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New problem

Canuck00
June 20th, 2011, 12:49 PM
From the very get go, we have been raising a very smart little Purebred Bichon Frise. House breaking went very well, obedience is good. Even several tricks now. But lately we have been dealing with a bad problem and I'm conflicted, and seeking advice. You see, he is just over a year old now, and not fixed. I don't wish to have him fixed. To go outside to do his business, we open the back door and let him run, and keep a sharp eye on him without leashing him down (we have an open driveway). He goes on command "go for run", in which he runs out and pees (or #2), looks back and we will say come in. But lately he "goes for run", and pauses to look down the drive way to see if something interests him. On a few occasions lately, he will go for a run and bolt down the driveway and fails to respond to "down". I will use "bad dog" with a harsh finger wagging on very rare occasions to cease a particularily bad action. If it is really bad, like a run away, I will retrieve him with a "bad dog", finger wag (which he hates), and cage him for an hour. The run away will happen 1 time out of 50 when he gets let out for "go for run". Maybe once a week.

Yesterday, his own mind took control, we went down the driveway and I was hot on his trail, "DOWN!!", "BAD DOG". He responded to nothing. He saw someone else walking her dog, and bolted for her. He went deaf to me. And of course, a car comes barreling down the street as he runs across and misses him by inches. He put on the brakes before running into the tires, and then ran to the person. I got there, he ran away from me back to the house, where I followed up with "Bad dog!" finger wag and caged for an hour. So he almost was killed, so it's obvious I am at fault here. But I don't know how to correct this, short of giving up and leashing him in the yard when it's time to go out. But I want him to have the freedom to roam, within in his boundaries.

I have a PetSafe shock collar fencing system, but have not actually had the heart to go througth with it. I can't help but think it's something I am doing wrong. Further, I am not convinced the caging for an hour is actually effective, is he even understanding that being in the cage is a punishment? How can I deliver an effective message that I am displeased with that action of running away, becuase once he finally hears me, stops, and goes "down" he is actually doing what I am saying, (eventually), so if I confuse him with a "bad dog", when in fact he did exactly what I said? He already forgotten the running away part was the part I am displeased with. It's like a chicken and the egg.

Any other sets of eyes out there to point out my error?

Thanks!

sugarcatmom
June 20th, 2011, 01:23 PM
I don't wish to have him fixed.

Why not?


To go outside to do his business, we open the back door and let him run, and keep a sharp eye on him without leashing him

Why not?

Any other sets of eyes out there to point out my error?


There are so many, I don't know where to start. I'm sure others will have more thorough advice to offer you, but one thing I'd suggest is that you find a good positive reinforcement trainer and go for some lessons.

Also, a dog's crate should NEVER be used as a form of punishment.

Canuck00
June 20th, 2011, 03:42 PM
a) we are undecided if we may breed him or not. He is Purebred, and my sister has a Purebred female.

b) we leash when we are off property, but to leash him in the backyard I feel teaches him nothing. If I am wrong, please offer your opinion and reasons why.

My question is regarding teaching boundaries. Is there a constructive method to teach boundaries without resorting to electric shock perimeter fences.

If you have some suggestions, please offer them.

millitntanimist
June 20th, 2011, 04:47 PM
What you need to reconsider here is your dog's motivation. You seem to have an expectation that he should understand a human construction of boundaries or that he has absolutely no interest in exploring the world around him on his own.
The question you should be asking is "why should he stay in an unfenced yard amidst a world of more interesting things"? What motivation does he have to want to stay on your property? No dog would choose to be confined to a small area of grass and concrete. Expecting this is setting you both up to fail.


On a few occasions lately, he will go for a run and bolt down the driveway and fails to respond to "down".
Of course he will. Why would he want to stay in the yard he sees every day when he has the chance to explore a fantastic world of smells and play with other dogs and people? Especially when you seem to mean an end to his fun.


