My Dog is Fixated on My Rabbit

QUESTION ON FACEBOOK:

You really need to precondition him away from the rabbit initially. What this means is that you will need to offer him a treat or toy that is, in his eyes, such a high value and is rarely given. For example some chicken perhaps. It is important that the reward ‘value’ is going to be equal or greater than the temptation of the rabbit and rabbit hutch. Your dog also needs to understand that this reward is rarely available therefore when it is on offer then it will need to seize the opportunity to get it.

Within a distraction free environment, give a command such as “away” then wait for him to look/come to you and give him this high value reward when he complies. Now repeat this until such times as you can CONSISTENTLY give him the command and he responds positively awaiting his reward.

Once you get to this stage practice this again within sight of the rabbit hutch but not close enough for him to be drawn to it. Thereafter it is just a matter of practising and (slowly) reducing the distance until you can get him to respond positively when he is at the rabbit hutch. If, at any point, he does not respond then just pare back to the last place he did and rebuild. Good luck.

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