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 Post subject: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Hi All,
We're the new family to a lovely little 3-4yo buff cocker named Hannah. The rescue put her at 3 but the vet thinks she's closer to 4. She is on the very small side (15 pounds) and has such a puppy face! Not to mention big old puppy looking feet. But we know her age because she'd been at the rescue before.

She's incredibly well behaved and good natured. She doesn't really know how to play with toys but is learning. She's made friends with a neighbors tibetan terrier who is doing a great job of teaching her about chasing and toys. The rescue told us she didn't like other dogs but once she does a thorough meet and greet, she seems to be fine. She's not fond of our cat....or is it the other way around? And she wants to eat our lovebirds. Our blue front amazon parrot wants to eat her. She adores the kids (11 and 7) and is never sure who she wants to sleep with at night so she just rotates. It's very sweet.

The only issue we have is her running away if given the opportunity. Our yard is secure so we're not worried about that but on the few occassions the gate has been left ajar or the front door left open by one of the kids, she's darted and run for the hills. We chase her literally for blocks. She's come very close to being hit by a car. Her history with the shelter said she'd been hit once, so I'm guessing this is a long time issue.

She will stay when told to but if she gets a start, she's off. The more we chase the faster she runs. She will not stop, will not come when called (in this circumstance) and if we stop chasing and call her she'll stop, look at us for a bit then take off again.

I'm so worried about her getting lost or injured. I just bought a tie-up lead to put her on in the back yard when the kids are running in and out of the gate (it connects the front to the back). Our kids are pretty good but the neighbor kids simply can't get the hang of shutting the gate/doors. Sigh.

So.....any suggestions on training her to stop her sprints?


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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:23 am 
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I hope someone can come up with something better than this....But Joey the Naughty Dog also liked to run out the door and - since my yard is unfencable - he'd enjoy a tour of the neighborhood. Often, he'd hide behind the garage and peek out to encourage a fun pursuit. I found that if I went right to the car, opened the back door and called, "Joey! Wanna go for a ride?" he'd hop right in, and I'd have him. Of course, I had to give him a ride each time. He was no fool.

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:05 am 
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When training Vivi, she had a period of dashing out the door on the mad rush. Her antics sound similar to yours. :bang

First and best technique for the wilful young cocker, I would grab a box of her favorite treats and shake -- yelling "Vivi, want a treat?" I also did this at other times just giving her treats. I know not the best training technique, but it was for emergency and worked like a charm. When she was a puppy, Vivi thought it was all one big game of chase the cocker unless I had treats. Today I can let Vivi out the door and thankfully she doesn't dash, but she will immediately come to me if I just use those magic words -- "Vivi, want a treat?" Also, if I shake that treat box, Vivi comes running no matter where she is in the house. The key is the dog must be in hearing range and must be a chow hound like mine. :gig

I also used the car technique that Jean mentioned.

Good luck :run

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:01 am 
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While what you are doing is an immediate solution I personally would go for more training. Have you taken her to any classes as yet? If not, I suggest that. It's also good bonding and I'd make sure the kids went to to learn how to work with the pup. I would also try putting her on a leash, walking to the door, opening it and then asking her to "sit" and "wait". Our pups all know they are not to go through a door or down stairs until after us. That way we have less chance of tripping on a dog makling a beeline in front of us.

Once she out I like Jean's suggestion of the car. I wouldn't chase her since she thinks at this point it's a game.

Just as a stop gap (no pun intended) measure, can you possibly get a different latch for your gate? Perhaps something a little more involved would make even the children using stop a moment to unlatch it and that would remind the to re-latch it. Just a thought....

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:32 am 
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All good ideas, thanks. I think we'll try the treats and car for sure. I think i'll see if I could get a training consult specifically for this issue. I considered classes but she does so well with all other basics that it doesn't seem like a worthy investment. Not to mention I've done classes with other dogs and feel i know most of the basics....just not this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:49 am 
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I can relate to the friends issue, I just stay home when my son has his friends over, because if a dog got out and I wasn't here who knows what woud happen-kids are kids and just don't "get it". That being said, many of us on the forum work on an emergency recall command, not come but some other word. I use "HERE". This emergency recall command is just for emergencies. While teaching, use it in the house, in the yard, everywhere, and give a high value treat-cheese, chicken, etc. Always give the high value treat. After you think she knows it, take her out in a park, in your front yard, etc but have a long training lead(just in case) attached to her and reinforce it. Choose an easy word that your whole family will remember in case of emergency. I have worked and worked with my 3 on this, and I would like to say that all 3 are well trained with the emergency recall command, but I think just Casey would drop everything and come-Riley would follow Casey and Callie would just look at me and come when she wanted to. If I had a tennis ball then Callie would come every time!

In the meantime, the car works best!

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:44 am 
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If kids are running in and out, maybe you could baby gate her in a safe area, such as the kitchen until all the chaos is over. She would not feel left out but would be safe. My dogs are all crate trained mainly so if evacuation is necessary they are fine with being confined in them. This is always a good idea even if for only a couple of minutes. You can start by feeding her in the crate so she associates the crate with positive and pleasant events.

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:47 am 
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why not get a self closing latch for the gate? I believe they have a spring that pulls the gate shut similar to a screen door.
Good Luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:34 am 
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You've already got lots of good advice, so yippee for that. Just wanted to add one little thing...as many others have said, chasing her says, "it's game time." A lot of times, you can get a dog back by taking off in the opposite direction, making her chase you. I've had to do that many a time when I had a loose puppy on my hands. It's worth a shot if all else fails!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:19 am 
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I would teach your dog that opening doors means "back off". This is relatively easy to teach. Go to a door with your dog, start opening the door slowly. As soon as your dog moves towards the door, close the door again. This is after just a second or so at the beginning. Continue to do this until you can have the door wide open and your dog waits until you give the cue to go through.

This doesn't mean that one can be careless about doors (dogs will be dogs after all), however, it gives an added security measure and stops dogs rushing through doors as soon as they open. :wink

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Last edited by Vera on Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Door Darting and Running Away
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:20 am 
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beckyboo wrote:
why not get a self closing latch for the gate? I believe they have a spring that pulls the gate shut similar to a screen door.
Good Luck!

It's what I would do!

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Mum to Dylan (Lurcher), Flash (Saluki), Jesse (American Cocker Spaniel) and Skye (English Cocker Spaniel). RIP Troy!


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