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Car Chasing...How to Stop it?


Echo
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Hello!

 

I have a 6 month old border collie, and he is an avid car chaser...I'm not sure what to do. A while back I took him for a 4 hour walk, and he lunged at every car that passed. He has also started stalking the cars before lunging. It is very frustrating, and ruins the joy of walking him.

 

He doesn't chase the cars when we are in our yard, he will just sit and watch them until they leave (we live in a cul de sac, so there arent to many), which I find quite strange, since he tries to chase all of them while out walking...

 

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have stopped at a fairly busy road with him, to try flooding. He is good with a flood of cars, but as soon as I start walking, or there are only a couple cars, he starts chasing again.

 

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

 

Thanks

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This is a potentially lethal situation. I had the same problem with my girl at about the same age. She would have ended up as road kill if we had not taken drastic measures. (We live on a busy highway) I couldn't walk her withut having her try to slip her collar at every single car, diving and twisting to try to get at them, it was terrifying! I took her to three different trainers, and one in particular that specializes in border collies (she has 7 herself). All three trainers told me her behavior was so extreme that an e-collar was the best option. Working with my trainer (the one with the border collies)wearing the collar, she would get zapped each time she moved toward a car so that she made an association between a car and havig the car "bite" her. Now when we walk, she moves away from cars as far off the road as she can get. I would much rather have her be afraid of moving cars than killed. I know that many on this board will disagree with this method, but extreme behaviors warrant extreme actions if the life of a dog is at stake, and in my case, her life really was at stake. So, my suggestion is to take your dog to a behavior specialist, preferably one that works with border collies, and get an evaluation. I would definately not use an e-collar without having a trainer to guide you.

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I am not sure where you are located but I can give you contact information for a trainer/behaviorist who uses e-collars correctly and may be able to get you in contact with a trainer in your area. He travels all over the country so he may have contacts in your area for someone who may help. I agree with the previous poster that e-collars to the average person may seem extreme but with a very knowlegeable trainer they can help severe issues. When used correcly they are never psychologically harmful and are never used to physically harm a dog (I have put one on and could barely feel it). The trainer I know has saved dogs lives; dogs that were told by other trainers and vets to be euthanized for dog or human aggression and are now safe members of society.

 

Please contact me privately if you would like.

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About how much does it usually cost for a behaviorist? I would pay for a behaviorist, but I don't think that my parents would let me...depending on the cost.. Is there a way to train it out of him just at home?

 

Knowing that I may be opening up a "can of worms" (excuse the pun), I have used a penny can to stop such behavior. (Empty pop cans with a few pennies in them that make a noise when shaken; duct tape the top) I have set up someone driving by in a safe area (NOT the street -- a driveway, etc.) and had the dog on lead. I have had a third person in the car throwing cans at the dog when it chases. When the dog startles from the can and stops chasing, the person on the end of the lead praises the dog for stopping. Then the penny can sound can also be used by the person to re-inforce the correction when just walking near the road. Once the dog knows the sound, just a shake and the sound can deter the dog.

 

I have used that can sound for many other problems with my dogs over the years....fence running, keeping them off counters (just set the cans close to the edge where they will topple them) and other things. Can't say it works for all dogs; wouldn't use it on an overly sensitive or shy/fearful dog; but it has worked for me and others in my classes.

 

Do remember that even if you do "train" the behavior away, many times the dog will regress in weeks or months and go back to the behavior and then you will have to reinforce the correction again. So don't think you're safe just because it stops for a while.

 

Good luck; hopes this helps; and I hope this doesn't offend anyone, as I know it is a compulsive method and not everyone adheres to that.

:)

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About how much does it usually cost for a behaviorist? I would pay for a behaviorist, but I don't think that my parents would let me...depending on the cost.. Is there a way to train it out of him just at home?

 

I have successfully worked through car chasing, and general motion trigger, using the Look at That game from Control Unleashed. That is something that you can work on with your dog at home. Of course, you will want to use leashes and fences to keep your dog safe until the training is complete.

 

If you are interested in that, I recommend that you get the book, read it, join the CU Yahoo list, and ask about it on there. The members and moderators on that would be able to give you more information on the steps that you can take to help your dog with this. If you can't buy the book, you may be able to get it from the library. In order to post on that list, you have to have read the book. If you want the link to the Yahoo group, PM me and I can send that to you. You can join and read the list before reading the book, and I believe that you could find posts on using CU for car chasing in the archives on that list.

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Good grief, people. A behaviorist? For car chasing!?!?!? Come on!

 

Echo, where are you located? I'm sure if you call a local stockdog person, they'd be happy to help you for the cost of a lesson or whatever, and it'd probably be a lot less expensive than a behaviorist. Where did you get your dog from?

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When I say behaviorist I don't mean the vet certified ones that people spend hundreds on. I am talking about a dog trainer who does more than teach basic obedience, someone with more knowledge than the average person who takes the ABC online program or passed the Petsmart dog training program. So many people talk about how their dog is unfixable because a "professional dog trainer" couldn't help when in reality they called someone with very little knowledge on dog behavior. Most trainers can teach basic commands and fix simple problems but most are not knowledgable enough to work with serious issues such as aggression, severe anxiety, etc.

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You don't say whether you tried correction. I did this with our now six month old puppy and it worked wonders.

 

Stand on leash on a side walk and when a car goes by, give the dog a strong voice correction. If that doesn't work, try popping the leash.

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