Animal Care Clinic

Jul 11, 2012 4:10 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

How to handle a dog who chases anything and everything

We had a Facebook fan post about her Border Collie chasing cars and anything else on wheels when she takes her for a walk, "...or when she takes me for a walk I should say. HELP."

We subsequently had several other KSBY fans pitch in with suggestions and debate about the value and controversy of shock collars, whether the dog is bored, lonely, perhaps the dog needs more exercise, there was a suggestion for a dog day care program.

Here is Bonnie Markoff's answer:

You are all "correct." Boredom plays a role in all bad behaviors (people too!) Exercise can be a huge help for some dogs. Doogie day care, keeping dogs away from things on wheels, denying access to the types of things they like to chew - these are tremendously helpful also.

When every effort has been made to correct behavior problems, and when a thorough veterinary evaluation assures us there is no medical issue (anxiety, hormonal problems ,etc), many owners consider euthanasia. I agree that shock collars can be cruel, but they can also be life saving. I would never let a pet owner use a shock collar unless they were first willing to use it on themselves - and they only be used under the supervision of an experienced and compassionate trainer/vet. The Citronella collars (squirt liquid instead of a shock) are generally just as effective and therefore our first choice.

Behavior problems are tremendously frustrating and we always recommend individualized, professional assistance

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