For breeds of dogs with intuitive tendencies to hunt, chasing squirrels is normal. Like a squirrel, they also get the smell of a little critter and natural instinct takes over. Contrary to their size, small dog breeds are natural-born hunters. However, you should know that unregulated chasing can also have negative results in certain cases.
Typically, this activity includes five stages: hunting, stalking, catching, biting, and killing the prey. If your dog, like a Beagle or a Greyhound, is a hound, they’ll want to hunt and chase the prey out.
While no dog really hates squirrels, if you don’t know how to handle it, this is an issue. Since dogs smell their prey and get into action before you can stop or discourage them, this ridiculous and almost constant chasing happens.
The main problem is a dog’s keen sense of smell. Dogs have an odor sensation that is 1000 to 10,000 times greater than humans. Some dogs are extremely scent focused, like Beagles. In their brain, dogs often have a large olfactory center where all the information about smells they recognize can be processed. On the list of scents to recall, the smell of a squirrel is probably high up there.
Squirrel hunting will often distract your dog on a walk as it buys into their instinct for the hunting instinct. Scan, stalk, chase, catch, and so on is the normal sequence of predatory behavior. Before the chase starts, it is important to anticipate the initial phases of this sequence and interrupt. Try to watch the dog detect a diversion from the start of the series and prevent it.
You probably know that in this exercise of discipline, giving them rewards and praising them for good behavior and obeying orders goes a long way. Bear in mind that you need to be in charge and find ways to express this to your dog.
You need to get the dog to the stage where “found a squirrel” does not mean they want to hunt it down. It has to signify over time, “I play with mommy or daddy whenever I find a squirrel then I get treats for it.”
If you have other pets in the house or the area, this training often proves useful. Your fella is going to be a well-behaved dog and might even wound up becoming very friendly, a nice quality that is also essential.
For certain breeds of dogs, avoiding squirrel hunting might be almost inevitable, but you might be pleasantly surprised if some of your persistence and time spent training bears results.