My Belgian shepherd listens very well. She pays attention to me and she will come when I call her, without hesitation. She will walk right next to me without a leash. I could go on, but to summarise: she's a very good dog and we've both worked hard to get there.
However, when she spots sheep, cows, horses, pheasants, wild cats (cats she knows are fine), you name it, she totally changes. All she can focus on is the wild animal. If she's on the leash, she will just keep pulling like a 'mad dog' in that direction. Any kind of correction is totally ignored. It's tunnel vision and I am like air to her. Whatever I may do, pull on leash, 'shout', try to get to her with her favourite food, she ignores me like I'm air. I'm simply not there to her; all there is, is the wild animal.
If she's off the leash, she will just chase the animal until she's lost it, and then eventually she will come back. Obviously, I'm quite hesitant to let her off the leash now.
How can I start working towards better behaviour around wild animals with her? The main problem that I'm facing is that she ignores me totally when she spots a wild animal, whereas normally she's very attentive. It's hard to do any training, since I can't even get her attention to begin with. So perhaps I should rephrase my question: how can I get my dog's attention in such a situation? I know what to do once I have her attention, but I simply can't get it in these situations.
The only suggestion I've gotten so far, is to use a remote electric collar, but I'm very hesitant to use these, because they seem rather cruel and I have no experience whatsoever with these. I have always used positive reinforcement training methods, so I simply don't feel comfortable with these devices. She was adopted from an animal shelter, had been through a lot and was a very insecure and even traumatised dog, and now she's a confident, happy, and well-behaved dog (except when around wild animals, of course), thanks to positive reinforcement training, and I simply don't want one of these E-collar to traumatise her again. On the other hand, the E-collars seem like a perfect fit for these kinds of situations and perhaps the only thing that may be able to get her attention when she spots a wild animal, so I would be willing to try this, but only as a last resort.