Dogs have a strong prey drive that causes many of them to chase cars. To some dogs, a car is a prey animal that is running away and the chase drive that ensues is simply too strong to resist. Although this habit is dangerous and frightening, the good news is that it can often be stopped with proper training. If your dog chases cars, follow these five tips to break the habit and keep your dog safe:
Keep Your Dog Contained
This tip seems obvious, but it is often all that is needed in order to prevent your dog from chasing cars. If you live on a busy street, ensure that your dog is kept behind a high, strong fence when outside or that the dog is leashed when not in the yard.
Work on “No” or “Leave it”
If your dog chases cars, one of the most important things you can do is ensure that the dog knows the commands “no” and “leave it.” These commands can act as powerful recall methods that have the potential to stop a dog that is in the act of chasing a car. If you need help teaching your dog these commands, enlist the assistance of a trainer or local obedience group.
Ensure That the Dog is Getting Plenty of Exercise
In rare cases, dogs begin chasing cars simply because they are bored and aching for stimulation. In addition to employing the tactics mentioned above, ensure that your dog is getting adequate exercise and is involved in a variety of fun physical activities. Take your dog on long walks and enroll the animal in a doggie playgroup if walks are not enough. Ensuring your dog is adequately active will go a long way toward eliminating unwanted behavior.
Even if a dog has not always chased cars, there is a chance the dog will begin if she is left alone in a yard for a long period of time. One of the best ways to prevent chasing cars out of boredom is to ensure that your dog is adequately supervised. Do not leave a dog in a yard for more than twenty minutes alone and be sure to provide plenty of fun toys to play with at home.
Don’t Encourage Your Dog to Run Alongside Your Car
Many pet parents enjoy watching their dog run up to them when they pull into the drive. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless behavior can actually encourage dogs to chase cars in the future. Instead of reinforcing this with pets and smiles, give your dog a firm “no” and make it clear that she should not be around the car. This will discourage the dog from developing car-chasing behavior in the future.
Many dogs chase cars at some point in their lives. Fortunately, most car-chasing behaviors are borne from boredom, lack of training or inadequate exercise. By ensuring that your dog is entertained, responsive and adequately active, you can help safeguard her from developing car-chasing behavior. If you have tried everything and your dog still chases cars, consider enlisting the help of a professional trainer. You can find many on lovepets.com using the search box at the top of the page.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian