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Hi, I have a Chihuahua/Corgi mix female dog who runs out of the house every chance she gets.

I have taken her through a dog training class and she does great with coming when called while on the [long] leash. I can say that 90% of the time she will come when called while in the house, but outside is a whole different story.

She BOLTS. If I yell "NO" or "STOP" or "CAMERON!" her ears don't even flicker at me. She is far more interested in the outside world. And don't even think about chasing after her. She is watching your every move and if you start coming, she starts running.

We adopted her about a year ago, and she's chipped and everything, but what's more concerning than her being hit by a car is her being hit by my parents!

They cannot seem to understand that hitting her once they catch her is NOT going to help anything! Obviously she still does it but my dad refuses to believe that dogs -don't- know what they are doing. Like he believes she does it on purpose for the sake of pissing them off, or something. It's absolutely ridiculous and I hate them for it.

The reason they believe this is because we have another chihuahua/pekingese of whom was hit after running off and now he never runs away. They think they magically fixed the problem.

But anyway, I don't know what to do. She knows she can't run away when the leash is on, so I really don't know how I should go about training her not to run away. It's gotten to the point where my mom is thinking about returning her to the shelter!

Please give advice :(
 

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I have no advice about how to deal with your parents, but how is that the dog is able to escape the house so easily? Does she unlatch the door herself?
 

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Do you take her out for walks every day and give her time to sniff and explore? Maybe she just needs some outside 'be a dog' time to help her over come her bolting problem. I can see where she would bolt out if she thought it was the only way she would get to be outside. Do you have a fenced yard or anywhere that she gets to go out in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I have no advice about how to deal with your parents, but how is that the dog is able to escape the house so easily? Does she unlatch the door herself?
The last few times were because my little cousins opened the front door and let her escape. Today (at about 5am) I am assuming she(Cameron) squeezed past my mom's legs and ran out of the garage, to which my mother whacked her with a flip flop. Just 30 minutes ago, my mom was standing outside with the door open and I"m like "mom! cameron is right there, close the door!" and she's like "I'm right here." Meanwhile I am going up the stairs and watching Cameron like a hawk, then my mom calls her outside and she pets her and as soon as my mom lifts a finger, she bolts. Cameron is the laziest dog there ever was, but when she runs out of the house, she's super fast.

I mean...she's relatively good about staying by the door when I leave (I make her sit and stay because they are whiners). But with guests and when there is commotion at the door, she seizes the moment and squeezes through the legs.

She's sneaky like that...she'll get close enough to where you will -think- she'll just stay..but no...she runs. I know better, but my parents do not. Since I have been away at college for the last 10 months, the training I did with her went straight to hell. But I'm home now and I would really like to know how to keep her from bolting.

EDIT:
And we don't take her out everyday. A few times a week because my parents commute and my mom is too tired to take the dogs for a walk. But I'm back home from college, so I will have to take them out more often. But when we do, we don't let them sniff too much, we just walk briskly around the neighborhood. And yes we have a large fenced yard that they spend most of their time in.
 

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Teach her what you want her to do when the door opens (actually...BEFORE the opens...the second anyone touches the doorknob). The usual training is to have the dog go to a mat or a rug well away from the door, lay down and then stay there.
 

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I heard that if they get on regular walks off your property, they are less interested in "escaping" because they already know what's about there.
 

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Sadly, whatever you do is going to be undone when you leave.

I have mine sit back when I open the door and this has solved her running out.
 

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Since we have foster dogs rotating through here, and most are not well trained, I have a 2nd and 3rd barrier to them even getting to an outside door. We keep most crates and wter bowls in the family room, so we put a walk through gate(for the people, available at Lowes for ~ $50) across the family room door, and another gate across the foyer opening so that if they breach the family room gate, they cannot get to the front door.
 

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I have tried to train Brutus to wait for me to open the door. It didn't work on him so I just gave up and I'm alway sure I have a leash on him before I open the door if he's not contained somewhere. Fortunately for me he's a 10 yr old hound and doesn't move very fast. I've trained Zero to sit and wait at the door until I call him. He will not go out of the door until I've gone out and called him to me leashed or not.
 

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A couple of things.

The walks need to include "exploration time" and peemail sniffing. If all it is is constant motion forward the dog is getting only PHYSICAL exercise and this is NOT enough to fulfill a dog's needs. I'm not surprised the little dog takes off every chance she gets...she never gets a true chance to "be a dog" when she is outside on her walks.

Your parents hitting her (with anything, including their hands) has taught her to fear the "unpredictable" humans when she is near the door or has run out. Not suprising really. Just because it worked on your other dog, for whatever reason (they could have been doing something different and not realized it) does not mean it will work on this one..and if they see that it (the old way)isn't working (cuz it's NOT) then they should be smart enough to try something else.

Old habits die hard and I know this one well. I used to be a correction based dog person..til I got one that it didn't work with. But I bucked up and figured out that the better way is the positive way and now use it on every dog I work with...they ALL respond to positive reinforcement done correctly, but MANY did not respond to punishment...they either got aggressive about being touched or totally shut down. Not a pretty sight.

Work on the sit at the door when it opens, or an automatic go "to your mat" and NEVER leave through the door until you say a release word. I use "wait" for at the door and then once I am ready to go I say "let's go"..she is not to leave her "wait" until the magic word happens. If you use this consistently she will learn not to cross the threshold until the "magic word" happens. Her reward can be a tidbit of food in the beginning but eventually her reward will be the ability to go out with you on her walk or to work on training outside.

As for your parents, if you have fully trained the release command it is possible that she won't bolt because they don't use the word to release her. But I wouldnt' count on it unless they are "on board". It's sad really, it just confuses a dog to have different sets of rules or responses from different people in the house. She cannot learn without consistency.

Feel free to print this off and show your folks. They are making a huge mistake here that could cost your cute little dog her life. How would they deal with the guilt? Plus..you ARE an adult now, stand up for your dog as much as possible and don't forget to reward your folks with a thankyou for their support..sometimes a little positive reinforcement for humans can go a LONG way.
 

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And we don't take her out everyday. A few times a week because my parents commute and my mom is too tired to take the dogs for a walk. But I'm back home from college, so I will have to take them out more often. But when we do, we don't let them sniff too much, we just walk briskly around the neighborhood. And yes we have a large fenced yard that they spend most of their time in.
That's most of the problem right there. :p
 
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