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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was in front of the front door getting ready to let apollo out for his walk. I let apollo out the front door everyday and he immediately sits in front of the door, then I hook his leash to his coller. I reason I do this is because he pees every time I put the coller on and I need him to be OUTSIDE when he does this. I've NEVER had a problem with him staying by me when I let him out, but today when I opened the front door for him to go outside he BOLTED.

Now, sometimes Apollo will run to our car and sit there patiently waiting for a car ride. I discourage this behavior because to get to the car he has to run across the apartment parking lot. Now we live in a VERY small town and there aren't ever cars rushing through the dead end parking lot, but I still feel its best to teach apollo to stay by me and not run across the lot. He is normally GREAT with off leash commands, but today I don't know what happened. He ZOOMED past me and I yelled for him (thinking he was running to the car) but he totally ignored me. I dashed around the carport and to my horror saw that he wasn't running for the car, he was running out of the complex right toward a busy street! I was screaming for him to come to me but he ignored me and kept on running. I could just picture him running into the road and getting killed by a car before my very eyes. I was in tears as I ran after him.

I finally caught up with him halfway around the block. I was furious. I didn't get why he ran off like that. Yes, its my responsibility to make sure things like this don't happen, but how was I supposed to know he'd do this today when he NEVER does anything like this?

I sat there with Apollo, firmly holding his coller while sam ran to go get his leash. Apollo was screaming and yelping and whining and crying so loud the neighbors almost came out to see who was beating up there dog. ALL I was doing was standing there and holding his coller. I was just ignoring him at that point cuz I was so mad, but he was acting like I was killing him. Boy was I frustrated with him.

I realize its not all Apollo's fault. I am not mad at him. I was just upset because he could have been killed because he didn't heed my commands. I put him in his room tonight where he stayed all night. He got a potty break, but no walk, no toys, and no play time in the park tonight. I wanted Apollo to see that that behavior is just not acceptable. The biggest reason why is because its dangerous. I don't want him to get hurt. I'd never stop blaming myself.

From now on Sam and I are putting a choke chain on apollo and when it comes time to let him out to pee I'll just hang on to the chain and then hook the leash up. As his owner, I'm responsible to make sure this doesn't happen again. But boy was I not pleased with him tonight. Not only did he almost get himself killed, but he didn't listen to me at all, and then he yelped and whined like I was beating him and made the whole complex thing I'm a dog abuser. Ugh...rough night.
 

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That must have been scary. But if you want my honest opinion, you are trusting him too much too soon. You have only had him for a couple of months, right? no leash near road = disaster. Even the most trustworthy dogs can screw up and there is a good saying; "trust is a deadly disease". I have every faith in my own dogs but before we step out the door the leash ALWAYS goes on. It only comes off when we reach our destination well away from a road.

Now that you know Apollo has the potential to bolt (and trust me, ALL dogs have that potential) you should be extra careful. Off leash ONLY in safe areas. And work on that recall. Have you done any formal training with him yet? you have to take extra precautions especially with rescues with unknown pasts. The fact that he was yelping and whining when you caught up with him is quite revealing...he could have been hurt in the past doing the same thing. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is the scary thing. Our apartment is NO WHERE near the road. That is why I trusted him. He would have to haul a** to get near a road. Thats exactly what he did. Thats how he got near the road in the first place.

I know its ME that made the mistake (although I wasn't thrilled with Apollo either) but I'm gunna make sure this never happens again. In the month that we have had apollo, he has NEVER ignored one recall, not even once. Even though he is great off leash, the only time I actually walk him off leash is when we are up in the mountains and hiking (I NEVER walk him off leash in the neighbor hood. IMO its just to dangerous and there's a leash law.) the other time that he is off leash is when I open the front door and let him out onto the doorstep where I hook up his coller. He always listens when I say "sit" and then I hook the leash onto him. I HAVE to hook the leash up outside (and I can't even hold his coller and guide him outside so I can hook up the leash) because he continues to submissvely pee all over (but once we are outside I grab his collar gently and hook the leash up. As soon as I touch his collar he pees). Atleast when he pees on the concrete outside RIGHT in front of the door, I don't have to clean it up.

