Why does your dog take off down the road chasing the neighbor kid on his bike? When the kid goes for a walk or run your pup is cool, but those spinning spokes just set 'em off. Figuring out exactly why a bike sets him off but not the neighbor riding it can be easier then you would think. Bikes truly do hold a special place in your dog heart. Right next to tennis balls and squirrels. Can you do any kind of training to adjust this behavior? How can we save the poor kid on the bike? Here is where to start.
The Root of the Behavior
Will your dog take off down the road after the kid on the bike? Do you feel worse for the dog, chasing that which he is forever unlikely to catch, or the boy who is so terrified he is peddling with the power of a gas powered engine. If this chase went on forever, whose legs would fall off first? As it turns out this behavior is very instinctual, which is why it is demonstrated among many dogs of various breeds and training. When your dog sees a bike flying down the way, their predatory instincts come into play. They chase it down like they would a squirrel or a cat because to them there is very little difference. Even though they have the urge to chase them down, does not mean it is okay to allow them to chase the neighbor boy down the street. In the case your dog does catch them, pulling the boy off his bike could really hurt both the kid and your dog, not to mention the chase could run them both into dangerous situations regarding traffic and the like. So what can you do about this behavior if it is such a natural reaction?
Quite a bit as it turns out. This problem is very common and so there are a variety of different training methods and techniques designed to address it. Before you have trained your dog to behave in this situations better, a leash is really your appropriate response. That being said there is a lot you can do to quickly train your dog to stop chasing bikes cars and skateboards. If you take the time to instill the best practices and training tools to stop this behavior, you will see it fade quickly and the behavior of your dog improve dramatically. People often think dog training is quite complicated, and for some dogs it is, but for most it is quite a simple process that works very effectively.
Encouraging the Behavior
Dogs are often hurt during chases like these, so it is important to address this behavior right away. Even if your dog is not hurt, the person they are chasing may well likely be, and that falls on your and your dog. The punitive financial damages can be overwhelming and your dog does not get a pass when they injure someone. They are likely put down. For these reasons and others, address this quickly. Addressing this behavior can be different for each dog, but a good way to start is just to wear your dog out. Increase the amount of exercise they get each day so that they have no want to chase down the bike. Try and keep your dog in a secure and fenced area while they still chase, and have careful control over the door and your dog when you enter and leave the home. If your home cannot be fenced, an electric wireless fence may be a good option. Highly determined dogs may ignore this step and the pain, and continue on chasing regardless. A behavioral specialist is really your best bet. They will be able to best identify why your dog is chasing and what you can do about it. They really make a difference when adjusting canine behavior.
Other Solutions and Considerations
The range of injuries your dog can sustain from chasing is abundant. If you cannot curb their chasing behaviors on your own, do your best to isolate your dog from bikers and runners. It is for their safety and your financial well being. Apart from cars and the like, the risk of falling or retaliation from the person being chased can lead to some serious injuries and medical complications for your canine companion. If all else fails, hiring a dog trainer to instill commands to stay and the ability to overcome their compulsion to chase is a good idea. Protecting your dog and your neighbors is the least you can do.
While your dog chasing the biker down the street can be funny and entertaining, it is best if you address this problem right away and do what you can to prevent this behavior. Leashes, door control, and appropriate fencing is all a good start, but the end goal is to simply get your dog to stop chasing bikes and strangers down the road. If they chase someone into traffic, you are liable for the injury the biker causes themselves. The same could be true if they simply fall.
Written by a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 02/10/2018, edited: 01/30/2020