It is not fun when your dog takes off for the hills, and you are scrambling to find them. Some dogs bolt as soon as they see someone has opened the door. But, you have the power on how to teach your dog not to run as soon as the leash flies out of your hands. Here are some great ways to keep your dog focused while he is outside.
Buy a Long Training Leash
The hardest part about leaving a dog outside is trying to get its focus. When a puppy is inside your house, there are fewer distractions tempting them from turning away from you.
However, once you give them free rein in the great outdoors, it is their time to lose focus as their sight and smell take over any of your training. The best way to get a dog to focus on you is to work on basic command training outside.
You should purchase a long leash to get them used to the idea of listening to commands at a further distance. When you practice the “recall” command, make sure to provide an incentive to them to come towards you. You can use a treat or toy depending on what your dog prefers.
Check your Fence
If your dog is prone to escape, you should check to see if your fence is the real problem. Dogs are crafty, and they can either jump over or dig under the fence. Check your fence to see if your dog is using any Houdini tricks. If the fence is too low to the ground, invest in post extenders. If you are not good at construction, many pet stores sell animal barriers or extension kits. However, even after the fence is fixed, your puppy should still be receiving training lessons. If you are unsure where to start, invest in the basics like the sit, stay, and down commands.
Make Home a Great Place to Stay
Now, this should go without saying, but a dog should not be experiencing any fearful situations in their home. Some dogs may have anxiety from entering a building if they have experienced a fearful moment when they were a puppy. It is why some dogs can act aggressively in a veterinarian’s office even if the veterinarian is not a real threat to them. So, when training your puppy, make sure to not use harsh punishments or static electric mats. They can have negative consequences. Scientific evidence goes against using any electric punishments towards dogs.
Invest in a Microchip
Investing in a microchip is the best way to keep your dog safe. In a study by the Ohio State University, 73% of dogs and cats were returned to their owner because they had a microchip. If your dog or cat has a microchip, a veterinarian’s office or shelter can scan your pet’s unique identification number. However, one of the biggest problems with microchips is an owner not registering the microchip with their name, address, or number, so the pet cannot be returned. If you are interested in learning more about how microchips can help your pet, read our blog on common mistakes when microchipping your pet.
Keep your Dog Occupied
Time and time again, most dog trainers will tell you, “a tired dog is a good dog.” Depending on your dog’s energy, you may need to dedicate more time to walking or training them. If your dog is leaving your yard because he is bored, it is easy to remedy this problem by incorporating everyday walks or runs. Along with this, incorporate interactive toys in your playtime with your cute friend, so they can use their minds.
A fun game to play with your dog is “hide and seek.” First, train your dog to stay. Once your dog can stay, hide in a random place in your house. Yell “go” or whatever word you use to release your dog. Wait for your dog to find you. If your dog finds you, reward him with a treat or toy. After playing a few rounds of this, your dog should be ready for a nap. Keep walks and interactive games in your everyday routine, and you will see a better-behaved puppy.
Get to Work!
The more you work on training your dog and understanding how they escape; the more you can help to end the cycle of your dog running off. Focus on consistent positive obedience training with your dog in your backyard, and you will see consistent improvements. It will take a lot of time and patience to keep a dog in your yard, but it will pay off when your puppy is well behaved.