We don't have him in a formal training class (we can not afford it at the moment, rough times for me and SU) but I have been working on him daily with training. He's doing GREAT he knows sit, down, stay, leave it, shake, heel, 'talk to me', 'Find your little buddy' (command to get him to find a ferret that's escaped out of its cage or elsewhere. lol sounds silly, but its VERY useful) He's taking to training like a fish to water. I've finally elimated the food rewards and now all he gets is a click.

As for Apollo yelping in whining when he's in trouble. Sam and I NEVER raise our voice (unless we are yelling for him to come back and we have to shout so he can hear us). We are always firm, yet calm and detached in our disciplingin of him. We NEVER hit him and always move slowly, confidently, and firmly around him. He yelps like we are beating him even when I just held onto his collar so that he couldn't run off while SU went to get the leash. I'm gunna have to talk to my neighbors and explain that Apollo was FORMALLY abused and thats why he makes those noises. I DO NOT want AC called on me because apollo sounds like I am beating him.
 

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Don't worry about the yelping while you are holding his collar. He's basically having a tantrum like a little 2 yr. He's telling you (and the entire neighborhood) that he isn't happy with his fun being interrupted.

I am worried that you are considering keeping a choke chain on him at all times. That isn't the answer. Choke chains are training collars and should only be on the dog when they are being closely supervised. The collar could hang up on something, anything and literally choke him to death.

Since he has an issue with submissive peeing, I think a great option for you would be to get a British slip lead. It's a leash and collar all in one. They are commonly used in agility and field work. You would be able to walk Apollo to the door and quickly slip it over his head before opening the door. No fumbling around trying to grab the link of the collar and the snap on the lead while the puppy dances around peeing all over the floor. Here is a picture of one.



You can get them from Clean Run, J&J, LL Bean, etc. Once you get outside, you can put him on a traditional lead with a snap but at least this way you will have control of him while you do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OH! I like that idea. I wasn't too thrilled about using a choke chain (he's afraid of them for one) but I didn't know that there were any other options. Thanks for sharing. Do they sell those at petsmart?
 

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I don't think I've ever seen them at Petsmart but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

I just thought of another even less expensive option though...it's called a kennel lead and they work just like the British slip lead but they are very thin nylon. Vets, groomers, and kennels use them. They are nylon and very inexpensive. Petsmart might have those. Heck your vet might even give you one. I think they are like $.85 a piece or something crazy like that. I ended up with one some how but I don't remember how. I think it was from the groomer. I keep it in my car in case I ever find a dog running loose in traffic or something like that.

Here is a picture.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ahh!! good idea. good idea. Thank you soooo much. Apollo is terrified of the choke chain (gee, guess why) and this would be a GREAT option. I don't think it would scare him at all AND I could easily keep him safe. Thanks a TON.
 

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As another idea, I have a safe word with all my dogs. It's cookie. They know cookie means they get a treat, no matter what. And I have a can with biscuit type cookies in it so when I shake it, it makes noise. They also know this noise to mean "cookie." But mine are very food motivated. If regular kibble or biscuits won't work then find something that is irresistable to Apollo and ONLY use it for that(an example would be nuked pieces of hotdog.) You can still associate the sound of a can shake with the pieces of hotdog by shaking the can/treat jar and giving him the piece of hotdog instead. I also use a silent whistle when I don't want to hollar cookie and use the same principle. Whistle=cookie=always.
 

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I use cookie as my safe word too. It works great. Of course, I have to make sure I have a cookie with me for it to continue working !

I wonder if you fitted Apollo with a harness that he could wear around the house, that would make it easier for you to grab him? Or this http://www.dingoleash.com/, you could maybe leave the collar and short handled leash on him while you are at home?

(I dunno, I'm just tossing out ideas here!)
 

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I put him in his room tonight where he stayed all night. He got a potty break, but no walk, no toys, and no play time in the park tonight. I wanted Apollo to see that that behavior is just not acceptable.
I don't agree with this at all. You can't punish/correct the dog after the fact. Whatever you do needs to be done immediately in order for him to associate what he did with the consequence.

