Chasing is most often associated with objects such as cars, bikes, cats and people. Dog owners have all felt the fear of their precious pooch darting into traffic after the neighbor’s cat, or even running after a car chewing at the tires!
Chasing is natural to some dogs, the terrier, for example, was bred to catch rodents and as a result will chase pretty much anything that moves.
When a dog chases what it thinks to be its ‘prey’ it doesn’t notice objects like traffic, it doesn’t think about safety, it just wants that darn bird, or cat, or rabbit, whatever he is chasing at that moment becomes what he lives for, and what he was bred to do.
Chasing is a problem behavior that is quite simple to fix but it takes time and patience to accomplish. As an outlet for his natural prey drive, dogs such as the terrier need plenty of rigorous exercise and games on a daily basis. Games like fly ball and fetch work wonders to give your dog a chance to carry out his natural behavior while providing a safe place to do so.
Chasing can also be associated with the dogs’ territorial aggression. When your dog chases the postman or the gas man to try to keep him away from your house, or when the dog ‘fence fights’ with a neighbors or a passing dog, your dog is showing signs of territorial aggression.
Most times the only way to fix the problem is to keep the dog away from the perceived ‘threat’ or create a barrier so the dog can’t see what he is known to chase. Blocking the view of the neighbor’s dog so your dog can’t see him only stops the problem in about fifty percent of situations.
Most dogs just keep barking, snapping and running at the fence because they can hear the dog in the next yard! In this case put up a second fence a few feet away from the first one or tie your dog on the other side of the yard so he can’t make contact with the neighbors’ dog.
The last reason for chasing behavior is a very easy fix. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise during the day get bored and will chase anything that moves just for something to do. If this is the case, set aside fifteen minutes in the morning before work and an hour in the evening to walk your dog.
The morning walk should more accurately be either a run or a chance for off leash exercise so the dog is tired before you leave, especially if you leave him outdoors where he can perform his chase behavior at will while you are gone.
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