DOG KILLING OTHER ANIMALS
QUESTION: I took in an adult large breed dog that had already been through two homes. In the first home it started killing cats. In the second home cats and a pet ferret were killed. Today, I took her out into the country for some much needed exercise off leash. She went into a farmer’s field and attacked a sheep. It took all my strength to pull her off before she killed it. I am keeping her muzzled right now when outside. I also have two other dogs that watch her doing these things. Can I retrain this dog, not to kill other animals?
ANSWER: Sorry to say but I have yet to stop a dog from killing once it has had that first taste of blood and the high excitement of the kill. One dog I worked extensively with for a solid year would not kill a cat or another dog in my presence. She learned to not even look at them. But the second my back was turned it was game over. She just couldn’t help it. The excitement of the chase and then the kill was too much for her to control. Sadly, she had to be put down for other animal’s sake.
One more thing I must point out to you having worked extensively with dogs in pack situations. A dog that gives chase, then attacks and/or kills teaches the other dogs to do the same. For instance, a Jack Russell Terrier who killed cats taught three couch potato, tiny toy poodles to do the same. Although one alone could not do it, the three of them working together could. They would simply maul the poor cat to death. That Lady had to find separate homes for them with no cats.
Thank you for taking her in and giving her a good home. Please remember a muzzled dog cannot PANT sufficiently in hot whether to cool themselves leading to heat stroke.