Dog professionals often interrogate me about PST: What are the benefits for the dogs, my clients, or my business? Can I just apply Predation Substitute Training (PST) to my daily work with clients and their dogs, or are their special requirements? What’s the main difference between PST and other techniques? Is PST useful for every dog? So, here I try to give you an outlook on what benefits PST has for you as a professional and how it all works!

How do you handle Predatory Behavior as a dog professional?

First, let’s take a look at where you stand now when it comes to predatory behaviour in your client’s dogs:

  • What Is Your Current Advice For Client’s Dogs Who Love To Chase?
  • If a client approaches you with a dog who loves to chase wildlife, what would be your go-to advice for them?
  • Would you suggest managing the situation by keeping their dog on a leash when they’re being walked? Or, even avoiding areas where wildlife is likely to be all together? Would you consider this to be a long-term, sustainable option for the entirety of the dog’s life?
  • Do you suggest they work to improve their dog’s recall cue, to try and make it more solid, even when there is wildlife around?
  • Maybe you advise them to try and interrupt their dog’s predatory behaviour and distract them in whatever way possible?
  • How much success do you have with this advice? And most importantly, how happy is your client, and how comfortable is their dog with the results they see from your training advice?

For most dog professionals, predatory behaviour is a complicated topic: We all know it exists. But do we really know what’s behind it, or how to handle it successfully? Especially, when clients are expecting us to help? If you feel insecure or lack experience of training dogs who love to chase, Predation Substitute Training (PST) will support you as a dog trainer.

What is Predation Substitute Training & how does it work? 

Predation Substitute Training (PST) is a force-free method for effectively managing a dog’s desire to chase and hunt wild animals. Many trainers advise owners to interrupt a dog’s predatory sequence using aversives or to manage the situation by keeping the dog on a leash. But, this advice is not enough to achieve sustainable results.

This is where Predation Substitute Training is different! PST is a refreshing new protocol concentrates on providing dogs with a suitable, safe, alternative outlet for their natural predatory behaviour, instead of trying to eliminate it completely.

For PST to be successful, there are four areas of training you need to consider. This can help clients effectively manage their dog’s predation without using aversives.

1. Management and Prevention

To teach the dog to stay in contact with their owner without switching off to focus solely on predation.

2. Performing Safe Parts Of The Predatory Sequence

By using Predation Substitute Tools when you come across wildlife. This teaches the owner how to allow their dog to fulfill their need to hunt in a safe way.

3. Creating An Outlet For Their Dog’s Predation Needs

Through the use of need-oriented Predation Substitute Games. This teaches owners fun and exciting games to play with their dog to provide an outlet for their predatory behaviour.

4. Building A Strong “Emergency Cue”

To immediately interrupt unwanted predatory chasing, which can act as a safety net in times of emergency encounters with wildlife.

but why is PST a BETTER CHOICE for your client’s dog?

Predation Substitute Training is a holistic approach to managing a dog’s desire and need to hunt. Instead of focusing on just one aspect of the predation sequence, it tackles the root cause of the issue. By helping clients recognize why their dog wants to go hunting so much, you can help them understand how is best to manage this safely and kindly.

Offering your clients PST for dogs who love to hunt is certain to give sustainable and lasting results. All while strengthening the bond they share, instead of potentially damaging it as traditional protocols can.

Maybe you think: “Well, that sounds nice, but does it really work in real-life situations?” Let’s dive into that now!

How Can PST Help Your Clients (& Dogs) in Real Life?

Teaching your clients how to follow the Predation Substitute Training protocol enables them to work with their dog in a way that meets their intrinsic canine needs. Because these needs are, what makes the behaviour so difficult to control for dog owners.

