How can I stop my dog from escaping and running down the street?

I have a young English Short Haired Pointer that we adopted after finding in our yard in late November. There are hunters that hunt across from our property and we are pretty sure he was abandoned by a hunter. He was so well behaved when we first got him that I hoped and hoped noone would claim him. He used to fetch a ball, drop it at your feet and be in the Pointer dog position with the tail sticking out and nose down looking at the ball waiting for you to throw it again. We had to stop playing fetch because he now runs off the moment he steps out side. He escapes frequently and I have to drive down the street to find him. He won't come to me and I have to either trick him or have someone else try to grab him. He is so full of energy and playful that I want him to be able to run loose in the yard but he cannot be trusted. He is crate trained and stays in the crate while we work and to sleep at night. He chews everything so cannot be left out of the crate unsupervised.

Asked by Member 550565 on Feb 26th 2008 in Other Behavior & Training
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First, the most basic answer is to make sure he's in an enclosed area that he can't escape from.

A dog run is a relatively inexpensive way to keep a dog in an enclosed area while you're away, but at the same time allows the dog freedom to move without being destructive. These chain link runs come in all sizes and you can even get one with a "roof" on top so your little escapist is thwarted even if he learns how to climb the chain link. LOL.

Obviously, you'd need to make sure part of the run was in the shade all day long so he wouldn't be stuck in the sun.

Aside from physically containing him, try more training which focuses on the bond between you and him.

Teaching him to make eye contact with a tasty treat, a keyword and holding the treat between your eyes helps improve attention (over time) even in the most aloof dogs.

Finally, pointers are SMART and need mental stimulation. Consider exercising him to exhaustion 1x a day. He'll be less inclined to get into trouble.

Jack answered on 2/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


When we moved into our new neighborhood almost a year ago, Tiffy would take off as soon as we went outside, especially if she saw a cat. Our neighborhood is crawling with cats. She would make me upset when she did it because we live in a mobile home park and our neighbors don't like animals just "roaming" around. Anyway, when Tiffy would run off, she would get her butt tapped lightly, i would tell her "you don't run off", and we would have to go back in the house and she would have to get in her kennel. Then we would try it again. I did this each and every time she ran off. Now she doesn't run off AT ALL. When we go outside, she does her thing and we play for a while. Just be consistent with his "punishment" when you don't want him to do something. He will learn that he gets punished if he goes running off, my Tiffy learned quickly.

♥Tiffy♥ answered on 2/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Most hunting dogs will have that take-off mentality. When out hunting, their jobs are to track/tree whatever it is that's being hunted, until the hunter catches up with the dog to make a kill. There is no retrieving involved in this type of hunting - therefore the dog is already "hardwired" to not come back to you, so you need to work REALLY hard on a good recall. Start working on recall using a really long lead (30 or 40 ft) out in your yard. Make yourself something your dog should WANT to come back to you for - you are competing against all of the other infinitely interesting things going on outside. Like Jack said, work on eye contact ("Watch Me"), and training techniques that increase the handler/dog bond.

Ultimately, some dogs are just not meant to be off-lead in un-enclosed areas - when outside use long leads, runs, fencing, etc.

Kolbe answered on 2/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

No matter how much you love him, if he is someone else's property you need to at least make an effort to return him. Put an ad in the paper or something.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 2/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Your dog sounds similar to a Beagle, another hunting dog, that is prone to running off. My dog also has a lot of energy and is playful, but since I don't have a fenced in yard, he has to be on a leash at all times. It isn't as restrictive as it sounds and I'd recommend doing that. Or, you can get a fence built. It's just not worth letting him run loose.

Member 552392 answered on 2/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer