Most people agree that they would do almost anything to keep their pets safe at home. We love our dogs, and, for most of us, they are important members of our family. The idea of something happening to them is horrifying. Yet, thousands of dogs, even well trained dogs, still run away from home. Why?

Dog owners are certainly more informed and more sophisticated than ever. We seem to have all the right tools to raise happy, welltrained, well-socialized pets. Puppies are going to puppy socialization classes and many communities have dog parks to exercise and socialize dogs. Most dog owners take their dogs to obedience training to teach their pets to come when called. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the key reasons people train their dogs to ensure they won’t run off.

So, why, after all the training, does this same dog run off as soon as it gets outthe front door? How did it learn that? One possible answer is that you may have been sending mixed messages. You may have unknowingly taught your dog to do that.

When you and your dog go out the front door, what do you do? If you’re like most dog owners, you leave the property to go for a walk. You’ve taught the dog that when you go out the front door, you keep on going. That’s what’s fun! That’s how you get exercise! Herein lies the mixed message. You don’t want the dog to leave the property, but that’s what you always do
with him/her.

The good news is that you can retrain and establish new habits. Go out the front door, check the mail, and come back. Go out, come in, go out, and come back. This is what you want to communicate and demonstrate. If you have flowers in the front yard, water them and come back into the house. Practice your obedience training in the front yard, putting your dog in a sit-stay position and then calling him/her back into the house. You want your dog’s predominant experience to be that of going out the front door and turning around and going back inside.

An Invisible Fence® Brand solution, of course, will do a wonderful job of reinforcing your training. This will also give your dog hours of safe, quality time on your property.

Source:  Karyn Garvin, Pet Behavior Specialist

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