Can anybody please help me????????

Posted by angelamckay
Dec 29, 2008
:mad:I have an 18 month old Patterdale X that is a complete nightmare when you take her for a walk. I have had her for 10 months now and in the house she is the best and most obedient dog in the world, but once she gets out on a walk she turns into a completely different dog. As soon as you take the lead off she runs off as fast as possible completely ignoring my commands to 'come'. She does always come back (in her own time) but most of my walk is spent without a dog, which is worrying because I don't know where she is, not to mention dangerous. She chases everything that moves, be it a bird/leaf/squirrel/another dog etc. When she is in an open field she is not too bad but as soon as you get near any bushes/trees she is off!!
I took her to dog training classes when we first got her and she was a star pupil whilst there, but as soon as you get her out on a walk she totally forgets everything she has learnt. I have tried your technique on rewarding her everytime she comes back, but all I seem to do is get through a lot of treats for no reward, it also feels like she is being rewarded for running away! I have also tried keeping her on a lead for the entire walk, but this seems unfair and not like a 'proper' walk.
Prior to owning her I had 2 jack russels for 16 years and never had any problems with them - going for a walk used to be enjoyable with them, but it has now got to the stage where I dread taking her out. Any suggestions would be greatly received!
Posted by KOPsBecks
Dec 29, 2008
Hey there thanks for your query. I would suggest continueing with the obedience classes, to affirm the commands in your dogs mind. These are also great chances to socialise for both your dog and you. I would also suggest maybe using a long leash where she can run say 30mbut then it stops. These leashes are also useful for training to come as if she doesnt listen you can yank on the leash to get her attention. The key to this is getting your dog to focus on you. So every time you call "come" get your dogs attention first by whistling, or calling her name or by shaking a can of stones. Then once she is listening to you, say "COME" loudly and with an assertive tone. As soon as she starts to come towards you, start praising her and when she reaches you then shower her with love and attention - you may also give edible treats at this point too. Practise this exercise on a long leash for a few weeks first to make sure she gets the idea.

Good luck and Let me know how it goes!!

Posted by angelamckay
Dec 30, 2008
Have tried having her on a long line and all that seems to achieve is me spending half of the walk untangling her from trees/bushes!! As for getting her to focus on me, once you let her off the lead, you could let a bomb off and she wouldn't hear it - all she focuses on is getting to whatever it is she has set her mind on. She does come back eventually, eats her treat, gets her praise then takes off again. Don't understand it because at home she is glued to my side, but once she's out and about she is nowhere nearme.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 30, 2008
Hi angelamckay,

I am afraid you have trained Ruby in the way she likes to walk. You have put up with the way for 8 months so she has no doubt about it.

I would put her on a short leash inside the house before you step out. Once I am out I would be determined to control her. If she pulls, stop and don't even move an inch, or pull her in the opposite direction for a few feet and turn around and start walking.

I don't understand why you feel it's not fair to keep her close to you all the time during the walk. It is no fair for YOU that Ruby is giving YOU such a hard time! Please be consistant and patient if you really want to correct her behavior. It took her 8 mos to get this bad habit so it can easily take that much time or more to fix it.

I would control Ruby during the walks but would take her to a doggy park where she can run around and chase squirrels, etc. Besides walking a non-obedient dog off-leash is so dangerous and not fair for other people who are just enjoying nice walks.

I sometimes let my 2 female dogs walk off-leash in the bike path but as soon as I see someone coming, I call them to leash them. I don't even dream of letting my male dog off-leash on our walk since I know I cannot control him good enough once he sees a squirrel or something.

Good luck
Posted by angelamckay
Jan 13, 2009
Have tried everything with Ruby and still no joy! I walk her for at least an hour a day along with my 2 year old Weimeramer. Have been keeping her on the lead and only letting my weimeramer off unless we are in a huge open space, when as soon as I let her off she runs off at a hundred miles an hour and doesn't even acknowledge me calling her - it's as if she goes deafs She does come back to me but only after a minute or so. Not only that she makes my weimeramer go with her, so I am then left shouting for two dogs. I was kind of hoping that as we have now had her for longer than she had been alive when we rescued her, our training would have overcome the lack of training that she had had in her first 8 months of life. Please tell me that one day she will grow out of her 'deafness'.
If I practice recall in the garden, she is fantastic - comes 1st time, every time I call her - it just goes wrong when she's out in the open!
Surely somebody out there has a magical solution?!:eek:
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Jan 14, 2009
Hi there,
I would be interested in finding out a few things.

1. When Ruby takes off, do you call her back straight away?
2. How do you call her back? Is it any different to the way you do it in your backyard?
3. Do you stay calm or do you get annoyed?
4. Do you wait for her to come back or do you follow her when she runs away?
5. Does your other dog come back when you call him?

