence and athleticism. An all around ultimate outdoor recreation dog. (well, at least the kind of outdoor rec I like: hiking, camping, canicross, mushing, cold weather, snow, etc.)

Thank you for doing your homework first. It astounds me, and I don't know why it should, with the number of people who contact me and say: "Ooo, how pretty! Tell me about the breed." Or worse: "Ooo, how pretty. How much?" Yikes! Sorry, you can't have one of my puppies! Do your homework. haha.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by martinbernstein » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:13 pm

Hawthorne, I wish all breeders of "challenging" breeds followed your practices. It sounds like you are doing everything right. And from the other breeders I've talked to over the last few years it seems like most of them do a good job of informing their puppy buyers.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Shounenbat » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:29 pm

martinbernstein wrote:Hawthorne, I wish all breeders of "challenging" breeds followed your practices. It sounds like you are doing everything right. And from the other breeders I've talked to over the last few years it seems like most of them do a good job of informing their puppy buyers.
Not just 'challenging' breeds, but breeders of all dogs should do what Hawthorne does. I greatly admire this person's ethics. The reason why I have my epileptic Italian Greyhound is because someone bought from an irresponsible breeder. Granted, she'd had no previous seizures at the time, I'm told, which makes sense as she was so young still. However, the buyer was completely unaware of the potential health problems of the breed and had to give her up.

Needless to say, I facepalmed. If you breed an established breed, you should be aware of the health problems, behavior issues that can arise, etc. and inform people of this before they buy. The IG I have is one of the best dogs ever, with a great personality and temperament, but with the unfortunate problem of seizures. If her previous owner had known about this problem and been prepared to handle it, she'd currently have a great dog in her home. Unfortunately, she didn't do her homework (probably bought the dog because they look so graceful) and the breeder didn't give out any information.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by TerriHolt » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:41 pm

My boy has a very high prey drive, he would kill what he caught... But i recently got 4 birds this year and it took 4 days tops to teach him to not eat the new family members. He seem's to be able to distinguish between wild and 'family'...

My cockatiel landed on his head the other day, i panicked because that's the closest he'd ever been but my boy just laid there with a look on his face as to say " wtf do i do with it now?"... He also lets my tiel preen his toes and sit on his back...
I'll get pics when i'm more confident about blinking when they are so close together, but it's still too new and i'd hate for Sam to slip up when i'm not looking.
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The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by TerriHolt » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:43 pm

I'm back...

With the use of positive re-enforcement (and a leash) alone, this is what I managed to achieve with my boy who has a very high prey drive...

Excuse the fuzz, had to get a quick snap shot...

Kissez...

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Doggy needz a manicurez ;)

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Ummm, more kissez :D (they seem to have an obsession with each other atm

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An added extra...

Also with the use of positive re enforcement alone, I got my hunter to lay with the bird... My cat also had the strong hunting instinct you would expect to find in a cat... He however, took somewhat longer than Sam to train... He's still not best impressed about been preened by a bird :lol:

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There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by HiTenshi16 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:24 am

Those photos are too cute! Love seeing Sam get kisses from your Cockatiel (sorry, forgot his name :oops: )
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:33 am

Oh wow that is so cute! I'm also impressed by your cat!

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by TerriHolt » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:58 am

HiTenshi16 wrote:(sorry, forgot his name :oops: )
Sugar :lol: ... I don't really use it a lot because it sounds a bit girly (we thought he was a girl going on sex linked mutations based on his parents and the fact 85% of Albino/whitefaced lutinos are usually female). But he answers to it now so we can't change it :lol:
chelle784 wrote:Oh wow that is so cute! I'm also impressed by your cat!
Thanks :D

Actually, so was I. Being a cat an all I wasn't expecting it to be possible to that degree... The most I was hoping for was that he stops chasing Sugar.

I just need to keep in mind, to keep everyone safe that the dog and cat are predators and the bird is prey just in case either has a relapse... There is always a risk going against the natural order of things :D
My bf did yell at Sam at first so I had to explain it's what Sam does, He can't help it and I'm asking a lot of Sam to go against every natural instinct in him... Once we got that sorted it was pretty quick... Bf training is always tricky tho :P
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There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by freshbake » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:39 pm

I tried to introduce Zoey to one of my sisters ferrets when Zoey was about 5 months old.

It didn't end well. As soon as we took the ferret out of the cage, Zoey had the ferret's entire head in it's mouth. Ferret is fine, but if we didn't pull them apart, who knows what she would have done to it.

