There’s an old cartoon called “The Cat Who Walks by Himself.” Its title perfectly captures the essence of a cat’s character. Now try changing the first word to “dog.” And immediately something stings to the ear, it seems illogical. Well, a dog can not walk by itself! It is devoted to the man, loves him, obeys him.
All so, except that more and more often on the dog walks we find a very indicative couple, in which the owner walks by himself, and the dog himself. Or rather, he waits patiently for his pet to walk and come to him. Because it is useless to call her and catch her. Much easier to let him off the leash, as many practitioners do.
If you have experienced more than once the escape and disobedience of the dog in “free flight”, then you will probably be interested to know the reasons for its behavior and methods of correction.
What’s wrong with a leash?
It would seem, but what is the problem? You just put him on a leash or a dog leash and you can walk the baby. He won’t be able to escape, and a five-meter strip (cord) with his head is enough for him to move freely. Everything is comfortable, you don’t have to fuss with commands. Just enjoy your walk and chat with other dog owners.
Yes, such walks are really convenient, and in the conditions of the city the leash (leash) is also a kind of life belt, insurance for the pet. However, there is another, no less important aspect of walking, and that is to provide a dog full motor activity, give the opportunity to splash out energy. And if you have a lively Yorkie, a Zwergpincher or a Zwergschnauzer, the only way not to let him off the leash at all is if you run with him. And with all the other breeds you’ll have at least a lot and a long walk. Well, and better yet play. Are you ready for this? – If not, then look for an opportunity and a place for free walking.
Of course, it’s out of the question to walk with a ward without a leash near roads, in crowded places, near schools and playgrounds. But why not how to say come here in dog give him the opportunity to play with his “friend” in the nearby park or run free in the woods. But in this case, no obedience is necessary. Otherwise, the walk will quickly turn into a game of “catch-up”. And who do you think will be the eternal “catching up”?
Why do they run away?
Before you begin to do anything and somehow educate your ward, it’s important to understand the source of the problem. In our case, the causes of running away and disobedience. And the most important of them will be:
- The age and temperament of the pet. And here the palm of the first place belongs to young dogs from 4 months to a year and a half, as well as very active breeds (pinschers, yorkies, Toy Terriers, etc.). But very young puppies (up to 3-4 months) usually do not run away. They’re just scared, so they do their best to stay close to the owner. Well, the latter mistakenly believes that it will continue.
- Insufficient duration and activity of walks. Often dogs are slow to approach their owners, simply because they haven’t had a walk yet. And they absolutely do not care whether you are late for work or not. On the contrary, the little one tries to enjoy your company and play with you as much as possible, because he knows he will be home alone afterward. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that as soon as he runs up to you, he is immediately taken on a leash. That’s it! The walk is over. Naturally, next time he will try to delay this moment as much as possible.
- Fear. The baby is just afraid to go near the owner, because the owner always punishes him. No, not for approaching, but for not obeying. But the dog doesn’t understand that. He has already developed a reflex “came – got. That is why he postpones this moment to the very last, although it only makes the situation worse. The dog can also be afraid if the command of calling is pronounced in a threatening tone, at a shout or with a clear irritation in the voice.
- Infatuation. This is probably the most innocuous reason. The dog is simply very engrossed in a fun game or learning about unusual smells and just doesn’t hear you at the moment. Usually he’ll wake up after a minute or two and start looking for his master. A more difficult situation is when a male dog is carried away by a heifer bitch.
- Ignorance of commands. Very often the owners of miniature pets do not consider it necessary to teach them something. They do not even have a certain command to call the dog. At different times the dog may say “Come here” or “Let’s go home” or just use a nickname. As a result, he does not have a clear reflex to the command, and obedience becomes situational, i.e. today he came up, and tomorrow he did not lift a finger.
- The owner is not the authority. Those owners who always indulge them in everything are usually unable to let the miniskog off the leash. As a result, the dog is sure that he is the leader of the pack, and what orders can a dog give to the leader? When he’s been out on his own, that’s when he comes!
