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Need advice about my border collie's fixation on cars

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Hi all. I am new to BC Boards. What a great site! I am hoping to get some advice on how to stop my one year old BC from fixating on cars. When I take her for a walk she gets down and does the "BC belly crawl" whenever a car passes. I tell her "no" and try to pull her up with the leash, but she acts like she doesn't even know I am there. She is completly focused on the car. After the car passes she gets up and walks normally. I am at a loss on how to correct this behavior. I understand that she is hard-wired to stalk and chase everything that moves, but this is just embarrassing. She just turned a year old and I have been walking her since she was a small puppy. I thought the novelty of cars would wear off as she got older, but nothing has changed so far. Help!

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Welcome! You might try using the search function to find some of the many topics dealing with "car chasing" or other phrases about this sort of thing.


In short, though, you have allowed this behavior to go on by hoping "the novelty of cars would wear off" and so she's been doing this without an effective approach to ending it for long enough for it to become a real habit. You need to approach this by teaching her to focus on you, and you need to do that away from a location where she can be distracted by moving cars initially, and working your way to doing this where she does experience these distractions. Pulling on the leash without breaking the concentration simply lets her focus on the car and ignore you because it's not constructively redirecting her attention.


Teach her a "watch me" command (yummy treats are a big help) when you are in a no-distraction location. Also teach her to turn with you and move in a different direction (again, yummy treats can help), again with her focus on you. This is going to take some real work because this habit is ingrained in her at this point apparently. Fortunately, she's lying down and not lunging at the cars, which is a plus and much safer for both of you than lunging.


Also, teach your dog a "leave it" command (again, at home and away from distractions) so she learns that she is not to touch, pick up, bother, or focus on something when you say this (you can also find advice for teaching this with a search). That way, when a car begins to approach, you can tell her to "leave it", get her to focus on you, and redirect her attention in another direction.


I just don't have the time right now to find the links to several, fairly recent and extensive, topics about this but you can generally find them with "search" or by looking in either the General section or the Obedience, etc., section. Or someone else will post here with a link or two. Others will, I am sure, give you much better and more useful advice.


Best wishes with this!

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