Dear Your Own Vet,
We recently adopted a female puppy who is now five months old. She has taken to bolting out of our automated gate at every opportunity and flying down our road. This worries me as there are several dangers involved here, not the least of which are cars in the road, other dogs and getting caught in our gate. Is there any way in which I can discourage her from doing this?
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Thanks for contacting us, and for your kind words on the site!!
When a dog runs out the gate you need to train it to wait inside. It is not a good thing to chase after her as this become a game. If you take her walking and you go through the gate, this teaches the dog that it is fun to go out the gate. Always use a pedestrain gate if you have one.
Otherwise make going out the gate a BIG thing. Stop at the gate, sit, then get invited outside, then sit and wait to walk on.
You will need to get a 10 metre line (horse line or strong rope) and attach this to the dog’s collar (make sure the collar can’t come off). Stand back from the gate with the dog and then open the gate. The dog will run forward and as it reaches the gate give a strong tug on the line – even pulling her off her feet. This will give her a shock, call her to you and praise and reward with a really nice treat. Do this some more times so that she learns that the gate is area is like a brick wall – she can’t run through it. The more you do this, she should learn not to run out. If you have taken her to training, then do sit stays at the gate to reinforce them.
If she hasn’t had training I would advise you to do some soon. If you are in the Jhb area then you can get some help either from myself or other behaviourists.
Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist &Professional Dog Trainer
011 783 3042 082 454 1750
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