Car Chasing No More: Day 2 and 3
On the second day of training your dog not to chase cars and other moving objects, the exact sequence should be repeated as day one : with the dog dragging the thirty-five foot line. In each instance where an automobile passes without the dog yielding to temptation, he earns your praise; genuine, enthusiastic praise!
Let him get started with his charge before you make a grab for the end of the line. If he detects you moving for the line and breaks off the charge, you must follow through with the sequence just as if he had gone all the way through the chase behavior. Any dog smart enough to sense a correction coming, and modify his actions accordingly, soon will be playing a game of ‘catch me if you can’.
Your dog must know that any infraction, however slight, automatically brings the full force of the correction. At the conclusion of the day’s lesson, confine the dog away from temptation as before.
By the time the third day rolls around, your dog will be getting the idea that you don’t want him chasing cars, that his actions in doing so displeases you greatly and causes you to get angry.
So far, you have made the first breakthrough in communications with education. On the third day, you must broaden this education to include the automobile as an object of displeasure, and tied this in with your displeasure.
You will need the assistance of a friend or neighbor on the third day, who will volunteer to drive their car. You will also need a few additional training aids. Three or four tin cans tied together on a string should be in the front seat beside the driver, along with an empty aluminum soda can with about 10 or so pennies inside, and maybe a few water balloons.
Allow your dog to drag the line around the yard while you go inside and out of sight. Watch your pet from a concealed vantage point. As the dog charges the car, the driver should let go of the tin cans (without slowing down). You don’t want the cans to actually strike your dog, but rather scare the animal by the loud clinking noises.
This action is followed immediately you, the dog owner, emerging from your place of concealment, grabbing the line, and reeling the dog in for a good shaking and a verbal chewing out.
Meanwhile, the driver circles the block and you should retreat back into the house, leaving the dog alone for the next pass of the automobile. On the second pass, and each succeeding pass where the dog makes no attempt to charge the car, you should emerge enthusiastically, and give your dog an over-abundance of praise.
If the dog chooses to charge the car, the driver should let go with another shocking training aid. Four or five such passes should be all that is necessary. Even if the dog starts to charge, but aborts his goal before he gets close enough for the driver to let go with the tin cans or water balloons, you must emerge from the house, grab the line, and verbally chew out the dog once more.
You may be asking why should the dog be corrected if he changes his mind in the middle of the charge. In the mind of a dog, things are either black or white. There are no gray areas in between. To a dog, and owner who is willing to compromise is an owner who is willing to surrender unconditionally. Therefore, the dog must be corrected for any overt movement toward passing cars, so that he eventually comes to realize the necessity of ignoring the car altogether.