Teaching Road Awareness to a Dog

We adopted our daughter's springer spaniel/collie cross when she moved back home and found that he had no regard for road safety and traffic. We managed for months with fencing around the home but this has had to be removed for work to be done. The minute the door is open he sometimes manages to escape and dashes straight down the drive and across the road. We take him out to the garden on a lead but he refused to do the deed unless he is off the leash and then he is at liberty to run. I am at my wits end as to how to teach him to not to run, and to not approach the road. Once he is running he is on a mission to go and doesn't obey any commands. What is the best way to train him? We have other dogs who go out at the same time and they have never tried to make a dash for it.


Margaret from Swansea

August 29, 20060 found this helpful

A dog should NEVER be off a lead unless they extremely trained. And even then, they can never be 100% trusted. I have seen highly trained dogs go nuts for a squirrel, or whatever. You have to be smarter than the dog. You are letting her run you. It only takes a second for a car to kill her or for you never to see her again. You as the human have to put her safety first. She is dependent on you for her life. A basic obedience course is a start. But you must make sure she's always on a lead until the work is done. It's only temporary so she will have to adjust. They will eventually go, it's nature. Keep her on a routine & reward her with a cookie/treat. Continue to take her outside on a lead several times a day & when she knows she isn't going to get her bratty way, she will go. They have a survival instinct & will eventually go because they can't wait. And the obedience training in the meantime will be good for her. I have trained all my dogs to go on command if necessary (like if a thunderstorm is coming soon & I need them to go & get right back in). It takes patience, love, & consistency. Dogs love a routine & it makes them feel secure & well led by their humans.

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August 30, 20060 found this helpful

I agree with guest post from 8/29...we had an Irish Setter that would take off whenever she could and NOTHING ever broke her of that trait.

Some dogs are natured that way and you can never, ever trust them. She would stay with us if we were out with her, if we turned our backs for 1 second she was gone!!

Dogs are like people...if this trait is born in them you will play hell to ever break them. Just like career criminals.

Sorry, I know it is discouraging, but you need to face it like it is. My son had a black lab/mix exactly the same way...she would even break through the window screens to go after something. She eventually did that one day and was never found


Keep her on a leash always, until she gets old and she will probably quit then...otherwise, she will not get old.

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August 30, 20060 found this helpful

If you have a treadmill, let your dog 'run' all her energy out before you take her outside. We have 4 dogs, 2 of which are puppies and we trained them not to run out of the gate when we opened it. Consistency was the key! I would open the gate, tell them to stay (they were on a leash in the beginning) and would reward them with a little milk bone or a taste of peanut butter and praise them for listening. Now they stay on the front porch when the gate opens :) I think it took us less than a week of doing this about 6 times a day for them to be trained. Good Luck

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August 30, 20060 found this helpful

Our dog is trained to a fenced in yard but belongs to a breed that will panic-run until she dies, if she gets loose. She is terrified of rain, thunder, and lightning or any combination or singular thereof. I have to be very careful of opening doors when any of the three are in our area, since her reaction is to always try to run out an open door if she hears, sees or smells storm conditions. I habitually lock all doors and check on her before unlocking the door. If a friend is in the house and may open a door without due care, I always leash her. During hurricanes or tropical storms (such as right now) I have sometimes had to take her out. In this case she must be leashed since we can never be sure that the fence has not been breached until the storm is over. During these trips I have learned that although her preference would be to literally insert herself under me, somehow, she will not take care of her needs unless she can (during a momentary lull) get some distance away from me. My sister says that her dogs also require a long leash in order to be comfortable enough to empty themselves out. My suggestion, then is that you continue to leash her, but try a long leash.

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September 2, 20060 found this helpful

Training is a key but almost as important is excercise. The Springer portion NEEDS it (the other collie part too!). With sufficient excercise daily, not only will the "run" tendency be reduced but he will be generally calmer and easier to train.

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