Danger: Dog Chases Cars, Other Dogs or People
When a dog enters this state of mind he is focused on his activity alone, often tuning out everything else. This is a dangerous scenario and one that needs to be prevented.
Why Do Dogs Chase?
Long before humans and dogs began their relationship dogs were responsible for gathering their food, expelling intruders from their territory, and tracking scents over large tracts of land. The action is natural.
It is also fun and rewarding when done well. In the dog's mind, the cars he chases flee his territory due to his ferocious running. He has run them off. But in the modern environment, the dog's chasing behavior is far from helpful. It places his life in danger and is frightening for his owner.
Tips To Stop Dogs From Chasing
So, what can be done about this chasing behavior? A mixture of training tools and obedience cues can cut down on his chasing actions.
- Purchase an electronic collar system that prevents him from leaving his territory. Take time outside to walk his around the perimeter of his yard and have his work on sit and stay exercises within the boundaries. Practice this in the house as well, training him to not go out the front door without permission. These exercises can be supported further by the electronic collar system. Note: While an electronic collar works for some dogs, depending on the intensity of the dog's focus it may not be the proper tool. An overly focused (obsessed) dog will go through the fence and the zap will serve to increase his chasing by riling him up more. Though effective in most cases, the electronic collar is not the best option for the dedicated chaser.
- Keep your dog on a leash (30 feet) whenever chasing opportunities may occur. This provides you with more control and more time to get a hold of the leash.
- Take steps to break your dog's obsession with the objects he is chasing. If he is obsessed with the mailman, see if it's possible to arrange a meeting. If it is the neighbor's cat he's chasing, see if they can be brought together. Keep it safe.
- Instill a good recall response in his through obedience training. The goal is to get him to come to you when called.
When dealing with a natural behavior, it is necessary to provide another option that is more rewarding than the original behavior. Work consistently to teach him that complying with the "Come Here" command brings good rewards (attention, treats). If visiting you isn't fun, why on earth would he do it before he's done chasing? Change that perception and gain greater control over your dog's actions.
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