Puppy running off

Posted by BAHanson
Feb 14, 2012
My 6 month old male, toy poodle takes off when not on his leash and will not come to me, unless I "bribe" him.
Three times he has gone so far that I need to drive to find him.
I am thinking to get one of those training collars, as we live in the country near busy highways, and I am afraid he will end up getting hit by a car, or something.
Please any suggestions for me?
We also have a 25 pound poodle mix who has had the run of the neighborhood, but I want to curb this behavior as well.....
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Feb 15, 2012
Hi BAHanson,

I am afraid you will need to train your pup until his recall becomes solid before you let him off-leash. I am so worried he might get hit by a car one day

You will also re-train your 25 lbs dog too. Poodles are smart dogs and I am sure they will be reliable if you work on the recall with patience and consistency. I never used a long lead but I was told that it is very helpful when training to come when called.

You need to start with low distraction, such as inside your backyard, etc. and move on to a dog park or somewhere with more distraction.

Also, when they have taken off for some reason, don't ever chase them. If you do they will think it's a fun game. Instead run to the opposite direction with a happy and fun voice. If they follow you, don't try to reach them. Instead, tell them to "Sit" and "Stay" in a calm voice so that you won't lose them again.

It pays off if you train them "Sit" and "Stay" and "Come" on a daily basis inside the house. Put dog treats on your kitchen counter and call them for no reasons. They will soon learn that coming to you when called means "treat". When you walk them, keep some treats in your pocket and when they pull to chase a squirrel or something, call their names and if they come back to you, treat them. You can make everything as a training opportunity for your dogs
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 20, 2012
Hi BAHanson,

I really can't add much more advice to MHN's great start - its everything I would suggest. Its a bad idea to let a dog off lead if they don't respond to "come" EVERY time you give the command - who knows (as it sounds like you've found) where they'll jet off to?!

In addition to lead work on the recall command, you can invest in fences or a collar as you were thinking, but I would suggest only using it on your property in training mode - not as a way to keep them on the property without training with the two of them.

You could also look into exercise lead lines - basically zip lines you hook your dogs collar to so they can run across the yard, but are still tethered to something and can't run off. You can use these for unsupervised play AND for training on recall.

As MHN said, never chase a dog who's run off - turn the opposite direction and make a "game" of them chasing you back. Always reward a good response to "come" or any command while you're working with them.

It may take some time, but I know your dogs will get the hang of it, even the older one. Please keep us posted as to how things are going, and good luck!
Posted by martha
Mar 20, 2012
Hi BaHanson

I have the same problem with my 2 year old Maltese/Japenese Chin,, everytime i let him lose from his leash he runs off, and yes i have to bribe him as well to return, i will try the opposite direction and make a game of him chasing me back....thanks guys, goodluck to us...

thank you