Does your dog like to chase squirrels? While it seems silly and cute, especially in hunting breeds, it can be quite dangerous. A dog may break free of confines or their leash to chase a squirrel, or they may harm the squirrel in some way. Here’s how to stop the behavior.
Create Scent Games
Scent games like “find it” are great options for dogs who like to chase after critters, especially if they tend to like to trail a squirrel’s scent. You can do a very simple version of this type of game by scattering your dog’s kibble in grass so they can hunt for it, allowing their energy to be occupied with this instead of squirrels. You can also hide treats, food, or toys around the home or yard to challenge them.
Make Chase More Safe
If your dog’s main focus in hunting squirrels is the thrill of the chase, then let your dog flex their chasing muscles in a safer way. Use toys such as flirt poles or balls for fetch for this purpose. When your dog sees a squirrel, quickly get their attention and make them focus on the appropriate toy instead.
A dog who naturally chases squirrels may be talented at other forms of dog sport! Speak to your vet to see if your dog is suitable for such exercise.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay