Post # 1
We have lived in our house for 2 yrs and have a 6 foot fence, my dog has never gotten out. Well yesterday I went to blowdry my hair and I came back and she was gone. Myself, my father, and 2 of my neighbors went on a search for her. I found her an hour later playing in someone’s yard blocks away. She was so happy when she saw me like a “Look Mom, I’m playing I’m so happy you are here!”
I did not punish her. However I had numerous people ask me if I did,
I have always been a believer in if you punish your dogs for running away, they will see it as they were punished for coming home or being caught. She’s not a puppy though and she is brilliant, she has a wonderful memory and can take full sentence commands. What do you think?
So I understand her running away is more of an attention thing and because she is looking for attention (even if it’s negative) I took time from work and went and spent the afternoon at the beach with her. We are having a baby and she hates change, so I’m sure this is where the acting out is coming from.
EDIT: By punish I do not mean physically abuse your dog in any way! Mostly the punishments in our house consist of time-outs. But people asked me and said that if I don’t scold her in any way then she’ll think what she did was okay.
Post # 3
Do they mean punish like, hit your dog? Because that is the worst thing you can do. NEVER punish your dog for running away, or they will think that you did not want them to come back. They aren’t people. They won’t put it together that you’re mad that they left. That was too long ago. They’ll think you’re punishing them for coming back.
To “punish” my dog, I make him do a “down” in the living room for an hour or up to 1 1/2 hours at a time. It’s not really a punishment, but a way to assert my dominance over him. It reminds him whose boss.
Post # 4
No, I definitely would not punish a dog. Dogs don’t understand these things as a child would! And they don’t think like humans do. I only believe in punishing dogs (no physical touching, though, just verbal) when they are caught in the moment doing something bad. Not after the fact…I don’t see how they would know what you mean.
Post # 5
I definitely would not. For one thing dogs have very short term memory and they will not associate the punishment with the act of running away since she doesn’t even remember running away at this point. So you’re right that your dog would think she is being punished for coming home.
Post # 6
Agreed. I don’t punish my dog for something after the fact, because it just confuses them and can produce an unintended response. In order to punish him, I think you’d have to catch him in the act of trying to get out of your yard.
Post # 7
@Tangled- NEVER! Like time out punish.
Post # 9
I would never punish a dog for allowing me to catch her. If she’s that smart next time she will remember something bad happened and good look getting her then!
Post # 10
Dogs don’t understand punishment at this level. While giving a dog a “time out” by isolating it from the rest of the “pack” (meaning YOU) is a very good way to discourage bad behavior, the attention span of a dog is so short that it would be very likely for the dog to associate coming back with being isolated, rather than running away. That is just how their brains work. You need to reward their good behavior to train them. You cannot punish them if they’ve done something “good” after something “bad.”
Post # 11
Never punish your dog for something that happened more than a minute ago – dogs can’t reason and think “I’m getting punished for what I did earlier today!” It sounds as though you’ve got a pretty smart dog though, so maybe look at some literature on why dogs do these kinds of things – generally it’s a dominance thing (I’m the top dog, so I need to explore/hunt/mark territory for the rest of the pack). Martin McKenna wrote some really good books on dog training and dealing with problem behaviours, if the running away is a regular occurence.
Post # 12
Glad I’m not alone! I was always taught not to punish a dog in a case like this but I was curious if I was the only one after people were questioning it yesterday.
Post # 13
@roxy821: I think you are 100% rigHt. your dog would think it was being punished for coming home.
Post # 14
@Skyeblue- It was her first time. I 100% know why she did it. She is acting out because the guest room which was her favorite room has been turned into a nursery. She wants my attention, so I spent the whole afternoon with her yesterday and she didn’t try anything this morning.
Post # 15
No. Dogs aren’t able to associate punishment after the fact. She wouldn’t have been able to correlate a punishment with running away, just with finding her.
Dogs run away for different reasons. Sometimes its attention but a lot of times its just that something smells exciting. Dogs do not understand that fences are there to keep them inside and safe. Fences are just another part of the scenery.
We have three dogs. One will definitely run away if there is an opportunity but 100% of the time, its because she’s nosey. We have woods around our house with all sorts of woodsy animals that have new and exciting smells. She will chase after a squirrel or raccoon in a heartbeat. The same goes if she sees kids playing nearby. Kids = new smells, and fun stuff! I must go over there!! Another one of our dogs will occasionally get out but she isn’t interested in any other animals or smells. She always makes a bee line up the road to my mom’s house. She goes visiting. If ever she gets out of the fence, we don’t go out looking for her. We just call up to my mom’s house and let her know the dog is on the way. Our third dog has never made a break for it so we’re not sure what she would do if that ever happened.
Post # 16
Nope – I wouldn’t punish. I’d just be happy she was back and try to figure out how she got out so I could prevent it from happening again.