Once we got home, we took a look at the toys that Zoey has on the floor..and what would you know they all look like ferrets. :lol:

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:47 pm

5 months may be a bit too old to introduce new animals quickly.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Tiantai » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:58 pm

Hawthorne wrote:5 months may be a bit too old to introduce new animals quickly.
I agree, and some dogs can feel overwhelmed if introduced to like four or five new cats at the same time during that age coupled with the owner always stopping them one chase after another. A lot of Arctic breeds can change so easily within 3 months after birth from being friendly with any small animal to "oh boy! Time to run after that cottontail! This is SO thrilling :mrgreen: "
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:00 pm

Well...if all of Zoey's toys look like ferrets and then she's introduced to an actual ferret, then.... :lol:

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by freshbake » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:29 pm

Tiantai wrote:
Hawthorne wrote:5 months may be a bit too old to introduce new animals quickly.
I agree, and some dogs can feel overwhelmed if introduced to like four or five new cats at the same time during that age coupled with the owner always stopping them one chase after another. A lot of Arctic breeds can change so easily within 3 months after birth from being friendly with any small animal to "oh boy! Time to run after that cottontail! This is SO thrilling :mrgreen: "
Yeah, we waited a bit too long for her. Going back through my calendar, it looks like it was actually about 4 months old. We've "sort of" introducted her to the ferrets before that, but only through the ferret cage. She was wagging her tail and trying to lick the ferret through the cage. So eventually we decided to try to get them to meet without a cage. That's when Zoey went for it. I'm sure she was only trying to play with the ferret, but her playing probably would have been too rough and could have hurt the ferret. Guess those guys will just have to be kept apart (fortunately we don't see those ferrets often anyways).

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by freshbake » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:29 pm

arianwenarie wrote:Well...if all of Zoey's toys look like ferrets and then she's introduced to an actual ferret, then.... :lol:
Haha, right! It all makes sense now... :lol:

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:40 pm

freshbake wrote:Yeah, we waited a bit too long for her. Going back through my calendar, it looks like it was actually about 4 months old. We've "sort of" introducted her to the ferrets before that, but only through the ferret cage. She was wagging her tail and trying to lick the ferret through the cage. So eventually we decided to try to get them to meet without a cage. That's when Zoey went for it. I'm sure she was only trying to play with the ferret, but her playing probably would have been too rough and could have hurt the ferret. Guess those guys will just have to be kept apart (fortunately we don't see those ferrets often anyways).
It's sort of when my lab actually catches the wild bunnies in my sister's backyard...it's just a game for her and she just holds them in her mouth when she catches them. But I do think she doesn't know her own strength and she clamps down a tad harder when they start flailing in her mouth. It certainly doesn't help that bunnies are just very sensitive creatures and they usually die of a heart attack. At least, that's what happened to the first one - no wounds. The second one survived, but had a gaping hole on the thigh right where the skin is thinner. I suppose I'm rather proud of my girl since she dropped the bunnies in both instances when I told her to...albeit a little too forcefully (it was more like "Abby. DROP IT!!!").

Her new favorite toy is the soccer ball...she's still trying to understand the concept of not being able to pick it up (doesn't fit in her mouth like a tennis ball would). She's banned from getting tennis balls though...she'll bite me over it. :\

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Tiantai » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:57 pm

Labs are no exception actually. While most people often describe the lab as being the most friendly and obedient of the domestic dogs or however you may want to word it, if the dog was not properly trained before the fifth month for that breed, there is also a chance of them hurting or even devouring a tiny ferret, rabbit, or whatever non-canid small animal it may meet later in life. Don't get me wrong, compared to Arctic spitz they ARE less difficult to introduce to other small animals and get friendly but like ANY dog supervision is a MUST! I've met some labs that were NOTHING like how the breed is often painted by the general public and I'm not bluffing in that they frightened me MORE than the Eastern [Coy]wolves living around one of my fishing zones.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by chelle784 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:22 pm

I knew someone at school who had a lab. The lab killed their hamster and then killed and ate their cat...

