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Hello, if anyone read my previous post apparently pup is just light boned and he does best on puppy kibble + lean meats, but now I have a new issue. About 2 weeks ago he got out for about 2 hours alone and had the best time ever romping with the neighbors year old pit bull pup. Ever since then he’s been seeking every chance he can get to go visit this dog again. Adding either a fence or another dog to keep him company just isn’t an option right now so does anyone have any tips to keep him from running off?
Right now I’m trying to make the outside “work” and inside the reward but as he ran off again tonight, with her halfway up a decently steep rock hill it obviously isn’t working.
 

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Is he in a fence now?
I have issues like this with my terriers, that fence just doesn't stop them at all. I have since run hot wire top and bottom (I have sheep and goats, too - goats are evil fence jumping monsters lol)
If he is already in a fence, do you know how he is getting out? (over, under, through?) You may just need to revamp the existing fence.

Obviously, he can not be outside unsupervised, he may need to be tethered/leashed. Since he has rewarded himself twice already, he will continue to work his way out. The more challenging, the better for some of these guys.

As far as making outside work vs inside fun, start making sticking close more rewarding - inside or out.

I had a trainer once say that to keep a dog's interest, we must be more interesting than dirt (dirt being wildly entertaining for scent focused dogs). Somehow, you need to make your yard more entertaining than the outside world and his new buddy which means, you get to be out with him, training, playing, etc.

Escape artists are intelligent with great problem solving skills. Use that talent of his to encourage him to stay home. Scent games work well for me.

Good luck, there is nothing more frustrating than a Houdini dog.
 

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The solution is a leash. Every time you take your dog out put the leash loop around your thumb. Now your dog can't run off. The next step is making sure that when you're together outside, you're interesting. Outside, get playful and happy. Play recall games. Play tug, train with treats, be the most interesting, most fun thing in the world to your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We don’t have a fence. He gets roughly a mile to a mile and a half walk daily he’s never off leash since he darted off in front of a car because “rabbit”. We do play limited games of fetch outside on a long lead but no fence also means that other dogs can get in so his surroundings are always changing and therefore interesting. I will try to a little more focused games with him outside but for him other dogs/scents are the grand prize so it’s difficult. I’ve had dogs for over a decade but he’s proving interesting
 

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Does the other dog have a fenced yard? Is there a safe enclosed area where they can be off leash together? I would try to arrange ways for them to play safely, as he obviously enjoys it so much. Making it a regular occurrence also makes it less overwhelmingly exciting - a dog that is rarely off leash and rarely in company is much harder to recall from glorious freedom than one for whom it is an everyday thing. At the same time I would work on emergency recall - there are full explanations on here of how to train it.
 

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Don't make the outside boring, dull and perhaps punishing by making it all work no fun. You need to do things to make yourself exactly as BorderKelpie said, "more interesting than dirt."


In the mean time, I would be very careful to not allow any escapes as your pup has already given himself a huge reward for having done so. Self rewarding behaviors like this and counter surfing are very intractable and potentially hugely dangerous.


Personally I would never take this dog outside without a leash until you can make a rock solid recall and keep his attention with heavy distractions. I also really don't think most dogs need dog friends and I would never say one should get another dog to try to solve a problem with a current dog. This is a recipe for more problems than not often times. They need reliable and supportive humans. A pit/pit mix doesn't sound like a good play match for a tpooX either.
 
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Probably not the case but is the other female dog in heat ? Is your dog neutered?

I never had a dog without a fence and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. Some dogs stay on the property but most don’t. Squirrels, dogs, cats, people running in the street, it’s really hard to have a 100% reliable dog.

Can you set up a cheap fence until you can afford a better one ? Even if it’s only covering a small area of your property ?
 

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In addition to the great advice of making yourself more interesting than dirt both inside and outside, I would look into seeing what you need to do so he can’t escape again.

Is it the same door or different doors? You might need to add something temporarily or permanently to the door to avoid another escape. For example if he’s escaping the front door you could make a little space in front of the door that’s blocked off so you enter this space, be certain your escape artist isn’t in that space before opening the front door. Or it could be outside the door so if he escapes he’s trapped.

Or you might need to change your routine. If you leave your garage door open when unloading groceries from the car into the house, you can change the routine to always closing the garage door before opening the door to the house.

I wouldn’t encourage that friendship with the neighbors pit bull.
 
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I trained all 8 of my toys to not go out the door unless they have their leash on back or front door. They go out back to potty but not until I tell them.. I send them out first in the front so I can lock the door. Same when in the car, they do not jump out until I pick them up.
 

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I would befriend the neighbor if possible. Maybe some of the time you spend with your dog could be supervising a play date. How nice that your dog is social. My mini poo finds dogs only briefly interesting. But she will socialize with people cheerfully.
 

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Hi. I live in the county on 12 acres - no fence. I would suggest you get a long line leash, 30 or 40 ft. They are available cheap on ebay. The long line gives them freedom but you are still in control. Wonderful for teaching recall. I trained Asta first on a long line and took him to see all the property that I wanted it to be okay with. Eventually he caught on and started to get more responsible - he got it. Now he goes out with no leash but stays within the specified area.

When he went off the long leash, I got an e-collar. Use only beep and vibrate - never shock. I would give him some beeps and that meant to come home and you will get a treat. If he didn't respond to the beep, I used vibrate. Never have to use vibrate anymore and he does not always now wear the e-collar. But I sometimes will put it on him for reinforcement.
 

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Thanks I did consider an e collar but not with him on a long line . He’s usually in a harness but I don’t think that should make too much difference. I’m thinking part of the trouble is that we got him from a farmette where he had been getting into trouble for running the neighbors cows, so the concept of “Stay in this place” is a tough one for him but I think we’ll get there, eventually
 
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