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dog likes to runaway

April 12th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Hi, I adopted a 4 year old whipit/lab mix last October. He was abused when I got him. I have been working hard to help him get over his fears. It seems to be wrking. My problem is, he keeps trying to get away. He seems okey for awhile then all of a sudden he tries to get away again. He has gotten out of a fenced yard once and then pulled himself out of his collar once. It took me over a half hour the last time to find him. I am scared of what could happen to him if he gets away again. He has been through obedience and did great. Any suggests, please.

April 12th, 2004, 08:31 AM
Sorry but I have to ask, Does your dog live in the house with you?
How long is he left outside at a time? I'm assuming he doesn't run free in the yard because of him trying to get out of the collar?
Not being nosey just trying to help. ;)

April 12th, 2004, 08:52 AM
He stays in the house with me. I do not let him out in the yard alone any longer. I am always watching him now. I now have a 5 foot fence around my whole yard, it used to be about 3 1/2 to 4 feet high. There are two gates but they are both kept locked. He learned, somehow, how to hit the latch on the gate to open it. He seems happy now but just wants his freedom. Thanks.

April 12th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Could that just be the whipit breed in him? I don't know a whole lot about the breed, but when I was researching getting a greyhound, I know they are very similar in behaviours. I know they have it in them to run run run run maybe that part of him is what makes him want to escape and run free. Was he ever a racer?

I see a guy at the park almost every day who has a whipit (only 1 yrs., not an ex-racer) and he says the same thing...they love to just run, its in their blood, whether they were a racer or not. He never takes his dog off leash either.

You may have to just always watch him, or it may take years to get him to completely trust you. If he was abused before you got him, he is probably reliving that horror, then he runs away to escape. Keep working with him and loving him, he will learn to trust you!! Good luck!!!:D

April 12th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Thanks for writing.

He was not a racer that I know of. He was going to be put down a couple of weeks before I took him. No one wanted to keep him. I am the sixth person to take him in the last two years. I am going to keep working with him and hopefully, soon, he will trust me enough that he won't want to leave again.

Thanks again.

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2004, 10:46 AM
I am the sixth person to take him in the last two years.

How sad is that?:( I hope you can be his forever home. This dog has been bounced around so much that the most important thing for him now is consistancy. He needs to know what to expect every day. If you can do the same thing at the same time - feeding, walking, playing - it will help him a great deal to get some confidence.

Your fence isn't high enough for you to leave him out there alone and yes, whippets are born to run and it's what they do best!

April 12th, 2004, 11:13 AM
Get your dog a harness instead of a regular collar.

As others have said Whippets are runners, just like Greyhounds you will never get that outta the dog. Never let him off leash in an unfenced area or you'll be sorry ;)

April 12th, 2004, 11:13 AM
I feed him, walk him and play with him at the same time everyday. He loves to go for walks. I do not leave him unattended outside for any reason. Thanks for writing.

Bill & Bob
April 12th, 2004, 12:35 PM
Not to stray off topic, (forgive the pun with the 'stray' word) but did anyone see the Passionate Eye documentary on CBC last night about the Shelter Dogs in Kingston, Ontario. When you mentioned that your poochie has been with six different owners, it made me think of it. Incredible documentary, and I hope you all get a chance to see it. I'm glad you are committed, and dedicated to working with your dog. That documentary just about had me in tears I don't know how many times. My poor Bob had a hard time watching it because of the 'pound noise'. I've had him for three months now, but I don't think he's forgotten about his little stint in the pokey. He ended up just sleeping beside my bed while it was on.
I do wish you the best with your poochie, and I agree that consistency is in my mind what your dog needs more than anything. After 6 Moms or Dads, I'd be pretty spooky too.

April 13th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Can you try to locate an indoor arena( large enclosed area )that your dog can run around in? We have friends who adopted an ex-racing greyhound and as somewhat similiar breeds, maybe your dog would benefit from that kind of exercise & bonding with other dogs. Perhaps through a group that works with ex-racers. Perhaps they will alllow you to join. And when ever he comes back to you, he gets a fantastic treat. Ialso agree with consistency and you being # 6 in a long line of "mom & dad" . I certainly see it in the group home children I work with and I OFTEN compare their behaviors to dogs( in my mind, of course!)
Good Luck with it all!

April 13th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the advice. We do not have any groups here that get together and let their dogs run. We don't even have a dog park available. I've have tried to get things started but it is always turned down.

