Why Do Dogs Chase Cars?

  • 19/06/2020

Car-chasing is a serious problem for both the dog and the driver. The behavior puts your dog at risk of being run over and exposes the car driver and other road users to traffic accidents.

As the owner of the car-chasing dog, you could be liable for the accident. Sadly, most dogs seem to have an innate desire to chase cars, which begs the question, why do dogs chase cars?

There are many reasons for this potentially dangerous dog behavior, but here are some of the most common reasons why some dogs just can’t resist chasing down cars:

1.      It’s Just Another Exciting Game

Dogs love fetching games. The hurtling down the street looks just like another larger Frisbee, stick, or ball.

They will run after the car in an attempt to fetch and bring it back to their owner. Most car-chasing dogs often exhibit excited behavior just before they take off after a passing car.

They’ll have happy faces and wagging tails just like they do when enjoying an exciting game. This usually happens when the dog is bored.

2.      Response to a Herding Instinct

Let’s not forget that dogs are animals with an instinct to collect and herd interesting stuff.

Your dog may not have herded anything else besides the loose treats and toys you give it, but its herding instinct is still strong.

The car passing by looks like a more interesting item to catch and bring home. It’s no surprise why some dogs even try to chew car tires in an attempt to drag it home.

3.      Natural Hunting Behavior

In the wild, dogs hunt the prey for food by stalking, waiting, and chasing down animals. The same hunting instinct is hardwired in the brain of your dog too.

The instinct to chase moving objects is sometimes too strong to ignore and since the dog is trained not to chase humans, any other moving object is a perfect game for a chase.

4.      Defensive Attitude

Cars appear as loud, smelly, and intimidating objects in the eyes of your dog. The rumbling of a car poses a challenge in the dog’s territory.

Your dog will instinctively chase away the mail truck and other vehicles that frequently try to encroach on its territory.

How to Stop Your Dog from Chasing Cars

Car-chasing is risky behavior that every dog owner should try to discourage as much as possible. To stop the behavior, always have your dog on a leash when you venture outside.

Dog owners who live close or next to busy streets should think about buying a dog house. This will ensure that their pets feel calm and safe when a car passes by.

You can also provide a safe outlet for the dog’s urge to chase a car by throwing it a more familiar fetch object such as a ball or stick. If the behavior becomes more persistent, consult a professional dog trainer for help.     

Author Bio: 

Kimberly Johnson is a founder of The-Hunting-Dog, a website which provides research and information about hunting breeds of dogs, and dogs in general.

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