Wow, am I proud. This morning while walking the poodles at a great park we had a rabbit run in. I had them both off leash while we walked twice around the park, it was extremely quiet, very nice. I had just taken Luke's collar off and saw a rabbit up ahead, I didn't worry about it because they are pretty darned fast. I knew Luke would run after it; that's what dogs do, at least that's what my dogs do. He did not just charge in like a crazy dog, he assumed stalking stance and began his painfully slow approach. As I watched I realized that this was not a normal rabbit. It was watching Luke and doing nothing.
I watched for a few more seconds and realized that this would not end in the typical fashion with Luke bounding at the bushes that the rabbit escaped into. This could get messy. I told Luke to "leave it," he froze. Took a few more steps and again I told him to "leave it." I knew it wouldn't be easy, he was right in the thick of it; the full blown hunt zone. So I pulled out my big guns and yelled NO! I rarely use the word; and specifically save it for the really bad stuff.
Again I said "leave it," and with his right front leg held ready to pounce is turned and moved away. The dumb rabbit then sauntered off ever so leisurely, having no idea that his fate had been changed by some great training. This is extreme; had I stopped Luke before he was in his hunt mode it would have been easier; but I thought the rabbit would hop away like normal. So hoping to stop the behavior when Luke was so deep into it was a risk. But he amazed me and came off of the rabbit; perhaps part of the lure was gone, the rabbit didn't seem afraid, it didn't flinch. And just maybe that is part of the thrill for a dog.