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Hi all,

I'm a new forum member looking for some advice for working with our family's dog. Dash is probably 2-3 yrs old. He appears to be a daschund/sheltie mix. We adopted him from a rescue shelter about a year ago. He's a great dog, and seems to be as bright as they come. Our kids have been able to teach him just about any trick they try. He comes when called, sits, lays down, dances, rolls over, speaks, jumps through hoops, etc.... His manners are pretty good, other than tearing up tissues if given the opportunity.

Our problem comes whenever he gets outside, off his leash. If the door is opened, he will do anything to "dash" out. He'll be entirely obedient, but if we lose focus on him for a minute, he realizes it and is gone. We live in a rural area, and have a large yard, so he's not in immediate danger by darting out. However, when any of us go out to retrieve him, this otherwise smart, attentive dog completely ignores us. He'll take off around the yard, go bark at the neighbors, run into the woods. There's nothing we can do to get his attention.

I'm concerned that it is going to be a problem with the neighbors, or he is going to get to the road & get squished. We do get him out quite a bit on his leash, so I don't believe it's an issue of him being overly confined. We'd love to take him places and play ball & frisbee with him, but we dare not let him off his leash for this reason.

Would anyone have any suggestions that we can try?? This one issue is making an otherwise perfect pet miserable - for us & for him.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 

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Rule number one is to always keep the leash on until you have total voice control (no leash).
For the dashing out the door start teaching the Wait command (on leash of course). Have him sit and wait as you open the door. If his butt comes off the floor as you touch the door knob...Stop. Make him sit again. He only gets to go out the door WITH YOU....not blasting out ahead of you and only after you give him the OK command or whatever you're going to use for the release word.
 

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I agree with TooneyDogs mostly, but I would try have him off leash. Have him sit by the door while its open, try not standing in front of the door while its open because you wont be doing that in a normal situation. Be to the side or behind him. If he starts moving towards the door give him a voice command and walk in front of him so he goes back. It may take a little bit of time for the dog to understand that he's not supposed to go outside when the door is open.
 

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I don't know about Tooney but my reflexes are the type that needs a lead on the dog or by the time I reach for him he could be in Alaska. (also as I get older leads must be longer) Aside from the point that I want control for any dog I'm working as if they bolt and I'm yelling at a dog who is becoming immune to my voice as he/she is running and I am then yelling at empty air. Now you said the dog can do tricks etc but I get the idea that no formal work has been done, I think that should be the first step an obed class where you can be taught to teach your dog a wait or stay command. The out the door thing is a whole family project, nobody opens door till dog is corraled up. I could never understand how these dogs get out the doors, are they locksmiths. Somebody has to open the door.
 

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I had one of those, "Well my dog never (meaning hasn't yet)," moments the other day.

Perfectly otherwise well-behaved dog darted out the gate. Into the pasture, through the pasture, across the highway...

I think the dog is partially deaf, so I did not expect him to recall. I mean I can say "cookies" and he doesn't come until he sees the other dogs in the cookie corner...

Point being, I am now working daily on the "sit at the gate" trick. This followed by the "back from the gate" trick as soon as I touch the latch. It is really slow. I have also learned that if I sit in the car for two or three minutes when I first get home, they calm themselves down a little. They seem to hear me better anyway.

Oh, and as for mostly deaf dog--I use hand signals for those two things. He sees, and he knows.
 
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