Dogs chasing behavior

Dogs chasing behavior

If you are a pet owner or have any experience owning a pet at your home, you might have faced dog chasing behavior for different moving objects, whether living or nonliving. Chasing behavior in dogs is not a sign of aggression but activeness they use to show when they are excited.

However, this excitement can be frustrating for a dog owner and detrimental to the dog. Suppose your dog chases a vehicle on a busy road and suddenly collides with a car. What will happen next? That is the main reason the owner wants to diminish this instinctive behavior in his pet. And fortunately, there is an option that you can use to allow your dog to stop this behavior toward moving things. But how?

Here in this article, we will illuminate the key reasons behind a dog’s chasing behavior and the training that one should do to get rid of this attitude toward his pet.

Which dog breeds love to chase?

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The chasing behavior of a dog is not restricted to particular breeds, as every dog, by default, engages in this activity. However, certain specific breeds are more likely to chase than others. Sighthounds, including Afghan hounds and whippets, are the breeds that enjoy chasing because their senses are exceptional, and they have the eyesight and awareness to know what is going on around them. Nevertheless, these breeds are likelier to chase small animals, including squirrels or mice.

Herding breeds are more addicted to chasing vehicles like stake boards, motorcycles, or bicycles. They have instinctual desires to accompany people that run around them.

What are the causes of a dog’s chasing behavior?

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Some key reasons behind dog-chasing behavior are as follows;

  • They might want to prey on small animals like squirrels or mice.
  • They want to play with humans, so they run after them to tell that they are in playing mode.
  • To show aggression toward someone or other dogs.
  • To bite someone (maybe in a state of hunger pangs).
  • Have seen meat or bone on someone’s hand or other tasty food, and he wants to snatch it from them.

Almost all dogs are obsessed with chasing prey because it is necessary for hunting and ensures their survival in the wild. Yet, domestic dogs do not need to hunt; the instinct remains and urges them to do so. You can say it is a genetic behavior that comes from their forefathers.

Some dogs are more obsessed than others regarding this, just like greyhounds. They are notorious, and if you are petting them, you must keep them under control by installing a fence in the yard.

How do you train a dog to stop chasing?

  • One of the best ways to control your dog’s chasing behavior is to stop him before it begins. This can be done by giving a signal before he starts chasing.
  • But if he is already chasing something or someone, don’t run after him, or in other words, don’t chase him, as this will give him the impression that you are playing with him.
  • Always enrich your dog with delicious treats which will significantly impact him. A treat is a token of appreciation for your dog’s excellent performance.
  • Every time your dog listens to you or pays attention to your words, give him a round of applause. Even if your dog is inside the fence or yard, he can chase flying birds, creeping insects, or running squirrels. So, it is unnecessary to take him outside for training, as it can be dangerous for his life.
  • If your dog loves playing with his favorite toy, it would be an excellent unity for you as you can allow him to play with it after doing a great job. It is a prime strategy to reward your dog with its favorite thing if you need an instant and progressive response from him.

You may start letting your dog off-leash in your enclosed yard when they learn to focus on you while being restrained, even when there are squirrels about. However, continue rewarding your dog whenever they approach you, give you a “yes” sign, or click if you’re clicker training. And if you see any birds or squirrels, make sure to put them back on the leash.

In essence, you’ll train your dog to develop attention and impulse control by teaching them to maintain their composure in the face of exciting events and to hold out on getting what they want until they are released. Reward your dog for remaining by your side and avoiding distractions, then practice in progressively stimulating settings as your dog develops more self-assurance and focus.

What games can you play with your dog to avoid chasing?

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Fetching games:

It will be better for your dog to chase a ball or Frisbee rather than chase a squirrel or insect. Arrange a playing ball or Frisbee for your canine and give him one to two hours to play fetching games.


Teach your dog to chase you in the yard or inside your home. This is a safer game than allowing him to do the same with others on the busy road. To initiate this, you have to keep a toy or a treat in your hand and then allow your dog to see that toy or treat. Run from that place, and your dog will start chasing you. And when he catches you, enrich him with that meal or give him his favorite toy to play with.

