From day one, Ava has been entranced by passing cars. We go out on the leash, and as soon as one drives by, she's trying to drag me down the street after it. Right now, it's not a huge problem, because she's only about 45-50 pounds, but as she fills out, this is going to result in me eating a lot of desert foliage. As of right now I have tried:
Keeping the lead ultra short as the car passes by. Turns out not to work so well, because she's already strong enough to rip it out of my hands, though thankfully I have a "double safety" on the thing - the loop around my wrist, and also tethered to my belt.
Stopping completely as the car passes by. This pretty much has the same effect as above.
Trying to gain her attention. Eh, only kind of works, the car is way more interesting than I am, even if I say "NO!" real loud.
What are my options here? I am terrified that some day she'll get out or get away from me and get hit. This has to stop.
|Hmmmmm... Try teaching her "leave it"? I don't have this problem with either of my dogs (yet). Distract her with treats maybe?|
We had a border collie who would literally try to herd cars. If they were moving slowly enough, he'd run up to them and bite the tires and everything. We're so amazed he never got run over.
|Benson can be very headstrong (No! Really? ) and we've been using "yielding" to redirect her attention back to us. It's kind of hard to describe, but this article does a pretty good job. http://www3.sympatico.ca/tsuro/_articles/yielding.html It's a LOT easier to understand if you have a good trainer who can take you through it.|
Basically, when she's pushing to get to . . . whatever (chipmunk, neighbor's kid, new person to meet, or in your case - a moving car) whichever one of us has her lead steps right in front of her and just pressures her by moving into her until she not only backs up, but puts both eyes on us as if to say "All right! What do you want?" At that point she gets praised, the pressure immediately comes off, and we continue on to the next thing. The most important thing is that this isn't physical pressure. It's the pressure of presence - "this is my space, move away, and give your attention to me."
Sometimes Benson gives me her eyes right away. Sometimes its 15 or 30 or even 60 seconds of nothing but push, push, push, push on my part, until she finally looks. The most challenging thing is that we have to match her energy, so as hyped as she is to get to X, we have to yield her with as much energy - or more. (I warn you, it can be tiring when she's really full of juice!)
You know Ava's going to react to the cars, so I would think if you can catch her before she goes off, and step right between her and the car and just yield, yield, yield, she'll learn to give you her attention. It's not a magic bullet - some days Benson gives us her eyes almost immediately, and other days . . . . But we are finding it to be very effective.
|it took a LONG time and lots of patience but as long as he is not in our yard..and on a lead..I taught Moe to sit when a car approaches.he was a stubborn chased. I just made him SIT everything a car approached. As I said it took a LONG TIME(two months of daily practice) but now he sits or ignores cars on lead. In yard he still chases ups truck but has never crossed the line|
|Winston goes nuts when cars pass. Dexter barely notices them now but Winston bounces and strains, trying to get tot hem before they get away. My wife has tried treats, short leash, cooing, scolding everything. He's been walking a couple weeks and doesn't seem to be improving but we will keep trying. |
Ross - lets keep I touch to see how Winston and Ava improve.
|Poor Ava, I'd be worried too. We had a neighbors dog injured in just that way, but dog was off lead. We also taught Charm to sit in the yard when a car would pass. She now does it spontaneously without a prompt and gets high praise and the occasional treat even today. Its repetitive routine that taught it. |
That said, I'm fascinated by the article Jonesy linked. Makes a great deal of sense. I'm going to try it with other issues. Thank you.
Good luck with Ava, I know you will get just the right approach from one of the wiser ones quickly.
|I noticed my iPad auto-corrected Roz to Ross. Sorry.|
|dreamer and duffy did it . the best way i found was a gentle leader and i could control them better ,, they have now grown out of it only took 2 years lol. i walk them every morning even though i have 4 acers fenced in now dreamer sees a car coming and will moved onto the grass and duffy will stop ,,,there are no side walks very scary road early in the morning. but on the other hand the guy behind me zooms down his dirt rode and they chase him but they are fenced in ,, i always worry if the gate is not locked they would be gone!! but now if my neighbor sees the gate open he will honk ! it is more like a game for them|
|Prey drive / herding instinct. Whichever.|
It can be a very tough problem to correct.
|It's a situation that is satisfying to lots of dogs...especially when you look at it from their viewpoint. The car approaches - they go crazy...and it makes the car go away...|
Several methods mentioned - leave it, distraction, using your body presence; are all good ways to deal with it.
And as you note - this is not just annoying, it is a potentially deadly game
|Oscar has always been hyper-reactive to movement. He's terrible with cars, too. |
First, I make sure I am aware of oncoming cars, so I can get ahead of Oscar's reactivity. When I see a car coming, I get Oscar focused on me with the nummiest of treats, make him walk up on the grass, and put him in a sit-stay, keeping his attention on me and my pocketful of goodies. When the car passes, he gets a couple of treats, and we go on our way. The first few weeks were tough, and a constant battle, but with consistency, it started to sink in.
Now when he sees a car, he goes up on the grass and sits without any prompting.
It also helps to stay calm. I would get extremely frustrated with his reactivity, and he picked up on it, making his behavior worse. Deep breaths.
Laurie and Oscar
|She got out on me tonight. Thank god she (for once) responded to "STOP" which is one we had been working on, but haven't touched lately. She stopped - in the middle of the street. Luckily there were no cars.|
I was hauling empty moving boxes out the front door - and she got between my legs and knocked me down- and trampled me. Sigh.
|Try two dogs! For some reason since the move they go nuts on the road we live on. It is better if I take one at a time. But in the morning I don't care to take each dog out separately for a potty. I feel your pain frustrating.|
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