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Thread: Dog won't stay home

  1. #1

    Default Dog won't stay home

    I have a black lab my friend gave me. He is an amazing athlete, and has good bird instincts. He retrieves spruce chickens.. with a good soft mouth.. but drops them a bit short most the time(confused about my drop command.. and when it should be done). He will not retrieve completely dead birds however.. he sure finds them, but leaves them(he can find a tennis ball in the thickest crap I can find, and always brings that back.. not sure why he leaves the dead birds. Anyway.. the big problem is his wanderlust. We have to chain him constantly. My son and I were working on the house the other day.. and were not throwing his ball for him, and off he went. He has learned that wherever he goes and finds people they will play with him.. never fails. Most take him in their house and feed him.. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS? Even more disturbing is when I find him, and call him, he ignores me.. or runs off in the brush.. I guess invisible fence and shock collar are the ticket eh??.,. I have never trained a bird dog.. and pretty sure I have a very good one.. just need to get him going.. the separation from his other owner at almost two probably didn't help... but this guy is worth it.. he can run 12 miles at a forced clip.. and retrieve a bird when he is done.. will jump out of the skiff a mile from the beach and swim all the way in, and be ready to retrieve.. never had a lab.. probably sounds familiar to most lab owners.. anyway need to keep this guy home.

  2. #2
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    Well, the easy answer is to find yourself a good trainer and get pup some pro training...along with you. A e-collar might eventually help you sometimes, but conditioning a dog to a collar is not a simple matter either. It needs to be done correctly...for the dog's sake.

    Regardless of how well trained your dog is, or will be, if left unattended in a un-fenced area, or an area with a low fence, that dog may possibly go on a adventure. Can't blame him now can you? And if it's an intact male...well, guys will go on the hunt as often as they can.

    As to the retrieving problem...he simply needs to go through some force fetch training, another potentially difficult part of the training process perhaps better left to the pro trainer. A simple solution to your dog dropping birds is to teach the "Hold" command and give that command to the dog as it closes in on you with the bird in his mouth. But fetching is not something the dog gets to make a decision about. It is a command to fetch up a bird, not a request that pup consider fetching the bird.

    Best of luck to both of you. Nothing like a well trained canine pal.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the specifics of training a bird dog, but I will put in a plug for the wireless - type pet containment deals. I'm not at home, and I can't remember the exact brand - Pet Safe or something like that, but we use one for my son's pit/rott/lab mix. I didn't think it would work at first. It scared her half to death, but after a couple of days and very minimal training, she learned where the boundaries were and it now works like a charm. The best part is the range is adjustable by turning a dial on the transmitter in the house. It was kind of pricey - about $450 IIRC, but worth every penny. If you decide to get one, keep a supply of batteries for the collar on hand. They only last about a month.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Member cristancanoe's Avatar
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    My vote for a wandering dog is the invisible fence. Once they know the boundary, they are free to roam the yard. No worries about a loose dog, and you can use a dog door or just let them outside without hooking them up.
    That being said, I grew up with English Setters and they always loved to roam and run.run.run when not chained. They were healthy and happy dogs even though they were placed on chains and/or runner lines most of the time.

  5. #5

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    Sounds like a dog with lots of natural talent. He just needs to be directed on how to better work for the handler. Some simple obedience will cure a lot of these issues.

  6. #6
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default bird dog

    Your bird dog and you needs training and not an electric hidden fence. Above posts have given you a good start and you seem anxious to learn....you're off to a good start.

    You can find lots of training advice on-line - but even more help are training videos and then the professional help.

    I have a 3 year old chocolate. She is spoiled every which way but rotten, but she will not leave where ever I am - never. I have never seen that in a lab that I have owned - but she is so focussed on the wife and I that she will in no way ever attempt to roam. It is good to know that your dog is there for you and you don't have to worry about her.

  7. #7
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Ditto on the petsafe invisible fence. I ran the wire on the surface running around my ~2 acres and convinced a very hard headed beagle to stick around. Training involved cranking up the volts on his “stubborn dog collar” and turning him loose. He figured it out pretty fast.
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  8. #8

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    The yellow lab we had before this one never went anywhere.. SHE... well she was a she.

    This guy never got much attention as a pup.. or from what I could see.. any exercise. He was pretty over weight when I got him. He is a mean lean fighting machine now. When I take him grouse hunting he runs 12 miles behind the truck between 15-25 miles per hour.. and only tires becuse he overheats. He swims from out of my skiff over a mile. Everyone that sees him remarks at his fitness. He has a bit of a bonding issue having been moved around. And he is a male... so it will take some time to make him stay home. But when he smells fun, he moves towards it, and soon he is gone. Everyone he goes to plays with him, so the behavior is well enforced. I went to get him last week and the people had him inside the house telling me how much they'd love to have him. He will not go to the bathroom on his running line even though it extends over into a good bathroom area,,, so we let him off and sometimes forget about him for a few.. he just loves to play, and needs to learn his new place. But yea, our female never went anywhere.. kind of a different deal though.. we raised her from very young.. I got this guy when he was a year and a half, and had not gotten much fun time..