If it is really bad, like a run away, I will retrieve him with a "bad dog", finger wag (which he hates), and cage him for an hour.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make with recall. Even if your dog is running onto a busy highway (actually, especially if he is running onto a busy highway) it is vital that you keep a positive tone and praise him lavishly for returning. Yelling at him is driving him away from you and when he returns you are punishing him. Why should he ever want to come back if he knows he is going to be punished? Once he is off you have lost your chance to correct him, doing so will only damage what little recall he has.
Also, dogs live in the moment. They do not consider the past or speculate on the future. Putting him in his crate for an hour (this is also damaging his relationship to the crate, it should never be used as punishment) for something he did even 2 minutes ago will not be connected in his brain. As far as he is concerned he is being confined for absolutely no reason.


He went deaf to me.
Again, consider motivation. Why should he want to listen to you? When he does listen to you and come back, he gets punished. Why should he choose you (a source of punishment) over the freedom to run and do as he likes.

But I don't know how to correct this, short of giving up and leashing him in the yard when it's time to go out. But I want him to have the freedom to roam, within in his boundaries.
Why not just put up a small fence? It won't need to be very large or sturdy to keep in a Bichon. ;) "A fence is ugly" is not a valid excuse.
I would recommend against using an E-fence for several reasons:
1. It keeps him in, but doesn't keep other dogs or people out. I've heard many horror stories of dogs being attacked in their yards because stray animals can just walk right in while your dog is trapped there.
2. In some instances, dogs will learn to rush the fence and then get trapped outside. Obviously they usually don't try to come back at that point, they just keep going.
3. Punishment fallout: you risk creating all sorts of behavioral problems because the source of the punishment will be unclear to the dog. Maybe the dog thinks that the shock is triggered by people walking by across the street. This could generate fear or aggression towards strangers.

How can I deliver an effective message that I am displeased with that action of running away
You don't. Yyou teach him a proper recall so that you have a means of calling him back to you, and you prevent him from running off in the first place by putting up a barrier or keeping him on leash. You are not going to be able to "teach him" to not explore the world on his own. At this point, staying with you is not rewarding enough to keep him from bolting and there is very little you can do to make leaving your yard unrewarding enough to stop him.

Shaykeija
June 20th, 2011, 08:54 PM
I agree that a fence would keep your dog safe. A run away pup on a road is usually a dead dog.

Perhaps and experienced trainer can help you with recall?

marko
June 20th, 2011, 09:46 PM
millitntanimist has given excellent advice here.
I also recommend hiring a trainer or at least taking a basic obedience course with your dog...and getting your dog fixed. Fixing often curbs their need to roam or take off. A fence is also a good idea.

Canuck00
June 21st, 2011, 08:21 AM
Thanks Millitntanimist. You make total sense. I admit that training him has been unusually easy, and this is the only area I am having some difficulty in.

I appreciate the constructive advice, and will follow through.

Love4himies
June 21st, 2011, 01:09 PM
I would certainly consider keeping him on a leash at all times outside. He just has to sniff one wee sniff of a female dog in heat and he will take off, perhaps across the road in the path of a car. You can never, ever trust a dog 100%, period.

Great advice millitntanimist :thumbs up.


it is very important to remember you are dealing with a dog, not a child who can understand human reasoning and one of the most powerful instinct for a dog is to breed ;).

Tundra_Queen
June 21st, 2011, 09:19 PM
From the very get go, we have been raising a very smart little Purebred Bichon Frise. House breaking went very well, obedience is good. Even several tricks now. But lately we have been dealing with a bad problem and I'm conflicted, and seeking advice. You see, he is just over a year old now, and not fixed. I don't wish to have him fixed. To go outside to do his business, we open the back door and let him run, and keep a sharp eye on him without leashing him down (we have an open driveway). He goes on command "go for run", in which he runs out and pees (or #2), looks back and we will say come in. But lately he "goes for run", and pauses to look down the drive way to see if something interests him. On a few occasions lately, he will go for a run and bolt down the driveway and fails to respond to "down". I will use "bad dog" with a harsh finger wagging on very rare occasions to cease a particularily bad action. If it is really bad, like a run away, I will retrieve him with a "bad dog", finger wag (which he hates), and cage him for an hour. The run away will happen 1 time out of 50 when he gets let out for "go for run". Maybe once a week.

