My neighbor has a white American Bulldog, Holly, that is spayed and two years old. Every time someone comes in their house Holly runs past and then runs amok in the neighborhood. I am afraid something is going to happen to her. She is a beautiful and sweet dog, but does seem to need discipline.
What is the suggested advice to break this running out of the door, not listening and then running amok till someone can catch her? Thanks
By Michelle from Des Moines, IA
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I would invest and do research on an electronic collar. There is a lot of info on them at leerburg.com.
Keep a leash close by. When someone comes to the door put the leash on the dog. Make it sit until the person is inside and the door is closed. With practice, you can make the dog sit without the leash.
I completely agree with Danialle! Keep a leash by the door. When the doorbell rings put the leash on the dog and make her sit as the visitors enter (have the visitors ignore her at first, to much excitement will only make things harder.) Repeat this behavior at the door when the guests leave. The leash and the command to sit are equally important. It's tempting to just put a leash on her, but she needs something to do while at the door. So make sure to tell her to sit. It will take a ton of practice, but it will stop her from running away immediately. Someday, hopefully soon, she'll be able to greet visitors with no leash and in a calm sit pose. Good luck! :)
Since dogs are food motivated I'd make a cluck sound when she sits and give her a treat. You'll have to practice this before someone comes to the door. Use the leash during practice sessions so she will know a treat will soon be coming.
As soon as someone comes through the door throw out a doggie bone. Make sure the dog sees it. Once the treat has been eaten teach the dog that there is another treat waiting just as soon as the dog returns into the house. Maybe let the guest give the dog the return bone.
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I have a Shih Tzu who runs away if I put her outside without a leash on. She eventually comes back after we call her a lot.
My dog runs away. It's really terrible. He can open the door and get out of the house even when he has been crated. He can climb a ten foot fence and he is a skilled digger. If I lock him in the house or garage, he tears it up. What can I do? I have had him for three weeks. I got him from a farmer who chained him, I am starting to see why. I have 14 acres, yet he runs miles away from home every other day. And when people catch him and give us a call, he often escapes before we can get there.
Your dog needs training. Start walking him at least an hour a day to burn down his energy. It will help him bond to you so you can continue training him to be a calmer, better companion.
Don't underestimate the importance of the walk. You'll need a training collar, which is a strong metal chain that isn't too loose or too tight, and a sturdy leash. Go out the door first and keep him at your left side by patting it with your hand and saying "Heel." If you can do 2 walks a day all the better.
Consulting a local dog trainer would be helpful as would training classes. Get the book "Be a Pack Leader" by Cesar Millan aka: The Dog Whisperer. It's excellent and makes a lot of sense.
Don't despair. You need to redirect his energy to more constructive things and work with him so he can become calm and submissive. Your job as the pack leader is to be calm and assertive.
Good luck! (11/25/2007)
The dog does not run away when I am there. When I leave the house for 1/2 an hour, he will squeeze through his crate and open our sliding doors. If I lock him in, he tears things up. He was chained to a post for two years before we had him.
When he gets out, he runs. People try to catch him. He has a collar with tags. He is like the gingerbread man. They catch him, call me, and by then he has escaped. He moves down the road, ends up miles away, I get calls all along. He breaks into confinements where other dogs are kept, crawling under fences, leaping out.
I want help civilizing a dog who is wild and uncivilized, not by my fault. But it takes an experienced dog owner to know how to calm down a dog who is used to being tied who wants and has wanted nothing more his whole life but to run off.
Oddly, he always returns home on his own. Sometimes, he is gone two days. He comes home in the middle of the night and howls like a wolf and until I am up and let him in.
He is intelligent, and I crate trained him in minutes, a dog who had never been in one. He learned how to open the door by asking to be let out and in in a succession of trials over three minutes, carefully studying how the door opened and closed and opened and closed. This was the first day.
I do not work full time. Only two days a week. I have time, I walk him around. He is a wild creature and distrustful. I know, my fault. I ruined him.
When you go outside he pulls on the leash so hard it is painful, and when you try to make him stop, he won't or he jumps on your back, or runs around circles and hurls through your legs, then jumps on your back. With children, he likes to run and thump them with front paws, knock them over, roll, while pretending to tear off their heads. In spite of this, he is very gentle and never really hurts anyone or acts aggressively in a biting hurting way.
So now, aside from walking him, how do I get him to stop jumping and knocking up about? I know, walking him, well that is hard when he sees it as a war. (11/28/2007)
You might try what is called a "gentle leader", which would make it more comfortable for both of you when walking. It is more like a harness than a collar which prevents your dog from having its neck jerked and makes it much easier for you to control him. Just a thought. (11/28/2007)
It's nice to hear that you are not ready to give up on him. You need to take him to obedience class. (11/28/2007)
This sounds cruel, but there is an electronic dog collar that emits a slight shock when the animal goes near a buried electronic fence. The fence can be placed around your territory and maintained until your dog decides to remain within the boundaries.
Dog obedience school is a good idea, but they can be time consuming and expensive. This particular dog desperately wants his freedom! I suggest you give it to him and then find yourself a puppy. (11/29/2007)
You don't mention what breed of dog this is. Some breeds have a tendency to 'run', Huskies for instance. If that's the case, it's going to be very hard to train out of your dog, but it can be done. Get a good training book
(Recommended: anything by The Monks of New Skeet or Patricia McConnell). Until you and "Houdini" get the aforementioned book under your belts, perhaps you could leave him at a doggy day care or boarding facility on those days you have to work. Some even offer training!
Best of luck~ Cheryl (11/29/2007)
Ok, The dog is a German Shepherd. Did I also mention that the farmer did not fence him because he can climb over a ten foot fence. Like a man, the farmer said.
And the electronic fence/collar won't work, I am told, because he is impervious to pain. To get out of his crate, he squeezes through metal wires. He has chewed through electrical wires in my garage when I tried to leave him in the garage.
I also didn't mention that he cannot travel in cars. When I picked him up it was his first trip. It really freaks him out. I am waiting for him to calm down about this idea. But when he escapes, I have to start over every time. (11/29/2007)