My Dog Chases Cars: Why and What Do I Do to Keep Him Safe?

Is Your Dog a Chronic Car Chaser?

Do you have a dog that barks at cars when they pass by? Does he lie in wait near the road just to chase cars? If your dog chases cars or is overly enthusiastic when he sees vehicles pass by, he’s taking part in some very dangerous behavior that needs to be stopped. We know; we just stated the obvious. What do you do?

The dangers of your dog chasing cars can’t be overstated. In addition to your dog possibly getting hit or run over, his car chasing could cause an accident that results in injury or death to drivers or pedestrians. Here are some tips on how you can stop your dog from chasing cars.

Why Do Dogs Chase Cars?

We get it; dogs like to run after pretty much anything that moves. A squirrel up a tree — your dog’s on it; a kid riding a bike around the neighborhood — your dog will chase him home. That’s what he does. While you might find this behavior cute or funny, it is a behavior that can have serious consequences. Understanding why he loves the chase can help you curb his desire to run down the road.

Car chasing in your dog’s genes

It’s innate for a dog to protect his property and family (that’s you). His instinctive motivation is to pursue other animals, humans, or, in this case, cars, because he considers them a threat. This need to make a mad dash after something or someone is referred to as the prey drive. Although this behavior is often beneficial in canine training for positions with the military or police, it’s not as useful around your typical neighborhood.

Lack of impulse control

If your dog chases cars down the street, he may lack impulse control. Your dog can’t resist the urge to act. Thankfully, dogs aren’t prone to the many types of impulse control issues humans have. However, your dog’s lack of impulse control can create havoc in your household and neighborhood and affect your dog’s well-being. Some behavior that indicates your dog has trouble with impulse control include jumping on people and tugging on his leash.

What Dog Breeds Are Most Likely to Chase Cars?

Although any dog can develop a fondness for chasing a vehicle down the road, some dog breeds are more likely to chase cars. Any working, hunting or herding breed like whippets, border collies, and greyhounds tend to have a higher need to chase than other breeds.

How to Stop Your Dog From Chasing Cars

You won’t be able to stop your dog’s car chasing behavior overnight; however, with time, patience, and a few tips, you can prevent her from running out into the street in the pursuit of cars.

Exercise, exercise, exercise

Ever heard the saying, “A tired dog is a good dog”? So, true! Ensuring your pet gets plenty of daily exercise can reduce her desire to chase down the next vehicle that drives by. Not only can workout be an effective solution to this behavior, but it can also eliminate other impulse behaviors. The best types of exercise include anything that requires your dog to run her tail off, like Frisbee or fetch.

Safely contain your dog

Contain your dog to protect your dog. Eliminating the opportunity for your dog to run after cars in the first place is a must. Any outside play area for your dog should be properly fenced and gated. If you have an existing fence and gate, make sure the fencing is tall enough to prevent jumps and look for weak spots, where she can jump over or sneak out and terrorize drivers. If you don’t have the option to fence your entire yard, consider building a dog run. This smaller fenced area is an excellent way for your dog to stay safe and still run.

Once your dog is safe within your yard and can no longer chase cars, use a training device like the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool to help stop your dog from barking at cars driving by.

Provide plenty of mental stimulation

Dogs are curious by nature, and their attention span can be quite short. That shouldn’t stop you from providing your pet with enough mental stimulation. Challenging activities that encourage your dog to use his mind, like puzzle toys or scent work, may keep his mind occupied to where he can’t be bothered with chasing cars.

Positive reinforcement training

Before you can train your dog to stop chasing cars, you need to start with the basic commands like sit, stay, and come. It would be best to teach him to control other impulse behaviors like jumping on people or pulling on his leash. These lessons will require patience and consistency on your part, along with lots of praise and rewards. Incorporating a training device like the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool can make eliminating unwanted behavior easier. With a train-treat-repeat methodology and a positive outlook, you can train your dog to stop chasing cars.

For More Advice on Dog Training

Learn more about the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool, which is designed to help you stop unwanted behaviors from your dog using a humane, safe and effective training device.

Explore our dog blog and learn more about training, grooming and other pet-related topics, and browse our shop, which contains innovative pet products hand-selected by our team.

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