That being said, thank God nothing happened to him! :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He was put in his room IMMEDIATELY after running away. I am aware that you can't punish after the fact. But we took him RIGHT to his room as soon as this happened.
 

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Apollopuppy said:
He was put in his room IMMEDIATELY after running away. I am aware that you can't punish after the fact. But we took him RIGHT to his room as soon as this happened.
I don't think puppies can make this type of connection,that's just my opinion.

The absolute, most valuable command a dog must know is recall. I don't care if all the other things we teach is sloppy or weak, I stress recall. My dogs get zero, nada, off leash until I feel comfortable with their recall. I do not want to live with the idea that they were hurt or killed because I failed to teach them to come when called. I might chuckle to myself when they do a sloppy sit or break a sit/stay,but my heart goes in my throat when they won't come when called.

BTW I use cookie as my safeword too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok. For those of you who don't agree with putting apollo in his room IMMEDIATELY after running off, what type of correction would you reccomend? I did not feel that a "no!" alone was sufficient enough. This was a VERY serious no no, much more serious then just going potty on the carpet or chewing up the rug.

As for recalls, apollo is usually GREAT with them. He knows what "stop" "your too far away" and "Apollo wait a minute" means. I have no idea why he ran like he did. I NEVER walk him offleash in the neighborhood (only in the mountains, far away from traffic). I am buying one of those leash things so I can keep ahold of him at all times. Like I said the only reason he WAS off leash was because we have issues with him urinating when we touch his collar or attach a leash to it and I normally let him out onto the patio to hook up his leash so that way if he pees he does it OUTSIDE.
 

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In my opinion, there is no effective correction for this. Only prevention. He won't associate a correction with running off. He will associate any correction with being back with you. He was having a good time running loose. Then you caught him and punished him.
 

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Hmm, have you tried to desensitize him to having his collar touched? I really think I would start working on that. That might help with the peeing when you grab his collar, and eliminate his bolting out the door.
 

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When a dog runs off and by the time you get the dog back,too much time has passed. It's pointless there memory/attention span is too short. If Apollo starts gnawing on a furniture leg and you say a sharp "no" while he's chewing,they make the connection. Now if you noticed the chewed furniture one minute after Apollo walks away from it,you're too late to correct. Apollo has long forgotten the chewing. At least that's what I come to believe.

As far as reliable recall goes thats a tough one. My personal belief is a good recall is when your dog returns when there are no distractions (other dogs,people, etc), I consider that "good" recall. Any recall with distractions I consider great. It's just my pet peeve about training.Far too many times do other dogs get loose and the owner is trying to get them to come back with no luck. I watched a dog get loose and hit by a car while the owner frantically tried to call her back.

I'm not a pro at this and of course these are just my opinions and observations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Definitly gunna make sure this doesn't happen again. Ugh. Its very hard to discipline apollo. He was abused so I have to be VERY careful what tone of voice I use and how i physically move around him. Even a firm, calm, quiet "no" will send him to the corner shaking.

I do NOT understand why he bolted yesterday. He's NEVER done that. Apollo's old family NEVER had a problem with him off leash, neither did the shelter, and neither have I. It was just SO unlike him. When we are in the mountains and he's off leash there is like this invisible distance that he won't cross. He won't move away from me beyond a certain point (like 10ft) as soon as he senses that we are like 11 feet apart he backs up a foot. Walking him off leash is just like walking him on leash. I have always had TOTAL control over where he moves. He even understands "to my left" and "to my right". Recalls have ALWAYS been apollo's specialty (unlike housetraining and chew training).

I would never walk him off leash in the neighborhood, not even in the park. We go up in the mountains where there are no people, dogs, or cars. Its nice and safe up there. I would not feel comfortable walking apollo off leash in a park because of the distractions. Up in the mountains the distractions are very limited.
 

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I also agree that the punishment he received was not associated with his act of running away on you. As Jinx said - there probably is no punishment suitable for this. Bear darted out on me a couple times when he was a puppy, fortunately his favorite thing in the world was a car ride and I just said wanna go for a ride and he flew into the car.
 
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