My 12 week old adorable puppy Romeo has started to get a flight instinct. So far it only happens when he is outside on a leash. He is afraid of tons of things and as soon as he gets really spooked by something, he immediately makes a dash towards home. I know that the only way to stop this is to use the "come" command which he hasn't quite mastered yet. When training in the house, sometimes he comes and sometimes not. Any suggestions on how to teach him to come to me instead of this very dangerous flight response?
Put his leash on. Tell him to sit. Face him. As he sits take a step back and snap the leash toward you and say "come" at the same time. Almost like you are pulling him to you at the same time you are saying "come". When he gets to you let him taste a treat in your hand but don't give him the whole thing. Tell him to sit again. Then repeat. Eventually he'll "come" when you say it regardless of whether you pull the leash. :-)
in order to get a reliable recall under stress, somehow your going to have to manage the stress problem. if the stress is a great motivator than what ever you are doing, the dog will always flee. So look up some stuff on desentization and positive association.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
Some breeds of dog should never be off leash unless the area is enclosed. Your dog may always need to be on leash. It isn't a big deal and it is safer. Who can predict how a dog will react under all conditions?
With my dogs who have to be on leash all the time, I still need them to come to me when I call them. If the door bell rings I want them to come so they are under control and safe.
The way I train them is with treats. If they come when called they get a treat. If they don't come I go pick them up and hug them so no matter how they behaved they always see coming in a positive way. If you ever get mad at a sensitive dog for not coming he will be afraid of you too. You should always be seen as good so the dog trust you.
My dogs got out of my back yard only once(knock on wood), because my son forgot to close two gates. My neighbor saw my dogs. She tried to pick them up, but they ran from her. Finally she rang the bell. One of my dogs heard the bell ran back into the back yard and was standing at the door before I even got to the door. When she told me my dogs were out I was surprised because the dog was right by my side. Then I saw my other dog barking and acting like he was a guard dog. I called him and he came right to me. I was so glad he came because most sight hounds don't have good recalls and it only takes one time for a car to hit and kill a dog.
As for being afraid of things this has to do with not being socialized enough. Again some breeds are more fearful than others. I try to talk calm to my dog when he is afraid of something. One of my dogs is afraid of the vet and getting a temp. would push him over the edge. I don't have them take his temp. anymore and his behavior at the vet is so much better. Last time he went they were able to do the exam with out causing him a lot of stress. In the past his hair would fall out just walking into the building. He would try to get away and he had even growled at the vet tech. He was so fearful he seemed like he couldn't see or hear - total panic attack. His fear was pushed over the edge by getting a temp. taken