My dog ​​runs after joggers and cyclists: what should I do?

Does your dog run after joggers and cyclists? Before you act, know that you need to understand the reasons for this behavior because it is imperative to provide an appropriate response. But why trade, you might ask? Quite simply because this type of behavior is not normal and cannot be conditioned. On the one hand, it can endanger your pet, but also the cyclists and runners it chases and which it can frighten, attack, injure or worse. On the other hand, this attitude should not take hold, because the dog must learn to behave well in the presence of its congeners and people from 12 weeks of age, during the socialization phase.

To prevent your animal from being a source of danger to others, an annoyance to its victims, cyclists and joggers, but also an embarrassment to you, its owner, it is important to know how to act, starting with understanding the origin of this problem. Find our advice through the main reasons for this bad behavior.

Possible reason #1: My dog ​​lacks physical exercise

Some dogs have a strong need for physical exercise, which, if not fully met and satisfied, causes them to rely on sources of stimulation, including joggers and cyclists.

This instinct is especially present in dogs from working breeds, especially herding breeds such as sheepdogs. These dogs really have a need to gather that remains rooted in them even if they are not raised in this gathering perspective. Thus, if they have not exerted themselves enough, they may seek to release all the accumulated energy by running after the bikes or runners with the aim of regrouping them.

What should be done in this case?

It is imperative to meet the dog’s needs, quite simply. By adopting him, you agree to take care of him and offer him what he needs to live well. Food, coziness, care, but also physical training and daily stimulation are part of these famous needs that we are talking about.

Don’t hesitate to offer your pet activities that will allow him to release his instincts without letting off steam for cyclists and joggers. Trail games for hunting dog breeds, balloon collection games for herding dogs… ideas abound!

In addition, you absolutely must offer at least a 30-minute walk for your dog. We’re not talking about letting him get some fresh air in the garden, but about taking him on a real excursion that will stimulate him physically and smell-wise every day!

Possible reason #2: My dog ​​is trying to play

In addition to the need to respond to his instincts and the manifestation of a lack of physical activity, your dog may start chasing cyclists and joggers simply because he needs or wants to play. This behavior is especially common in puppies around 12 weeks old. When it grows up, the young puppy learns to socialize, that is to say, to behave well with its fellows and people. To do this, he learns to decipher the codes of conduct to be adopted in contact with his mother and siblings.

As a result, around 12 weeks of age, the puppy learns the game and its rules, especially in terms of behavior. He may therefore start chasing bicycles and runners simply to fulfill his gambling instinct.

What should be done in this case?

It is important to make the young pooch understand that this behavior is inappropriate and that it must stop. His mother is no longer by his side to raise him, it’s up to the master to take over. This learning is essential because if it is not done, the animal may continue this bad behavior into adulthood. To do this, you need to teach him to give up and divert his attention at the right time.

Possible Reason #3: My dog ​​is scared

Fear in dogs is an emotion that manifests instinctively when the dog feels in danger. It is neither more nor less than a survival reflex in the face of a threat. However, when the dog cannot flee in the face of perceived risk, it may seek to defend itself by attacking.

Fear of bicycles and cyclists can arise for many reasons. The dog may have been poorly socialized and does not know how to behave in this case, but it may also be due to trauma. Either way, the animal attacks and runs after whoever it deems to be a threat.

What does he do in this case?

It is difficult to work alone with the fear of the dog. In general, the help and advice of a dog behaviorist or a dog trainer is necessary to understand the source of the fear and provide an appropriate response.

A long rehabilitation is often essential. It is necessary to be able to help the dog to no longer perceive bicycles and runners as threats, especially by associating them with positive elements. Do not scold your dog, as you will only increase his stress without solving the problem. Likewise, if you know he’s scared, don’t try to overly soothe him by stroking him or saying sweet things to him. He will infer that he is right to be afraid when you reassure him, which will only reinforce his behavior.

Possible Reason #4: My dog ​​is protecting his territory

In addition to fear, it is also the territorial instinct that can make the dog attack bicycles and runners. Like the cat, the dog is actually a territorial animal that must defend the space that it considers to be its own, but also that of its family. This perimeter is not limited to the walls of the house or apartment, but to a certain area around her or him.

Thus, as soon as a bicycle or a runner approaches it, it will try to scare it away, which it perceives as an intruder. To do this, he can chase it with the intention of attacking it or simply scare it away and chase it away.

What should be done in this case?

It is not easy to handle such a situation. The help of a dog trainer is generally important to reduce this need for territorial defense and to promote the development of more positive emotions in the dog. Very often it is necessary to help the dog to understand that a bicycle or a jogger – in short, a passer-by – is not a threat to his space or his loved ones.

Possible Reason #5: My dog ​​is losing interest in me

Finally, it may happen that some dogs are interested in runners and cyclists as a source of employment and prefer to run after them rather than simply listen to their master. Of course, a doggy can be interested in many things that will cause him to turn away from his master. Nevertheless, it is probably necessary to reconsider the nature of the master/dog relationship if the animal continues to not listen or obey.

What should be done in this case?

It is important, in this kind of situation, to refocus your pooch on your person so that he listens to you. Work on leash walking and develop progressive and customized learning sessions that will strengthen your relationship and your bond.

Of course, if your dog doesn’t listen to you or not always, limit your verbal exchanges to the only real commands you want to give him. With some doggies, talking to say nothing ends up tiring them and pushing them to turn away from you so they don’t have to listen to you anymore. Indeed, do not forget that your human language is not understood by the animal. If you had to listen to someone speak to you in a foreign language without subtitles for hours, you would probably be as bored as your little companion.

Play with your dog, give him treats when he concentrates on you and sees you, move away from sources of stimulation as soon as you see them approaching, etc.

It is also important to teach your dog “sit!” commands. and “you go!” to keep him in a static position and encourage him to relinquish the object of his interest, in this case the runner or cyclist. This apprenticeship may be long, but it will be very useful to you on a daily basis.

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