Chasing Information On German Shepherds
Find out why your German Shepherd Dog chases people, animals or things and what you can do about it.
By Christina Cox-Evick |
posted: March 28, 2012, 1 p.m., EDT
Your German Shepherd might possess a strong prey drive. This comes from the canine desire to chase, carry things and sometimes rip them apart, much like a wild dog would with prey. Your German Shepherd Dog’s instinctual behavior is useful for training, especially if he competes in a sport or companion event, but if not directed properly, a prey-driven dog might chase cars, bicyclists or children.
Never allow your German Shepherd puppy to chase children, even during play. Chasing encourages a puppy to nip or try to knock kids down, which might be considered cute coming from a puppy but not from an adolescent or adult dog. If you don’t want a behavior in your grown German Shepherd, discourage it when he’s a puppy, and train your German Shepherd alternatives.
For instance, if your puppy likes to chase, teach him to chase balls or other toys and bring them to you. German Shepherds enjoy playing fetch, a game that provides good exercise and helps satisfy their inherent instinct to chase.
Discourage your German Shepherd from chasing inappropriate objects. A curious look at a passing bicyclist should be expected, but a dog who attempts to chase after the bicycle must learn that you determine what he’s allowed to chase. For many puppies, frequent on-leash walks gradually will desensitize them to moving cars and bicycles.
If you have a dog whose really determined to chase, interact with him on-leash near known temptations. Show your German Shepherd that not only are you in charge no matter what goes on around you, you’re also more interesting. If his attention wanders toward something moving, say "no,” prompt him to look at you, and resume playing or training.
Keep working on this throughout your German Shepherd puppy’s first year. Owners sometimes think their puppies have surmounted the chasing behavior and stop worrying, only to find the chase instinct more pronounced as their German Shepherds mature and their prey drive kicks in.
Excerpt from the Popular Puppies Series magabook German Shepherd Puppies with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase German Shepherd Puppies here.
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