Despite having a toy or treat in your hand, you can also give a command like “come” so your dog will understand that it’s time to play his favorite chasing game.

Hide and seek:

Call your dog’s name loudly enough from a distant place that he will listen to you. So, he will try to approach you, and when he finds you, praise him and give him treats.


Dogs who enjoy chasing or have surplus energy will enjoy the game of tug, which also serves as an excellent teaching and practicing tool for impulse control. Be careful to start the draw, and practice your “drop” training while playing. Then immediately reinforce by allowing your dog to resume tugging or rewarding them with a tasty treat.

Sports for chasing dogs:

If your dog’s chasing obsession makes you humble, you should control this behavior. Then certain sports are done for such dogs. These sports are designed to engage your dog’s strength in valuable activities rather than the useless chasing of small animals, insects, or vehicles. Here is the list of such games made for your four-legged furry friend;


The game is made for every breed or every pet. The dogs have to run after a lure (mostly a plastic bag) in this game. In FAST CAT, your dog must complete the full 100-yard round in time. And after that, he has to approach the owner, who waits for him on the other side of the yard.

Lure coursing:

Lure Coursing is a quick and enjoyable activity that tests a Sighthound’s innate desire to pursue prey. In lure coursing, dogs run after a mechanical lure (in this case, a plastic bag) linked to a line that travels quickly just over the ground to mimic a real hunt. Sighthounds may participate in the sport and do what comes most easily to them—demonstrating their agility and propensity to pursue and catch “prey.” Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds, Basenji, Whippets, Irish Wolfhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, and others above the age of one, may participate in lure coursing.

It might not be easy to train a dog who likes pursuing objects, but it’s helpful to remember that this activity is instinctive. Your dog is merely following a perfectly normal instinct when they chase; they are not attempting to frighten or disturb you. The good news is that your dog’s chasing activity may be transformed into enjoyable and safe actions for both of you via training, games, and sports.

Can my dog chase someone if he is hungry?

All the training mentioned above will be in vain if your dog is hungry and sees a squirrel or other small animal around him. In contrast, if your dog goes for a walk with you, he will feel lazy chasing someone if he is full.

As veterinarians say, “a hungry dog is a pet all the time in hunting mode!”

How can a dog be trained to break a habit?

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  • Stop your dog from picking up harmful habits.
  • Reward desirable actions.
  • Energy is released through exercise.
  • The distinction is made through consistency.
  • Training is primely important: Although it may not appear connected to a barking, leaping, or chewing issue, teaching your dog to sit, come, or lie down is.

Make your dog respect other living things.

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Although your dog loves chasing or eating other small animals, you have to teach him not to do so. Make him a decent pet that respects other animals, including small or big. This can be done by distracting him whenever he starts chasing a bird, a squirrel, or other small animal moving around.

Some frequently asked questions

How does direct interactive punishment operate? What is it?

If your dog or cat misbehaves, consider making a loud noise, like clapping your hands or saying “no” out loud. Remember that reprimands must be given during the conduct, ideally immediately as it starts and never after.

Do you need to yell at your dog?

Additionally, yelling makes your dog less likely to obey your directions, which increases your frustration and likelihood of yelling. Recent studies and the majority of dog-training authorities advise against shouting at your dog and in favor of speaking to him in a low, gentle voice.

Can you correct your dog?

Without a doubt. While scolding your dog may make you feel better (it’s satisfying to let off steam when our pets are annoying us) and may give the impression that the behavior will cease, the situation will probably continue every time you have company around.

Can you strike a dog in the nose?

No matter how they respond, hitting your dog in the nose will make them less trusting of you over time. Dogs don’t learn from the pain the way people do, so they’ll believe you’re intentionally hurting them and never realize what they’ve done wrong.

Final thoughts:

Your struggle to stop this behavior cannot make you entirely successful in this regard, as dogs have built-in behaviors of chasing. However, you can somehow control this attitude. The guide mentioned above is helpful for you in this regard.

Always try to make yourself calm. Please do not shout at your dog frequently, as it will be stubborn to him. Try to resolve this issue in a friendly manner. The tips mentioned above are taken from different pet owners and veterinarian experts. This article will prove to be noteworthy for you.

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