Why Do Dogs Love to Chase?

Why Do Dogs Love to Chase?

Usually referred to as a prey drive, dogs tend to chase after something: a stick, dog toys, a Frisbee, a bone or a tennis ball. Why do dogs believe that they could catch something bigger than them, like a motorbike? Why are some dogs scared of someone over a skateboard while others don’t care? Below are some of the things dogs chase after and the reasons behind it.

Small Animals

This is attributed to a higher prey dive. There are multiple breeds which were specifically designed to attack small animals like otters, gophers, rabbits, etc. It is like an inbuilt instinct in some breeds and most of them cannot help but chase a frog, squirrel, cat or chicken.

Other times it is the thrill of the chase, and once the dog gets hold of the prey, they let it go. On the other hand, at times the dog is so engrossed in the hunt that they have to finish what they start till the very end.

Bicycles/Cars/Motorcycles

The speed of the prey and the thrill of the chase are two reasons that drive your dog to chase cars, bikes, or any possible vehicle. This hazardous practice can result in injuries to both the dog and the driver.

Usually, a dog will stop chasing a car as soon as the car halts. In the case of motorbikes, skateboards, skates or bicycles, there is a high chance that the dog will continue the chase with nipping and biting once the vehicle stops. This behavior has to be dealt with immediately to avoid any injuries. Contact a professional trainer for ways to curb this behavior.

Tails

Watching your dog chase its tail brings out the laughs and giggles at the silliness of the act. While the act in itself might seem silly, the reason behind it is equally foolish. Dogs tend to chase their tails when they are bored or anxious. When bored, an intelligent dog requires continuous mental stimulation.

Give the dog a task, teach him to herd the cat or fetch the newspaper. Encourage it to indulge in competitive sports which keep it active and alert. If there is something else that keeps it engaged, the tail would not be as tempting. If the dog is anxious, talk to the vet about ways to reduce the dog’s anxiety.

People

There are multiple reasons that drive a dog to chase someone. A territorial chase may take place when a stranger walks to the door or into the dog’s territory. In such a case, the dog might give a chase while nipping the heels of the intruder.

There is also a play chase. In a pack, dogs take turns to chase each other and it is primal good fun. Catching someone after a chase is self- rewarding. However, a stranger passing by your house would not find being the target of a snarling, running dog to be very amusing.

Laser Beams

Most dogs do not care a lot about obtaining a little bouncing beam of light; whereas others become totally obsessed with it. The laser dot that zooms and zips around the floor and up the walls aggravates a dog’s prey drive and they will madly follow it.

However, there is no contentment after the chase is over as they don’t really get to catch anything. Studies show that some animals that chase laser specs could develop an obsession, which could later result in anxiety.

The thrill to chase, genetic trait, higher prey dive, self-rewarding and competition are some of the reasons why dogs enjoy chasing. As long as it remains playful and no one is hurt, chasing is a good past time for your fluffy friend.

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