Another natural instinct and trait that many of our adult pet dogs still possess as a result of their ancestry is to ‘chase’ or hunt.
Of course, today our pet dogs do not need to hunt for their food as us loving owners provide them with all they need on a daily basis, often in a food bowl. As a result, the natural instinct to hunt, which includes finding, catching and retrieving, often still needs to be fulfilled and the mental and physical energy this would typically use up still needs to be spent by our dogs.
As a behaviourist, I often see this ‘unspent energy’ refocused by pet dogs into unwanted predatory behaviours such as chasing wildlife, cats, moving vehicles and even joggers and cyclists to name a few. A dog with excess energy, may also be more inclined to exhibit behavioural issues in the home such as territorial and/or separation anxiety related behaviours, for example.
It is important to remember that all dogs are different and the play game of ‘chase’ may be more beneficial for certain breeds and energy of dog than others. In its simplest form, playing a chase game with your dog can be a fun, rewarding and enjoyable bonding experience for the both of you. Furthermore, just like us humans, physical exercise can also release ‘happy hormones’ and can enhance your dog’s day.
Think about your dog’s life stage and current physical health and tailor your game and chase toy accordingly. Finally, remember my top tip, and try to avoid high impact repeated jumping by rolling your chase toy across suitable ground and
Look out for ‘activity three’ in my next video and let me know if you try any of my tips out!
Disclaimer: All training is attempted at the owner’s risk and Adem Fehmi accepts no liability for any injuries to pets or owners sustained during training. If your dog is showing signs of a behavioural issue please seek professional advice.