Harnessing the Hunter DVD


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What’s It About?

This DVD covers the most important foundation behaviors and exercises to train your hunting dog in order to build your relationship and gain reliability around prey. The tutorials will cover exercises to lower arousal and stress, build attention, proof important behaviors, and teach impulse control. These techniques are not only useful for those who have hunting breeds and never want them to hunt, but also for people who do want to hunt with their dog, but would like their dog to have an off switch from hunting.

However, this DVD will not cover how to teach a dog to hunt, only how to get reliability of behaviors around prey. Emily came up with the idea to make this DVD while training her two rescued hunting dogs. Trisch, her Podenco was one of the most stressed and excitable dogs she had ever seen around prey. She would literally make herself sick after seeing an animal on leash, or pursuing an animal off leash. After lunging, barking, and screaming madly or simply seeing an animal, her eyes would get bloodshot, her ears would go bright red, and she would have allergies for the next 3 days, scratching herself until she bled and being in a high state of arousal. Emily knew she had to put a stop to this, not only for her own piece of mind, but for Trisch’s well-being and happiness too.

 Emily Larlham combines her artistic background and training skills to come up with creative, fast and reliable ways to solve problem behaviors as well as train complex behaviors and tricks.  She created the term Progressive Reinforcement Training to describe a non-violent way of training animals that involves no forms of physical or psychological intimidation.  Emily has led seminars in the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia on Progressive Reinforcement Training.  She is also known for posting free dog training videos on youtube under the name ‘kikopup’, with the desire that everyone should have access to information on how to train dogs in the most humane and ethical manner.

Released 2013 Tawzer Dog

Running time- 2 hours, 7 minutes


A dog that chases or hunts prey can be an extremely difficult creature to manage. Once natural instinct and primitive urges take over, the majority of dogs find themselves deaf to their owner’s calls which can be both stressful for the owner and potentially dangerous for the dog.

In this DVD, Emily Larlham, aka Kikopup, known for her progressive reinforcement training method, shows us how to train our dogs to build reliability around prey. Motivated by her own dog Trish, who she describes as ‘one of the most stressed and excitable dogs she had ever seen around prey’, Larlham provides us with techniques to lower arousal, build attention, teach impulse control and proof important behaviours.

This is a fantastic DVD full of practical advice and insightful information on a problem common to many owners. Larlham provides some really useful exercises which will help you to build a stronger relationship with your dog, not just when prey is around, but in all other aspects of his life as well.

Larlham begins by explaining that in this DVD she will cover the most important exercises and behaviours to build reliability and a good relationship with a dog that likes to chase or hunt prey. She adds that the content can also be useful for trained hunting dogs, giving their owners the tools to teach them an off button. Larlham continues by mentioning the three main skills she will be focusing on – reliability, proofing and impulse control. She then shows us some before and after footage of two of her own dogs, a terrier and a Podenco (a Spanish hunting hound), both of whom had severe issues in regard to chasing and hunting prey. Larlham tells us the reasons why she believes it is much more humane to teach dogs to be calm around prey.

Next, Larlham discusses her training method, progressive reinforcement training. She tells us why she chooses to use this and introduces us to the four main concepts:

  • Teach
  • Reinforce
  • Interrupt
  • Prevent

Larlham explains that the first step is to build your dog’s attention. She shows us a tutorial on how to teach an attention noise which can be used to interrupt behaviour, and also provides some attention games which help to build relationship and focus. She then introduces us to the hand touch game and explains how we can use this as an emergency recall.

Larlham next focuses on how to teach calm foundations. She begins with showing to train a dog to be calm around food, something which can be a particular problem with hunting dogs. She continues by introducing the default settle or settle on a mat, which can be used to help keep your dog calm and relaxed in front of prey. She also demonstrates handling and massage techniques that can help to build calmness.

She then looks at using management and prevention techniques in order to set yourself up for success. She gives advice on avoiding prey during training and how to distract your dog if you do encounter something.

Larlham next considers reinforcement, giving us some ideas of what we can use. She provides us with tips on how to get round dogs that are too excited to eat around prey and also shows us how we can use the environment as a reward.

She continues by discussing what she considers to be some of the most important behaviours to teach a hunting dog. These include:

  • An attention noise, as covered above
  • A reliable recall
  • Leave it
  • Drop it and get it.

Larlham then takes us through the purpose of each of these behaviours, as well as giving detailed instructions on how to teach them. She explains how the ‘leave it’ command can be applied to leaving prey animals by building a conditioned response that ‘leave it’ is an opportunity for reinforcement. The ‘drop it and get it’ game is an excellent way of building impulse control. Larlham constantly reiterates the importance of continual proofing of these exercises, providing us with games to do so. She then takes a look at how we can use counter conditioning to change our dog’s emotional response to prey.

We then move on to lead walking skills. Larlham shows us games designed to teach your dog to want to walk with you on a loose lead, as well as an exercise to help your dog understand giving in to lead pressure. She demonstrates a ‘lets go’ and ‘stop’ cue and gives problem solving advice on what to do with a dog that yoyo’s forward and backward on the lead. Larlham also discusses how to teach impulse control on the lead using the premack principle. She then covers using a long line.

Finally, Larlham provides us with some important things to consider which include regression, other dogs and asking for more. She then shows us some appropriate games to play with hunters while prey are in the vicinity, before discussing in more detail the use of the premack principle for training hunters. To finish, Larlham shows us footage of how her hound behaves around prey now.

Renowned for her creative and inspirational training, Larlham does not disappoint in this comprehensive 2 hour, 7 minute-long DVD.


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