Why your Dog runs after a Vehicle
Keep in mind that the dog is a hunter. Therefore, it is the predation instinct that predominates in him. When he begins compulsively chasing anything that moves around him, the effects can be as dangerous as they are devastating. It is not possible to really curb this impulse, but some measures can be taken to protect the animal against itself, by avoiding him to cross a busy road for example, or by limiting the risks for his "prey" potential.
1. Aggression caused by fear
Fear is an emotion that is caused by the perception of a danger, real or not. This primary emotion allows the animal to survive to face a danger or threat. This type of aggression may be caused by a bad socialization of the puppy, genetics or a traumatic experience, such as if your dog was hit by a vehicle when he was little. However, if you have an adopted dog, it can be very complicated to know why he hunts vehicles.
You must therefore first observe the attitude of your dog, try to remember the situations that trigger his barking.
- Is it when someone passes very close to you (when you meet someone on a sidewalk, for example)?
- Is it rather when you come across "a typical" people? With a cane, a wheelchair, a stroller, a hat or a cap for example?
- Is it always about men or women, about children perhaps? Have you identified a particular genus that your dog reacts to?
- Is it when there are a lot of people, like a small group of people gathered?
- Is it when you meet a person who shouts, runs, biking or laughs hard?
So many questions to ask to identify the cause and especially to solve the problem in a productive, effective and adapted way.
Lack of Socialization
Socialization is the point of departure, accustoming him to regularly see everything that usually excites him to the point of starting to pursue it. An animal that reacts so instinctively cannot be walked around unhindered.
On your journey, during the walk, be observant, in order to anticipate the crossing of all that could constitute a temptation for him. Bring with you a toy that he likes, which you can use to distract him from the alleged target.
You can also try conducting driving modification sessions in a controlled environment so your dog positively associates bikes, cars, and motorcycles.
Using a harness and a leash in public spaces is also recommended to avoid a possible accident. For the most serious cases, you will, unfortunately, have to use a muzzle
Avoid the stimulus that terrifies your dog and walk your dog during less busy hours keeping a safe distance from the passers-by.
Remember not to scold him or punish him if he reacts in a bad way because this will only increase his stress level and aggravate his association which scares him in a negative way.
Divert the attention of your dog!
Often, the dogs locked in their garden all day have a unique occupation to bark and run after the people who pass along the fence. It is due to the lack of physical and intellectual stimulation, particularly due to poverty and /or the scarcity of walks.
So, do not hesitate to keep your dog busy while he is in the garden. Make sure there is always something better for him to do rather than barking on others, for e.g. hide treats everywhere, give him a toy of occupation with compact food to the interior, etc.
I also advise you, if you have the possibility, to reduce the space of freedom of your dog in the garden and possibly making sure that he is not able to see with what is going on on the other side of the fence.
Refocus your dog on you, create the connection!
This advice applies especially to dogs who run after joggers/bike/cars during walks. If your dog has already adopted this bad behavior, it is essential and even mandatory, that situation be held on a leash to ensure the safety of all (not only your dog but also for passers-by).
You need to create positive interactions with your dog when you walk. It's not a question of letting him tow you during the whole ride! To do this, I advise you to offer your dog small educational sessions or games randomly during your walk. This will strengthen your relationship, stimulate your dog and, divert his attention when a distraction passes.
Be careful not to talk to your dog constantly because, after a while, he will not listen to you at all because it will be too complicated for him to decrypt all your messages. Talk to him only when necessary.
If he tends to pursue the joggers, divert his attention by throwing a ball or a toy in the opposite direction: he will gradually conclude that you are more interesting than any stranger who runs!
If you really see that your dog is not responding to your call, you can be firmer in your approach with a dry "hey hey" and placing yourself in front of your dog so that he understands that he needs to pay attention to more of you than towards his distraction. And as soon as your dog looks at you, ask him for an indication such as sitting for example and warmly congratulate him when he has adopted the desired behavior.
Offer activities that respond to your dog's natural instincts
It is often when a dog gets bored that his hunter instinct takes over. If you have a dog with a strong instinct, you must find activities that meet their needs. Of course, I'm not asking you to hunt with your Beagle or buy sheep for your Border Collie, no! I am talking here about offering adapted activities that stimulate the mind and body of your dog. For example, for a hunting dog, you need to highlight games/exercises that stimulate the sense of smell and for a sheepdog, you can highlight games/exercises that stimulate initiative, intellect, etc.
Stress, anxiety and other factors
Dogs that are subject to high levels of stress and anxiety who receive inconsistent punishments or who do not enjoy an adequate environment are more likely to pursue cars, it will be very important that you review if you are doing well.
Lastly, if you have managed to identify why your dog is chasing cars, motorbikes or bikes or if you have not managed to identify the source of the problem, I recommend that you consult an experienced professional who will help you better understand your dog, who will perform behavior modification sessions at your side and who will give you steps to follow so you know how to react to this or that situation. This is essential, for your safety as well as his own, especially since you are responsible for him in case of accident or aggression.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you will be able to eliminate this bad behavior of your dog. Do not hesitate to comment on your successes and/or any additional questions on this subject.