my biggest problem: chasing cars


Well-Known Member
Hello dog's lovers,
I have this problem and I don't know what to do.

Pablo has a strong predatory instinct: when he sees a car or a bicycle, he pulls on the leash like a devil:dogmad:

Once we were in the countryside, he was off the leash, playing with me (i thought he was safe), a car passed...Pablo started to chase it while i was having a heart attack:dogohmy:

I use "leave it", i try to get his attention, to discract him, if he does i give him coachies but it works only sometimes. cars seem to be very interesting.

any suggestions?


Honored Member
Staff member
If you can, find a park or someplace where you can get far away from the cars. If he doesn't adjust to not chasing them 100 ft away, he will always chase them 10 ft away. Find a distance where he is comfortable and does not show any interest in them. Run through some tricks to give him something to do rather than find something interesting(cars). Click and treat for calm behavior. Slowly move closer. If he gets agitated, move away again. It may take 10 minutes or it may take 2 weeks, depending on the dog, before he can walk calmly several ft away. When he is comfortable at close distances but you are concerned about being right next to traffic(sidewalks, etc), then go back to a much less busy area. Have a friend drive by slowly and repeat the process just to make sure he's got it down. Get closer until you can walk right next to your friend's car with him completely calm. From here you'll have to work on your friend speeding up with Pablo keeping his cool. It may take a really long time to get him perfect on and off leash around cars, but if you stay consistent and stick with it he will definitely improve. :) Good luck and hope this helps!


Staff member
The funniest thing. Scout has no interest in chasing cars, normally. I can walk her along a busy street no issues, she doesn't even look at them. BUT if I am rollerblading her in the park, (there is a road along 1 side, fenced off thank goodness) she wants to chase a car that drives by. ONLY when I'm on rollerblades and ONLY early in the morning, afternoon, she doesn't care, or even look. I have an odd dog, I know it, but this is kind of goofy.


Experienced Member
I too would try the distance at which there is no reaction. Then give treat treat treat all the while he is calm, remains seated or still, doesn't react. Do that about 12 or so treats worth. You could then try and move a little closer until you start to just begin to see a tiny pull between his attention to the car and you. Not so far that you lose your control of his focus. Keep him below threshold. If he goes for the car just do a 180 and to the opposite direction with a cheery let's go and walk on. Find what has more power over the car, food, a toy, a ball, a tuggy and use it. Even a rabbit pelt or similar often is a good rewarding lure for some dogs.

Interrupt before he ever goes into the stalking mode for cars and don't let him go to that mental place. The stalking or chase behavior may be self rewarding so preventing it from starting is the first step in stopping it from continuing. I also wouldn't allow him off lead where he can get to a car until you get this under control. You could also work with a long line or drag line so you could get the "feel" of off leash to him and be safe.