Older dog Escapes and runs off and won't come when called.

Posted by Debidoesnt
Feb 19, 2011
Help! I have a pet rescue dog that I only got a week ago. Stanely is a Shihtzu Maltese cross and if he can manage to escape he runs off and won't come back when he is called. He shot between my legs when I took the bin out the other day and I had to track him for over 45 mintues with the car before I could get him to hop in. He won't come close enough for you to grab him and just turns and runs off on you. I walk him twice a day on a lead for 30-40 minutes, but can't let him off the lead in the park because he just takes off. He is about 4 years old from what the vet has said. Even after an hour running at the beach we couldn't get him to come and hop in the car. Any suggestions? I am trying to teach him the come command which is great when he is on a lead and has no choice, but once the lead is off it is all over red rover. He has nearly been hit by a car twice today when he shot out the door and all I could do was follow until he was distracted by another dog for a second and I could grab him.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 22, 2011
Hey Debi,

The best way to get dogs trained to come back when told to is to work with a lead and the command, even if its what youre doing now. Try using an extendable lead and giving him more and more distance to see how well he responds. You should also try training him in an enclosed space, so he cant get into traffic, etc. Your yard, or a friends place will work, and just work on having him come back to you on command, no matter what he's doing.

If you can work a toy into it, thats great, because it gives him incentive to return to you, and you can easily take a toy to the park to use once Stanleys got the idea down better.

Have you considered obedience training, or just a puppy training class even? These classes can work wonders for disobedient dogs, its helps them focus, calm down, and still get energy out! If there are any in your area, I'd suggest enrolling, its fun for the both of you.

You might get more help from other users too, they might have great ideas to help you out. I hope my advice is somewhat useful, let us know how Stanley gets on!
Posted by kjd
Feb 23, 2011

I have one suggestion to add to KOPCaroline's: call him for his dinner! Of course, Stanley probably is at your heels at dinner time. However, if there is another person in your household, that person could keep Stanley occupied or held in another room until you have the food down. Then, you call, Stanley is released, and you praise him for coming.

Also, during the day, when the two of you are just hanging around the house, call him. Have small treats so you can praise and treat in the beginning. Later, you can just praise and pet.

Don't deliberately let him run free until he is 100% in places where you can force him to come (the house). I say "deliberately" because I realize he is an escape artist. However, the idea is to get him to think of "come" as a strong line between the two of you -- if you say "come," he thinks he has to get to you. [In the house, if you call him and he doesn't come, you can go get him by the collar and bring him to where you called him from.] The good thing about calling ever-so-often in the house is that he won't see "come" as a time when all good things stop. You called, he came, you praised and released, he went back to his fun.

Good luck,