Getting a dog into somewhere you are going to leave them

Luring the dog to where you want to leave them is the best way to get them there.

Avoid physically picking the dog up or dragging them into where we are going to leave them, they will learn negative associations of entrapment and may learn to avoid you in the future which can be very frustrating for the dog owner. If this happens and you feel that you are being forced to try to ‘catch’ your dog everyday then you have entered a race with something that is a lot faster than you - your dog - and this is not wise. We don’t like getting in races with things that are faster than us and so we must use recall and communication to lure the dog to where we want them to be. Practice the steps below to build the communication patterns with your dog.

We can teach the dog that following our cues is rewarding and that their game of avoiding us, is not fun, for them the game itself is not enjoyable - which is you chasing them so first we have to stop rewarding what they want by no longer entering into this race. Because they do not have theory of mind, they do not understand that you are frustrated or angry at them, just that your body language is scary and its wise to avoid you.

We must remember that they want us to chase them, so, don’t. We must also avoid physically grabbing them and dragging/pushing back into an area we want them. This will teach them to avoid us in the future and will be counter-productive to recall training. It is easy to catch them and do this when indoors, but off leash and in an open space, we cannot catch them or use speed to maintain control and this will show in their lack of willingness to come back when called.

  • Instead of going after the dog, go and grab some treats

  • Then take yourself to the door in which you want them to go through

  • Ask the dog to come to you

  • Say it once and hold the treat low

  • If the dog just stands there and looks, do not repeat yourself, hold the treat low and still and allow the dog to think

  • If the dog looks away from you, then repeat the above step

  • Once the dog comes reward it, and then continuously reward it as you lure the dog outside

  • Ask the dog to sit and stay

  • Reward it for doing so and close the door

  • Avoid blindsiding them by throwing treats and rushing to get the door closed - this may cause desperation between the distraction and you leaving and increase the anxiety.