I have a strange question that I haven't seen adressed in any dog book or web site (and I've checked many). We just adopted a lab/golden mix from the SPCA. She's a fantastic 2 yr old who has great house manners and is friendly to all. The problem? We think she has never been off-leash outside. She is eager to go for a walk on the leash, but will not stay in our fenced yard to play or run, except to "do her business". Then she immediately comes back. I've TOLD her it's her yard now and she can run and play (and I did try playing with her), but she just climbs the deck and sits by the door to go back in. Anyone seen anything like this? How can I get her to play in her own yard? I'm happy to take her for walks, but it seems a shame to be on a leash when she could be fetching sticks and balls with my kids in her own back yard. Any ideas?
mine do the same thing. if i am not out there with them, they want to come back in or just sit at the gate. i think its from when i first brought them home, and while training i would always take them out on leash to do their business, then take them off to play. conditioned them for me to be there with them. they just want to be with you and if you are not there they panic.
my lab is like that. she is a housedog. both goldens and labs are bred to stay with their people; bred as retrievers they can't be all over the field chasing the birds away from the hunter. so, they want to be with us. she doesn't like to retrieve, either.
my lab absolutely loves this "indestructable ball" i got from the petsmart catalog. she "paws" it all around the yard with her feet chasing it after it. we play soccer, too (it's too hard to kick it so i just push it with my feet), and she goes after it. one of my other dogs loves the laser light, she chases it all around the yard (in the dark.) be careful not to shine it in their eyes.
Keep in mind that you adopted an adult dog. Give the dog some more time to adjust, and get used to everything. Some take longer than others, but it sounds like you have a great home for it... it will eventually. Although, my dogs will only try to stay in the yard on a nice warm sunny summer day(to lay in the sun), otherwise they do their business, come right back, and sit waiting on the steps looking at me through the glass... have a full-length glass door and screendoor which I stand at watching them... 6-and-a-half foot fence, but like most APBT's they are escape artists. In any event, I bet by next summer you'll be out grilling, and the dog will be horsing around with the kids.
Fantastic! Thanks so much for the ideas and reassurance. She is so very loving and sweet and we are eager to show her all the wonders of a happy dog's life. She is out now nosing gently around in the sun.
Tigger is out right now sun bathing,Piper will run out with her,stay out for about 5 minutes,then go to the back door and cry for me to let her in.She wont stay out,she prefers the couch.If i'm not out there she wont stay out.The other time Piper wants to stay out is to chase cats.