Chasing a dog down

Posted by devery
Jun 1, 2011
I have a 2 year old aussie neutered male. When we are at the park and he sees another dog running he starts to chase and continues while barking at the dog and it appears as though he is trying to take the dog down. Most dogs will stop running but others are intimidated and show fear. How do I stop this behavior from escalating.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jun 1, 2011
Hi devery,

I think your Aussie is herding other dogs. Being a herding dog it is an instinct. What you might want to do is to divert him by throw a ball if he likes fetch. One of my dogs loves to herd other dogs fetching a ball while he is having his own ball in his mouth. This way, he cannot bark at least

Whenever, you see him just about to start to chase a dog, call your dog to you and reward him. It should be a really good treat since we have to compete with his instinct

Does he like to chase other things going fast, such as squirrels, cars, skateboards, bicycles, etc.? Herding dogs love to go after something moving fast. Even though it looks like he is taking the dog down, I don't think he would if he is generally good with other animals. I would practice recall with him. Good luck
Posted by devery
Jun 2, 2011
Thanks. I do have difficulty distracting him and he does not have a solid recall. My tactic now is to leash him until the dog has disappeared or I can get him to chase his ball. Nice to know that he isn't being mean.He does have buddies who understand his chase and bark and ignore him when he is too much. Also, the ball in mouth does help to muffle his bark but he looks pretty silly.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jun 3, 2011
Hey Devery,

I agree, it sounds more like play/herding than aggression, so I wouldnt be too concerned. Your best bet is to work on recall with him, use the "come" command in all sorts of situations and always reward a return! If hes herding he should really enjoy training with you, so it will be entertaining for him too. You could also try teaching him to heel, which worked really well for my over-excitable dog Both of these commands are super useful at dog parks!
If he keeps not responding, try giving him commands he does know, and knows well, like sit or down and keep him there until the other dog approaches him or goes away. I have to do this with my dog sometimes when he just won't heel properly.

Good luck!
Posted by StevieM
Jun 26, 2011
Why do you say it looks as if he's trying to take the other dog down?
Aussies are herding dogs, and can play herd other dogs, but when you say that, I get worried.
Is this in a dog park where dogs are loose and playing? Honestly, you should keep your dog away, and work on recalls and socailization issues before letting him interact in a situation you aren't able to control (get him back or redirect his play). That doesn't mean he can't play with other dogs, but keep the situation calmer by playing with dogs he knows already, preferably older & very saavy dogs that can communicate with him if he gets too pushy. And tons of recalls out of play, with returning to play as his reward for coming.
Keep taking him to class and practicing all kinds of polite manners and recalls. Good luck!