Isn’t it always the second you accidentally open the door or drop the leash that your dog zooms past you? Seemingly turned deaf to your whistles and frantic calls, he will run straight past every house and you shouting while chasing after him like a fool.
But here is the problem:
Dogs that run off are often injured. They can fall into ditches, chase cars and get hit or get into fights with other dogs. As an owner, you do not want that to happen.
So what do you do? Training!
Here are some steps in training your dog not to run off:
1. Use Training Treats
Choose a treat that your dog will only get during training sessions. Do not give the same treat outside training sessions as this will be harder to get him to associate the treat with the behavior you want.
2. Train Your Dog to Come to You When Called
You can do this in a small, enclosed space first. Remove all distractions from the space and make sure that it’s just you and him. Remove his leash and use simple commands like “Come”. Use treats when he responds and come to you. You can also praise him and pat his head for doing a good job. But, never punish your dog when he did not obey your command. This might give him a negative experience with the command.
3. Walk Away
After you have given him treats and praise him, walk away. Your dog will probably follow you since you just praised him. Wait until he gets distracted and bored and stops following you. If he did, then call him again with the same tone you use before and see if he will come back to you. Never move closer to your dog as he might think that you want to play with him.
4. Repeat the Process Regularly
Repeat this process several times a day until you have more regular success. Be consistent. Repetition will train your dog to be obedient. With more success, you can repeat this process to a wider space.
5. Teach Your Dog to Stay
After you successfully train your dog to come to you every time you call him, the next would be to train him to stay. Use verbal commands and hand signals with this training. The most usual command would be “Stay”. Practice this with your dog until he understands what it means.
6. Walk to the Door
Now, walk toward the door and act naturally as if you are really going out. When your dog follows you, stop and use the command and hand signal. Repeat this process until your dog does not follow you and remains in his “stay” position.
7. Open the Door
Once your dog becomes obedient you can now open the door. Be careful when you open the door though, as your dog might become excited and runoff. Do this by opening the door inches by inches. When your dog stays with the door open for a few seconds, give him a treat and praise him. Now, you can practice this command outdoors and repeat the same process until your becomes fully obedient.
8. Use Permission Commands
Think of a command that you can use
to let your dog out. If he here that, he will think that you give him the permission to go out.
A dog running off is a scary experience. Plus it can end up being dangerous to your dog. Take some time to teach your dog these few simple commands and you could save yourself a lot of worry and headache later.