Tired of your dog bolting after anything that moves? It’s important to stop dog chasing for a number of reasons, starting with the very real danger to the dog. A moving car, a squirrel, or a cat can all lead a dog to situations that can be very dangerous to their health. Not only that but if you don’t stop your dog from chasing things, it can be very hard to have a nice, calm walk. So, rather than simply keeping them tied up all the time, you should learn to stop dog chasing before it becomes a major issue.
The Basic Retraining Methods
If your dog has severe chasing issues, the first thing you should do is some basic retraining. In many cases, if the fixation is not too extreme, the retraining will help to reduce the negative behaviors. The leash should be your best friend in these instances, providing a controlled, easy method to keep your dog safe while you train them.
Focusing on You – To start with, make sure your dog learns to keep its attention focused on you. This is a big one that many people avoid. You’ll need to have established a strong alpha leadership control of the dog to stop dog chasing in this method. Then, when you are walking, make sure your dog is always looking at you before you start moving. Don’t allow the dog to walk unless its attention is directly focused on you.
Leash Training – If your dog likes to pull on the leash and will not focus on you, it may take a bit more time to teach them the right path. To start with, make them sit and wait for you whenever you start moving. If they pull at all, stop and make them sit beside you. Soon, they will associate the sensation of pulling against the leash with stopping.
Distraction – To stop dog chasing off a leash, you can use a toy to distract the dog. Many times, if your dog is about to get fixated and go after something, you can shift their attention to a toy or other object that they are equally excited about. Throw it out and they will chase after it instead.
Aversion – You can also have a friend help you out. Have them ride a bicycle or jog by –whatever stimulates the dog’s desire to chase. To stop dog chasing here, have the friend stop, firmly say “no” and spray them with a water bottle. For many dogs, this will teach them that catching the thing they are chasing is NOT a good thing. A note – this does not work for all dogs. Some will just grow angry at the water bottle.
Avoiding Extreme Measures
Many people will turn to extreme measures to stop dog chasing – using electric fences, shock collars, or other measures to keep a dog in line. These are not good for a number of reasons. They’re inhumane to start with, and they’re not always effective. If your dog truly will not stop their chasing behavior, consider bringing in an expert to help out.
Remember, if your dog chases animals, cars, or other people, it may just be annoying now, but if they get off their leash, it can be incredibly dangerous for them. Fix the behavior now and you’ll protect them when it happens.