You touch fire, you get burnt.
Sadie used to love chasing squirrels, skunks, cats, rabbits, and racoons. She had pinned a cat down and almost killed the cat when l first got her. I almost lost my finger when she took off after a cat on the street.
I recently have adopted a cat in my house, and l walk my dogs around lots of squirrels multiple times daily. We walk past many squirrels when l and my dogs walk my kids to school every morning.
We can't have a big powerful mastiff going after squirrels with a bunch of school kids around. We can't have our cat attacked by our dog. We can't run the risk of being dragged and fall down because a squirrel happens to pass by...
So, how did l fix these issues? How come Sadie does not bother our cat? How come Sadie can walk by squirrels every morning right beside me on a loose leash? How come l can have my little girl walk Sadie and not worry she may fall down and get hurt?
I use the you-touch-fire-you-get-burnt ecollar training protocol on Sadie, which only took seconds with very reliable and long lasting result.
Ecollar is the most effective, humane, and long lasting training tool against these type of behavior that l know of - and l have tried lots and lots of desensitization, counter conditioning, and redirection protocols in many different forms.
Ecollar works in a way dogs really understand because it is how nature corrects - if you touch fire, you will get burnt.
When a dog wants to go after a squirrel, l will give the dog a very high level ecollar correction that is really unpleasant. It does not shut the dog down, it does not make the dog hate me, it does not mess up the dog - but it will teach the dog a very meaningful life lesson that the dog will never forget.
Once the dog has stopped, l will immediately dial down to a very low level and use reward to work the dog again.
Sadie has not chased any squirrel for over a year. She has not bothered our new cat, not even once.
I only had to do the "burnt-by-fire" training once, which lasted about one second, for my new cat to be safe.
My cat does not need to be isolated, she can enjoy free roaming in my house. They get along just fine. I don't need to avoid or manage. Everyone is safe and happy.
I would rather do this once than using other methods - which are also unpleasant but not as effective - to nag my dog again and again over a behavior that is potentially very dangerous to other people and animals.
Now, we can all enjoy our peace, everyone is happy and no one gets hurt.
And it literally only took seconds.