We all love our fur babies and could never imagine being without them. Unfortunately, some of them have the hardest time staying put in the beautiful home and wonderful yard you have created for them. Instead, defying all logic, they follow their basic instincts and sometimes bolt. If the thought of your pet tearing out the front door terrifies you too, don’t fret. This article is just for you.
I must admit that my dog has escaped way more times than I would like to admit.
She is the sweetest puppy I have ever known, but she too wants the open road in front of her. I have spent numerous hours learning the hard way what to do and importantly, what not to do when your dog runs out that door.
So, learn from my numerous mistakes and hopefully, it will help you in your life and save some heartache and pain…not to mention energy and calories chasing your pet up and down the street.
First, have you heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? In this case, especially, that is completely true. The best way to avoid chasing your dog down the road is to prevent it from happening in the first place. But, what should you do? I recommend a very simple task that sounds entirely too obvious to be helpful.
Keep your door shut! Yes, no matter how well your dog is trained that open door may prove to be too large of a temptation. Even if they stay 99% of the time, that still will require a lot of stress and heartache the other 1% of the time. So, keep it closed.
Next, teach your dog the all important stay command.
I make sure that when I use it, I also make my hand flat, showing the bottom of my palm to my puppy. That way she can both see and hear that she is to absolutely stay put. By rewarding her on times that it isn’t an opportunity to run away, she learns that it is in her best interest to stay. A tasty treat, when accompanied by an open door, always wins out in the end.
But, what about the time that she does escape? This is where I have learned some hard lessons. I have spent hours and hours running down the street, sometimes with a fishing net in my hand to chase the dog down. And do you think she minds? No! This is the most fun she has ever had! She is frolicking around, running just out of touch while I kill myself trying to catch up. I have even employed the neighborhood kids to help but she just keeps on running!
So, what works? Bribery will get you everywhere! Do not run after her because then it becomes a chase. Instead, get a treat (one of her favorite ones) and bring it with you outside. It needs to be big enough that the dog can see it. Then just wave that treat around and yell “who wants a treat?” or whatever you usually say when your dog gets a reward. That changes the game quickly.
She has to come to you and get the treat and then you can quickly grab her. Be careful of scolding because this negative reinforcement for obeying your most recent command can be confusing for your pet.
So, in the end, keep calm, bring a treat and call her to get it. I was astonished to find that with the right reinforcement, my dog came running to me and it was a huge relief! Give it a try for yourself and make sure you get back to us in the comments to let us know what works. Have another idea? We would love to hear from you. Let’s keep our fur babies safe and sound in our homes.