How To Stop Your Dog Chasing Cars
One of the most dangerous behavior problems a dog can have is a habit of chasing cars.
A car is large, heavy, and very dangerous to a dog – but since dogs have a built-in affinity for chasing anything that’s fast and running away, it’s no surprise that many dogs decide that car-chasing is a fun activity.
But what can you do to stop your dog from engaging in this dangerous hobby? That’s what we’re going to examine in this guide, so let’s get started.
Firstly, it’s safe to say that dogs do have a natural inclination to chase – so it’s important to tread carefully when you’re teaching him not to chase cars.
In fact, it may be wise to get professional help if you’re very concerned this behavior because it isn’t something you want to take risks with.
Also, it goes without saying that you should never leave a car-chasing dog unattended in any situation where he may give chase to a moving vehicle because you’re asking for trouble, for obvious reasons.
Whenever you’re training your dog around a car, you need to keep him on a short leash at all times.
When his behavior has become more controllable, you can opt for a longer extendable leash – but you shouldn’t take any risks with off-leash training until you have a high degree of control over your dog.
What To Do
To start with, it’s best to begin this kind of training in a low traffic area. A good tip is to employ the help of a friend who can drive a car past you and your dog very slowly and carefully.
This gives you a greater degree of safety and control, just in case something was to go wrong – such as your dog escaping and giving chase on the road.
When your dog begins to pull or give chase, you’ll need to apply a corrective measure. This only needs to be gentle in most cases. and You simply need to redirect his attention back to you – and away from the car.
You’ll need to be quick with this, and catch his attention as early as possible so he learns not to focus on the car he eagerly wants to chase.
Teaching The “Come” Command
An important command to master is the “come” command, and this should be a priority when your dog has a car-chasing habit. Recall will be essential in case your dog ever slips into bad habits and decides to chase a car (or anything else for that matter).
If your dog doesn’t currently obey the “come” command, then you really have no business teaching him to not chase cars while off a leash – because the risk just isn’t worth it.
The Last Resort
While we believe it’s best to focus on positive reinforcement training whenever possible, in rare circumstances when your dog’s health and safety are at risk, you may need to use a stronger form of negative reinforcement. Of course, this does not mean you should harm your dog or cause them to feel fearful of you in any way.
But giving a boisterous, chase-prone dog a stronger negative reinforcement, such as a loud unpleasant sound (coins shook inside a plastic bottle can work well) will startle your dog and distract them from their current focus.
Match Their Energy
A final point to make on car-chasing is that some dogs have a stronger desire to chase than others. If your dog is very boisterous and eager to chase, then you’ll need to be firmer with your commands and reinforcement.
For example, if your dog is pulling and keen to chase – then you’ll need a strong command to persuade your dog to disengage. In these situations, a polite “no” isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to redirect their attention to you kindly, but above all, firmly.
Remember: you’re doing him a favor by teaching them not to chase cars – because your dog simply has no concept of how dangerous a fast moving car can be. So if you need to make your dog a little surprised by a stronger negative reinforcement (but not hurtful), then it’s the right thing to do.
In some cases, using a few coins or rocks inside a plastic bottle can make a useful ‘sound aversion’ tool that will produce a loud, sudden, attention-grabbing sound when shook. This shouldhelp to win your dog’s attention and distract them away from their current focus.