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-   -   Car chasing (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/401290-car-chasing.html)

Sookie 01-24-2014 07:51 PM

Car chasing
 
Do your dogs do this? I'm working on training Sookie out of it. We don't walk on roads much so we don't get much practice. It isn't every single car, but say 1/3 of the cars that go by she will want to chase. Whenever I see one coming (we live in the middle of nowhere so there is never more than one car per walk, tops) I tell her "side" and we move off the road and she sits, but about ~33% of the time she'll try to go for it or really, really want to. If you all have had dogs like this, any tips on stopping it? When she sits for the "side" command she is focused on me but once the car goes by us the movement seems to break her attention and she wants it. Thanks in advance.

boomer11 01-24-2014 07:56 PM

depends on how old the dog is. most pups will try to chase cars or at least notice them. it gets better with age. at 4 months i had to constantly correct my dog because he would take a few steps towards cars. by 8 month i could walk him with no leash next to a busy street with cars whizzing just a few feet from him.

Galathiel 01-24-2014 10:40 PM

Maybe instead of sitting you walk in the opposite direction or perpendicular to the road a bit (back is to the road then)? Being stationary probably makes it easier for the car to catch his eye and then maybe you can use more watch you with treats with a bit more sustained success.

doggiedad 01-25-2014 12:20 AM

i trained on busy streets, malls, center city, near the grocery store, etc.
put the dog in the car and drive somewhere were there's traffic, cars and
train.

Sookie 01-25-2014 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Galathiel (Post 4900754)
Maybe instead of sitting you walk in the opposite direction or perpendicular to the road a bit (back is to the road then)? Being stationary probably makes it easier for the car to catch his eye and then maybe you can use more watch you with treats with a bit more sustained success.

The roads around our house where she does this are what in America I would consider a one lane road, but over here are not, so if you are driving down the country roads here and another car comes you have to reverse until there is enough of a shoulder to fit into so the other car can go. I'm only telling you this because it may be the narrowness of the roads that makes it so hard for her to resist. Basically, a lot of the time when a car passes us, we have to get really close to a dense hedgerow (sometimes partially in it, or scramble up a bank or whatever). Walking perpendicular is always impossible. I will try going in the opposite direction when we can, and will see how that works. I usually have her sit because if it's a really tight squeeze this way I can get in front of her and squish her back into the hedgerows.

Doggiedad - she doesn't do this when we are in town - after I read your post I thought, yeah, we will defnitely do that to practice - and then I thought,.... Actually, she never goes from then when we are in town, it's really only on the country roads. No idea why this would be.

doggiedad 01-25-2014 08:38 AM

is there a busy road near you where you can go
and train? i live on a busy street. i did a lot of
training on my front lawn and near the edge
of the street.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sookie (Post 4902001)

Doggiedad - she doesn't do this when we are in town - after I read your post I thought, yeah, we will defnitely do that to practice - and then I thought,.... Actually, she never goes from then when we are in town, it's really only on the country roads. No idea why this would be.


dpc134 01-25-2014 08:54 AM

I had the same problem with my pup. I also live out in the country with very little traffic. Also, I rarely walk on the road since I am fortunate to have 100+ acres of woods and fields to walk my dog.
But I did want to train my dog out of chasing cars because my wife likes to take walks on the road with our dog. So, I did what you did and made her sit as a car drove by. I started using rewards / treats to teach the behavior that sitting as a car goes by is good. However, because dogs have a natural instinct to chase stuff (Micheal Ellis calls this "Self Reinforcing Activity" - which is something that a dog does because of their natural instincts and/or they enjoy doing, such as chasing cars, squirrels, etc.), it is difficult to teach them out of this behavior using rewards based training. I am not saying that it is not possible, but it is difficult.
After my pup learned that sitting was good as a car drove by, she got better, but still lunged out of position towards the car as it drove by on some occasion. So then I used prong collar and leash pop to correct her when she lunged. I did this for a few days and she has been very good since then. Good luck and keep practicing.

Sookie 01-25-2014 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doggiedad (Post 4902025)
is there a busy road near you where you can go
and train? i live on a busy street. i did a lot of
training on my front lawn and near the edge
of the street.

Sorry, what I meant was, when we are in busy areas she doesn't chase cars. In town, the village, or busy areas - she is fine. It is only when on the super narrow rural roads that she does this. Which is, I think, weird.

sit,stay 01-25-2014 11:00 AM

My Pug was a horrible car chaser. On walks he would lunge and squeal like a stuck pig when a car would pass us. I was always worried that he would slip out of his harness and get hit. He was also reactive to cars in our back yard, where he could faintly see a car as it drove around a curve that followed our back fence, as it flickered in and out of sight through the fence pickets.

A trainer friend of mine told me that if I wanted to stop a behavior I didn't like (such has his reaction to cars), then I needed to replace it with a behavior I did want. He was very, very food motivated had a ton of tricks he could do on command. So whenever I saw a car approaching, before it got close enough to have all his attention, I would lure him into trick mode with a food reward. His favorite trick was to "dance" (stand on his hind legs and hop from side to side). So there we would be, me holding the treat and him dancing like crazy. It got to the point where he would automatically offer to dance when he heard or saw a car while we were out walking. I never did get a reliable behavior shift when he was out in the back yard. But I did feel a lot safer with him while we were out on leash. Plus, my neighbors loved it! And Riley enjoyed putting on a show.

My point is that it isn't enough to ask a dog to stop an unwanted behavior. You need to replace that unwanted behavior with something you do want to have happen. And the replacement behavior must be more rewarding than the unwanted behavior. For my Pug nothing beat earning a food reward. That trumped the good times he had lunging and losing his mind over passing cars. Maybe you can replace the car chasing with a sit, look at me and a quick game of tug. Or a down, roll over and food reward?

Good luck!
Sheilah

Sookie 01-25-2014 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpc134 (Post 4902057)
I had the same problem with my pup. I also live out in the country with very little traffic. Also, I rarely walk on the road since I am fortunate to have 100+ acres of woods and fields to walk my dog.
But I did want to train my dog out of chasing cars because my wife likes to take walks on the road with our dog. So, I did what you did and made her sit as a car drove by. I started using rewards / treats to teach the behavior that sitting as a car goes by is good. However, because dogs have a natural instinct to chase stuff (Micheal Ellis calls this "Self Reinforcing Activity" - which is something that a dog does because of their natural instincts and/or they enjoy doing, such as chasing cars, squirrels, etc.), it is difficult to teach them out of this behavior using rewards based training. I am not saying that it is not possible, but it is difficult.
After my pup learned that sitting was good as a car drove by, she got better, but still lunged out of position towards the car as it drove by on some occasion. So then I used prong collar and leash pop to correct her when she lunged. I did this for a few days and she has been very good since then. Good luck and keep practicing.

I did treat her when she came to the side and sat at first, but then stopped because she didn't need the reinforcement anymore. Maybe I should start doing it again, but let her see and sniff the treat but not hand it over until the car is gone and she has not chased....? I live in the UK now, and I have never even seen a prong collar for sale here. I would probably have to order it online, but I wouldn't feel comfortable using it.
It's interesting how they only go for certain cars - I wonder what appeals about some and not others? Maybe I will start keeping a log :)


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