Well, how? Have you already seen your problem in one of the listed options? And maybe you fit a few points at once? – Yes, it happens that way. And quite often. But as psychologists say, the recognition of the problem is already half of the solution. And now let’s look together for a way out of this situation.
The main taboos for the host
To begin with, let’s analyze the main mistakes owners make when beckoning and trying to catch a dog. And this will be useful both in the case of an already existing tendency of the pet to escape, and for new owners who are just starting to raise a baby.
So, under no circumstances should you:
- Scold or punish (especially physically) your dog if he comes up on his own. It doesn’t matter if she was called or not, if she did something forbidden or just took a long walk. She came – that’s it. No displeasure, all the negativity is locked. Only affection and encouragement. If it’s very difficult – at least show calmness and indifference.
- Call the dog with obvious dissatisfaction, very sternly, threateningly. I.e. no “Come here, you dummy!”, only a cheerful, affectionate, encouraging intonation. Remember, that any command of a call should be associated with the dog only with pleasant moments – caresses, praise, yummy treats.
- Say the command for no reason. Do not do it or clearly understand that at this moment the dog does not respond to it, and you will not be able to influence him. Also, do not repeat the command many times. Ideally, after the second repetition, the owner should definitely make the dog come over. If at this point you do not succeed, it is better to look for other ways to attract his attention.
In addition, it is very undesirable:
- Chasing the dog. This may be interpreted by your baby as the start of an exciting game. Or, if you actively express your frustration and anger, as a threat, and then he is even more afraid to approach you. By the way, you do not catch up with him anyway.
- Trick the dog. For example, show him a treat or a toy, but when he comes up do not encourage him in any way, but just tie the leash and that’s it. Such a trick will help you three times, and then the baby will wise up and stop trusting such “lures. And if you have already beckoned him with a ball, then play with it at least a couple of minutes, and if you have shown him a cookie, be sure to let him eat it.
- Every time you call him, put him on a leash. You will only make him develop a negative attitude towards the command, and the leash will work as a typical negative reinforcement. In order to prevent this from happening you should call your pet over his ear once in a while just to give him a nibble or a treat, and then let him play on.
These are all simple rules that you need to follow if you do not want to face the problem of disobedience on the walk. And if he already occasionally runs away from you, it is even more important to start with yourself and only then begin to correct his behavior. But first you have to… Catch him!
How do you catch him?!
So let’s take a look at two of the most typical runaway situations for pets. Situation #1: The dog runs close to the owner, but won’t let himself be handled. This is most often the case when he has not had enough exercise, does not want to go home (on a leash) or is afraid of punishment. In this case, you should stop emphasizing the beckoning, and show your baby by all means that the game and walk continue, albeit on a leash.
To begin with, it is necessary to sit down. This pose by itself already attracts the attention of dogs. Further on we start to take an active interest in something – we go over pebbles, play with a stick, pluck grass or flowers, rustle leaves, make snowballs. In some cases, it is even possible to fall on the grass and lie motionless. Or you can make a sound that is completely inappropriate for you, for example, start howling.
Great, if you have your ward’s favorite treat. This is the easiest way to catch a fidgety four-legged fella. But if not – no problem. Continue to do something enthusiastically, not paying attention to the pet. Long remain indifferent to your manipulation, he will not be able to. For sure he will. And here the main thing is not to try to catch him right away. On the contrary, let him play with you, and you have to fix him gently, without threatening or displeasing him. And after 2-3 minutes more to play and run with him, but already on a leash, and only then go home.
As an alternative, you can bait the baby with affection to another dog, defiantly saying “Lord is a good boy! What a good boy!” Their sense of jealousy is well developed and, most likely, the pet will very quickly start pushing the competitor away and petting you himself.
