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I don’t know what to do about Ruby’s obsession with squirrels. I walk her through a park twice a day on leash and the moment she sees a squirrel she’s practically pulling me over. I’ve been working on the “leave it” command with her indoors at home and she does fine but it all goes out the window for squirrels. Do I stay put until she is focused back on me or just keep walking and telling her to leave it? I give her high value treats when she can pass by one without lunging even though I know she’s only passing it up because it’s far away. She’s 14 months old. 

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I would suggest you avoid that park entirely until you have her training farther along. I also suggest using the "look at that" game from the book 
"Control Unleashed". You have to take this kind of training very slowly, one tiny step at a time. You cannot train the dog when the dog is over threshold of aroused the way she gets in the park. The more you take her to the park, where she throws the training out the window, the more you un-do all the hard work you are putting into training the cue to leave it. 

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I agree completely with D'Elle.  My Ruby was the same way and the Look at That game did the trick with her.  She is now almost 16 and still loves to see the squirrels, but we haven't been in danger of being pulled over in years!

 

Kathy Robbins

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Working on "leave it" and "look at that" are the ways to go.

The key to countering all obsessive behaviors is keeping her under threshold. Do a search here for explanations of what that means. Without understanding and working with that you're not going to get anywhere.

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Thanks for the input! I will keep her out of the park until we’ve nailed the training and I will reread Control Unleashed again tonight. 

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