Does Your Dog Chase Cars? 3 Steps To Stop This Dangerous Behavior

Dogs love to chase things, including cars. In fact, with some dogs it's a matter of instinct to want to chase things. Unfortunately, chasing cars can be particularly dangerous for dogs. First, they could get hit by the car they're pursuing, or another car on the road. Second, they could run so far that they end up lost in a strange place. If your dog has been chasing cars, you need to stop the behavior as soon as possible. Here are three steps you can take to stop your dog from chasing cars:

Give it Boundaries

If you don't have a fence around your house, you need to find a way to confine your dog to the yard. This is particularly important if your dog spends most of its time indoors. As soon as it gets outside, it may feel the urge to run, and chasing passing cars is the perfect reason to run. One way to confine your dog to the yard, without installing an actual fence, is to invest in an invisible perimeter fence. This type of fence operates by placing monitors throughout the yard and then placing a specially-designed collar on your dog. Once you activate the invisible perimeter, your dog will be able to run freely about the yard. However, they'll receive a light shock when they attempt to cross the invisible perimeter. Your dog will eventually learn where the perimeters are and will stop chasing after cars.

Discourage Chasing Games

If you and your kids enjoy playing chasing games with your dog, you could be accidentally encouraging the car chasing. This is particularly true if your dog receives praise, or a treat, once playtime is over. They learn that chasing you, or something else, will lead to a favorable result. When that happens, your dog will begin chasing anything that it perceives as a continuation of the game. To prevent this, you should discourage chasing games. Go ahead and play fetch, or those types of activities, but avoid those activities that encourage your dog to chase you.

Use Behavior Modification

If your dog continues to chase cars, you should begin using behavior modification strategies. One way is to startle your dog each time it starts to chase a car. Fill an empty soda can with marbles, and tape the opening closed. Place your dog on a leash, and sit on the porch with your dog. Hold the leash loosely, so that your dog feels that it has free reign to run. As soon as it starts to run, shake the can loudly. The sound will startle your dog, and stop it in its tracks. Do this each time your dog starts to chase a car. It's also important that you enroll your dog in obedience classes. These classes will help your dog learn appropriate and safe behaviors.

If your dog has developed the habit of chasing cars, you need to stop the behavior as soon as possible. Use the techniques provided here to help discourage the behavior. If your dog is injured while chasing a car, carefully wrap it in a blanket, and get it to an emergency vet immediately.

Contact a vet like Robert Irelan DVM for more information and assistance.