So, this morning the cat caught a rabbit but then let it go. This afternoon I found it again. It had myxo so its eyes were all swollen closed. I dealt it a swift blow to the head a couple of times and that was that (very interesting that I get incredibly emotional if I run over an animal but if I have to kill a mouse or a rabbit I don’t really mind). Anyway, we came home after swimming the dogs and I decided that having the body of a rabbit was too good of an opportunity to waste with Lu. After all, here is a thing that she really, desperately wants.
First we did some focus work around the rabbit in the yard. She was on a long line but I wasn’t holding it. This was pretty easy. So I said “Ok, get it”, and she got it and wanted to shovel it down her face, but I got her to leave it. More focus work and various exercises, including saying “Ok, go see” and then as she was running towards it, calling her back to me, having a big reward play with some food and then releasing her to go get it and letting her pick it up. I recalled her over the top of it once even. She did so, so well. The only time she had trouble was if she had it in her mouth and I called her – she’d come, but she’d bring the rabbit, stop in front of me and then want to eat the rabbit, rather than focusing on me at that point.
Will it stop her chasing live rabbits? No. Did it add a little bit more self control to the whole picture? Maybe.