I have a 1 year 6 month old male lab who is driving me and my wife crazy cause he won't stay in our yard. I have raised him using the forums as a guide. crate training and all. he gets tons of exercise, and that's when the problem starts.
we take him outside many times a day and throw/fetch the tennis ball. just now on the 5th throw, he grabbed the ball and keep right on running. stayed gone for about 30 mins and of coarse he lost the tennis ball on his travels. we go through about 10 tennis balls a week cause he won't stay, even during exercise time
getting my yard fenced is out of the question, should I get him fixed? would that help any?
Yes,get him fixed.then bring him inside.he's bored and doesnt want to be by himself.
Your expectation, imho, are not realistic.
neutering is a good idea if he is taking off to ensure he doesn't accidently cause a litter. He may already have done so.
now, neutering may reduce some of his wandering but it won't "fix" the entire issue. We had a 5 year old lab that would escape his pen AND the fenced yard. Once he was neutered he stopped trying to escape. But that doesn't mean the RECALL is going to improve. that needs to be trained. lots of neutered males wander.
In the immediate future I would use a long line so he can play fetch but he CANNOT run away. at this point he knows he can and is used to it so you need to put an end to it physically, and since a fence is not an option, then use a long line is your only other option. you don't necessarily have to tie it to anything (if you do be cautious whe playing fetch that the ball doesn't go out past his tie out as he could injure himself pretty badly) but leave it dragging and monitor it so you can grab it before he takes off.
In the medium future yes I would neuter. I would also start working on recall training daily. sounds like you need to start from scratch as he has learned that your "recall word" is optional (or to be ignored).
ETA: long term, if a physical fence is not an option, possibly an electric fence, providing you do the appropriate boundary training. But they do not work for all dogs, some will break the fence no matter what.
You need to take action now, if you KNOW he will take off most of hte time it is very irresponsible to keep giving him so much freedom.
Last edited by Tanya; 08-18-2012 at 12:36 PM.
oh and obviously he is never to be trusted outside unattended, he's already proven that (given he takes off reliably even if you are there)
thanks for the advice, he's a good dog most of the time.
this running off has just recently started, normally he would be 100% focused on me and the ball, but something he's feeling is overwhelming him to run off.
We have an un-fenced front yard that we let Layla out in a lot. She is rock solid with the boundaries since she was around 4 months I think. There was a period of a month or two that she lapsed. I think it was around 1.5 years like your dog. I just got the long line out again and started up the training again. It could be just an age thing. If it continues to happen then it is probably a dog to person relationship thing.
OP -- Neuter is a good start, in the meantime start with the long line & reinforce your recall, continue with the long line even after the neuter to ensure trust has been re-established. You are risking more than an accidental litter, your dog could be hit by a car or injured somehow -- so do something now before it is too late.
Someone can have a good relationship with their dog but if their natural tendency is to wander (or take off) it won't equal a great recall (even with training)