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:37 pm

Tiantai wrote:While most people often describe the lab as being the most friendly and obedient of the domestic dogs or however you may want to word it, if the dog was not properly trained before the fifth month for that breed <SNIP>
Lucas, I'm going to have to disagree with this part...I adopted my lab when she was approx 1-1.5 YEARS old. She's about 6 years old now and perfectly fine...Honestly, I think it all depends on the individual dogs' level of natural prey drive. I don't know how Abby would do with small animals, but from the one video I took of her with baby wild bunnies that my sister took from the nest because the backyard flooded - Abby was curious, but terrified of the little cuties. lol.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by JoaquimJoe » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:49 pm

For beeing a dog walker, and working with al lot of dogs,I have a black lab that is very dominant and is only fighting with other dogs, but who is obedient but hard to handle. Joe is the only male he accept and play with. for the rest he will fight other males and even females. He is not unsure or stressed out, he is just very dominant and bossy, but not an alfa like Joe is, he does respect Joe!
He is trained properly , has all the obedient courses done. So not al labs are the same
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:13 pm

JoaquimJoe wrote:For beeing a dog walker, and working with al lot of dogs,I have a black lab that is very dominant and is only fighting with other dogs, but who is obedient but hard to handle. Joe is the only male he accept and play with. for the rest he will fight other males and even females. He is not unsure or stressed out, he is just very dominant and bossy, but not an alfa like Joe is, he does respect Joe!
He is trained properly , has all the obedient courses done. So not al labs are the same
lol. It's not just that not all labs are the same; not all dogs are the same... ;)

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Tiantai » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:08 am

arianwenarie wrote:
JoaquimJoe wrote:For beeing a dog walker, and working with al lot of dogs,I have a black lab that is very dominant and is only fighting with other dogs, but who is obedient but hard to handle. Joe is the only male he accept and play with. for the rest he will fight other males and even females. He is not unsure or stressed out, he is just very dominant and bossy, but not an alfa like Joe is, he does respect Joe!
He is trained properly , has all the obedient courses done. So not al labs are the same
lol. It's not just that not all labs are the same; not all dogs are the same... ;)
That was kind of part of my point, just that I may not have worded it properly. Basically I'm trying to raise awareness that not every dog, even of a breed, will live up to their dog race's general description. There are ALWAYS going to be exception and yes it DOES depend on the individual's personality, the background of where they came from, how they were bred and raised, etc etc. I DO however agree that 95% of these aggressive behaviours and untreated prey drives included are the fault of the humans involved and sadly it is almost always the dog that pays the price in the end.
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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by arianwenarie » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:20 am

Tiantai wrote:Basically I'm trying to raise awareness that not every dog, even of a breed, will live up to their dog race's general description.
Yep. Well, the only thing about my lab that remotely fits her breed temperament is that she loves food. It wasn't until recently she learned to love fetch...she hates water. :lol:

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Ryphen » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:01 pm

So a fun story relating to prey drive.

First I will say that Kumho definitely has one, at least so far as the chasing part goes. I don't know if he'd follow through if he actually caught anything. He could easily catch the frogs that come out at night, but he's never even attempted to pick one up yet. Just sniffs them and tries to get them to move so he can run after them. Squirrels/chipmunks and birds are probably his favorite chase things.

Today we went on our usual off leash morning walk with a group of people we know and their dogs. Right now, the walk is through a cemetery (I know, it sounds weird), so there are plenty of opportunities for critters to be around. At one point, Kumho got really interested in the brush off to the side of the path, and we could tell he was looking for something. One by the one the other dogs came over, and everyone called for their dogs to leave it and keep going. Well, everyone listened except for Rosie, who is a mix of something, but I don't know what. She's built kind of like a dachshund. Anyway, she took off and quickly disappeared. The other dogs thought about going after her, but listened when told to stay. We probably spent about 10 minutes trying to find her, following the sound of her barking when she saw fit to do so. While the guys were trailblazing though the woods, I followed a side path down a hill, thinking it sounded like she was in front of me. I was trying to get Kumho to stay with the group, but with his Daddy out of sight, there was no way he was leaving my side, so I had to keep one eye on him. When I got to the bottom, I caught a glimpse of something that looked like a deer taking off. Looking back the other way, I saw Rosie on the other side of small creek up on a low ridge trying to run after it. Calling to her and sounding really silly, I managed to get her to come over and she was recaptured. The whole time Kumho was standing there looking like he was thinking, "Mommy, I'm right here, you can stop calling."

Now, I know every Tamaskan is different, but some of them can have some pretty good recall when critters are involved.

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Re: Tamaskans and Prey Drive

Post by Katlin » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:09 pm

Wow! Go Kuhmo! Wylie would be gone without a doubt. He stops after a while but he's never had the chance to chase a deer before and that would be game on.
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