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Hi all,

I'm new here and I've got a 15 lb. papillion mix named Didy. He's normally the world's best dog. Comes when you call, very quiet, walks beautifully, respects me and my husband as his pack leaders, knows a variety of commands including "Stop," and even does tricks. He's very smart and loves everyone and every thing. He's very reliable...normally.

He just has one major behavior problem: If he sees a squirrel, human, bird, another dog when he's outside, he fixates so completely on them that he becomes completely unaware of anything and everything else.

Today I was doing my normal morning walk with my friend and her dog in a nearby park off-leash (fenced). Across the street, a woman walked by with her baby. Didy saw her, and suddenly streaked across the park, made it under the fence (which I didn't realize he could do), and ran through ONCOMING TRAFFIC across the street to get to her.

He didn't hear my call, obey my "STOP!" command, or anything.

Of course the poor lady was very freaked for both herself and her infant having two strange dogs charging up to her (my friend's dog decided Didy had the right idea and followed him). :/

They are both hugely lucky they aren't bloody furry pancakes on the road right now. It took years off my life as I thought I was going to watch my baby be killed. All it took was one factor I wasn't aware of (fitting under a spot in the fence) and his life could have ended in a heartbeat. I need to make SURE he has a reliable recall so this doesn't happen again.

How do I snap him out of it and get him to hear my commands when he gets into that mode? I need some training exercises.

Thank you ever so much.
 

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I would keep him on a loooong leash for awhile and practice recall in those situations. You have him on a long leash, as soon as you see something he will fixate, call him back. If doesnt listen, "pull" him back. You have to keep using it until he comes back in EVERY situation. Use a harness. Dont put ling leash on collar, in case he runs into it.
 
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