The problem is, dogs are not born with any instinctive fear of vehicles, they do not know what a road is, as opposed to a sidewalk, and there is little to naturally deter them from running out onto a road, unless specifically taught not to do so. While the safest method to prevent your dog from running out onto the street is to keep your dog on a leash, even the best-laid plans can go awry. Leashes break, yard gates get left open, people accidentally drop leashes, knots come untied, there is a myriad of ways your dog could be put in a situation where he is free to run into traffic. So, teaching your dog not to run into the street, even if you always keep him on a leash, is a great idea to prevent the unthinkable.
Training your dog to avoid roadways should be done as early as possible. Puppies are unpredictable and can be easily distracted chasing a ball or squirrel out onto a roadway. Adult dogs that have not developed a healthy caution of roadways should also be taught not to run out on the road. This is a critical safety issue for your dog. There are several exercises that can be used to gain control over your dog and prevent them from running out onto the street, which include teaching your dog to distinguish the street from the sidewalk and providing alternate behaviors and off-leash commands.
You will need a leash and a relatively safe roadway, in a quiet neighborhood, with little traffic to ensure your dog's safety during training, and some time to walk your dog and expose him to streets and traffic. As an added benefit, all that exercise will be good for you, your dog, and your relationship! You can work on leash walking manners while you are at it, teach your dog to heel, and practice being in control around other dogs, people and new experiences. You should take along some treats to reward your dog for obeying commands and following your directions. If you are in a rural setting, or in a situation where your dog could be unsupervised with access to streets, you may choose to create a negative association with a shock collar and whistle. Read all instructions with a shock collar to ensure you understand its correct usage.
Lately, Kelowna will bark and even attack other dogs while on our walks. Otherwise, she is a very calm dog but she seems to get jealous if she thinks I'll give another dog some attention, even if they're at a distance. Today, we were working in our yard and she ran out to the street to see this smaller dog. When I grabbed onto her, she lunged for the small dog. Help!
Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!
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I have a dog who loves to run around and explore, which is fine because I live in an area with only a few close by neighbors, and then just forest for several miles. However, the one real concern I have is the road because it has just enough traffic to be concerning and not everyone obeys the speed limit. I want to be able to let my dog roam around the forest, since she always comes back when she's had enough, but also want to have her learn that roads are not a place to be running around in. I've tried to train her, but there are two big reasons why I'm having trouble. The first is that she has SO much energy that the moment I let her out, she becomes a completely different dog and ignores everything I tell her. Even when she stares directly at me and I tell her to "come here" she instead just runs off. And the second reason is that she is incredibly smart, which is actually tied to the first reason because she knows that as soon as she comes to me, I'm going to either grab her collar and leash her or have her follow me inside. I'm not at all rough with Iva, so I don't know why she is so resistant to being leashed or coming inside other than that she just wants to free roam outside.
Hello, Many dogs learn to play keep away because they view being confined as punishment when the alternative was fun - so they avoid the "punishment" of coming. Because of your situation, I would suggest teaching an e-collar come. I would start by using a long leash and using the Reel in method from the two articles linked below. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More come information: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Finally, I would practice some avoidance and boundary training with her using a long leash and the e-collar after she knows come really well and had been e-collar conditioned. Check out James Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training. He has dozens of videos of e-collar training, finding a dog's working level with e-collars, teaching come without then finally with the e-collar (without the e-collar has to come first), and finally - he also specializes in teaching livestock chasing dogs to leave cattle alone - I would do similar training for the cars - instead of livestock. James Penrith's Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoxuNKpmUs390K7x_rvgjcg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Normally, Frankie will come and usually stay. Today, she saw someone in the yard and when I opened the door to get something, she snuck out. It was terrifying because she could have been hit by a car. She would not come to me because she was excited to see the yard guys and was running around. I also admit I was a crazy person running after her. Of course, I will continue training her but what do I do until she learns? What is the BEST thing to do IF she gets out again? I assume screaming like a crazy person is not the best method. With my older dog. I can tell him to stay and he will stay.
Hello Debra, You are right that more practice is what she needs. See if you can get some neighbors or friends to act exciting in your front yard and sidewalk, then attach her to a thirty or fifty foot leash, and practice blocking the doorway with your body and stepping toward her if she tries to get past you. Do this until she will stay back from the door even when it is wide open and there are people outside. As she improves, then gradually move further and further away from the door, into your front yard, so that she is respecting the boundary of the door without you blocking her way. If she starts to bolt out, then rush toward her to stop her forward movement. Only do this when a long leash is attached to her so that she will be safe still if she gets past you. Any time that you exit through the doorway with her tell her "OK" and encourage her through the doorway, so that she will learn that she can only go through the doorway when she has been told "OK". Also continue to work on a reliable come command, like it sounds like you already are. You can use a long leash for this too. Purchase a padded back clip harness and practice your "Come" command in public locations with people and dogs around, such as parks or dog park parking lots, while she is on the long leash. If your pup does not come when you call her there, reel her in with the leash, tell her to "Sit", and then release her with an "OK" command, and when she is distracted again, call her back. Repeat this until she comes five times in a row, then give her a short break and practice "Come" again. In the meantime, if she gets out again, to get her back quickly and safely, act super excited, make noise, call out her name in a happy voice, jump up and down and generally act very goofy and happy, and as soon as she looks at you when you do, run AWAY from her. By acting fun and running away from her you will excite her chase instinct, and then you can run to somewhere safe with her chasing after you. When she gets to you, grab something such as a shoe, stick, Pinecone, or whatever other fun object you have by you, and wiggle it to encourage her to bite it, and then grab onto her collar as soon as she is close enough while playing. After you do this, as soon as possible, attach the long leash to her and practice you "Come" command and door manners, to remind her of the rules. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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