Running out of the door...and not coming back! Can anyone relate?

Posted by kathleenmk18
Jan 26, 2008
I have 2 adopted dogs from our local animal shelter. My newest one, Jackson, a 1 yr old Jack Russell Terrier mix, runs out of the door at every chance he gets. He has gotten out about 4 times since November. It is very scary, we literally have to tackle him to the ground to get him. He will squeeze past your legs and push his way out of the door and runs like a nut! When we get close to him, he dodges to the left, then to the right, and gets away. I am scared that one day he will get hit by a car or will never be found.

He is so hyper, it is like he does not hear anything. Anyone with a similar problem??
Posted by MickandJinda
Jan 27, 2008
Hello.... I have two dogs... 7 years mick and 7 week old Jinda... Up till about when mick was 3 or 4years, he also had a fetish for doing the bolt and not coming back. This was very scary for my partner and I as we have neighbours who shot dogs if they venture onto or close to their properties. We tried alot of things, tied him up so if he ran, the jolt would slow him down,but we couldnt tie him down forever. W tried 7ft pens with close net wire... Buut Mick would run striaght through them. Our resolution... Electricfence! Now our dog has a high tolerance to pain, so we knew that no amount of high voltage would stop him, but the shock did. Just the uncertainty of somthing whacking him out of no where did the trick. He only had to touch it twice. We fenced the entire yard and now he is quite happy to run rings around the yeard and not leave. We also only had the fence turn on for a month. Its stay off but its still up to remind mick not to do the bolt. Having siad all that..... As your dog matures he might grow out of it... Or try having pleasent stimulates around where he sleeps to make his stay more comfortable, so he doesn't want to leave..... Good luck!!
Posted by Todd
Jan 27, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

As with the running away here are a few tips. Take him out of the kennel on the leash and take him to a well fenced area where he will be contained. Make him sit and let him off the leash when he behaves. Make him sit and wait.

Once he is responding to the stay command, try moving to a more open area. Again follow the above steps. If you have solved his fear problems you may be able to use the next step. If he begins to react and get hyperactive reprimand him by saying GRRR or AHHHH DON"T yell at him as this won't work. If he still doesn't stop you can throw a blanket over him or you can wet him with the hose.

When he returns to you reward him verbally and by patting and playing with him. You will need to be patient and work slowly to try and reduce his excitement.

One of the best things for you to do will be to Clicker train your dog. Review the section of the book on Clicker Training for a full description of Clicker Training. In your case, I think it is a good idea that you use a food reward training method sometimes, to help keep your dog motivated.

You can start with a food reward and gradually wean them off them by introducing a secondary reinforcement, such as a Clicker. You may think that your dog will only come to you for the food reward, however, in the process, they quickly learn what the Come command is, and what the click from the Clicker means too!

Clicker Training

If you start to train you dog with the Clicker, you will find this very helpful when your dog decides to take off. For example, The second your dog turns to look at you, you should (after teaching her what the Clicker means) click the Clicker as if to reward your dog for looking over at you. This may help entice her to make a decision to turn back again.

An example on training your dog to respond to the Clicker:

• Ask your dog to sit; for example, say "FIDO....SIT!" (always use its name in front of a command as this trains them to respond to their name),

• Then when your dog obeys, click the Clicker (you can find these at most pet stores), and follow the click quickly with praise/reward.

• Be consistent with your training and be rigorous when you are training your dog.

Then for the Come command do the same thing.

*Say "FIDO....COME!" and when your dog even moves a little towards you, click the Clicker and then hold out a treat (just to get your dog anticipating the Clicker as a good thing!). Pretty soon you will not need to use treats all the time, the vocal praise with the Clicker will be enough (however it is a good idea to sometimes reinforce the obedience from time to time with treats).

*It is also a good idea that you use hand signals when you are training your dog so that when your dog is in the distance, but can still see you, it will know what you are commanding and you will not have to yell.

*Practice asking your dog to come inside your home too.

*Never call your dog to you for something she will not like (e.g. a bath, or to be told off) as this will hinder your dog's trust in you.

It is very important with the Come command that you keep practicing it. In fact, I recommend this is something you practice through-out the life of your dog.

Some other good ideas are underground electric fences but this can be a bit extreme.

Good luck with him and please let me know how things go.

Kind regards

Todd Field