runaway dog...

Posted by kellyrachael
Jan 20, 2008
hi,i have a 2 year old german shepard,and when i take her off the leads,she is ok until she sees a dog,and just runs after it,:she doesnt bite the dog she just wants to play,she hasnt got any breaks though,and just goes crashing into the dogs and sometimes knocks them over.Which other dog owners are not impressed with.If anybody could help me at all
thanks rachael
Posted by Todd
Jan 22, 2008
Hi there Rachael and thank you for your question.

The first advice i would give you is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where they stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-
1) If you come across your dog while he is sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.
2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.
3) At mealtimes make sure that your dog or dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.
5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved

General obedience is critical to having your dogs trained and responding to commands. Work on to sit, stay and come. This may take some time but will be very useful in the long run. Train her for 10 minutes twice a day on these basic commands.

You should reprimand your dogs for unacceptable behavior, no matter what that behavior is. If you do not reprimand your dog's poor behavior then it will feel that it has the right to behave that way and it will take much longer to correct the behavior. DO NOT yell, as this has no effect on the dominant dog. Growl instead, use a guttural growl like " AAHHH!" instead of "No!", as this makes a sharper sound then "No" (If done correctly it may hurt your throat a little).

Okay now here is how i think you should approach the running away issue. Get a long rope. Start with the rope short and give her the come command. When she comes reward her with praise and attention. This will help reinforce the command.
If she does not command reprimand her and give her a tug on the rope. Keep up with this until she will come every time.

Once she has mastered this length then give her another metre of rope and repeat. Slowly keep letting her have more rope and building the distance she will respond at.

Then you can try the situations where she will rush at other dogs. Try with a longer rope but not so long as you cant pull her back. Do as above with the reprimanding the wrong behaviour and reinforcing the correct behaviour. If she gets too much to handle stop the session and try again later.

Good luck with her, be patient and take things one step at a time. It will take time for her to learn but i am sure she will. Let me know how things go.

Kind regards

Todd Field
Posted by kellyrachael
Jan 22, 2008
hi Todd

thanks for the advice,i will give it a try,fingers crossed!!!

thanks rachael