Nothing helps? – Then change roles with him and begin to run away quickly. Exactly as he does, looping and not letting himself be caught up. Let him run after you for 3-5 minutes, until he will be tired and will be glad to go home and to finally rest. Another option is to hide from him, at the very time when the dog is distracted by something. Turn around and the owner is gone! Let him fret for a while, look for him. Next time he will be more attentive and obedient. Well, and get out of the hiding place and call him the moment when he started to look for you actively and frightened.
Situation #2: The pet ran away briskly and far away. He might have run out of sight. This usually happens with male dogs when they go off on instinct (a pregnant bitch, chasing a stranger) or with a dog that doesn’t recognize your authority. In this case, you’ll literally have to chase him down. But do it without yelling or even commands. He won’t respond to them now anyway.
Great, if you managed to just silently walk up to him and grab him. This is just the case when you can punish. But if at some moment he noticed you and approached himself – that’s it, just ooh-pooh-pooh and “You’re my clever girl!” Alas, both of these options may not work, and then you have to “sit in ambush” for a while. That is, from a not too great distance observe his behavior. But it is possible to do it only in that case when you are convinced in safety of the baby, i.e. it is still in the territory of the park, far away from highways and places of crowds.
So, let’s observe. Your purpose – to catch that moment when the dog began to look around, to listen, i.e. tries in every possible way to be convinced that you are somewhere near. We wait another minute or two, come out of the hiding place and joyfully call him up. Approaches – praise, encourage. He wagged his tail and again on the run? – We try to act as in the first situation. If all is bad, you can ask other dog owners and passers-by for help. If the “bride” is to blame, it won’t be hard to catch the baby near her or her house. And the owner of the girl will most likely help you.
Of course, the next time such a malicious fugitive can be released from the leash only after a special course of training with the correction of all behavioral problems.
Correcting the situation
Of course, the best and most effective option – to seek help from a professional cynologist, who has experience not only training from scratch, but also the correction of existing deviations in behavior. Well, the easiest way – do nothing, just walk with the baby only on a leash. True, and here no one is immune from force majeure in the form of a torn leash or broken collar ring.
If you want to change the situation on your own, then your algorithm of actions will be as follows:
- Analyze the causes and your own mistakes.
- Strictly observe all of the above “owner’s taboos
- Increase the duration, intensity and richness of walks, especially for Pinschers, Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers and Toychiks.
- We change the command of beckoning, as the dog has long ago ceased to respond to “Come here!” or “Come here!”. So we are looking for a new word or phrase. Completely unfamiliar and start accustoming the dog to the new command from scratch. And only on positive reinforcement.
- At the same time we teach the dog other commands of general obedience. This is necessary in order to consolidate your authority. Especially important from the point of view of the hierarchy is the command “Get down! The command “Stop!” will also be very useful, on which the baby will not come up to you, but will stop and stand in place.
- Do everything you can to regain the lost confidence of the dog. We caress her often, show her love, completely exclude all physical punishment and rough treatment. At home and on walks.
- We let the dog off the leash only when the dog has learned a new command and happily performs it. By all means we reinforce it without a leash. And here the main thing is that your voice is always confident and calm. Without nervous notes and fear of “What if it doesn’t fit!”. Dogs perfectly capture all our emotions and obey confident people best.
By the way, we want to make you happy. Even the most vicious runaways with age do it less and less. Even an active toy dog by the age of three years, more often looks back at the owner and tries not to run away from him too far. Also, girls are not prone to run away, especially after one year. The exceptions are hyperactive dogs and bitches in heat. But to cope with the natural instincts of the boy will help you only one thing – his spaying. And the more will be persistent in their adventures unleashed males.
Once again about the command “Come to me!
Alas, so many owners underestimate the importance of beckoning commands. And even more ignore all those rules, without which the dog will never obey it unconditionally. And more often than not, you hear repeated nicknames and a nervous mix of commands the dog doesn’t understand on the streets. No, in time he understands what you call him, but to understand and obey are very different things. Which is why we’ve decided to give you the ground rules for teaching your dog “Come here!” or whatever you’re trying to replace it with.
