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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19667
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a 6 year old small dog that has now just starting

Customer Question

Hi there.
I have a 6 year old small dog that has now just starting running out on the road in front of cars that usually have a dog in them. We live in a small town and there is new building happening now so the road is a lot busier than it has been. What can I do to stop this. We also have his mum (10 years old) she has never done this. I look forward to you helping out with this - I don't want to have to tie him up all the time as we run a campervan park and are here all the time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
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.
You have a few different choices available. One is strict training to teach him that he can not leave the yard unless you give him a command to follow you. This is difficult and it will take a lot of training with him on a long lead. Let him run around on the lead/leash and if he approaches the road (within 5 feet) give a little tug on the leash and a firm NO. After a few corrections, you should see him stop and look at you when he reaches that point. When he does that, call him to you and give him a treat of a tasty hot dog sliver. It won't be long and you will see him stopping and then running back to you for his treat. Over time, decrease the treats and increase verbal calm praise, but do not make it predictable on when he will get the treat or the praise. This is a long process but works well.
The other quickest solution is an instant fence system or an underground fence system. You do need to know that some dogs learn to run through an underground system as they only give a correction when a dog is within so many feet of the wire. An instant pet system administers the correction when the dog is no longer in range of the transmitter.
Most of these fences are shock based though some also use citronella spray instead. If the idea of shock bothers you, have the salesman let you feel the intensity of the shock. Most of the ones I've come in contact with and seen clients use rely on the unexpectedness of the shock rather than a high intensity to stop a dog from going out of the yard. Here are some systems.
Here is a citronella based system.
What you might try is getting the collar for use when you are training him so you are assured he does not exit the property. Most dogs learn quickly where the boundaries are and no longer need corrections. Most collars emit an audible noise before giving a correction, so dogs learn that if they hear that tone to stop. Once a dog learns, you set the collar on tone only and the dog obeys the tone and stops.
These collars should only be used when the dog is outside. Now if you are always with the dog when he is outside, you can develop a strong recall or come command with him as well so you can stop him when he charges the road.
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.
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.
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.
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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