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Will Playing With Real Fur Encourage My Dog To Chase Livestock?

If you’ve got a dog with a strong chase drive, you’ll know that just the sight or smell of a small or fluffy animals can trigger an instinctive reaction in your dog that sets them running for the hills, oblivious to your desperate calls for them to come back.

As a family we’ve got more than 30 dogs - and we’ve trained many more over the years. Many of them have been hunting, herding and working breeds like collies and spaniels, so we truly understand the challenges (and benefits!) that a strong chase drive can present.

The first thing to recognise is that the urge to chase is completely natural, and completely normal. It’s not something you should try to eradicate in your dog (and even if you wanted to, you’d be fighting an uphill battle!). Instead, we recommend working with your dog’s chase instincts, instead of against them.

This is one of the reasons we created a whole range of dog training toys made with real fur, like the Sheepskin Chaser, the Rabbit Skin Chaser With Squeaker and the Wondabaa Bungee (to name just a few of our most popular real fur toys).

Often, concerned owners of dogs with a strong chase drive ask us ‘will playing with real sheepskin encourage my dog to chase sheep?’ or ‘won’t using a rabbit skin dog toy encourage my dog to chase rabbits?’.

The short answer is: no, they won’t. In fact, rather than encouraging unwanted chasing, our real fur toys actually help you combat it.

Although our real fur products (and in particular our real fur chasers) are designed to tap into our dogs’ natural prey drive, our toys help you use this drive to your advantage.

Successful training is all about finding what motivates your dog - and the truth is that, for some dogs, this is chasing wildlife or sniffing out the scent of passing sheep and rabbits. Bulletproof recall is essential in these cases, and to achieve that you need a reward that is equally as exciting and satisfying to return to as chasing real ‘prey’.

Our real fur products are so popular because dogs find the scent and texture irresistible - so they recall back to you, even if there are tempting distractions around. With a Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear sheepskin or rabbit skin toy in your hand, you become more interesting to your dog than whatever they want to chase.

Plus, playing tug with a real fur dog training toy is a way to give your dog an outlet for redirecting their prey drive in a positive, safe, controlled way (plus it offers the same fun factor and adrenaline boost that motivates lots of dogs to chase in the first place!).

Of course, we’d still always recommend being respectful of all wildlife and livestock, and keeping your dog on a lead if you are in close proximity to animals they like to chase.

Remember, we offer 45 day Tug It + Love It guarantee so you can try a real fur toy and see the benefits for yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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