If you have ever had to chase your dog down the street because it saw a squirrel and took off at a dead run, pulling the leash right out of your hand, this information is for you. Even when your dog is leash trained, their instinct to chase moving objects can sometimes be overpowering. For the sake of your dog’s safety, you have to stop dog chasing before it becomes an issue.

Another reason to stop dog chasing is because when you walk your dog, which is something you need to do for many reasons, it should be a relaxing, healthy experience for both of you. But, if your dog is constantly distracted and trying to chase every bird or cat it sees, it will turn an enjoyable walk into a stressful chore.

So, rather than keeping your dog tied up all the time or worrying that he will bolt out into the street and get ran over, you may have to start over with some retraining to help reduce these negative behaviors. If their obsession with moving objects is too extreme, you may have to go back to the drawing board with leash training and basic commands to stop dog chasing.

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Fundamental Retraining Techniques

One of the key points for dog training in general is maintaining your dog’s focus. Dogs tend to be easily distracted and when you are trying to stop dog chasing, you must establish their focus on you so that they hear your commands. This is done by being a strong alpha leader for your dog.

Be sure to wait until you have their attention before you move forward with the next
command. For example, if you want to go on a walk with your dog, be sure their attention is directly focused on you before they move. If you want them to fetch and retrieve, they need to sit and wait attentively until you give them the signal to go.

Using a toy or food to hold their attention also works well. You need to use something they will get excited about, so always bring snacks or their favorite chew toy to reward and distract your dog for training sessions. When something grabs your dog’s attention, toss the food or toy in the opposite direction and your dog will go after it instead of the squirrel.

Once you can get and keep your dog’s attention, you can even recruit a friend to help add another level of difficulty to the training. Have your friend jog or ride a bike past your house for added distraction during your training time to test you and your dog’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

Spraying your dog with a water bottle when they start to bolt can also be an effective way to stop dog chasing. This along with a firm “no” teaches them that chasing something isn’t a very pleasant experience. Keep in mind, though, that some dogs will only learn to hate the water bottle and not relate it to the chasing.

Try and keep the training positive and avoid using treatment such as shock collars or yelling. This type of reinforcement can sometimes cause aggression in dogs and backfire on you. When all else fails, there are experts that can help you to keep your dog safe and stop dog chasing. In the end, allowing your dog some freedom within the boundaries you set is what you hope to achieve but can only happen with time spent on leash training and specific commands.

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