  9. #9

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    yea, he needs work. I am starting with him as a Winter project. He heels now and sits on my left. I put a 12 foot 1/4 inch line on his collar and tell him to stay... I stand on the line and leave it loose. I am throwing a tennis ball and he watches it and I make him stay until I say ok.

    Should I also allow him to release with a hand signal?.. It will take a while without the line he would not hold..

    when I took him grouse hunting he was pretty good.. went and retrieved all my birds..(except the completely dead ones).. interesting.. and he has some confusion on what I expect of him.. I tell him drop, and he got confused and started dropping them before he got to me..

    Like you said he just needs training. He is smart and extremelylylyly driven and LOVES the training.. so it should be fairly easy.

    any ideas appreciated

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    The sad thing is, you will have a dead dog if you do not keep him kenneled, fenced or on lead 100% of the time until you have him trained to where he comes to you instantly when called. Get a book, vidio or a pro to help you, none of us want to see your dog hit by a car. Bud

  11. #11

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    Yea, we are pretty lucky in that all his go to run off spots are on our side of the highway. His run off behavior is so deeply enforced it will take the invisible fence to break it I think. We had neighbors that used to feed him and play with him everytime he came over.. even take him in the house.. I begged them to send him home, but they just did what they wanted. Anyway I have been working with him and he now heels and stays when I throw his retrieve toy, and only releases when I say ok. But then yesterday when my wife let him out to piss, he just ran off. When I went to his go to spot he saw me coming and ran off again(he won't do this ever when at home.. just when he is off on a runner).. how do you "disapline" this?? Nothing seems to make an impact on him. So now I just chain him and a couple days later.. he does it again. I am close to giving him away out of frustration.. I talked with his previous owner yesterday, and now they admitt that is why they gave him away..lol it's tough when the behavior is so well imbedded.

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    While the e-fences might work to keep most dogs inside the boundary, it does nothing to keep others out. And a bull-headed or smart dog can figure out how to get through the "invisible" barrier when they really want to. And then to be stuck with having the dog in a shock collar all the time. No thanks.

    For less than the $450 mentioned in a previous post, you can put up a real fence the works in both directions, all the time. Rolls of 4' fencing at HD or Lowe's are very cheap along with a pile of U-posts. I fenced in about 1/4 acre of backyard for somewhere around $300 a few years ago. The best part is not having to worry about all the neighbor dogs being able to get in and it also provides a physical barrier for separation from the dozens of moose that roam about our area. For some reason, the dog is slow to obey when moose show up. An e-fence wouldn't help that at all. I don't have to worry about leaving the dogs unsupervised inside the fenced area.
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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    IMHO, there is NO (realistic) training you can do to teach him to stay home....The best you can do is to prevent him from leaving...ie, make sure the dog is contained (leash, tie out, fence, kennel) whenever he is outside of the house...Ingrained probably doesn't begin to describe the behavior...LOL

    Think about it from the dog's perspective - he was rewarded repeatedly for leaving the yard.. rewarded with a jackpot of food, protection, and attention...

    Electric fences can work, but they can also cause issues..esp if the dog is not trained correctly....I'd rather have a physical barrier, myself.



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    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    I agree with JOAT. Electric fences are not fool proof. Batteries die, other animals can come and go and quite frankly, If your boy wants to take off, he WILL electric fence or not....If there is something he really wants that hidden fence will not stop him. We have a friend who has one on her blue heeler, she will stand right at wire with the collar shocking her (yes, proper fitting collar etc). She will stand there until it puts nasty little sores on her neck and if there is something on the other side she truly wants...she goes for it. After she's over that line there is nothing stopping her. We are in the process of helping her put up kennels as I type this.

    Underground fence wouldn't be a bad idea if he's under supervision at all times. But unless you go back to the basics and teach your boy that you are the only thing he needs then you'll continually have problems. Nothing replaces a physical barrier or a restraint of some sort.
    Another thing you might consider is neutering him, it won't cure the whole problem but it'll help bring his focus back to you.





    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    While the e-fences might work to keep most dogs inside the boundary, it does nothing to keep others out. And a bull-headed or smart dog can figure out how to get through the "invisible" barrier when they really want to. And then to be stuck with having the dog in a shock collar all the time. No thanks.

    For less than the $450 mentioned in a previous post, you can put up a real fence the works in both directions, all the time. Rolls of 4' fencing at HD or Lowe's are very cheap along with a pile of U-posts. I fenced in about 1/4 acre of backyard for somewhere around $300 a few years ago. The best part is not having to worry about all the neighbor dogs being able to get in and it also provides a physical barrier for separation from the dozens of moose that roam about our area. For some reason, the dog is slow to obey when moose show up. An e-fence wouldn't help that at all. I don't have to worry about leaving the dogs unsupervised inside the fenced area.
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I hav'nt read the whole post here ( bad me before I comment) but is there any way you could put up a couple of posts for a dog run around your house? String a cable and put a liberial leash on the dog. Don't make it a short one , make it enough to where the invesible line is. Make it long enough to where you can still play the part with him or her. Have the kids walk just inside the invisable line, and when the dog goes past the kids disapline it.

    It worked for my dog, but all dogs are differant.

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