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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. Our new rescue dog digs under the back yard fence and runs away – after a few hours it comes back. What can we do?
We just adopted a 2 year old lab mix, un-neutered male. He is a very sweet dog, EXCEPT...the second he is free (outside), he bolts for the road. If we can immediately go after him, he will come to us when called. The problem is, we sometimes have to chain him up. He maneuvers out of his collar, digs under the fence and is gone! So far, he has returned a few hours later, but we can't keep this up! How can we train him to stay home? (He will get neutered later this week).

If this a habit that cannot be fixed, we will have to take him back. He does show some signs of past beatings. His history is: he was a stray, adopted out to a family with no fence-he, kept running away, they took him back. We'd really like to keep him, can you help??????

Thanks,
Kae

A. These are handler problems – I should say they are training problems and not a dog problem.

The dog should never be off leash. If you have this problem, why would you ever take the dog off lead. Get a 20-foot line and clip it on every time the dog goes outside.

Obedience train this dog. If you would like to learn more about the principles of obedience training a dog, read the description for my Basic Dog Obedience video. You will probably find that you have not had the full picture on the steps of training a dog must go through before it can be considered fully trained. You can also read why I am not a fan of taking an untrained dog to obedience classes. I think if you read the testimonials on that tape you will see that my customers feel the same way.

You either need to put up a dog kennel with a concrete (or patio block) floor or stay out when the dog goes out. If you have a dog crate inside the dog does not have to be loose outside. You go out with him when he has to go outside. When he is finished he comes in – if you don’t want to fool with him in the house put him in the dog crate.

If you want to keep this dog in the back yard get one of the Innotek in-ground fences and attach the wire to the top of your fence – this will keep the dog back away from your fence. It will not go near the fence – if it does, it gets shocked. Problem solved.
  
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