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runaway dog

Old 11-15-07, 09:27 AM
  #1  
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runaway dog

My dog lives in an 80 x 40 foot fenced in part of my yard. That's apparently not enough room for him. Sometimes after the morning walk, the gate blows open while we are filling his water dish or some similar chore. He always runs off to terrorize the local wildlife. He is neutered, by the way. These escapes have always happened before when my kids were taking care of him. They always left the gate open and he would return. I'm taking care of the dog now. This morning the wind blew the gate open as I unhooked the leash. He ran away. My approach is different. I lclosed the gate so he can't get back in. I'm not feeding him dinner tonight. If he's around in the morning, we'll go for a walk and try again with putting him back in his pen. I'm looking for feedback on my method and advice in general. Thanks.
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Old 11-15-07, 09:58 AM
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Darn wind. I'd suggest something like, oh, I dunno....mebbe a gate latch?
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Old 11-15-07, 10:06 AM
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Well, any punishment tonight will be lost on the dog. He won't associate it with the running away.

Don't know how old the dog is, but you need to work with him about running away. That bit with the increasingly long rope, calling him to you.

What breed is it? Huskies are notorious for wanderlust....
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Old 11-15-07, 10:08 AM
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Yeah Snowdogs want to run.

Can't lock the gate?
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:09 AM
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Let him do his thing. If you maintain a more open doors policy, maybe he wouldn't run off all the time?
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Old 11-15-07, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
Darn wind. I'd suggest something like, oh, I dunno....mebbe a gate latch?
What a brilliant idea?


I mean seriously......you fight this over and over and can't find a simple method to keep the gate from blowing open like a latch or something to hold it from blowing open? And now will punish the dog for it? It's his instinct......granted he needs to learn better but leaving the gate closed to make him feel unwelcome is a pretty dumb way of doing it, IMO.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ferd_miller View Post
Darn wind. I'd suggest something like, oh, I dunno....mebbe a gate latch?
Yep -- if you're leaving the dog unattended for any period of time, you need an enclosure that is safe for him that he won't walk, tunnel, or chew his way out of. Even well behaved dogs can get themselves (and you) in a lot of trouble if they get loose.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
Well, any punishment tonight will be lost on the dog. He won't associate it with the running away.
Also 100% true...maybe I should make that clear when I said he would feel unwanted when you shut him out. I meant that because he not smart enough to realize this is a result of his running out of the yard. He will likely not interpret as anything...if his "home" isn't open when he comes back around, he'll likely wander off and maybe end up not coming back or wander into a street and get hit by a car. If the gate is open, he'll come back and see his home where it should be and help reinforce "that is HIS/HER place".
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Old 11-15-07, 10:23 AM
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set one of these outside the gate...he'll only run out that gate once!
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Old 11-15-07, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by skinnyone View Post
Let him do his thing. If you maintain a more open doors policy, maybe he wouldn't run off all the time?
This is very dangerous for the dog. Wildlife can get to him as much as he can get to them.

My dogs are trained on voice command. Well, except for Trinity - she has issues - and they also know not to stray far from me. They are always within my sight. The only time they are on leash is when I am walking them in the neighborhood.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:40 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
Also 100% true...maybe I should make that clear when I said he would feel unwanted when you shut him out. I meant that because he not smart enough to realize this is a result of his running out of the yard. He will likely not interpret as anything...if his "home" isn't open when he comes back around, he'll likely wander off and maybe end up not coming back or wander into a street and get hit by a car. If the gate is open, he'll come back and see his home where it should be and help reinforce "that is HIS/HER place".
Great point, you can't punish a dog like you can a person, they just don't get it. You've got to stop them in the act or they don't associate the punishment with the action.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by steve2k View Post
Great point, you can't punish a dog like you can a person, they just don't get it. You've got to stop them in the act or they don't associate the punishment with the action.
Actually, I was reiterating Trisdn's point.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:48 AM
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Invisible Fence?
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-15-07, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
Actually, I was reiterating Trisdn's point.
Good point about Trisdn's point, which was originally a great point and well made. am I helping?
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Old 11-15-07, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
This is very dangerous for the dog. Wildlife can get to him as much as he can get to them.

My dogs are trained on voice command. Well, except for Trinity - she has issues - and they also know not to stray far from me. They are always within my sight. The only time they are on leash is when I am walking them in the neighborhood.
That makes sense. How much wildlife does exist around that would harm a dog though?
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Old 11-15-07, 10:57 AM
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Latch
--------
There is a latch mechanism on the gate. It's just kind of fiddley because the gate is actually two gates that meet in the middle. There is no way the latch can work its way open once I secure it. It's just while I'm entering or exiting the gate that we are in this vulnerable state. For the case this morning, I was just going to unleash him and leave, so I didn't lock the gate. Probably could add springs to the gate or keep my foot against it while unleashing him. That's not the point, though. I could have all kinds of security precautions in place, and eventually it will happen again. Drop the leash. Not get the latch closed. Whatever. My question is what to do when he does escape.

