Chasing squirrels is a favorite pastime for many dogs. Some have a natural prey drive that spurs them to chase anything that moves or gives off a scent. Other dogs are protecting their backyard from invaders. And some squirrels will even tease dogs as a boredom-relieving game.
While you may appreciate your dog keeping squirrels out of your backyard, this is actually a behavior worth curtailing. It may be annoying to have your dog sprinting around the yard and barking, but it can also be a safety concern if your dog darts off after a squirrel or other small animal when not in your backyard when they can run into the path of a car or get lost.
There are a few methods you can use to limit chasing behavior spending on the reasons your dog goes after squirrels. Regardless of which method you use, you will need to be consistent during the time you are training. Because of this, it is often best not to let your dog in the backyard without supervision during this time. Try one of the following training ideas:
If chasing behavior has progressed past the point at which you feel comfortable training - if your dog is jumping fences or attacking small animals, for instance - you may want to contact an experienced dog trainer who can help.