You’re probably here because you have now realized that your dog is an escape artist. Although it is much simpler to prevent an escapee from learning that he can escape, it is not impossible to teach him not to escape – but it can be a bit difficult to curb the habit once it has begun. Dogs tend to flee home either because they are very bored and under-stimulated or because they are trying to get away from somebody or something that is unpleasant to them (ie: another pet, a person who isn’t nice to him, or somebody is consistently negative).
First, begin by making sure that your dog is very satisfied at home; a bored dog leads to his need for stimulation, adventure, and excitement. This is probably the most important step you can take, it teaches your dog to want to stay home. You are now more interesting than the “fun” he can have outside the yard (gallivanting with dog friends, chasing rabbits, eating trash, etc). Make you and your family your dog’s center of attention. Play ball with him, wrestle with him, and make him excited about you.
Second, you absolutely have to secure the area he gets out of or make sure that whatever is outside that encourages him to get out isn’t visible for him. For example, putting up view blockers may help desensitize him to the outside world until you can get him under control. Try putting trash bags up so he cannot see out. Temporarily raising the fence line can help as well.
The third step is one that just about as important at the first. Exercise, exercise, exercise! The more you tire your dog out, the less likely he will be to want to escape. You will have stimulated him, allowed him supervised access to the outside world, and spent time with him. Going for walks are the best way to exercise a dog. If he is consistently trying to get outside, it would make sense that taking him out there yourself and allowing him to do many of things he would do out there anyways (sniffing everything, relieving himself, and greeting other friendly dogs if he is friendly himself) will at least satisfy his craving to leave a little. Another great option is to take your dog to an off-leash area once they are well under your control. Dogs love to explore on their own and once they are controllable, there is no reason why you can’t take them to explore outdoors off leash and supervised.
If your dog doesn’t come when he is called, it is important to begin there by teaching him to come when he is called. Some dogs have gone a long time not coming when their owners call them, so you’ll have to implement some certain techniques (such as walking him when he comes to you outside or rewarding him lavishly when he does come to you –even when you are furious at him for running off).
Be consistent. This cannot be stressed enough. The moment you stop stimulating your dog is the moment when he will start leaving again. Owning a dog is not always kicks and giggles; sometimes they take hard work, especially when a bad habit has been allowed to form and fester. Take the time to curb these behaviors as soon as possible and you will have a happy, well-behaved dog that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
Kady Stansbury is the dash of artistic temperament that makes any site a success. She is a certified dog trainer with more than 5 years of experience in her kitty. She is also a tremendous writer who has over the years developed a formidable reputation and is much sought after as a Dog Blogger. She has successfully conducted one on one sessions where her students have learnt the basic commands of dog training lightning fast.
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