Canine Training To Prevent Attacks On Sloths and Wildlife
Certain wild animals, such as our sweet sloths, are slow-moving and would not be able to hide quickly. They are no match for a fast-running dog. It is not the dog’s fault that they have this instinct, but it is entirely up to us as pet owners to ensure that our dogs are trained well and learn not to attack wildlife.
No matter where you live in the world, you share a habitat with local wildlife. Dogs and wild animals may run into each other from time to time, and the results can be severe. We have to take steps to protect both our dogs and wildlife from these encounters so that both dogs and wild animals can coexist peacefully.
Teach The Command “Wait”
The command “wait” is the command you will most want to focus on first. Your dog doesn’t have to hold a particular position, like when you use the phrase “stay” after the dog lays down so that it continues to stay in that position. But using the “wait” command is a way to make sure your dog pauses before going any further.
The animal hospital Bond Vet – Garden City, NY advises that you should start training this command when your dog is still a puppy, even though older dogs do have the ability to learn this.
The easiest way to help your pup understand this command is to have them wait before eating and before going outdoors. Praise and treats are highly recommended as well to help encourage good behavior when your dog waits.
In order to do this accordingly, you might consider enrolling your dog in socialization classes or dog training programs to make sure that your dog understands your commands and will obey you, no matter the situation.
As your dog progresses in learning the “wait” command, you can begin to take it outdoors and practice on more considerable challenges, such as using a toy, and eventually, another animal.
Some dogs may be easier to train than others, with some being more susceptible to learning commands quickly. However, once you have a solid “wait” command instilled within your pup, you can work to prevent it from chasing and confronting wildlife.
Training With A Barrier
If you want to work training your dog specifically with other animals, it is a good idea to start with a barrier between your dog and the animal. Then you can work to find that optimal distance where your dog will not react when spotting the other animal and work more on the “wait” command.
If you find that your dog is too anxious and wants to move towards the animal, continue to work away from the animal and see when your dog can focus more on you.
Once you have established contact and your dog is obeying the command, reward it with a treat. If you find that the dog can’t concentrate on the treat, you need to continue working on your distancing.
You can use alternative rewards for treats here as well, such as a simple pet or a favorite toy, so that your dog understands it is receiving an award for exercising the correct behavior.
Training with a Toy
If you want to start with a toy, leave it in the middle of the room and step away. Then when you see your dog come upon it, use your command “wait.” Make sure you work with your dog and only reward it when it obeys the order on the first go.
You can experiment with intentionally leaving the toy unattended and wait to see if your dog goes towards it, not thinking that you are watching. When the dog starts to sneak towards the toy, use the command and see how quickly your dog reacts.
If you continue to do this often, your dog will understand that you are, in a sense, always watching. Enforcing this command when your dog can’t see you will also help catch your dog in a situation where things can escalate so that you can jump right to the command to get your dog to obey fast.
You should also know that it is essential not to let the dog play with this toy since it is only to be used for training purposes, and you want the illusion for your dog to treat it as if it was a real, live animal.
Dogs and Sloths
Sloths are particularly vulnerable wild animals to dog attacks since they are unable to jump or run. Costa Rica has a vast dog problem when it comes to wildlife attacks and the Oh My Dog! initiative has been initiated to work and stop dog attacks.
People like to let their dogs roam freely outside, particularly in Costa Rica and other parts of the South Caribbean, and it is all too common for a dog to attack other people, dogs, and wildlife.
Our job as owners is to keep a close eye on our pets and have commands like “wait” at the ready to keep them from chasing after other animals.
After all, your dog also has the susceptibility to end up with an injury from attacking wildlife, not just the wildlife becoming injured.
Dog Contact with Wildlife
Even if you have a dog with impeccable training, there is always the possibility that your dog will act on instinct first and not listen to your command. Minimizing your dog’s contact with any wildlife is part of ensuring that both your dog and other wildlife are safe.
Some steps you can take to keep your dog from encountering wildlife:
- Don’t leave food outside that might bring about other animals.
- Don’t hike with your dog far into the woods, especially right at dawn or sunset, when more wild animals are active.
- If you want to hike and have your dog come with you, it is safer to hike in a group so that other wild animals will keep their distance.
- Keep your dog on a leash when outdoors, especially if hiking or in a location where there might be wild animals.
Your dog’s urge to chase will be a strong one, but if you take the time to practice and work closely and frequently with your dog, it can overcome its urge. If your dog learns to look to you for permission and commands, it strengthens your bond and prevents your dog from acting solely on its instinctive responses.