Chasing Cars

Posted by robyn
Jul 18, 2009
Hi this is the first time I have done this so hope its going to work

We have two Border puppies 11months old we do have some problems but I will start with the car chasing

Tobby is a very playful dog and is quite good at coming back when called however when a car is coming we have to make sure we have got him on lead as he has to chase it.

can you help me with my problem

thanks Robyn
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 18, 2009
Hi robyn, and thanks for your post.
Before we sort out a solution I was just wondering whether your dog will play fetch, or does any sort of herding or similar on a regular basis?
Posted by robyn
Jul 18, 2009
Hi, thanks for replying to my worry, yes Toby loves games with balls frizbies or anthing you throw he will bring it back to you. He loves a game to play.
He also loves to go along side the motor bike and that is the only thing that will over ride the chasing of cars or bad behaviour.

We also have a sister of Toby's but if Toby needs to chase she will also but will come back and isn't so obsessed with it.

they are gorgeous dogs but at the moment very distructive and naughty at times. Having two is hard to train as they copy each other.

Toby is the dominent one and is very bossy to bonnie but they aslo play alot together really well. I sound like I really need to read all the information I can get, right?
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 21, 2009
Hi again robyn,
Your dogs are a high energy breed and also approaching their teenage months so it is normal to be having a few little issues. There are several things you can do to make this period easier for you and your dogs.

Spayed/Neutered or not
De-sexing animals often leads to a dramatic decrease in behavioral problems. It also greatly reduces the chances of a dog developing mammary, prostate or testicular cancer. If your dogs have not been de-sexed, consult with your Veterinarian to discuss the pros and cons of the matter. Most dogs go through adolescence between 8-18 months of age and behavior changes are typical of this period. De-sexing should help resolve these issues by reducing hormone levels.

Be the Alpha dog
Keeping up alpha training is very important during the teenage months. It helps prevent aggression and dominance issues later and increases the likelihood of your dogs listening to your commands. If you need to brush up on alpha training have another flick through your Secrets to Dog Training manual or our bonus book “Secrets to Becoming The Alpha Dog". Remember the key point is that if you act like the pack leader your dogs will see you as pack leader.

Remember that in a wild dog pack the dominant pack member controls :
-access to food
-access to favoured sleeping areas
-any interactions with lower pack members
-access to favoured items such as toys

In order to show your dog his position as bottom of the pack you and your whole family can take advantage of these keys points. For example

1) Your dogs must be the last to eat at every meal and should never get treats from the table, these can be saved for training treats later.

2) Your dogs should never walk through doors before you. A good way to practice this is to walk around the house and make them sit at each doorway and wait.

3) If your dog is lying in the hallway or anywhere you have to get past make them move.

4) When you arrive home completely ignore the dogs for 15 minutes. Don't look at them, talk to them or pat them. After this go to them and give them some quiet attention only as long as they are relaxed and calm.

5) Only interact with the dogs on your terms. If your or someone else is petting the dog or playing with it and it becomes badly behaved immediately remove your attention from the dog by either removing yourself from the area or moving the dog to another area. You should do this without displaying any emotion such as anger just be a calm but decisive pack leader and the dog will appreciate knowing where it stands.

6) You can also assert your dominance by not allowing access to beds and couches or by only bringing out favourite toys when you want to play and removing them when you are finished.

Keep your dog challenged
Keeping your dog mentally and physically challenged will greatly reduce behavior problems in dogs of all ages but especially in the high energy teens months. Border collies are highly active and highly intelligent so keeping them challenged will take a lot of work. There are a number of ways to keep your dog challenged.

Regular daily obedience training is a good routine - just five minutes a day spent rehashing familiar commands with each of your dogs is an extremely effective way of reinforcing your authority and dominance while also keeping your dog mentally challenged. Be sure to use praise and/or treat immediately whenever your dog does something right.

Regular exercise is also very effective at improving your dog’s behavior and it can be both mentally and physically challenging. Quite walks, while not particularly physically challenging keep your dog mentally stimulated especially if you vary the walking environment to include new and interesting places. Free running your dog at the park or by the motorbike or jogging with them on lead can provide a great energy burning opportunity.

Toys are also an important source of mental stimulation for dogs and are very useful for keeping dogs entertained when owners are out. Try to build up a collection and rotate them so your dog does not get bored. Toys which can be stuffed with food and require the dog to work the food out slowly are especially valuable.

Finally working dogs such as yours have high prey drives and will feel the urge to chase anything and everything. You can reduce unwanted chasing such as car chasing by giving your dogs plenty of outlets for this behavior in safer activities. Try buying a ball thrower from your local pet shop or discount store. This is basically a plastic cup/claw on a stick that lets you scoop up a ball without touching it and lets you throw it much further and much faster than you could throwing with your arm alone. Take your dogs into a wide open space and just keep throwing the ball and letting them chase it at full speed. Because it is such a high speed, high energy exercise they will wear out faster as well as get that chasing out of their systems.

Correcting general disobedience
For general disobedience, use the “Alarm-No!-Command” method (p55 in your ‘Secrets to Dog Training’ guidebook).

Three steps to take immediately when your dog disobeys:
-Alarm your dog with a squirt from a water pistol or by shaking a pebble filled can
-At the same time say a loud “No!” or “Bad” or utter a sharp growling sound like “Aaahhh.” Be stern and sincere every time so that the dog associates the harsh word with stopping the behavior
-Redirect your dog with a command. ‘Sit and stay’ is a very good choice. Praise your dog as soon as it responds correctly.

Some dogs however can be difficult to alarm. In this case the time-out method is best. Set up a time out spot such as a crate, kennel or quiet room. As soon as the dog disobeys calmly and silently remove it to the time-out spot for a 3-minute time out. To make the situation positive again when the 3 minutes is up let your dog come back out and ask it to sit, when it responds correctly praise. Teenage dogs in particular are constantly seeking your attention and therefore removing your attention by isolating them with time out can be a simple and effective training tool.

Correcting car chasing
Along with the above tips you can desensitize your dogs to cars using the following procedure. Have one dog on a lead near a car and the other safely inside or tied up out of sight. Fill your pockets with favorite treats or take a favorite toy. Ask you dog to do a simple command and praise and treat when it responds correctly. Repeat this a few times then et someone to turn the car on. If the dog starts to bark, pull or otherwise become distracted by the car ignore it completely. When it becomes calm again praise and treat immediately. Once you have its full attention again run through a few commands. The next step is to have the car move very slowly for a short distance. As before ignore any over excited behavior and treat and praise as soon as your dog is calm. When you have its full attention run through some commands with lots of treat and praise.

Continue to get the car to move faster and further as your dog becomes more used to ignoring it. The aim is to eventually make listening to you much more interesting and fun than thinking about the moving vehicle. It will take regular short sessions over several days to weeks to get your dogs fully desensitized to car movement. Each session work with each dog individually and if at any stage they become too worked up and excited and will not focus on you again go back a stage and work from there again. When both dogs are reliable individually work with them together on long leads.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. All the best for your training.
Posted by robyn
Jul 22, 2009
Dear KOPsarah

Thank you for your sugestions I shall try to get onto this as soon as I can as it sounds to be the way to go.

I will get back to you as we go.

thanks again