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How To Stop Your Dog From Chasing Things

Pet Care Tips 4 min read
How to stop your dog from chasing

Why Do Dogs Chase?

If you’re reading this blog, your dog may be exhibiting behavior that you are finding difficult to control, such as chasing cars, other animals, or even people. You are not alone. Many dogs don’t have a high drive to hunt or chase and are content just playing fetch, or cuddling on the couch, however, there are certain breeds or even personalities that may exhibit a desire to hunt or chase that can become cumbersome to a pet parent.

The prey drive can be observed through various behaviors and can vary depending on the breed.

Although all dogs are different, their natural instinct is to chase/hunt. As descendants of wolves, catching prey was necessary for survival, so the drive (prey chase drive, or predatory chase drive) to chase, hunt, and retrieve is still prevalent in dogs. The prey drive can be observed through various behaviors and can vary depending on the breed. Herding breeds, such as the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd, are more likely to have the instinct to chase, while you’ll find Terriers are more likely to have the instinct to hunt small game like squirrels and rodents.


Why Should You Train Them To Stop Chasing?

Chasing balls and fetching frisbees is a fun activity for you and your pet, but depending on the situation and the dog, their instinct to chase can lead to precarious situations. Whether in your backyard, at a friend’s house that owns a cat or child, the instinct to chase can go from fun to scary in a matter of seconds. For example, if they see another animal such as a porcupine, or snake and chase or corner it, they can get themselves seriously injured. Same for other fast-moving objects like cars or even worse, people. By not training dogs that have shown to have the potential to be dangerous and non-responsive to your commands, you run the risk of them potentially biting someone and having them legally declared potentially dangerous or even having them euthanized.


How To Stop Your Dog From Chasing Things

Training anything to go against an instinct or reflex can be daunting, but it is attainable.

Master The Basics

The first step to teaching your dog to stop chasing things is to master the basic commands, such as sit, and stay. Once these commands are mastered, you’ll be more likely to succeed in getting them to stop if they begin to chase an object.


Secure The House

The second step is ensuring that they are safe and secure at home when you are not able to monitor them. Making sure there is no chance for escape, by crating them, fencing your backyard, and making sure all doors are locked, are some tricks to keeping them contained.

Behavioral Training

Once these basic but necessary steps are taken, you can start with the three D’s of dog training – Distance, Duration, and Distraction. When training them on a new command, you can keep these three steps in mind. For example, when teaching them to stay, you will start by commanding them in close proximity to them, make them hold it for a few seconds, and with little to no distractions. Once they’ve perfected this, you can do it from a further distance, for a longer period, and with a few distractions. Gradually introduce more distance, length, and distractions until you’re comfortable letting them off-leash in safe spaces.

Staged Exposure Training

When you think your pup is ready for this stage, you can test them by exposing them to staged situations. Keeping them on a leash, you can have a friend drive or jog by you slowly and see how they react. Remember to always have treats on hand to reward them for their good behavior.


Along with this training, it’s important to give your dog regular exercise, playtime with other dogs, and an environment where they can have a healthy development. Dogs who spend energy and live in a stress-free environment tend to learn commands more easily.

Supplement Support

Our Lesstress supplement is a great option to help support behavioral training. Some of the benefits of Lesstress are:

  • Helps reduce hyperactivity
  • Helps calm agitated dogs
  • Helps reduce anxiety caused by separation
  • Can help reduce destructive behavior
  • Supports a healthy immune system

If All Else Fails

If you’ve tried everything and they continue to ignore your commands, there are precautions you can take to protect you and your pet.

  • Always walk your dog on a leash or make sure they’re in a fenced-in area
  • If you’re walking them in an off-leash area, make sure there are no other dogs, small animals, or children
  • Don’t allow your dog to be around small animals or children
  • Keep their rabies vaccinations up-to-date

If you’ve done everything you can do and your dog is still chasing things and you are worried about the safety of you, your pet, and potentially others, it may be time to go see a behavioral specialist. It’s important to keep in mind that these are reflexes and instincts, and they are not trying to disobey you. With a lot of love, training, and positive reinforcement, chances are you and your furkiddo will succeed.

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NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: October 4, 2020

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