Dog Chasing: An Obsessive Canine Behavior

Dog chasing is an instinctual behavior but may develop into an obsessive behavior. This behavior may be dangerous, as your dog may get lost, injured or injure others. The chasing behavior may be controlled, so that your dog is safe and knows he has to listen to you and not his instincts.

Dog Chasing

Dogs like to chase different animals, cars or other moving objects. Dogs randomly start chasing as they are curious; in time the chasing becomes habitual and can turn into an obsession. Your dog will take off to chase diverse things and you will no longer have control over him. Even if your dog is indoors and sees something outside, he is likely to get out by any means possible, as he can have a lot of force when he is on a chasing mission.

To avoid dangerous roads and animals, you need to correct your pet’s behavior.

Correcting Dog Chasing Behavior

If the dog chasing behavior becomes obsessive and you simply cannot hold your dog still when he sees a moving object or creature, you need to impose yourself as the boss. You need to let your dog know that he cannot take off whenever he wants to, he must receive you approval.

Start with a few games. Put your dog on his leash and give him a few simple commands such as Sit or Stand up and make sure he respects your commands. Use the leash if you have difficulties in getting the right reaction from your dog; pull the leash when he needs to stand up.

Gradually introduce some stimulants (i.e. moving objects that you can control such as a car toy). Your dog will instinctually want to chase the object. Hold his leash and say a sharp No or Sit. If your dog stays put, you need to reward him with some reassuring words or a treat.

In case the dog starts running dragging you along, repeat the preparatory steps and then try to introduce the moving object. Repeat this game until your dog is relaxed and less interested in the moving object.

Never punish your dog by beating him.

When your dog is comfortable with the moving object, you may try the same game using another dog. You must teach your dog that instead of running after the dog, he needs to ask for your permission for any type of interaction with the other dog.

Signs Your Dog Is about to Chase

Even if you cannot always hold your dog on leash, you can detect when he is about to chase something.

The dog’s body language is essential:

  • He starts by sniffing the air
  • He moves his head towards his target
  • His ears move forward
  • He starts barking

Every time you notice these reactions you need to calm your dog and use the same verbal command as in your games (No, Stop or Sit). After a while, your dog will learn that he should not chase before asking your permission.