Invisible fence
---------------------
I don't need an invisible fence. I have a real fence.

Punishment
-----------------
Do you really think not feeding him is a punishment? I think of punishment as DOING SOMETHING that hurts or is uncomfortable. I was thinking that getting fed on nights he is in the pen and not fed on nights he isn't in the pen would foster a fondness for being in the pen. It's positive rewards for being in the right place. Am I off base on that?
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Old 11-15-07, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
It depends on the dog's resistance to pain. I put this in for a dog I used to have years ago who kept going under the chain link fence. It really didn't help any. He just ignored the pain/shock until he was far enough away that it didn't shock him anymore.

Now I have a different perspective...not sure I like the idea of "shcoking" a dog to correct a behavior.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
Punishment
-----------------
Do you really think not feeding him is a punishment? I think of punishment as DOING SOMETHING that hurts or is uncomfortable. I was thinking that getting fed on nights he is in the pen and not fed on nights he isn't in the pen would foster a fondness for being in the pen. It's positive rewards for being in the right place. Am I off base on that?
I don't think so....and I don't think anybody really commented on that part of it. We all commented on closing the gate so he couldn't get back in.


However, again, recall that he won't be smart enough to associate being fed with not escaping the yard. Dog's have very short term memory. So it really won't do anything to help reinforce the behavior.

I'd try something more like keeping treats and giving him a treat every time he doesn't escape when you come in.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:05 AM
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Why not bring the dog in the house? They are social creatures, would rather be with their family.

He is escaping because he is bored and lonely.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by skinnyone View Post
That makes sense. How much wildlife does exist around that would harm a dog though?
We have coyote in the area here. Maybe that's where my paranoia comes in.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:10 AM
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Not only coyotes, but other dogs and raccoons (likely rabies-infected) are of concern too.

The same issues would exist with an invisible fence, by the way.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
Punishment
-----------------
Do you really think not feeding him is a punishment? I think of punishment as DOING SOMETHING that hurts or is uncomfortable. I was thinking that getting fed on nights he is in the pen and not fed on nights he isn't in the pen would foster a fondness for being in the pen. It's positive rewards for being in the right place. Am I off base on that?
Well, until he finds some rat poison because he's hungry and you got to take him to the vet hospital for a week's stay. But I guess that would be your punishment wouldn't it?

OK - I have a feeling this is a joke. There are so many easy solutions that you're making a bigger deal of this than it needs to be. An invisible fence may be a good choice because obviously the regular fence can't be operated correctly. An easier solution would be to add a second door so even if he runs out there's still a door.

It really sounds like the dog is holed up too much. That space sounds a bit small unless it's really small or you run with him often. If you leave the dog in there all day and night, don't pay attention to him, throw some food out, yeah - he'll want to explore because the current situation sucks. If you were in that position wouldn't you want to get away too?
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Old 11-15-07, 11:28 AM
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Old 11-15-07, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Air View Post
OK - I have a feeling this is a joke. There are so many easy solutions that you're making a bigger deal of this than it needs to be. An invisible fence may be a good choice because obviously the regular fence can't be operated correctly. An easier solution would be to add a second door so even if he runs out there's still a door.

It really sounds like the dog is holed up too much. That space sounds a bit small unless it's really small or you run with him often. If you leave the dog in there all day and night, don't pay attention to him, throw some food out, yeah - he'll want to explore because the current situation sucks. If you were in that position wouldn't you want to get away too?
Two excellent points, Air. A second gate even if a simple jimmy rigged picket fence type gate or something would probably keep him from getting out long enough to get the main gate closed. The two gate system is how all the dog parks are set up.

Secondly.....as Air mentioned. He's probably bored out of his mind being in there all the time. Absolutely stir crazy. He needs more attention and play time. Do you have any dog parks nearby you can take him to? Let him run free for an hour and play with other dogs? Try taking him there once a week.

Reiterate what MsIncredible said too. Does the dog get to come in the house and be with the family too? I've always felt it cruel to leave a dog in the back yard 24/7 because they NEVER get enough attention. Dogs are social animals....and really similar to a human. They need a lot of contact with others...not just a bowl of food and a pat on the head twice a day for 5 minutes.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:41 AM
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If this is a reward issue, reward him for going into the enclosure. Before you take him out for a walk have a treat ready to give him upon returning. As soon as you get back from teh walk, take him to where the treat is, give it to him and then remove the leash. He should be preoccupied with the treat, and not want to run. Soon, he will be waiting for the reward and not thinking about running due to an open gate.

A treat we give to our dog when we leave for work is kong, filled with kibble and beef broth, then frozen. I use peanut butter to close off the small end of the kong, set it small end down in a plastic cup, fill it with dry kibble, pour on the broth and then freeze it over night. Sparky really looks forward to going out in the back yard in the morning to get her pupsicle.

Best of luck.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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