April 13th, 2004, 02:34 PM
Try calling an agility training course.

April 13th, 2004, 02:38 PM
There was one guy on here awhile back who had 2 or 3 greyhounds (ex racers) and he would take them to his local baseball diamond because it was completely fenced in. He would let them run around for an hour or so till they tired out.

Do you have access to something like that? Or a tennis court?

April 13th, 2004, 05:53 PM
We do have a minor baseball team here that has a fenced in area but the public is not allowed to use it. We have no other fenced in areas in are city. I requested but it didnot happen. Thanks.

April 13th, 2004, 06:11 PM
What about a schoolyard?No kids around of course.Get a 30-50' training lead.This way he can run around and you still have control of him.Also,I agree with Luba.Use a harness since he slips out od his collar.Is the collar to loose on him?

April 13th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Our schools do not allow dogs on the premise, neither do our parks here. I was thinking about an empty parking lot when the stores or closed but thats not very often either. His collar was tight, so I thought. I could not pull it off, so I have no idea how he did it. I am going to take him to get fitted for a harness this weekend. My vet has suggested a prong collar for walking him, even though he doesnot pull hard it might help to control him from trying to take off. Thanks for all the help from everyone.

April 13th, 2004, 10:33 PM
This poor baby has been through 6 homes.

I wouldn't use a prong in this case.He is not pulling hard as you say.What you can do is teach him the "heel" command.

If a prong is not used right,it can hurt the dog.

Talk to a professional dog trainer.

April 14th, 2004, 09:58 AM
Houdini dog!!!! LOL

That sucks that there is no where to take him to run..... is the baseball field locked??;)

I would try the harness before I try the prong collar! Its gentler on the dog, and since he's been through so much, you want to make this a pleasure for him!

good luck!

April 14th, 2004, 10:12 AM
Yes it is. The city runs it and you have to get permission through them to enter the field for any reason. They told me that they do not allow private citizens to use it. Thanks

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 03:00 PM
I don't know if I would do the parking lot thing. When I got Bob, I wouldn't let him off leash because we didn't know each other enough. But I wanted him to get some excercise, so we went to the local tennis courts and he ran around quite a bit. Afterwards I noticed that the surface, although smooth, was hard on the pads of his feet and was wearing at the skin pretty badly.
That's brutal that you can't take your dog anywhere though. Are there any dog organizations in your city that could do some lobbying at the Parks Board or whoever runs the parks? In Vancouver, Vandog showed up at the meetings I went to and signed up to do a presentation. Very convincing, and it seemed to legitimize (spelling) the cause.

April 14th, 2004, 03:47 PM
According to the only organization we have here, there is not enough people willing to participate to help get things changed. I recently sent a letter to the city council to see if they would help. I have not heard anything from them yet. Thanks for letting me know about the tennis court problem.

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 04:28 PM
Is this organization a non profit? What's their mandate? Are they specifically for dogs? I'd challenge them on this issue. Boy that would bug me if they were a lobbying group, but backed off because they didn't have enough numbers behind them. That's what they are supposed to generate, and if you can't get numbers, get heard! That's what advocacy organizations are for, to help those who aren't being heard.
Not sure if it's an appropriate comparison, but it just takes one lawyer to defend a client in court, who has virtually nobody else in their corner. They argue their points against a prosecutor, who respresents the entire community and society at large. Both have equal opportunity to win the case if they present the best arguements.
Anyhoo, I'm rambling but seriously I'd push the organization to at least make some form of a stand if it's in their mandate to do so. If not, I'd keep writing your municipal, state, and Federal government reps in your area.
It really bugs me when people go on and on about parks being for the kids, and school yards being for the kids, etc. What about people who pay taxes who don't want kids? How are their tax dollars being spent in any way that presents an advantage to them. I know the arguement about "those kids are going to be the doctors and politicians of the future". Blah blah blah, couldn't care less. People pay taxes for services, not for future considerations. You are paying taxes and being denied services. You are a member of your community and so is your dog. Just like the parents and the kids who play in the parks. You deserve your share of parkspace for your dog to get an appropriate amount of exercise just as much as they do.
You might start throwing around the comments about what happens to dogs that aren't properly exercised and socialized. Antisocial behaviour that results in people and other animals being harmed. They shouldn't be able to use that arguement against you, other than to give the old standard response that "you are responsible for your dog at all times regardless". You are being responsible for your dog in attempting to ensure that they are availed a proper venue for appropriate exercise. You should start talking about who would be held responsible in a civil court, if a dog that was denied the opportunity to be appropriately exercised because of restrictive leash laws acted out in some way. Obviously, you wouldn't get anywhere with that, but it would certainly start them thinking. Governments don't like civil suits. It costs them lots of lawyer bills, and payouts if they lose. Especially in the US where settlements are more significant.
Anyhoo, I'm not rambling anymore I'm ranting. I should talk. My dog pees on people in dog parks. What a laugh. Just two very special people though.

