Charging and Chasing

Posted by Kevin14
Feb 5, 2011
Our 4 yr old chocolate lab has a habit of charging at people and/or dogs. Are there methods that we can use and train him with to stop this behaviour (other than having him on leash all the time). He is very high energy and loves to run, chase, etc. The chasing behaviour is also a problem from time to time when he is off leash (eg. bike goes by very fast, etc.).

Thanks for you help.

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Feb 6, 2011
Hi Kevin14,

I would keep your lab on leash if you cannot trust him behaving well when off-leash. How much obedience training has he had? Does he respond to your commands such as "Sit" and "Stay"?

If he does respond to your commands fairly well, I would have him "Sit" and "Stay" when you see people/dogs or bikers coming this way (of course on a leash). If you have to you would need to hold the leash very short, or even his collar to make sure he doesn't chase or lunge at people. Make sure he listens to you and ignore those distractions. It might take a long time for him to get to that stage so you will need to be patient and consistent. You might want to take treats with you when walking him so that you can treat him as he sits and stays.

Since he has a high energy, give him opportunities to burn the energy by fetching a ball, or running with other dogs in an off-leash park. Walking him after that will help training to "Sit" and "Stay" and "Leave it" when he encounters people/dogs he would usually get very excited with.

Sorry but I don't think there is any shortcut rather than training him to pay attention to what you ask him to do.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 7, 2011
Hey Kevin,

I've got agree fully with MHN, the best way to train against rushing other dogs is to keep him on a lead and train him up that way first. Distracting him as people/dogs approach is the best way for him to learn that its really not that exciting as people go by, and that he should pay attention to something else, especially when asked. I use the command "enough" with my own dog when I see him getting worked up over an approaching person/dog, and he knows that means to calm it down and not make such a fuss.

Training your dog to heel is an excellent way to keep control as well, because they train to be in a certain spot beside you for the whole walk, and get in trouble when they get out of that spot I would definitely recommend training him to heel.

You can also look into obedience classes - its a great way for him to work off energy, socialize with other dogs and people, and learn to listen to you above all that! People I know swear by them for getting bad walking behaviour sorted out with their dogs.

Good luck, just be patient, repetitious, and consistent, and he should start to show improvement soon!