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Okay, I was going to post this on the pet forum...but it's way too slow there and I know some of you on here are really good dog experts (Michelle, Megan, and StacyC-I hope she comes back to help me! I know there are a lot of you who have dogs too...I just can't remember everyone off the top of my head.). Anyway, I am having huge problems with Duke all of a sudden. We trained him (or so we thought) to stay in the yard and not run-well in the past week he has been running out of the yard and even ran down the street and my son and I had to chase him down. I must admit I did something really bad...I swatted him on the butt...when he ran away yesterday. He only does this when I am home with him, when my husband is here he wouldn't dare do that. I know that I must have made a mistake in training him somewhere in order for him to now think that he can dominate me, but he's my first dog and I honestly do try with him. I actually think my husband disciplines too harsh with him, so I try to make up for it by being a softy and now he is taking over!!! What should I do??? I'm so lost, but I love him and I want to do the right thing. I've read so much stuff and it all seems to be a little overwhelming...can you ladies help me please???
ETA: He is now 90 lbs. (found that out today) and he's only 6 months old, so I really need to gain some control NOW before he outweighs me. I've had a broken arm for a little over a month too, so that limits how much physical control I can have over him as well.
We have four dogs, can't promise I am an expert by any means but might be able to help.
I would highly suggest fencing in your yard. You can never be sure that your dog will listen and not run away. I would hate to see your dog run out of your yard and get hit by a car, disappear, etc.
One of our dogs came from a home with little discipline and an over active 3 year old who chased her. The dog was very shy coming to us and we made the mistake of changing her name when she came to live with us. What worked well was unconditional love and peanut butter. I started by finding the thing that she most enjoyed and it happened to be peanut butter. I then would call her name and when she looked my way I woud reward her with a little peanut butter. I would then call her towards me and reward her. Finally, I would allow her outside (in our fenced yard) call her in and reward her. In less than a week she learned her name and would come when called. I obviously don't give her peanut butter every time she comes now but I do reward her about once a week to reinforce the behavior.
As you said, although it is difficult, you should not spank him when he comes back to you. It will only make him scared to come when called. Even though it is tough, when he runs and comes home, reward him.
Also, don't be scared to be the pack leader. Dogs need a pecking order amongst themselves and amongst other family members. From the pics, he looks like a great dane so you need to let all dogs, especially huge ones (cute though), know who is boss.
It will take time but he will learn to live within your rules. Good luck and please consider the fence or invisible fence.
I would highly suggest fencing in your yard. You can never be sure that your dog will listen and not run away. I would hate to see your dog run out of your yard and get hit by a car, disappear, etc.[/b]
Oh I wanted to add that I never let Duke out and then go back inside. I am always outside with him. The time he took off down the street he looked at me and then took off...almost like he's testing me.
And the positive rewards for good behavior. With Buddy and his Separation anxiety issues, the more we yelled at him about going potty or whatnot in his crate the worse it was. When we just let it go, we had more "good" days then bad.
Proud Mommy To My Princess (5)
Watching over us -- August 2005, March 2010, October 2010, July 2011