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Letting your dog know you're unhappy with their beahviour

Hi,

     Just wondered how people let their dogs know when they've done wrong. For example Shea was a lil' devil today and ignored the whistle and my calls to wait, preferring to dance round a couple of people in the farm yard we come through, I eventually got him back and let him go thinking he would head round the corner for home as he usually does but instead he ran down the track to the village road and across to houses on the other side before I managed to catch him at a dead end. I was extremely angry but didn't yell at him knowing it would hinder any future incentive for him to come back when told, but am now ignoring him and haven't given him his usual after walk/run treat. Does anybody have any suggestions? It's the first time he's ever made a b-line for the road and my heart is still in my mouth as to what could have happened. In future am going to lead him before he gets anywhere near the yard.

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Thanks for opening this topic Neil, I would very much like to know that too!

Hi Neil - I appreciate how mortified you must have felt having been through similar situations with Errol in the past. I think what's important is that you need to deal with the situation ASAP. As Shea now knows that he can outrun/trick you things will undoubtedly get worse as he continues to test the boundaries. I was foolish and waited far too long with tackling the situation, basically until Errol ended up causing mayhem on a busy road (and worse).

 

I think it's no point in ignoring Shea after he has done wrong/a runner/etc or even much later at home as he will not make the connection. He needs to know when he does wrong immediately. But as you quite rightly said punishment or shouting is just having the opposite effect. Therefore first thing you need to establish is an excellent recall. This means endless training sessions with tasty treats, a whistle and the long leash. A good dog trainer can help if you don’t feel confident you are doing the right thing. As Errol also had a tendency to roam I included a citronella spray collar in my training (but opinions are very much divided on these).

 

Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

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