If your dog loves to chase moving objects, as most dogs do, then you have probably realized that this behavior is not only annoying, but can also be dangerous for your pet and, perhaps, for the person or animal he is chasing. To stop dog chasing will take some effort.
Chasing is instinctual in dogs. Some breeds have this instinct more strongly than others, but most dogs will chase given the right circumstances. They may chase cars, bicycles, joggers, children playing, cats, really anything that moves is subject to being chased.
Yelling at the dog is not going to do much to curb this behavior, especially once the dog is in full blown chase mode. Some dogs give an indication that they are about to chase, such as staring at the item or person of interest.
To stop dog chasing, if you can catch on to those cues, you MAY be able to stop the chase before it starts, but not all dogs give such cues and it’s hard to keep that close of an eye on your pet constantly.
The key is not so much to teach your dog not to chase as it is to teach your dog to obey your commands, even over their instinctual desires. Here are some tips to help you train your dog to listen to your voice more than they listen to chase instinct.
Know Thy Pet
First of all, it must be said that if your dog is prone to chasing, you must keep him from being in a position where he could do harm to himself, other animals or people. Just because a dog chases something does not mean he would necessarily bite it, but if your dog is chasing joggers down the street, there is the possibility of a very bad outcome.
Until your pet is trained to obey your command, do not let him run around your unfenced yard off of his leash. Doing so, knowing there is a chance he will run out of the yard, is irresponsible and dangerous.
Withhold Toys or Treats
To stop dog chasing, begin to train your dog to obey your commands over his desire to go after what he wants; gather a few of his favorite toys and treats, walk about 10-15 feet away from your dog and place the toy or treat on the ground. His reaction, of course, will be to run to the treat.
When he does this give a firm command such as “NO” or “DOWN”. It may take a while to perfect this, but with some patience you will find that he will not touch the treat – no matter how badly wants it – until you give the OK.
Once that is mastered, you can enlist the help of a family member. Have your helper jog by your house (if the dog chases runners) or drive by (if your pet chases cars). When the dog starts to chase the person or the car, issue the same command that you used when withholding the toy or the treat.
Again, this training is not going to be effective overnight, but with persistence and consistency on your part, your dog will learn that you are in control.
Remember, punishment is not going to be an effective way to teach your dog not to chase people, animals or objects. The goal is to train him to recognize that you are the master and that your commands are to be obeyed first and foremost. And if you do that, you will have learned how to stop dog chasing.