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Dog bolting into garden

(4 Posts)
Auriga Sun 11-May-14 17:31:31

Our six year-old lab bitch developed a bad habit of bolting out the back door, as though fired from a cannon, when we let her out at night. She would run straight to the back fence, hackles up, and bark once or twice - I think she'd seen foxes there a few times. After the first rush she'd then be calm and come when called. Managed to slow her down a bit with training, making her sit and wait etc, but she still occasionally bolted.

In Feb neighbour's fence came down in storms and he still hasn't replaced. This means we can only take her in back garden on lead. She has been fine most of the time but twice in recent weeks she has unexpectedly bolted. The first time she pulled my hand against the door frame; last night she pulled me right over. I was badly hurt both times.

Any advice on how I can sort this quickly? Don't want the garden to be a no-go area for her but she has clearly been spooked. She doesn't seem to do it in daylight and she's fine on (and off) the lead elsewhere


noddingoff Sun 11-May-14 19:35:06

I expect somebody with more knowledge of behaviour will be along in a minute (and, as always, worth consulting an APBC behaviourist) but I would:
- get a Halti so she can't pull you over
- make her walk slowly as she goes out; halt, sit, do a couple of turns walking to heel then steadily over to the grass to pee and have a mooch about
- do a couple more obedience "moves"
- then slowly back inside
- even after the fence is replaced, I wouldn't open the door with her off lead till she has made no attempt to bolt on-lead for a few weeks

Auriga Sun 11-May-14 20:17:59

Thank you

It's back to basic principles, I know. I've just been caught out because it's infrequent and (apparently) unpredictable.

Auriga Tue 13-May-14 12:58:10

Anyone else have advice? Trying to make a plan (still too lame to walk her but she's behaving for DH)

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