- Start with puppy exercises from his first days at home
- Training should be regular.
- Never just say the command if he doesn’t know it or can’t do it
- Give the command “Come here!” for the first time only if he runs towards you or if you can encourage him with the leash. And keep doing this for another two weeks.
- Remember that your dog should come up to you from the second time you say the command at the most.
- During the first month or two, always encourage your baby for doing the command correctly. It should make him feel the most positive emotions.
- Show your excitement every time he comes up to you on your walk. Even without a command.
- Do not say “Come here!” if he is engrossed in something. First get his attention with his name, then say the command when he looks in your direction.
- After the main course of training don’t forget to repeat what you learned from time to time.
As you can see, there is nothing complicated about it. The main thing is to show a little persistence, patience and perseverance and in a month your baby will show the first, and very noticeable results. And the question of escape and disobedience will never become an issue for you. Source: Club.xdogs.ru
Dog language – reconciliation signals
Why do you need to know the language of dogs? What are conciliation signals?
Dogs are social animals that need to communicate in order to prevent conflict and survive. Dogs are a very peaceful species of animal, trying their best to prevent fighting and therefore illness and death. They can’t tell us or another dog in words if they are not comfortable, if they are scared, if they want us to leave, because they don’t have a second signaling system. But they have their own way of communication – facial expressions, body language, postures, movements, sounds, signals of reconciliation. This is how they communicate with humans and their kin.
When translated into human speech, an encounter between two dogs can be translated as:
“I admit that you are in charge here,” says one dog.
“Calm down, I’m not going to hurt you,” says the “leader.”
If dogs don’t own or use conciliation signals, conflict can arise.
Often owners are perplexed as to why their dogs so aggressively lash out at each other on leashes. This may be due to distortion of reconciliation signals on a taut leash, and therefore misinterpretation by a mate.
Or a dog that unexpectedly bites a child may be the result of being punished for warning signals (growling, for example), and now it has stopped showing them.
Conciliation signals – learning to understand your dogs
Licking the lobe of the nose
What it looks like :
A quick, sometimes lightning-fast, licking.
Not to be confused with licking after a meal, or when your dog is drooling over an appetizing morsel in your hand.
In what situations :
Scolding, punishment. Dogs get close to each other. An animal, person or object alarms her. Leans over the dog. Hugging the dog. Getting too close. Taking pictures of the dog. Doing unpleasant things (washing, clawing, …). At the reception of the vet. Tired at training.
What this signal is for:
To let her know she is not comfortable. To calm herself or calm someone else.
Can be imitated : No.
How to use :
To pay attention and stop doing things the dog is not comfortable with. Show the dog our own soothing signals (head turn, side to side, back, yawn).
A nervous yawn.
What it looks like: the dog starts yawning, while showing other signals of discomfort (turning his head to the side, squinting, rapid breathing, “smiling”). By the way, humans also use yawning when communicating with people, when they are nervous or uncomfortable. And yawning is “contagious” and is transmitted to another not only in humans, but also in dogs.
Not to be confused with a dog yawning after or before bedtime.
In what situations : When visiting the vet. Strict training. Family members fighting among themselves. Too close to an uncomfortable object. Child molesting. Hugging/kissing. Owner orders the dog in a commanding tone. The owner scolds the dog. Another dog approaches too quickly. Children begin to actively run, scream, overexcited. The dog is in a state of stress, rushing from side to side. The dog is picked up and petted.
Why this signal: To calm the other. To express their discomfort.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : To stop making the dog uncomfortable. You can start yawning yourself to calm a frightened, insecure, nervous dog. You can also freeze, soften your gaze and turn your head to the side.
The arc approach
How it looks : The dog approaches another dog or person or object not in a straight line at point-blank range, but in an arc as if going around the side.
In what situations : The ritual of meeting and greeting in dogs. Approaching an unfamiliar or threatening dog/person. Walking past aggressive barking dogs. Avoiding barking dogs behind a fence, perhaps even on the other side of the street. If a dog is being fronted by someone. Walking past a frightening object. Approaching a frightened dog.
