I’m not big on giving out dog training advice via the interwebs, or even the phone. Every dog is so different, and every owner is different too, and in 99% of cases there is no one way fits all approach to anything.
And too, I’m a Dog Trainer for one of my many livings. I have a student loan I’m still paying on. I need to get paid and such.
But in saying all of that, my friend had a scary situation last night, that many of us have faced before, and it’s one that could really get someone hurt, in more ways than one. Her dog jumped the fence and took off running.
Stopping this from ever happening is a pretty easy fix with most dogs, but not one that can be done from my office on a computer screen. So let’s talk about what you should do when your dog takes off.
I’d bet 89% of us would immediately panic. Our dogs feel that. We tense up, our hearts begin to race, we move in jerky actions, lounge forward, scream loudly… sorta like a rabid ape lounging towards our pets. So they run, they run for every inch of their life. Would you run to a human acting like that? Right.
So the first thing to do is to try to relax. Easier said then done, I know. If they’re standing there, not running yet, try dropping to the ground, relaxing, calling their name gently. Acting like there’s nothing going on. If your dog has had some decent obedience training, you can fake a treat in your hand and call out some commands, like tricks, happily, and get their focus on you.
Again, in the same spirit, if they are running, or they have that look in their eye that they want to take off, turn it into a game. Most dogs love a good game of chase, and most of them never get a good game of it in with their owners. So you take off running, jumping around like prey, in the opposite direction. Playfully call their name. Act like an idiot. Make them want to chase you. And never immediately grab them when they do come back. Offer tons of praise, act like nothing happened.
Another good exercise is to practice these things outside, with distraction, on a leash. The two most important commands in a dog’s life is “Come” and “Down”, so seek out a good qualified trainer if your dog doesn’t know these commands perfectly.
And remember, no plan is ever fool-proof, especially with an animal. Make sure they have a micro-chip that is registered, and always keep current pictures on hand. And never, ever panic.
This is just a quick tip, and there’s so much more I could cover. I’d be happy to answer any questions that can be answered online.
ps. legal stuff: I cannot be held liable for you reading this information and it not working with you and your pet. Dog training is a physical and demanding sport and discretion should always be used. Be smart and safe out there. 😉 Aka you can’t sue me. ❤
pps: My official website is down right now, but for kicks you can find me at my hardly ever touched facebook page http://www.facebook.com/gatewayk9training.com