Finding that your pup is obsessed with vehicles wondering how to stop dog chasing cars!
How To Stop Dog Chasing Cars The Simple Way
If your dog is fixated on chasing cars there are a couple of simple things you can do to teach your pup to stop chasing cars here’s some of the first things you should do.
Your Dogs Reactivity Threshold
When teaching how to stop dog chasing cars we first have to understand if your dog is trying to chase stationary cars or moving cars and gauge your dog’s reactivity threshold for each!
What is a “reactivity threshold?”
A reactivity threshold refers to how close or far your dog can get from what it’s reacting to before your dog feels the urge to react.
In this case its the car!
How close can you get to a stationary car before your pup tries to react or chase, the same goes for moving cars, how close can your dog get to a moving car before feeling the urge to chase?
When you fully have a grasp and understand the distance that your pup feels the urge to chase you have completed the first step which is evaluating your dog’s reactivity threshold.
Decreasing The Reactivity Threshold
Now that you have a full understanding of your dog’s reactivity threshold here’s what to do!
Begin rewarding your dog’s attention! Yes, you want to reward your pup for simply paying attention to you.
Once your at a far enough distance from what your dog is feeling the urge to chase reward your pup for paying attention to you!
When you begin noticing that your dog is having no issues paying attention to you at the given distance from the cars begin to gradually decrease the distance.
You want to gradually decrease the distance between the cars and your dog the more your dog doesn’t react to the cars.
What To Keep In Mind
Don’t allow your pup to rehearse the behavior of chasing cars:
The more your dog practices a behavior the more it comes a habit, we want to create good habits, not bad ones.
Use the leash to block chasing:
Be sure to use the leash to your advantage, you want to use the leash to interrupt any of the following behaviors; Your dog getting fixated on a car (hard staring), your dog lunging, barking,
Essentially every time you notice that your pup is getting a little to worked up when there is a car you want to use the leash to interrupt your dog from getting in that state of mind by firmly popping on the leash.
The moment that you firmly pop on the leash and your dog snaps away from the car, reward your pup and make it a big deal!
Essentially what we are doing is helping our dogs get out of that state of mind and then further reward our dogs when they pay attention to us!
Using Cars To Your Advantage
An easy way to help your dog overcome his desire to chase cars is to use cars to your advantage.
meaning if you have access to a car use it to teach your pup not to chase cars.
This might look something like
having a stationary car, opening the doors, having someone turn on the car, have someone slowly move the car and so on.
The most important aspect of this is that you reward your pup in the instances that your dog doesn’t react.
Things To Avoid
Here’s some easy things to avoid when initially teaching how to stop dog chasing cars.
Avoid having your dog on a harness:
Harnesses increase motivation in the dog from what is being restrained form especially if your dog is trying to chase something.
The harness also makes it a bit more difficult in teaching how to stop dog chasing cars.
Don’t let your dog get fixated:
when your dog gets fixated you’re allowing your pup to get into an unhealthy state of mind.
You can let your dog look but you don’t want your dog’s ears perked, stiff body, and panting to where you cant get your dog’s attention off of what your pup os focused on.
Avoid letting your dog pull on a leash:
The more your dog leads you on a walk the more your dog will decide what to do on the walk, you control and guide the walk. for more information on Why your dog is pulling on leash read our article!
What To Do
Reward your pup for giving you his attention:
Rewarding your pup for paying attention to you ensure that your dog learns to focus on you while ignoring distractions
Interrupt reactive behaviors before they occur:
If you understand that your dog is going to try to lunge bark or chase be preemptive and interrupt your dog the moment that you notice your dog is going to react.
Paired with interrupting your dog be sure to redirect your dog’s attention to you and reward.
When you successfully interrupt your dog be sure to show your dog then what it is you want and reward your dog’s success!
Dogs chasing cars is dangerous and should be fixed as soon as possible, following the steps outlined in this article will ensure that your pup stops chasing cars and remains safe and out of harm’s way!
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