Why this signal : To reassure another. To prevent conflict. To show your good intentions.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : Slowly approach an aggressive or frightened dog in a circular arc. Do it yourself or do it yourself when the other dog shows signs of reconciliation (sniffing the ground, licking, turning away, yawning, scratching, turning sideways, sitting down, etc.).
What it looks like : The dog can physically get up/step in/through between other dogs or people.
Not to be confused with situations where the dog just comes up to you to cuddle.
In what situations: When two other dogs are too close together. When there is a conflict between two dogs or when play becomes too hectic. Owners hugging each other. Owners sit closely together on the couch. Children become frantic or conflicted. Hosts are dancing, talking loudly and excitedly. The owners are actively fiddling with the child, holding him in their arms, on their laps. At the rapid approach of another dog. Sudden appearance of another dog.
Why this signal : To prevent conflict. To calm.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : You can prevent conflict in dogs by standing between them, i.e. by separating them in this way, creating a barrier with your body. You can also stand between the dog and the person/child if the situation becomes heated. When other dogs are getting too excited about talking/playing and your dog is scared, you can stand sideways between him and them, thus blocking him out. When two dogs meet, you can use such a separation barrier.
What it looks like: The dog becomes perfectly still while standing, sitting or lying down.
Not to be confused with freezing in a hunting stance or hovering over a mark.
In what situations : Dogs getting too close too quickly. At the vet’s office. When the dog has a real, strong fear. Another dog that is larger and threatening approaches the dog. The other dog, which looks bigger, threatening, starts sniffing it. The child approaches the dog, who has already had negative experiences with children. The child hurts the dog. Often noticeable when a large dog is sniffing a small dog. The owner has raised his or her voice at the dog during class or for “bad” behavior. The owner rudely and harshly calls the dog on himself. Harsh training methods.
What this signal is for : To calm the owner or other dog. It’s a way for the dog to keep himself out of danger.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : Stop doing something that scares the dog so much. Move the dog away from the scary object. Or move/remove the object. Stop and freeze (you can also soften your gaze by squinting, yawning, turning your head to the side) if the dog is frightened of you, if he is not comfortable, if he feels insecure, if he is aggressive towards you.
Playful tilt – an invitation to play
Playful tilt – a signal of reconciliation
What it looks like : The dog will crouch down on his front paws in the form of a tilt. In case it is a conciliation signal, the dog usually freezes in this bend.
Not to be confused with the signal/invitation to play. Then the dog usually jumps back and forth.
In what situations : The dog wants to make friends with another dog who is a little tense and wary. Dog meeting ritual. The dog wants to get to know another kind of animal (horse, goat, …) that makes him insecure and unpredictable.
Why this signal : The animal signals its peaceful intentions, while still crouching down and turning its head away. To avoid a conflict. This is the dog’s way of reassuring the other dog when approaching. This is how the dog gives confidence to the other dog when approaching. If the other dog gets scared, yours can do that to calm and reassure him of his peaceful intentions.
Can I imitate : It’s debatable.
How to use : You can teach your dog to do this bow when he sees another dog if he has communication and pet aggression problems. Encourage with praise and treats such bows in your dog. T. Rugos suggests mimicking this signal to humans by extending your arms down to the ground.
What it looks like: The dog’s movement becomes like in a slow motion, he slows down and slows down.
Not to be confused with slowing down in game or hunting.
In what situations : The meeting ritual in dogs. Approaching another dog. Approaching an unfamiliar object. The owner calls her in a rough, stern, irritated voice. There are too many stimuli and events around the dog. The dog is in the midst of overexcited relatives. The owner tries to “shake up”, “spur” the dog, make him move and work faster. The owner yells at the dog, makes noise, scolds it. The dog is required to walk past a group of dogs. Tough training methods. Commanding, demanding voice.
