Ask Valli of ‘Oh My Dog:’ My Dog Just Ran Away!
By Valli Aman,
Certified Dog trainer, ABCBDT
Question: We moved to our new home three months ago. We have two young children and a rescued female poodle mix we’ve had for two and a half years who has now run away several times. Luckily, we’ve been able to get her back but we are worried. Please help.
Answer: I’m sure you will agree that although the move happened three months ago, you don’t feel completely settled. The same is true for pets. They also feel your stress and they can act on it. So by running away, your dog might think if only she can find the old place she can make everything better.
I hope my readers understand that I’m a Certified Dog Trainer with unique methods of behavior correction. I have a strong intuitive sense and lots of patience, so rescued and re-homed dogs are my specialty. What you have now is both. Of course, there is the importance of barrier training at doors but unless the emotional problem is addressed, she will continue with this behavior.
If the move happened for your family but the dog was the last to go to the new house, I recommend putting her in the car, driving to the old house and walking with her around the perimeter of the house.
Take a slow walk up and down the street, saying, “Well there’s the old house, didn’t we have fun there?” and then “Let’s go HOME.” Talk to her as you travel to your new house and in a happy manner declare, “We’re home… We’re home!” as though it was the first time, but now creating a new starting point. Reinforce the lesson by giving your pup a treat.
Feel free to contact me about barrier training or any other issues. If you want tips, further explanation or to request a meeting, please contact me at (818) 785-0377, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.ohmydog-la.com.