So I love my dog. He's great. He's sweet, gentle (for a big guy), travels well and is great with his foster-siblings.
BUT. Of course, there's a but. No dog is perfect.
Still, this problem is starting to 1) scare me and 2) annoy me and 3) make me lose my patience with my dog. He has a really bad habit of bolting out the front door when someone opens it, leaves without him, etc. Now I live in the country most of the time. So when he bolts and goes for a walk in my very small town, it's okay. I hate it, but he's not in a big danger of getting hit by a car. But when I'm in the city, my heart practically stops. My dog is going to get hurt.
In the dog park, he returns when I call him. When he bolts, he doesn't.
And my dog is fast. I've never met a dog who can keep up with him, let along a human. Help?
One of our dogs has a habit of doing the same thing. I have also tried addressing the problem but it's one of those things that require two people to correct.
Have you tried training him to heel? Try something like this, have a person hold a 20 ft leash with him tethered to it. Practice going in the door (e.g. the typical scenario where he bolts). The other person holding the leash (who's inside your hold) should figure out your dog's "bolting" stance. Correct the bolting stance by disrupting the behavior (either by saying no or doing what Cesar Millan does, a "TSST" sound). Then reinforce the correction by saying "TSST" or no once you open the door so he stops to his tracks before he reaches you. I hope this work for you.
A little training will go a long way. Also, if you do take him out for walks, have him sit down before going out of the door. Make sure you go out first and he follows and not the other way around.
My Papillion mix used to do this all the time. He would bolt out the door and run for at least a block. Then the kids would get upset and chase him for blocks. When it was just me and he would do it, I would shut the door and not chase. He always stayed closer to the house and returned within an hour or so. Running after him made it worse, but he loved it.
Now we live in a different neighborhood and he doesn't bolt anymore. I think he's just getting older and not as energetic. Plus, without us chasing him there is no "game" to it anymore an it's not fun for him.
I know exactly what you mean, my dog used to do the same thing. He has gotten a lot better, and I don't know if its from my training, or just because he's gotten older.
They way I trained him, was to open the door wide open, but sit directly in front of it, so he can't get past me. He kept trying to get past, but I'd just grab him, and push him back inside, and just calmly say 'Nooo' each time. Eventually, he'd start to realize he can't get by, but he'd still want out. I'd just tell him to sit, and once he finally did, I tell him he;s a good boy, and give him some love. Then, I'd take him inside, and shut the door.
I did this for awhile, and like I said, he has changed, but I really don't know if it was due to what I did. But who know, maybe this will help. I know what you mean when you say how scared you get when he gets out in the city.
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