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Caissie Canine Instruction: Why do dogs chase cars?

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful Pug/Terrier/French Bulldog mix named Marner.

My family says when I get excited, I have super high energy and am very playful, but when that’s done, I can be the laziest dog ever. LOL. I love to stay in bed almost all day and love to cuddle.

I love food and will eat anything; I am definitely food motivated. My mom says I am good and gentle with kids. Also with other animals, especially of different species and animals that are smaller than me.

That makes my mom happy because I am going to be a big brother, to our family “human” baby coming soon. I can’t wait!!!

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue

Dogs have a LOVE/HATE relationship with cars, or anything on wheels, such as mopeds, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades.

Some dogs “hate” the sounds of a vehicle, skateboard or motorcycle, therefore they will coward, out of fear. If your dog is afraid of passing cars, or “wheels” of any kind, DO NOT walk them alongside of a road. We recommend choose a quiet neighbourhood or quiet park for your daily walks.

Other dogs “love” and are attracted to the “shiny object” and love to chase. Dogs do not believe they can outrun the cars, trucks, or motorcycles; however, dogs see these vehicles as “prey” and must run and capture it.

Most dogs are territorial, or perimeter K9’s and are simply protecting their property.

Herding breeds, such as Australian Shepherds

or Border Collies are particularly driven to chase cars. In their DNA Border Collies instinct is to herd and move “objects”. If “wheels” are not available Collies have been known to herd non-traditional things like ducks, rabbits, and even small children.

The desire to chase is inherent to many dogs and is a highly self-rewarding behaviour. This behaviour can become a huge concern if accompanied by aggressiveness.

The dangers of chasing cars, trucks, or any moving vehicle is the dog may get hit and killed.

To help curb this behaviour, we recommend engaging your dog before the “impulse to chase” begins. Having your K9 on leash, close to you, and trained to “stay”, have your K9 focus on you. You can offer some fun and safe activities, such as fetch, retrieval work, or tug, especially if you are using a long line.

Reinforce this behaviour with a high value dog treat. If your K9 is toy motivated present your dog with their favourite toy. Teaching your dog to stay calm and allowing them to focus AROUND these distractions is your main goal.

Remember this behaviour is instinctual, therefore try to channel this “chase” behaviour into a fun and safe activity for the both of you.

Sports for dogs can offer fun and safe activities such as luring coursing, which allows your dog to chase a “prey” within a safe environment.

Also, Fast CAT is another sport, which is a timed 100-yard dash, where your dog chases a lure and runs towards you (their owner) on the other side of the track. Both activities are self-rewarding for your K9, and the best part is some of these facilities are even FENCED IN for added safety.

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