How to stop our dog chasing runners and barking at them?(35 Posts)
Our dog does not have an aggressive bone in his body but I completely understand that the runners he chases when we are out on walks don't know this and that it can be really frightening for them. How do we get him to stop?
Is it possible to keep him on the lead when you are near the running track? Our local park has a regular 5K run every Saturday a.m. so we make sure the dogs are not going to bother/trip up anyone. We only go off lead when we are well away from the route used.
We live on an army camp with lots of lovely dog walking which is also used by soldiers who go running, both in groups and individually. Often I see the runners at the same time as Oscar does, and so I can't grab him fast enough and he is so excited to go and play that he won't come to me. I guess it is actually a recall problem.
Perhaps you could get a long line to keep him on and work on his recall until he doesn't give the runners a secong glance?
It's difficult if you have a dog with a high chase instinct (which we have too) and I don't feel it's fair to ours to keep her on the lead and never get any off lead exercise just in case a runner or cyclist comes along - her behaviour would rapidly go downhill on the lead all the time.
I've done two things. First is to be incredibly vigilant on walks. As long as I see the runner first, I can get her sat by me under control and then she won't chase. Hold a treat in your hand whilst the runner passes and you will soon find the dog comes and sits by you automatically when a runner appears.
Secondly play lots of recall games at home in the garden, gradually increasing the level of distraction. Once the dog comes to you with no
distractions, get a family member to walk past. As the dog gets better at ignoring the family member, get them to increase speed until they are sprinting across the lawn!
As an aside, my husband runs and when he has moaned about dogs chasing him I've told him to stop running and stand still for a minute. When he moaned about his timing I said to stop being silly and pause the stopwatch! Obviously army people may not be able to stop but if a dog is chasing you the worst thing you can do is keep going!
With a combination of training and vigilance you should be able to crack it.
Thank you Musicposy for the really helpful advice.
Thank you Seeker and Topknob for your less helpful comments.
Oh, sorry. I forgot that a dog's right to go off the lead outweighs a human's right to run without being chased and barked at.
Y r u being so aggressive seeker?
The OP is asking for advice regarding the situation and trying to rectify it.
And why should the needs of humans trump every other living thing on the planet. A little consideration wont go amiss.
This is why i don't run in parks anymore
i would get chased, and if i kept going, told off by owners for exciting tgeir dog (what did i expect)
If i stopped, told off by owners for implying their dog was dangerous (how dare i?)
too much aggro, not worth it. I run in the city now.
it's not dogs i can't stand, it's their owners
"And why should the needs of humans trump every other living thing on the planet"
If you own a dog you are responsible for it. If you can't control it in public then keep it on a lead! It is common sense. I really dislike dogs which aren't under control in a public place. My own dog is unpredictable around smaller dogs so she is kept on a lead and muzzled. That is being responsible, the irresponsible owners are the ones who repeatedly allow their dogs to run around without any control over them. What really irritates me is the owners who allow the dogs to run up to my children as I am always teaching them not to approach dogs without asking yet they can't be courteous back!
Not much point in just keeping him on a lead without any training.
I'm not an expert but what worked for us when lab was a puppy was only letting him off lead if I could see far enough ahead to get plenty of warning of anyone in front or behind us. I'd put him on lead and distract with treat/toy as the person went past and let him off lead again if coast was clear.
The next stage, when he was around 10 months, was to call him and get him to sit and focus on me without putting him on lead. We did that for about 6 months. Now he's nearly 2 and completely ignores joggers and cyclists, or anyone else as long as they don't take any notice of him either.
Just an idea but do you know someone(s) who would repeatedly jog past you and your dog? You could start off with her on a lead and give her a treat for sitting and as she learned not to react to them at all you could let her off the lead....that way you wouldn't worry about upsetting the joggers but your dog would get desensitised (hopefully)
Does he do a reliable 'leave'/recall in other situations?
My dog can be a little like that too, OP, except it isn't so much a chase thing as much as an "I want to go and say hello" thing. Like musicposy I am very vigilant and if I see someone in the distance I call my dog back and she is fine.
What has happened in the past though, and I do keep up my sleeve for times when I need it, is that she is very good at 'wait'. Sometimes, she is so excited by what she has seen (think six dogs being walked together and obviously having fun in the semi distance) she physically can't help herself but to staaaaaaare at them. I can see that she wants to go and join in whatever is happening because she is visibly shaking with pent up excitement and can't tear her eyes off them in order to come back to me. In those situations, I order her to 'wait' and she will sit there, quivering away, until I reach her and slip the lead on. Can you teach yours an alternative command to a recall one, so you have two methods of keeping your dog from chasing runners?
Disclaimer - I muddle along with my dog, I am in no way saying that my way is a good way or that I am on a par with some of the posters here. I'm just giving advice based on my experience.
Thank you for your support vanfurgstan. I am, as you say, trying to rectify the situation and I had been under the impression this was somewhere I could turn for help, ideas and support, so I was surprised and disappointed to be sworn at.
I would certainly never consider a runner to be at fault and want to find a way for us all to co-exist happily.
Thank you to everyone who has shown some understanding and made helpful suggestions - and slightly restored my faith in mumsnet.
Nymeria - he is still quite young and so while recall is good the majority of the time, he does get excited and want to play with both people and other dogs. We really need to work on being able to gain his attention reliably in all situations and so runners will, I hope, become just another distraction we can overcome.
Planning to try the helpful suggestions. Thanks again to those who have tried to help me.
I don't think this is a recall problem. It is chase instinct which is different. I love using the clicker and this can help if you take your dog on lead and just to start with watch runners. Before the dog starts to chase click and treat your dog, over time the dog will turn to you when they see a runner rather than chase the runner. This works for car chasers bike chasers as well.
I didn't swear at you- I used a mild swear word for emphasis. Because you talked about "the runners he chases when we we are out on walks". Which suggested to me that you are letting him do it while you hunt for a solution, rather than stopping him doing it by putting him on a lead until you find a solution. Forgive me if I'm wrong.
Use a long line whilst you are working on correcting the chase behaviour. You can get really long ones which you can trail on the ground. If the dog takes off, step on the long line and the dog is restrained.
Clicker training is excellent, however it will not be an overnight fix.
Has been suggested before.
Has been shot down as somehow out of order before, but...
Put him on a lead?
Unless you want him taught by some runner deciding she has been chased one time too many and giving him a well aimed kick.
A lead is the only guaranteed way for dogs and runners to co-exist happily.
Just come across this thread while looking for a solution to same issue. It may be too old a thread but wanted to try anyway incase MotherOfGirls can now answer it :-).
I have a 4 month old pup whose recall is improving all the time but he can't resist chasing cyclists and joggers. Whilst most are ok and appreciate he's just a puppy, I've also had the 'put it on a lead!' brigade too. Taking a puppy out in the countryside for off lead fun is a different and much more pleasurable experience for him and me. I assume Seeker doesn't have a dog. I'm happy to share the woods and countryside with runners and cyclists, so a bit of give and take would be nice while my pup is learning life's rules.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.