Yesterday, his own mind took control, we went down the driveway and I was hot on his trail, "DOWN!!", "BAD DOG". He responded to nothing. He saw someone else walking her dog, and bolted for her. He went deaf to me. And of course, a car comes barreling down the street as he runs across and misses him by inches. He put on the brakes before running into the tires, and then ran to the person. I got there, he ran away from me back to the house, where I followed up with "Bad dog!" finger wag and caged for an hour. So he almost was killed, so it's obvious I am at fault here. But I don't know how to correct this, short of giving up and leashing him in the yard when it's time to go out. But I want him to have the freedom to roam, within in his boundaries.

I have a PetSafe shock collar fencing system, but have not actually had the heart to go througth with it. I can't help but think it's something I am doing wrong. Further, I am not convinced the caging for an hour is actually effective, is he even understanding that being in the cage is a punishment? How can I deliver an effective message that I am displeased with that action of running away, becuase once he finally hears me, stops, and goes "down" he is actually doing what I am saying, (eventually), so if I confuse him with a "bad dog", when in fact he did exactly what I said? He already forgotten the running away part was the part I am displeased with. It's like a chicken and the egg.

Any other sets of eyes out there to point out my error?

Thanks!



Ok, I'm not a dog genius but even I know what is going on! And your right it is your fault!

You have a male dog 1 years old, not neutered and your letting him off leash. He sees or smells a female across the road and "his mind" took control? Um nope! It wasn't his mind that took control!! It was his hormones and instinct to mate!

He almost gets killed by a car because YOU don't want him to get fixed? Well how much would u like to bury a 1 year old Bichon Frise instead because he got killed by a car?

And don't think that one of those petshock collar thingies is going to stop a unfixed male dog that smells a female in heat cause it won't!

With all the Bichon Frises on Petfinder looking for homes and dying if they don't find one, I would say neuter your dog and if u want another Bichon Frise get one from a rescue or shelter and save a life!

free
June 21st, 2011, 09:20 PM
fence in your yard or you need to have him on leash. we have an airedale and from all i have read on the breed electric fences mean nothing if a interesting critter comes by. so are back has an ugly fence but is relatively safe.

Love4himies
June 22nd, 2011, 06:45 AM
The electric shock fence doesn't keep my neighbour's dog in when there is a critter outside the fence line, so Tundra Queen is right, it won't keep an unneutered dog inside when he smells a female in heat.

Don't be fooled, they can smell a female in heat for miles around.

Please keep your dog safe, it's your job as his guardian.

Dog Dancer
June 22nd, 2011, 11:41 AM
So far you've got lots of great advice for your pup - especially neutering. His hormones will ace your desires EVERY time.

I just wanted to add, when you are working with him on recall, do not always have him return to you and then go inside with him. Make it a point of calling him to you, reward and release him back to play again. If recall always means the end of play time he'll decide not to come.

Rgeurts
June 22nd, 2011, 12:13 PM
Ok, I'm not a dog genius but even I know what is going on! And your right it is your fault!

:thumbs up

You have a male dog 1 years old, not neutered and your letting him off leash. He sees or smells a female across the road and "his mind" took control? Um nope! It wasn't his mind that took control!! It was his hormones and instinct to mate!

:thumbs up

He almost gets killed by a car because YOU don't want him to get fixed? Well how much would u like to bury a 1 year old Bichon Frise instead because he got killed by a car?

:yell:


With all the Bichon Frises on Petfinder looking for homes and dying if they don't find one, I would say neuter your dog and if u want another Bichon Frise get one from a rescue or shelter and save a life!


I couldn't agree more!! If your unaltered dog runs from you, you know he does this, yet you allow him to run free and refuse to leash him or fence him in and he gets killed, you have no one/nothing to blame here except your own arrogance. It certainly isn't the dogs fault in any way. You have been given wonderful advice here by some very knowledgeable people. A trainer would be a great place to start. Good luck with your pup :)