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How do you stop a dog running away?

(8 Posts)
StayingFatherChristmasGirl Fri 17-Dec-10 12:15:32

I'm asking this on a friend's behalf. They have a labrador who has developed a habit of running off when off the lead. We sometimes walk this dog with our dog, and up til the last time we did this, the dogs stayed together and with us, but last time the other dog ran off and dh had to search for her.

She did it again this morning to my neighbour - vanished during the walk and came home on her own - and my friend is at the end of their tether.

How can they best teach the dog to stay with them? Where we live there are plenty of places where the dogs can run off the lead, and that seems like a good thing for the dogs - they get plenty of exercise and fun - and my friend wants their dog to carry on having this, but obviously without the running away.

booyhohoho Fri 17-Dec-10 12:17:15

they need to teach recall and they need to consistently praise it. this dog clearly likes a wee jaunt. even more important for his and other people's safety that they train him on a reliable recall and that he isn't off lead in public until they can depend on him coming when called.

Vallhala Fri 17-Dec-10 12:28:13

First and foremost - they must keep her on lead until the problem is resolved. To lose her could cost her her life on the roads, on a railway line or cause her to be picked up by someone unscrupulous whereby the owner never sees her again.

Next, is she spayed? If not that might account for her behaviour. There are scores of other reasons why she should be spayed too.

Next, your pal needs to start from scratch. Begin in the home or garden with some really nice, smelly treats (Google how to make liver cake). Call her and reward with a treat immediately when she comes. Do a few short sessions of this consistantly, say 5 or 10 minutes, every day. Don't do it for too long, she will get bored and switch off, it is then counter-productive.

Continue meantime walking her on lead - maybe use a long training lead and again call her and treat immediately when she comes. The trick is to make YOU more interesting than anyone or anything else in the world. Do this at first when you are sure there are no distractions in the park/fields and work up to doing it when there are (maybe get a pal with/without their dog to be a stooge). Be consistant, repeat, repeat, repeat. It's boring and arduous but it could be that or the dog losing her life if she runs off again.

Eventually your pal will be in a position to recall with the dog offlead in public. First of all do so without distraction and again, build up to off-lead with a distraction.

Lastly, tell your pal to consistantly use a WORD for recall, rather than the dogs name. She hears her name all the time, "Oh, Rover, your feet are muddy, Rover what have you got, careful DS, don't tread on Rover's tail..." and so this often becomes a bit like background noise to dogs. However, come or here, if associated with a treat, means just one thing... get back to owner fast.


StayingFatherChristmasGirl Fri 17-Dec-10 14:55:45

That is great advice - thanks booyhohoho and Vallhalla. I knew I could rely on mumsnet. smile

silentcatastrophe Fri 17-Dec-10 19:42:25

We are in the same boat, so it's good to have everything re-enforced. Toby goes out on a lunge line (about 20 ft) which is enough for him to run about a bit. I sometimes take a football which all the dogs can play with, and of course lots and lots of treats. He's not neutered yet, as he's still very young. He hasn't noticed the girls yet and our trainer says that even when he is neutered, it won't make much difference to his bolting behaviour. We need to break the habit. I would LOVE to have an area that dogs could not get out of with things to hide behind. We don't. Our garden isn't cow-proof either, and cows are very agile!

silentcatastrophe Fri 17-Dec-10 19:43:48

I have made liver cake before. It was really hard to cut into small bits and the kitchen stank for about a week. There must be an easier way....

VallhalaLalalalalalalalaaaaaa Fri 17-Dec-10 20:39:27

It shouldn't be hard to cut, but I agree, it does stink!

booyhohoho Fri 17-Dec-10 22:24:26

ask santa for a garden shed with electric supply, install a mini fridge!! wink

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