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Thread: Running Away

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Cairns, QLD
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    Default Running Away

    Hey all,

    i have a seven year old staffy called Coco who is usually a pretty well behavied dog. she comes when called, sits, stays and i can run with her off the lead and she doesn't leave my side. But about a year ago she started running away. Coco is scared of power tools and they were doing renovations up the street. at the start it was just when the power tools were on and we could predict it and lock her up. but then she started doing it more and more often. our fence was thought to be dog proof but she is about 25kgs and just pushes through the fence, no matter the damage to herself. she has cut her nose and done damage to her paws trying to get out. it used to just happen when there were alot of people over (so a lot of noise) or when we weren't home. she was never by herself tho, we had another dog. recently our old bitsa passed away and Coco has gotten worse. normally we leave her outside at night and it has never been a problem. this morning however, she was gone. we found her but i am gettting desperate. i don't want to have to lock her in the house all the time but not seeing another option. one of my biggest worries is that in a couple of months i will be getting a doberman pup and i don't want her passing on the behaviour to him.

    Is there anything i can do to keep Coco in the yard? Could this be a behavioural thing?

    Thanks so much for any help, i relaly need it!
    “Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Southern NSW
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    Default

    It sounds like Coco has some anxiety issues. And seeing they have just started you have to find out the why....Could it be a medical issue? Or have you made your dog too dependent on you?

    Firstly i would make a safe yard ( kennel run), with cover and good fencing to contain your dog. It is very scary when they escape and they can easily get injured/killed.

    And because it has become such a huge issue already it might be a good idea to get her checked by a vet and find a good behavioural trainer.......It is hard to "see" the dog on-line. And you need to see the dog in the environment and in action.

    We often blame loud noises and such, but it is often underlying fear/anxiety issues that are the cause. I hope that you can find someone to help you face to face
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    Aug 2011
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    Default

    My first question would be: does she do it when she has access to the house too? The solution may be as simple as leaving the backdoor open for her when you go out or go to bed. Of course not everyone likes doing that - I'm very blase about security.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I just re=read your post..i agree with Beloz, sometimes free access really makes a difference, ours have it

    But you also mentioned you had another dog and it has passed away, i am sorry for your loss. But your little Coco may also miss the company of the other dog and is looking for a companion, Are the two related in time and happened about the same time?

    Is there maybe a dogy day care, if Coco is friendly or even a friend who has a friendly dog. Dogs can also be very bereaved over losses. i know my Tessa was when our newfie Zacky passed away. Even tough we did have other dogs
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Cairns, QLD
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    Default

    hey there,
    thanks for the replies
    we have consulted our vets and she suggested an anxiety problem so Coco was put on a form of prosac. it hasn't made a differnce though and i don't think its working
    i have thought about leaving the door open but am worried about security. Newfsie, you mentioned the loss of her compainion, it has gotten worse since Freckles passed. do you think the new puppy would help her? or would she just teach a bad habit to him?
    Beloz, you said she may be too dependant on us, i can see that being true. i live with my parents, who are moving in a month, and dad has spoilt Coco rotten, she is his dog. could it be that she is too dependant on him? and if so, what can i do to change that?
    sorry for all the questions but she is my girl and i get very worried when she runs away.

    thanks again for the help!!
    “Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France

  6. #6
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    Oct 2010
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    Southern NSW
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    Default

    Separation anxiety is a huge amount of training...i always start people by teaching people to teach their dog place. And when they are home they need to ask their dog to go to that place and be with you but not with you.
    It is one place where I also like crates...slowly make the crate a happy place to feed a kong filled with goodies (part of the diet) or a nice soft brisket bone. Keep moving the crate further out of sight. the dog stays in this for short periods and just lengthen them slowly. Do not give in. Set a time and keep to it. when the dog is quiet is the only time you let them out. I prefer it if the dog can see the household initially and slowly ends up around a corner, but can still hear the household. it is very tedious and slow. And you go up by increments. After the dog happily settles whilst you are around. leave the dog in a safe room, leave, come back. Doing this frequently for different times. very short, couple of minutes to twenty minutes, back to five minutes, even one........totally unreliable. Drive the car out of the driveway, walk back in. Walk away, drive back in. Do all the picking up of getting keys and changing clothing and go nowhere.........Now when I leave i always leave a treat, prefer longer term chew type treat. i use bones or filled kongs ( part of their daily intake) I even do that now for my dogs after all this time

    I have done this with old dogs, puppies and in between dogs at my own place...i take in rescues. And I help people do it at their own place. My pack almost laughs when I do this now. They see me leave and come back and go again. for the one dog that is anxious.

    I have also done it with lone dogs/ It takes a lot of time and many days/weeks and forever patience. become totally unreliable. But be reliable to the dog, because you always come back.

    I will mention it again and again. love your dog, but also teach your dog that alone time is cool. So even when you are home give the dog some alone time. But match that with lots of not alone time/play/training and walks

    Good luck...I still think that a good Behaviour trainer would help. I work with one vet, he gives the meds and whilst the dog is on the meds we do the re-training. this gives the dog some help during the anxious times in the early times.

    i find it hard to just get the feel of the dog on-line. So much is how we feel the dog is and watching how they are in their own environment. but some stuff, like the above will do no harm. just might not work completely.
    Pets are forever

  7. #7
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    Default

    And if your parents are moving out in a month, now would be a good time to start with the regime that Newfsie describes. Because it sounds like your father leaving might cause the dog some additional anxiety too.

    Also, is it your parents house? In that case you could install a dog door?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Totally agree...........And nearly forgot. don't fuss over the dog when you come home. we ignore ours and now our coming home is very unexciting...They just look and stay where they are, tail wag and happy face
    Pets are forever

  9. #9
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    Cairns, QLD
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    Default

    thanks for the help!!

    i will try the crate training an hope that that works!!
    one question tho, once the training is done do you leave the crate there for the dog 24/7 or do you remove the crate?

    thanks again!!
    “Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France

  10. #10
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    Some dogs love their crates, I have friends who have crates as part of their furniture. We do not. But there is no fast ruling for that. if your dog adapts to the crate and it is a place of comfort I would keep it there. I prefer a "place" (mat/dogbed)
    Pets are forever

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