Posted by angelamckay
Jan 14, 2009
Have tried calling her back the second she takes off and also tried leaving her for a few seconds but neither work, it is almost like she has tunnel vision and is totally focussed on getting where she wants regardless of anything.
I generally call her back in a happy 'sing-song' voice but sometimes I'm afraid I may call her in an angry voice as it is really difficult remaining positive when you're being totally ignored. Whenever she does come back though, I always make a huge fuss of her and praise her lots. My weimeramer only comes back when she does, as he follows her yet when Ruby is on the lead and only Woody is off he is so obedient, always comes back as soon as I call him, and stays around me - not a dot in the distant as is the case when him & Ruby are off the lead together.:mad:
Posted by Idan-Kashi
Jan 15, 2009
Why won't you try to repeat simple obedience commands like down, stay, fetch and so on outdoor, progressively until you can let her off leash in the training? Then, she'll be more focused on you.
Posted by LetsPlay
Jan 16, 2009
Hi there,
I can totally understand that it's hard to stay calm when your dog ignores you, but I guess you can't blame her if she doesn't come back if you call her with an angry voice.
It sounds like this problem has a long history.
Try to put yourself in her position, there are heaps of interesting smells, she can run around like a wild thing.. all that is much more interesting than listing to your commands.

I would recommend the following:
First you need to start from scratch. Your dog has learned that "come here" or "come back" or whatever recall command you use means ...nothing. It means that she can do what she wants and you just keep calling her from somewhere in the background.
Create a new command and practice it in your back yard. Don't use her name to call her, but come up with something new, for example "back to me".
Always say this in a happy "sing song" voice in exactly the same way.
Have her on a long leash and gently pull her towards you if she hesitates.
Always give her a little treat when she comes back. You will need to practice this for a long time, weeks and weeks. It will need to become a habit rather than just a command.

Never use this command if there is a chance that she might be able to ignore you, so basically make sure you only use it in your back yard when their is no distraction, or on a long leash.
Once you feel comfortable that she reliably listens to this command take her into the woods again, or better a dog park or an area that is safe. If she heads off again and ignores you, ignore her as well. Turn around and walk the other way. Hide behind a tree if you can. (make sure you do this in a safe place just in case she gets scared).
Don't call her back just let her run.
Once she realizes that you are walking away or are hiding she will more than likely come back towards you. As soon as you can be sure that she is heading your way, come out of your hiding spot and call her with the new command. Fuss over her and give her a treat.
Practice this as much as you can and after a while (it might take weeks!) she will become more reliable. Just make sure you never use the command when there is a chance that she could ignore you to start with.
After a while this command will be so ingrained in her brain that she won't be able to do anything else but listen to you.

I did this with a dog I worked with who did exactly the same. He would just take off. When I started to take off in the other direction he realized that he is on his own now and usually started looking for me. Now we are at a point that I can call him even if he just found a rabbit hiding in the bushes. But trust me it took a long time and we practice a few times a week for months.

All the best for the training and I would love to hear how you get on.
Posted by angelamckay
Jan 18, 2009
Hi there,
Thanks for that, will try changing my 'command' and see if it makes any difference. Never had a 'rescued' dog before, my last two dogs, I had from 6 weeks old so was able to train them from day one - getting a dog at 8 months old is proving a different challenge - have no idea what her previous training was like (although kind of think it was none-existant and from what I can gather she was only taken out late at night with another dog that was a 'ratter' so am assuming that is where she picked up this habbit from). It is frustrating though because as I have said before, at home in the garden and in the house she is fantastic, she never leaves my side and always (well almost) does as she is told. Just wish she could understand that if she was a good girl she could be off the lead as much as my other dog is - feel sorry for her when he's running around enjoying himself and she is stuck on the end of a lead. Hopefully, in years to come I will look back on this and think, "gosh, can't believe Ruby used to run off all the time!"
Posted by LetsPlay
Jan 18, 2009
Good luck and let us know how you get on...
Posted by phyllus
Jan 19, 2009
I have a dachschund that does the same thing. Had him for a year now and the he's finally getting better, but I would never trust taking him off the leash while outside. He's so quick when he lunges that he would snap retractable leashes from my hand unexpectedly. I switched him over to a short 6 ft leash that I can slip my wrist into a loop at the end. The leash is then also attached to a leash that I wear around my waist. With this additional safety, when he would try to run away from me, I would turn and walk the other way. I wouldn't let him see me holding the leash with my hands, but rather keep walking with him attached to my waist. This has made him much easier to handle outside, but I still wouldn't trust to let him loose.
Posted by judybrown
Feb 5, 2009
It may be worth taking a whistle with you. The sound is more piercing and will travel further than your voice, also the sound is more consistent and may help avoid the angry voice issue.

best of luck!
Posted by angelamckay
Feb 9, 2009
Still no improvement with Ruby, am beginning to think she is going to be like this for ever. Any other suggestions?
Posted by LetsPlay
Feb 10, 2009
Hi there,
how are you getting on with Ruby?
Any progress?