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Old June 20th, 2011, 12:49 PM
Canuck00 Canuck00 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
New problem

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!
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