Most dogs are inclined to chase other animals -- some are even bred for chasing. Such "normal" behavior can be inconvenient for a dog's owner as well as dangerous for the dog and for others. While your dog might not hurt himself by chasing a domestic cat around the house, he could get seriously injured if he tries to do the same thing to a deer, skunk or other wild animal. If you have trouble controlling your dog around other animals, take steps to change the dog's behavior. Train your dog, teaching him what he should or shouldn't do. It is easier to train natural traits out of dogs when they are younger, so start conditioning yours as soon as you can.
Keep your dog on a leash at all times when you take him for walks, and keep him in a secure location in the yard where he cannot escape to chase other animals. It can take a long time to condition your dog to not chase other pets and wildlife, so it is important to prevent the behavior until he is trained. If your dog is able to free himself from a standard collar, strap a harness on him before you take him for walks.
Take your dog for walks in areas where you are likely to encounter passive wildlife. Avoid animals like deer and skunks, which could cause serious harm to your pet if he gets too close. Distract your dog by calling his name and offering a treat whenever he attempts to pursue an animal. Walk him away from the animal while you try to take his attention away from it. It is important to use particularly appealing treats for this exercise, according to the ASPCA. Chunks of meat or particularly tasty treats are ideal because they have a stronger influence over your dog than normal treats would.
Condition your dog to respond to your commands through simple obedience training. While basic obedience training may serve to get your dog to sit, beg or come on command, these simple orders often fail to dissuade a dog that has spotted prey. Train your dog to respond to a special emergency call by creating a distinct, easily repeatable sound. The signal should be an uncommon word or phrase, or a distinct sound like whistling, according to The Dog Trainer. For the first few weeks, randomly call the cue phrase or sound and give your dog an extremely appetizing treat for coming to you.
Test your dog's obedience training by walking him on a long extendable leash. The longer leash will grant the dog more freedom of decision and will be a better measure of how well-behaved he has actually become. Beckon the dog away from wildlife by engaging him in play with his favorite toy or giving him a treat as means of luring him away from the encounter.
Consult a canine behavior specialist if the problem persists after several months of regular training. Training a bad habit out of a dog, or teaching a dog to respond to verbal commands, can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Consulting a specialist may make the process quicker and easier, particularly if your dog is large and easy to lose control of during your walks.
Don't take an aggressive dog near other dogs or wildlife if you can't control him. An aggressive dog often becomes more agitated when held on a short leash in the presence of other dogs.
Keep training your dog every day. It takes a while to modify established behavior patterns, but consistent training will gradually improve the situation for most dogs.
Items You Will Need
- Collar or harness
- Retractable leash
- Chasing dogs image by satori from Fotolia.com