Dog keep running away with the neighbour's dog!(7 Posts)
We live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere. There's only us and our neighbours for 30 minutes walk around.
The neighbours have a golden retriever bitch. I don't know if it's relevant, but the goldie has had one litter, had 12 puppies, and tried to lose half of them by walking them far into the forest. The neighbours found most of them and have since given them all away. This happened before we arrived 1.5 years ago.
We have a boxer bitch who is 18 months. Ever since we arrived the dogs keep running away together. We've managed to secure our side of the hamlet, so she can't get out, but still any chance she does gets to go over to the neighbours, both dogs take off together.
If the neighbours' dog isn't there, our dog stays close to us and doesn't run off. The neighbours' dog is not enclosed and will often go for a walk with any hikers or hunters that come past, but usually comes home on her own.
The neighbours are not there at the moment, so I went over this morning to feed their dog, taking my own with me as it's pretty creepy over there on your own. As soon as she spotted my dog, neighbours' dog took off running, and mine went with her. They went really fast and I didn't see where they went, but was calling for my girl, and I know she must have been able to hear me. Usually, she's got good recall, so it was doubly annoying that she could hear me and choose to ignore. (A neighbour half an hour away found them and called me to come get them.)
Until now, I thought that the dogs must have got bored and gone for an adventure with themselves, but now I've seen it in action, I've realised that they're deliberately taking off together.
Any ideas on what I can do to train our dog not to go off with the neighbours' dog? My DP often takes our dog with him when he's working on our land (we have lots) and would like to be able to have her with him without having to tie her up in case the neighours' dog suddenly appears.
I should add, we are in the south of france, so there are no sheep to worry about.
I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along but I would have thought lots and lots of recall? I've read using a whistle helps as the sound is 100% consistent, unlike a call which mine can get more desperate sounding!
Gosh, that sounds v difficult - sympathies!
Recall is only of any use when it 'works' when the dog is excited/distracted, not just when everything is calm and they are concentrating on you, so yes, I'd spend a lot of time and effort on that tbh.
What is your neighbours' take on this problem?
Is either bitch spayed?
Bumping this for you the knowledgable crowd.
Tricky. It's very difficult to 're-program' a dog who has decided to make her own fun.
I think that if the neighbours did more with their dog in terms of walking and socialising, she would reckon that it's more fun to stay with the folks than gallivanting solo or with - better still! - a companion.
You could try walking both dogs together but I think you'd have to keep them both on leads as surely they will just shag off if they are unleashed?
I think, basically, that the only dog you can work on is your own. Practising recall is key. You must never ever call your dog more than once imo, and never when you think she may not respond. In other words, she should never ever hear you and get away with ignoring you. If you need her back and you don't expect she'll come, you simply have to go after her and get her.
(You could try recall training with both dogs together - start in a confined area and have excellent snacks for them when they respond, gradually making the snacks intermittent and perhaps only for the first one back. This would at a minimum at least convey to your dog that you are still the boss even if her friend is around, even if it doesn't fully convince the neighbours' animal.)
There's a LONG way to go to have a dog who won't dash off after her friend, and until that happy day when you can be sure she'll stick with you, you should possibly have her on a long line when she's out helping on the farm unless your eye is on her. So if you're marching along side by side you should be fine, but if you're repairing fences or not really concentrating on her, then she could be on a long line and peg. Don't ignore her - interact with her, call her, treat her, make a fuss of her, do everything to convey the message of 'stay with me, it's where all the fun is'. Give her a bone or your jacket to look after. Have your main walk done before you set out to do farm work as she will then be less energetic.
There's a good book called Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson. It's pretty demanding but if you work through it, it'll work.
We have a similar problem, we're in Brazil and our lab loves to go off exploring. Normally on the farm it's no problem but he gets out of the farm perimeter and he's off galavanting with every scaby street dog in the neighborhood. Luckily he sticks to one area so I know where he is and our back garden is enclosed. It now means he needs lots more structured walks and has less freedom. We've realised that he clearly needs the company of other dogs so we're discussing getting another dog. Would this be a possibility for you?
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