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Sorry for that last long post. When people get me going, I go and go and go.
Just had another thought. Is that organization getting any funding or support from anyone in particular? If so, I'd go to the funders and express my concerns for their lack of advocacy. I hate to do that sort of thing for an organization that has the same mandate as myself, but sometimes non profit organizations need a kick in the behind to keep them on track.
I used to be an advocate for prisoner's rights with a non profit org, so I know what it's like advocating for a group that doesn't have much support in the community. We weren't advocating to let everyone out of prison, but rather that people recieve FAIR and JUST treatment in the correctional system that makes them a more productive member of society when they are eventually relesed.
Your situation is similar in that the dogs, just like the inmates in prison, are members of the community and aren't going away. They are and will be returning to the community and it's in the best interests of all involved if they are availed the best opportunity to be positive and productive when they are there.
I'll shut up now. I promise.

April 14th, 2004, 05:51 PM
Thank you.
You have given me some great ideas to get things going here. I am a tax payor. I have to property, school, and city taxes and I have no children (two legged ones that is).
I am going to write them and tell them exactly how I feel regarding not have a place for the dogs to run and socialize.
I also realize that if I have to I will show the news reports showing dogs that have been euthanized because they were not good around people and children. If they had a place to socialize maybe that would not have happened.
Thanks. You got me going now. I am going to get things in motion, some how.
I was always told you can't find City Hall, but I have done it once and won, now it is time to try again.
Thanks again.

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 07:13 PM
Hmm, please don't think I'm telling you what to do because I'm not. Just throwing ideas out there.
I'd stay away from the emotional tear jerker pictures of dogs that were put down. That will impact people like you and I, but politicians and publicly appointed officials won't care a bit. They are there to consider practicalities. I really believe that you should focus on the fact that you pay taxes and aren't recieving the same services that other consitutuants are when you pay the same taxes, which is descriminatory based on your choice of lifestyle ( human kids).
These people are in charge of being fiscally responsible right? How much are the licensing fees you pay for your dog. Where does that money go? Into general revenues for the municipality, or to specific programs like animal control. Here in Vancouver, they have a very low compliance rate in terms of licensing so there's not much $ generated. The end result is that in a city with about 44, 000 dogs, we have 10 animal control officers.

But, we have had some incredibly heated battles over dog parks, and some dog advocacy groups banded together to make their presentations to the board. A friend of mine was a huge advocate and she ended up having to get restraining orders against some of the people against the dog parks because of threats against her and her dogs. One guy even put a dead pigeon on her front step.
But, we won the last battle and the Parks Board expanded the dog parks, by opening up two more and will be putting agility training stuff in one of them! They took the money out of the Park Boards general revenues to do it! I'll try and find the links to some of their arguements and put them on here.

Anyhoo, I type too fast and these get too long. I really hope you win a battle with your city. I always love a chance to fight with the government. Great, now that I've said that on the internet I'll probably get labelled as a terrorist!

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 07:17 PM
Well, there's a couple of links to some info that I hope helps. At least it can show you that you can win the fight. Just don't ever give up.

April 14th, 2004, 07:26 PM
Thanks, I will check out the links. I never give up once I get it into my head.
I feel since I pay school taxes and do have kids then they should help get a dog park for people like me. There are a few of us here that prefer animals over kids and we all pay taxes.
There are people who prefer kids and don't have to pay taxes because they don't own property, that I feel is unfair.
Thanks for everything. I will let you know when I win my case against these people.

April 14th, 2004, 07:28 PM
Sorry I meant do not have kids. Typo on my side. Have a cracked wrist from Sunday. Hard to type sometimes. Sorry for the typo.

Bill & Bob
April 14th, 2004, 07:58 PM
I know I said I'd shut up, but I lied. I can't get this out of my head. My boss used to get worried when he saw me get my teeth into an issue because he never knew where I would take it.
I'm starting a new thread about dog park advocacy.