Here is why predation is so crucial to your client’s dog and why it can be so hard for them to control:

  • Even though our dogs no longer need to hunt for their food as their ancestors did, it’s still deeply rooted in their genes for them to want to hunt.
  • Their need to hunt won’t just stop. And it can’t be stopped by neutering or waiting for them to grow out of it.
  • Dogs who practice predation get better at it each time. So, dogs who are used to hunting will see this as second nature.
  • Practicing predatory behaviour is an inner need that our dogs have; for some, this is stronger than others. So, our dogs will find an outlet for this need by going hunting alone or choosing other areas like chasing bikes, stalking the cat, or destroying the sofa. Either way, it has to go somewhere!
  • Predation makes our dogs feel good! Hormones are released into your dog’s body that have the same effect as drugs or gambling. This makes it equally addictive as these activities! Just ignoring predation will not make it go away!
  • All of our dog’s senses are involved in this super intense experience. They are stimulated by the sounds, sights, and scents of the surrounding environment, so it’s difficult for them to switch off entirely.

Because PST allows the dog to perform predatory sequences regularly, they’ll be less likely to have an uncontrollable urge to go hunting on their own. This gives owners reliable control over their dog in real-life scenarios where wildlife is present.

The real game-changer is surprisingly simple

The real game-changer that makes PST stand out from other, more traditional training protocols is that instead of interrupting the dog’s predatory behaviour and ending their fun, your client asks their dog to perform an alternative, safe part of the predatory sequence that will still let them do what they desire to do in this situation: To hunt! This helps the dog see their owner in a new way – someone who is involved in the fun instead of the one ending it!

What about the benefits for you as an Instructor?

No need to say, all this benefits will not only be super helpful for your clients & their dogs, it will also uplift your training and even your business as a dog professional!

PST training will help you feel empowered in knowing that you can help your clients know how to approach their dog’s training regime. Having a clear, positive, structured training plan will give you more confidence in your own ability to help your clients.

And, of course, PST can help your clients achieve long-term results, instead of short-term management solutions for dogs with a high prey drive who love to chase! They will love it, they will tell others about it, and are much more likely to recommend you and your work.

Of course, with the knowledge about PST, you are also aware of a new way of dog training and will stand out from the crowd in the dog training market.

Altogether, the special PST-techniques, your new-found confidence, paired with the results your clients can achieve from following your advice on PST, is a recipe for great success.

Get in your client’s shoes!

Now, let’s go back to the beginning: For me, when it comes to predatory behaviour in dogs, it all started with my first dog Malinka. She was a big hunter! And I felt pretty much on my own trying to manage her behaviour, and I tried endless different things to help.

One trainer told me to work on our recall, another told me to keep her on a leash permanently, and the next told me to avoid walking in woodland altogether (which was pretty much impossible given where I live!). I’m sure, they all had the very best intentions, and I also saw little improvements. But they did not lead to the bigger solution and relief, I was hoping for. We, Malinka & I, still had no chance to enjoy walks or even to relax in the garden together!

They need a Breakthrough

My breakthrough came, when I found the first structured anti-predation training plan. I felt so excited, relieved, and empowered that I was finally able to work through a step-by-step guide of different exercises and games, that were fun for Malinka and I to enjoy together. Better still, the games all slotted together like a puzzle in the end and helped me achieved the results I was looking for.

I took this approach and optimized it over the years by training with my own and lots of client’s dogs. This is, how Predation Substitute Training evolved. And I love to share the techniques and benefits with you (and your clients)!

With my own story in mind, I’m totally aware, that this is how many dog lovers feel and what they’ve experienced, when they reach out for help from us dog professionals! They are stressed and overwhelmed from the problems they have with their dogs – and from the advice they already came across (on the internet, from dog pro’s and also many non-professionals).

All they want is a good, dog-friendly and long-lasting solution.  PST and a professional instructor will help them to achieve this goal!  That’s why I decided to share my approach and my knowledge with dog-pro’s all over the world. 

Predation Substitute Training isn’t just a technique! IT’S A WIN-WIN-WIN:  FOR YOU AS A PROFESSIONAL, FOR YOUR CLIENTS AND FOR THEIR DOGS

If you want to learn more about it, I would absolutely love to see you in our PST instructor course, starting in 2023. Take a sneak and get on the waitlist right now:

(Waitlist is non-binding)

Simone Mueller

Predation Substitute Expert & Founder of Predation Substitute Training