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Escape artist

June 1st, 2006, 11:50 PM
Mr.Floyd keeps bolting out of the house!!! I have been trying to sneak out of my house and it like a 007 kinda thing to get in or out with out him escaping.
How can I ensure he stays in? Everytime we go near the door or he hears the knob turn he is there, hiding behind your feet or something and he bolts out, HE just did it again tonite, but its dark and i cant catch him. It scares me to know hes out there and now im not going to be able to sleep!
I want to change this behavior before something terrible happens to him

June 1st, 2006, 11:53 PM
Boo does that too sometimes, but we use "stay out" or "back up" when he's too close and he's supposed to stay in the house... Could you try a "stay" or something? Or is the urge too powerful?

June 2nd, 2006, 12:01 AM
ITs powerful, when he hears the truck pull up i think he hides behind the door, we have to put our foot in the door first and then open it. Sometimes he still manages to Houdini his way out. Im going crazy with this situation.

June 2nd, 2006, 12:11 AM
It sucks because I saw a thing on tv about how to fix that but I can't remember it enough to tell you how to fix it... I know there were leashes involved... :D For sure there'll be more folks in the morning with tons of answers.;) :fingerscr

June 2nd, 2006, 12:14 AM
Apart from confining him when i leave ( which i dont want to do at all) I dont know what to do, I too think someone will have some great suggestions (as usual on this board)
Have to go to bed now ( well outside to try to find Mr.Floyd actually):o

June 2nd, 2006, 08:52 AM
I had that problem with 3 dogs. Here's what worked for us:

We use "no, you stay here" and then open the door slightly and when they bolt to the door we shut it with a loud "ah ah" and back them up while basically walking into them so they back up and say again "no, you stay here".

Keep doing this and if they are staying then open the door a little more each time until you are out. Praise when he is listening but not to much that he jumps up with excitment and bolts to the door!

This only works for leaving and not coming and it took us a few weeks of being consistent but now right when I say "no, you stay here" Shadow heads upstairs to my bed for a snooze, Belle finds her spot on the couch and poor Wolf just watches us leave with that sad look on his face.

More people will be around shortly with other suggestions

Good luck!

June 2nd, 2006, 10:23 AM
The 'out' drill works great for this. Its about setting up imaginary boundaries that he can't cross without your permission.
Start in a doorway within the house - like kitchen to hallway. Have him on the leash. Put him in the hallway and you go into the kitchen. Be ready for him to try to cross into the kitchen with you. You are going to stop him with the leash, say 'out' in a short-sharp tone, stomp your foot towards him, and use a hand signal (like a stay signal) and do all those things at the same time - then you quickly turn sideways and be ready to do it all again. Try not to look directly into his eyes unless you are pressuring him - otherwise he learns that he only has to be good when you are looking at him.
When you are not stopping him with the leash the leash MUST be loose. You are not holding him in this position with a tight lease - because then he is not learning. This is about him respecting your space, boundaries and rules.
The idea is that you are going to pressure him for trying to come into your territory, but you must release the pressure very quickly or you will confuse him and he is likely to argue with you. It's pressure - release, pressure - release...until you see that he is not arguing.
Not one toe can come into your space. Just like he can't put one foot into the road if you tell him to stay on the sidewalk.
Ideally he will sit voluntarily for you - this is a sign that he has stopped arguing for the moment and is submitting to you.
As you get good with this spot add temptations and distractions. Toss treats & toys into your space (kitchen)to entice him. You are challenging him at a higher level now. Continue to hold your ground. Then have someone on your side of the doorway call him to them - even more tempting. But just as he shouldn't cross the road to see a child with cookies, he shouldn't try to cross this imaginary boundary now.
When he gives you a calming signal - lies down, sits...then take one step back from him and lengthen your leash. Now you are earning more respect. By the time you are at the end of the leash and he has passed the temptation tests, you should be off leash.
Now you have to repeat this drill in tons of places in your house - create boundaries everywhere. Remembering that you also need to release him from the boundaries when you are done.
So this could be that he is never permitted to go into certain rooms or your gardens - they are perminent 'out' places. Or you create an 'out' box at the door that he cannot cross without your permission. And he only gets your permission if he looks into your eyes and asks patiently. Never if he rushes the door.
He has learned to be sneaky and challenge you. You should be able to get his respect without having to touch him or push him back. If you need to move him back use your leash or stomp towards him with little energetic feet until he backs away and then quickly back off yourself because you got what you needed.
I hope this makes sense - it is a super short version of my book length description.

June 2nd, 2006, 11:22 AM
I have a temporary solution to your problem until you can change him behaviourally. Get some kind of a gate a few feet before the front door so then you can go in the house, close the door, THEN open the gate.

June 2nd, 2006, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the suggestions I should have mentioned though that Mr.Floyd is a cat Sorry, He is VERY stubborn
And just a quick update , HES STILL OUT THERE Im worried, going to take a walk down to the neighbours barn and see if hes there :fingerscr

June 2nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
Oh boy, cats can be quick little devils!

How about stomping your feet loudly as you come in? My cats hate stomping feet and stay away from them. While you're leaving, maybe you can throw a treat down the hall the other direction and make your escape while he's going after it?

I read somewhere that if you feed a cat a treat several feet away from the door after you come in each time, the cat will start waiting for you closer to where you give the treat than to the door.

Good luck!

June 2nd, 2006, 12:51 PM
A spray bottle?

Is there anyway you can just block off the hallway?

Is there a different door you can enter from?

Is there a mat or some kind of material that Mr. Floyd doesn't like that you could put down in front of the door when you are coming and going?

Minnow can be quite the sneaky runaway as well, I just put my hand, foot or paper in her face so she cannot slip away...My family members haven't mastered it but she has never escaped on my watch;) She's also very responsive to my voice so she usually backs away from the door!:D

June 2nd, 2006, 04:21 PM
Oh no Erykah,I hope he comes back,you must be worried sick:sad:

June 4th, 2006, 12:20 PM
JUST just!!! Now that he's here I can finally sleep! Now to find a way to keep him from running off again!!! He usually goes out on his harness and we walk through the fields on a retractable kittie leash, but he wanted an adventure of his own I suppose!!! NO MORE FOR HIM THOUGH!!!

June 4th, 2006, 12:23 PM
:thumbs up so happy to hear he's home

June 4th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Woohoo!!! I'm glad he's back! I have to say I thought from the OP that it was a dog... I don't have a clue about cats.:o

June 4th, 2006, 01:11 PM
Glad he's back. Wow...that was like three nights he was gone. :eek: Bad boy Mr. Floyd. :evil:

Both my cats are escape artists but luckily have never gone at night. The only thing that's helped me is if I bang on the door before I open it when I come home. :D

June 4th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Awww what a relief,that's good to hear...
I don't have that problem with mine,they know when they hear the jingle of their collars,they can come outside with us,they strangely enough will not go outside without their collars,habits I guess:confused: