Lunging at cars

Posted by Beth123
Sep 14, 2008
I have a 5 month old border collie, Molly, who constantly lunges at cars, tractors, in fact any vehicle that passes.

We live in the countryside where most roads are very quiet and have no pavements, so walking involves getting onto the grass verge whenever a car comes past. Molly has learned very well to get onto the verge but will then crouch till the vehicle has passed then lunges to chase after it barking like crazy. I usually walk her for a couple of hourly walks every day and she spends the whole time alert and listening for traffic. She becomes totally fixated whenever she hears an engine. We often play frizbie in empty field and she will drop this to chase along the fence next to the road if a car passes.

I have tried desensitizing her by taking her into town and sitting at busy junctions watching the traffic go passed and she eventually lies down and ignores the the cars totally but reverts back as soon as I walk her at home.

I have also tried 'sit/stay' to get her attention before the car comes into sight but this doesn't last once she sees the car and it's impossible to distract her. Help:confused:
Posted by Annie
Sep 15, 2008
Hi there,
A lot of cars in town is not really comparable to a lone wagon out on the prairy! What a great game ( and horrible for you) Do you have time to ask her to sit when you hear a car and getting a leash on her? We did a lot of walking on a long, long line and when a car came she could try to chase but I would stop her. I also taught her the command 'OFF' other people say 'leave-it' this is a good one to start with treats that she must 'leave' then a frisbee that she must ' leave' and then a ball on a fishing line or a favourite toy on a fishing line ( flicking it around) and she will be asked to ' leave-it'. You maybe need the help of another person to enforce with a leash that she does this. The idea is that you are working up to having the control over her to not chase things when you say so.

Another idea that worked for us was to have a friend drive past...she chases...friend stops car and sprays water, stones, horn honking etc etc whatever works to scare your dog off...

I hate to tell you though that I never felt very comfortable with this problem. I needed to be totally concentrated on her the whole time, and couldnĀ“t let the kids walk her. She chased a car one day and slammed into the side, gave everybody a fright, walked away unharmed...but fixed the problem....I would not reccomend this technique ...
hope something helps,