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My Border Collie tries to chase cars

April 30th, 2009, 08:15 AM
I have just taken in a border collie from a rescue centre. He is 2.5 yrs old and very well behaved EXCEPT he continually tries to get off his lead to chase vehicles. If we are away from a road I can let him off and he won't chase anything or run away and 90% of the time returns immediately I call him. When I walk along side a road he mostly spins round lunging at vehicles as they pass us (he's worse when they go fast) and it's sometimes difficult to hold onto him.

I'm really afraid he'll get off his lead and harness, or go out on the road sometime and then be a danger to himself and drivers (Oddly he doesn't chase motorbikes).

This is the only time he gets really excited/stressed and won't take any notice or pay attention to anyone else.

Any ideas about how to stop this behaviour would be greatly appreciated.

April 30th, 2009, 08:40 AM
Is he motivated with toys? (balls, tug?)
How is his Obedience?
How much vigorous mental and physical stimulation does he get in the course of a week?

April 30th, 2009, 08:50 AM
We take him out walking and playing 3 times a day.

He is usually obediant and will follow most simple commands; come, sit, lie, wait when told. His recall is also really good if he nips off in the meadows to see another dog I can call him and he'll generally return quickly.

We play with toys balls - fetch, hide something for him to find and he loves these activities, when out for walks as well as out back of the home.

It's the issue with vehicle chasing that suddenly changes him from a good attentive dog into a crazy dog only focused on the getting away to chase them.

April 30th, 2009, 09:06 AM
You need to redirect his drive onto an acceptable item.
You can try picking up a really awesome ball, or toy....something he will really love. Let him know you have it and how fun it is(for one play session)....make a big deal out of it. After the first 'play session', so he knows what it is, NEVER let him have that specific toy again. Thats your toy, guard it with your life. When you are on walks always carry the reward item with you, but never reveal it to the dog. When you see a vehicle approaching from the distance(and from now on it is YOUR job to spot them before he must be vigilant) present the toy and ask the dog to perform a simple command, like 'sit'. As soon as he complies, reward for a few seconds, making a big deal out of it. Then get the toy back and repeat. Its very important that he does not lose interest in the toy so do not let him have it for too long, only a few seconds at first. It's also important to ask your dog to do different commands, so it does not become routine, you want his mind focused on you and the toy at this point. You can worry about routine once he understand that when the toy comes out, it's time to pay attention and work.

BC's are one of the most capable dogs in the world, it may take some practice and dedication, but I'm sure once you give him a job he will be a great dog.

April 30th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Those are some good idea's blackdog!

What do you use? what kind of collar? Maybe try a martingale or a halti, and a short leash, no flexi's..

I agree with BD distract, and reward when he ignores, that will start to change his behavior by teaching him that something positive happens when these cars go by, soon he will sit and look at you when a fast car goes by instead of him wanting to chase it!

Also you need to correct the behavior when he first perks up his ears at a car, you will have to be vigilant about when he first starts to exhibit any interest, not when he is already lunging. As soon as his ears perk correct him and keep moving, try to never let it escalate into the lunging and pulling.

The more exercise and stimulation the better.. BC's like a job to do, just walks along familiar routes will have him looking for something to do. Flyball, agility, obedience, frisbee, freestyle, rally-o, trials.. ect.. are all things that your dog might love to do, keep him learning and using his brain along with exercise will help a lot!

Good luck, and thank you for choosing a rescue! You seem like an awesome person that is doing everything to be a responsible pet owner! I wish you and your new best friend all the luck in the world!

Gail P
May 2nd, 2009, 07:21 AM
One of my border collies used to react the same way to vehicles. Wanting to lunge, stalking etc. I did not use toys or other distractions for her, I would simply have her sit or lie down (BC's tend to learn "lie down" very quickly as it's something used often in herding, it seems to come very naturally to them). When a car would pass by I would make sure she could not lunge at it and then we'd continue on our way. She learned that the lunging was not acceptable and I began to keep her moving (on a very short leash) when vehicles passed us. She's part of my sled team and we sometimes train along roads when we're doing dryland training and it has never been an issue, even though she's lined out in front about 12 feet ahead of me.

Other kinds of dogs like to chase things that move just because it's fun to chase. Border collies tend more to want to control that movement and make it stop. They don't like to see things "running away", in their minds everything that moves should be all contained in one place, between the dog and his handler. One of my guys has a very strong work ethic. I don't let them try to work my horses but they do accompany me when I'm doing chores. This one dog does not like to see the horses split into two different groups eating. He'll keep flanking around one group, then zip over to the other group and do the same to them, back and forth and he's not content until they are in one place. He doesn't move them, he knows he's not allowed, but he's not content until they're together. Then he'll stop the flanking and stand on the opposite side of them from where I am, in "balance" if I was actually asking him to work them so that they are in one group between us. Some border collies have such a desire to chase anything that moves that you need to work on a good "leave it" command. Chasing anything other than toys, whether cars, cats, kids, other dogs etc. and eying/stalking things is something to be discouraged.