There is doubt left when watching an old Looney Tunes cartoon with Chester and Spike as to why do Dogs Chase Cars; Chester just thinks it’s fun. But, if you have ever had to deal with stopping a dog from chasing cars, you know that there is much more to the equation than being the fun police; stopping this habit is vital to everyone’s safety.
As a dog mom of a pup who doesn’t just want to chase cars, but also wants to jump into them, there is an urgency to find a solution to prevent injuries and possible death. There are a few factors that contribute to why dogs will chase cars and what might happen if they catch one. You already know that dog training is designed to not just make life more fun with your pup, but is also there to keep him safe. Breaking this bad but often instinctual habit of chasing cars is worth the effort.
Why Do Dogs Chase Cars
Dogs like to chase things: other dogs, frisbees, tennis balls, and even their tails. Chasing things is a natural behavior in dogs, but one that needs to be curbed if it results in sprinting down a busy highway. Stopping car chasing is important to keep your pet and other people safe. Understand that dog car chasing starts with natural prey instincts coupled with a lack of impulse control. Some breeds are more likely than others to run down the street to see if they can play tag with the car.
Impulse Control Issues
Dogs that are chronic car chasers haven’t learned impulse control. Without proper impulse control, you will never have a true handle on your dog chasing cars or other undesired behaviors. Something like eating a chicken bone found on a walk is another example of an impulse control scenario that every dog must learn in order to safely navigate his human world. Chasing cars is no different.
The lack of impulse control simply means that your dog hasn’t learned that following his natural instincts isn’t in his best interest. He doesn’t know that chasing cars is bad for him until he might actually find himself under the tires of one. What needs to happen is a shift from what feels good to him, laying chase, to something else that also feels good and replaces that impulse.
Breeds Likely to Chase Cars
Some dog breeds are much more likely to chase cars than others. Herding breeds are known to chase and corral anything and everything. Other hunting dogs have a very strong prey drive. This means your two border collies might get bored playing tag and decide to bolt out of the house when your spouse leaves for work. Similarly, your terrier puppy might get bored with the squirrel and decided to run down the street after the school bus.