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

Does your dog run after joggers and cyclists? Before acting, know that you need to understand the reasons for this behavior, because it is necessary to provide an appropriate response. But why act, you may ask? Simply because this type of behavior is not normal and cannot be adapted. On the one hand, it can put your pet at risk, as well as the cyclists and runners he chases who can frighten, attack, injure or even worse. On the other hand, this situation should not stabilize, because the dog must learn to behave well in the presence of peers and humans from the age of 12 weeks, in the stage of socialization.

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

To prevent your animal from being a danger to others, a nuisance to cyclists and jogging victims, but also an embarrassment to you, master, it is important to know how to act, starting with an understanding of the origin of this problem. Find out our advice through the main causes of 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 particularly present in dogs of working breeds, especially herding breeds such as sheepdogs. These dogs really do have a need for grouping that stays grounded in them, even if they were not bred in this grouping perspective. If they don’t put in enough effort, they can therefore strive to free themselves of all accumulated energy by running behind bikes or runners with the goal of regrouping.

What should be done in this case?

It is simply necessary to meet the needs of the dog. By adopting him, you agree to take care of him and provide what he needs to live a good life. Food, rest, care and also physical exercise and daily stimulation are part of these famous needs we are talking about.

Feel free to display your pet’s activities that will allow him to shake off his instincts without causing stress to cyclists and joggers. Track games for hunting dog breeds, balloon collecting games for herd dogs…there are so many ideas!

In addition, you should offer your dog at least 30 minutes of walking. We’re not talking about letting him get some fresh air in the garden, but about taking him for a real walk that’ll both physically stimulate and cool him every day!

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

In addition to needing to respond to his instincts and manifestations of physical inactivity, your dog may start chasing cyclists and jogging just because he needs or wants to play. This behavior is especially common in 12-week-old puppies. In fact, the young dog, as he grows, learns to socialize, that is, to behave well with his peers and humans. To do this, he learns to decipher the rules of behavior to adopt in connection with his mother and siblings.

As a result, at around 12 weeks of age, the puppy is learning the game and its rules, especially in terms of behaviour. So he can start chasing bikes and runners just to fulfill his gaming instinct.

What should be done in this case?

It is important to make the young dog understand that this behavior is inappropriate and that it must stop. His mother is no longer standing by his side to teach him, it is up to the master to take over. This learning is critical, because if it is not done, the animal can continue this bad behavior into adulthood. To do this, teach him to compromise and distract him in time.

Possible Reason #3: My dog ​​is scared

Fear in dogs is an emotion that manifests itself instinctively when a dog senses danger. It is nothing more and nothing less than a survival reaction in the face of a threat. However, when a dog cannot escape in the face of perceived danger, it may seek to defend itself by attacking.

Fear of bikes and cyclists can arise for many reasons. The dog may be socially impaired and not know how to act in this situation, but it can also result from trauma. Either way, the animal attacks and pursues whoever it sees as a threat.

What to do in this case?

It is difficult to work alone on a fear of a dog. In general, help and advice from a dog behavior specialist or dog breeder is essential to understanding the source of the fear and providing an appropriate response.

Long rehabilitation is often necessary. It is essential to be able to help your dog not view bikes and runners as threats, particularly by associating them with positive elements. Don’t scold your dog because you will only make him more nervous without solving the problem. Likewise, if you know he’s afraid, don’t try to reassure him overly by petting him or saying nice things to him. He will conclude that he is right to be afraid because you are reassuring him, and this will only reinforce his behavior.

Possible Reason #4: My Dog Protects His Territory

In addition to being afraid, it is the territorial instinct that can cause a dog to attack bikes and runners. Indeed, like a cat, a dog is a territorial animal that needs to defend the space that it considers its own, but also its family. This perimeter is not limited to the walls of the house or apartment, but to a certain area around it.

Thus, as soon as a bike or runner approaches it, it will seek to frighten the person whom it considers an intruder. To do this, he can chase her with the aim of attacking her or simply frighten her and chase her away.

What should be done in this case?

It is not easy to manage such a situation. The assistance of a dog trainer is generally necessary to reduce this need to defend territory and to promote the development of more positive feelings in the dog. Oftentimes, you have to help the dog understand that the bike or the runner – in short, a passerby – is not a threat to his space or loved ones.

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

Finally, it can happen that some dogs care about runners and cyclists as a source of occupation and that they would rather run after them than just listen to their master. Of course, a dog can be interested in many things that make him turn away from his master. However, it may be necessary to reconsider the nature of the master/dog relationship if the animal continues not to listen or obey.

What should be done in this case?

It is important, in this type of situation, to refocus your dog on your person so that he will listen to you. Work on a leash and develop progressive and conditioning learning sessions that will enhance your relationship and bonding.

Of course, if your dog doesn’t or doesn’t always listen to you, limit your verbal exchange to the only real commands you want to give him. With some dogs, talking to say nothing ends up exhausting them and causing them to move away from you so they don’t have to listen to you. Do not forget that the animal does not understand your human language. If you have to listen for hours to someone speaking to you in a foreign language without subtitles, you will probably get bored just like your little buddy.

Play with your dog, offer rewards when he is focused and watching you, move away from sources of stimulation as soon as you see them approaching, etc.

It is also important to teach your dog the “sit” commands. and “You’re leaving!” In order to keep him in a constant position and encourage him to let go of the thing that interests him, in this case the runner or cyclist. This apprenticeship can be long, but it will be very useful for you on a daily basis.

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