Chasing Anything That Moves! - Dog Training Tips

It is a very natural thing for a dog to chase anything that moves. This strong instinct is probably what made the dog's ancestors first realise that they could catch their own food. In other words, this instinct is clearly driven by the need to survive.

Although chasing is instinctive, a dog can be trained not to chase. It is better to correct this problem at an early age, preferably in the first twelve months of its life, when the dog has not yet established strong behavioural patterns. For us, training a puppy not to chase begins the first week we bring it home. We introduce it to our other dogs and pets and teach the newcomer to respect them. We then take the pup with us when we go out and attach a long lightweight lead to correct any early chasing. We simply tug on the lead and growl BAH any time the pup shows too much interest in any other animals, vehicles, or bicycles. We also find a deserted field or street and have a friend drive a car and then ride a bicycle up and down past the pup. Again, we correct any undesirable behaviour each time the dog runs at the vehicle or bicycle. It may take three or four weeks of long-lead training before you can trust the dog not to chase off the lead.

Solving the problem is slightly more difficult with the older dog that has probably enjoyed the chase for some time. In these cases, owners will need a firm approach. First, condition your dog to respond to the BAH correction; then attach a very long, lightweight lead with the dog realising it's on lead and set the scene. Take the dog to a place where it is likely to find something to chase. Stay well hidden, armed with your selected corrective training aid. When the dog begins the chase, jump out from your hiding place and drop the water bomb or training pillow in its path while growling BAH.
When the dog responds and stops the chase, praise it lavishly. You will probably have to set this scene several times with other things the dog likes to chase eventually it will learn to stop simply by hearing the BAH word.

CASE STUDY

Dougal, a five year-old border collie, had been a chronic chaser since childhood. When we met him, he was frantically running after the chickens in a coop. When his owner managed to stop him, he went after a cat instead, and then a car.

To treat Dougal, we first conditioned and programmed him to the BAH word; then we handed the owner a couple of training pillows and instructed him to stay well hidden until the dog was almost at the coop. Meanwhile we attached a long, lightweight lead to Dougal.

Dougal ran happily towards the coop. We gave him lots of rope because we did not want him to know he was on lead. Just as he ran at the chickens, his owner popped out from behind a tree and dropped the pillow in his path, loudly growling the BAH word. It landed on the ground just in front of Dougal. He stopped in his tracks and ran to his owner for a well deserved pat. After praising the dog, the owner tried to walk the dog back towards the chickens again, but Dougal flatly refused. The owner repeated the same process when Dougal tried to chase other things including vehicles.

It took a couple of follow-ups by us and continued training by owner.
After that, Dougal never chased another thing.

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