Dogs are man’s best friend. They are wonderful companion that can bring joy and love into your lives. But what if your dog keeps running away from home? It will tire you out to feel the fear of him getting caught up with something bad outside. Don’t worry, there are some tips and trick on how to train your dog not to run away from home.
1. Training at early age
Start to train your dog since early age. If you shape his habit since early age, he will develop it for all his life long. It might be a bit difficult in training young puppy, but if you do it with patience, you will see the hard work got paid off.
When you start the training, don’t forget to prepare the treats for your young puppy. Not only puppies, but adult dogs also enjoy being treated with delicious snack. And it will encourage them to do what you want them to do. Choose the treats that your dog loves the most. He will eagerly to follow the training to get that special treats. And don’t give the same treats for their meal daily, because it won’t be any special anymore if you do so. And it’s forbidden to give them human food as it can harm their health. Always choose dog food.
Try to give him simple commands at the beginning of the training. Introduce him to word ‘come’. Deliver the verbal command in firm tone and wait for the respond. If he doesn’t respond to your call, do it again with the same tone. When you are training him, choose a place with very less distraction. No TV on, no continuous honking or children’s interactions. Better to use a closed room where he can’t run away from you if he is confused.
Whenever your dog obeys your command, immediately give him the treats. He will remember that every time he obeys you, he will be rewarded. It will be a plus point if you also pat and caress him lovingly when you are giving him the treats.
Now you have done your task in appreciating him for obeying you. Walk away from your dog. You know what? He will probably be following you especially after you just rewarded him. Keep walking until he is bored following you. But what if he is still following you around? Do your daily activities like cooking, doing chores etc. He will get bored without attention given to him.
Now try to call your dog again after he leaves you alone. Use the same command and same tone when you did it the first time. Even if your dog is farther than you, do not try to come to him to be closer. Don’t let him think that you are playing a game with him that you will always come to him.
Always repeat the training every day. Practice the same command and same tone until he understands what you want from him. He has to understand that when you are calling him, that means you want him to come to you. If you think your dog gets bored with the training, end the practice. Let them rest. You can start again tomorrow.
After your dog mastering the training, then you can go on to the next level. Take him to a larger space or room and with more distraction. Move on step by step. Give them time and space to adjust to a new situation.
Now, here is an important thing for your dog. You have to try distracting your dog after he fully master your command. You have to train them to focus on your command. Especially if you train a dog for hunting purpose, this training is very important. He has to be able to ignore the distractions and come to you. If he can’t resist the temptation, he can be troublesome during hunting session. He might chase other animals or even chase people.
2. Training to stay
Now, next step of training. Teach him a more complex command. Combine a hand signal with voice command. It will be more powerful if you both use voice to command and to show him hand signal for that command. For example, if you want your dog to stay, say ‘stay’ and put out your hand upfront as if you ask someone to stop. Do this practice many times. Use the same tone, clear verbal command to avoid your dog from confusion.
Now you try to walk to the door as if you are leaving the house. Ignore your dog, act normal like taking your key or your umbrella. Do not pay attention to your dog. See if he follows you. If he does, stop and turn to him. Use the same verbal and hand signal telling him to stay. Do not try to pat or comfort him because it will encourage him to follow you more. Do not feel tired to practice this over and over. You must repeat it until your dog understands and stays. You have to be able to go to the door without him following you from behind. If he keeps staying while you are leaving, then you do a good job in training him.
Don’t feel excited yet, your dog still has to go through next observation. You have to be able to fully open the door without him moving from his stay position. If he stays, practice opening your door. Do it slowly and step out with him still in stay position. You still have to be on alert. He might still feel excited seeing the door open and run for it. If you are able to open the door for few seconds without him running outside, he passed this test perfectly.
Treats, praise and affection are a must to be rewarded to your dog whenever he shows obedience and good behavior.
Now let’s try the training outdoor. As your dog is calm and stays even when you go to the door, it’s time for him to practice outside. The key word on how to train your dog not to run away from home is repetition. Repeat the practice few times every day.
There are other way in training your dog. You may see in How to train your dog using shock collar. It can be other alternative in training your dog.
3. The prevention from running away
There are certain situations which lead your dog to run away. However, before that happens, let’s try to prevent it.
For you who just move to a new house, introduce your new home to your dog. He might run away to go back to the old house. Let him explore the new house with your supervision. Get him used to the smells, sounds, shapes and textures.
When it’s mating season, there is a possibility that your dog will run away and find his mate. If you don’t like him to do this, consider to have your dog spayed or neutered.
Remember that dogs are social animals. They need interaction or they will become bored. This condition might encourage him to run away and find his friends outside. If you are working outside, consider to hire a dog walker to keep your dog busy while exercising. Giving your dog plenty of exercise is a good idea. If he drains his energy, he will be likely becoming calm at home. A calm dog is a dog free from trouble. So, spend your time to exercise with your dog. Both you and he will be healthy.
Here is a link I would recommend you related to this article How to make your dog happy even though you work outside
If your dog runs away from home, do not scold him when he comes back home. Instead reward him for going back home. Let him understand that you appreciate his good behavior in coming back home. Give him a treat, praise him and love him. He will be able to differentiate the condition when he is on the run and when he is home with you. If you welcome him when he comes back home, he will be likely staying with you rather than running away.