What this signal is for : Strong calming effect on others. The dog is trying to calm his master when he scolds him. This is how a dog calms other dogs if they are too excited.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : Slow down when approaching the dog if he is afraid of you. Approach the other dog slowly so as not to frighten him. Walk slowly with your dog past a group of other dogs. If you need to leash or catch your dog, approach your dog very slowly.
Turning on his back, sideways.
How it looks : The dog turns sideways or turns his back to his target.
In what situations : When playing, when over-excited. When approaching a dog quickly. Threatened by another dog. Being snarled at. Scolded, displeased with the dog. Caused pain. Children or puppies molesting the dog. Talking to the dog in high tones. Approaching in a bad mood. Pulling/tugging on leash.
What is this signal for : To calm others. To show their discomfort. To resolve a situation peacefully. To avoid conflict, a dangerous situation.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : Turn your back or sideways to calm your dog when he’s aggressive, jumpy or nervous.
Turning of the head
How it looks : The dog turns his head sideways (slowly or lightning quick). May continue to look away, or turn his head quickly and then look straight ahead again.
Not to be confused with situations where the inquisitive dog just looks around, turning his head and studying the world.
In what situations : Photographs. Bringing the dogs closer (meeting ritual). Getting too close. Hugging, kissing. Someone approaches the dog very quickly. Leaning over the dog. Doing unpleasant procedures. Scolding, punishment. At the appointment at the vet. “Overwhelmed” at a training session.
What this signal is for : Tells that she is not comfortable. To show she has peaceful intentions. To calm the other.
Can I imitate : Yes.
How to use : Turn his head to the side to calm the dog when he is aggressive, fearful, if nervous. Or turn his head to the side when you don’t like what the dog is doing now (requires you to play, petting, for example).
“Whale” eye, eye whites
What it looks like: The dog moves and tilts his head slightly down and sideways so that you can see the whites of his eyes. A so-called “guilty look.
In what situations: When he is scolded or punished. When scared or uncomfortable. Tough training. Speaks in a commanding, rough, annoyed voice.
What is this signal for : To express her discomfort. To prevent conflict, to stop punishment.
Can be imitated : No.
How to use : To call attention to and immediately stop doing what the dog is uncomfortable with, walk away, stop scolding, stop punishing. Show the dog yourself calming signals (turn his head to the side, stand sideways, turn your back, yawn, soften your gaze off to the side).
Sniffing the ground (or scratching, peeing, sneezing, shaking off)
What it looks like: The dog puts his nose to the ground, sniffing. It can be a lightning signal – nose down – up. Or the dog can stand in this pose as long as the situation demands it. In the dog’s field of vision in this case there is some trigger, to which this signal is directed. These signals are also called a displaced response. This also includes scratching, peeing, sneezing, and shaking off.
Not to be confused with the usual sniffing the ground, searching, sniffing for tags, scratching (there are fleas, for example), urinating (just going to the toilet), sneezing (something got in the nose), shaking off the dirt, after a wash.
In what situations: Your dog approaches another dog or person for introductions. Your dog is approached by another dog or person. From the sudden, abrupt appearance of another dog or person. When approaching a suspicious object. If you call your dog to you in a commanding, rude, harsh voice. Reaction to harsh training. When another dog is in an aggressive mood. Your dog is frightened.
What this signal is for : To calm the other. To prevent conflict. To show your excitement, distrust, fear, discomfort. To release tension.
Can I imitate : It’s debatable.
How to use : If your dog is bad at conciliation signals – when introducing other dogs, you can try throwing your dog food container on the ground so he puts his nose to the ground and sniffs and eats it. Thereby broadcasting your peaceful attitude to the other dog and approaching slowly. The person can try squatting down and start rummaging in the ground so that the dog is not afraid to approach him. If you see this signal in another dog when you approach, walk away completely (if possible) or approach slowly, in an arc, with your head turned aside and your eyes squinted. If your dog is showing you this signal, stop the action that’s scaring him now.