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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18943
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have a Shar Pei which we treat very well, but whenever she

Customer Question

We have a Shar Pei which we treat very well, but whenever she gets a chance to run away she does it. If we ever let her off her leash she runs, or if she see's a door cracked open she will run. We take her to the dog park regularly, but still when she see's a chance to run away she will take it and some times it takes us hours to get her back. We just don't know what to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
How much obedience training has she had?
Is she spayed?
Do you have a fenced yard or not?
Does she know the come command?
What have you tried so far to stop the behavior?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Ja Customer,
I was hoping to get some additional information before responding but I also want you to have an answer.
Many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative.
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Additionally, dogs find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. So what you need to do is make coming to you more pleasurable.
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The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward. Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me.
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I alway recommend starting inside since most dogs are more than willing to come when inside. You can even have a helper and both call the dog to them in turn rewarding the dog for coming to you.
Additionally, obedience training can help as well since your dog will learn to obey your commands. You can then train your dog to sit and stay when the door is opened. When first teaching her to sit at the door when visitors come, you can slip the leash under your foot, have her sit and use the leash to keep her in that spot in a sit or down position as you open the door. Initially she will fight it, but soon will realize it doesn't do any good to try and move away and will stay. When she does that reward her. Have visitors reward her as well.
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In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques I describe, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
http://www.apdt.com
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

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