You love your dog nearly as much as you love your children, and possibly more than you love your partner. So when you see him constantly try to chase cars when you go out for walks, you can’t help but fear the worst. You’ve had more than one or two moments when your heart has dropped into your stomach as he has leaped into the road and charged after a truck.
It isn’t just the fear of losing him that worries you, it’s the thought that he may cause a serious accident and other people may be seriously injured too. For your peace of mind and for his health, you need to get this bad habit under control, not to mention it doesn’t set the best example of road traffic safety to your kids.
Thankfully, training your dog not to chase after cars is relatively straightforward. You will need to rigorously use obedience commands to increase your control over him. You will also need to take a number of steps to deter him from traffic sports.
The younger your dog is the more receptive will be quicker to respond to training. Older dogs can also successfully be trained to stop running after cars, but it may take several weeks before they finally kick the habit.
While some tricks and commands are trained into dogs for fun, like fetching the newspaper, this sort of training is essential to save the life of both your dog and other road users. You don’t want to lose your canine friend and be held responsible for a life-changing traffic collision too.
Before you begin training you will need to get together several things. First, your dog's favorite food or some doggie treats will be essential to incentivize and reward him during training. A secure leash and potentially a body harness will also be needed if you have a big, strong dog. Some quiet space, free from distractions and away from seriously busy roads, will also be needed.
Once you have these bits together, just come with a positive frame of mind and you’re ready to get to work!
Hello, my dog tends to run after cars and I've tried to get her to stop. I need help on how to get her to stop doing it. Please help!!!
Hello Ashley, I highly suggest hiring a local professional trainer who is extremely experienced with using electric collars, and also uses positive reinforcement. Car chasing is a very serious, often prey driven, behavior. You need to teach a strict avoidance. You can teach this the way that you would stop livestock chasing. Always practice such training on a normal or long leash, never off-leash, so that your dog cannot get to a car at any point, even if you think she is doing well. You want a trainer to help you find the proper collar stimulation level to train her on, and work on teaching her a command that means get away from that, like "Out" or "Leave It". When she starts toward a car or fixates on it, give her the command and if she turns away from the car, then praise and reward her. If she does not leave it alone, then correct with the e-collar remote on the proper level, and then when she is "snapped" out of her fixation and obeys your command, reward her. Start doing this on a six or eight foot leash for control and make sure that she cannot slip out of the harness or collar that you are using for her. You may want to clip her into both for added safety. As she improves on the six-foot leash and can obey you while you are right beside her or the car is further away, then purchase a twenty-foot leash and work on her obedience while you are further away from her but she is still securely leashed. If she is pretty strong, then attach the end of the leash to something secure and not yourself, like a column on your porch, as a backup for safety. Eventually, you can even attach her to something very secure in a safe area, like your neighborhood and front yard, and hide somewhere close-by where you can still see her but she cannot see you. When a car drives by, if she attempts to chase it because you are not there to stop her, then correct her with the electric collar remote. Doing that will help her to associate the correction with the car and not just you, so that she is not as likely to try to do the behavior when you are not present or prepared for it. Do not simply go out and buy an e-collar for this. Cheap, poorly made ones can be dangerous and there is a very specific, safer way to use them. Get the help of a qualified trainer. High quality brands include: Garmin, E-collar Technologies, Dogtra, and SportDog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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