Challenging Behaviour : The ESCAPE Artist
The ESCAPE Artist
This problem can take two forms:
One is anxiety related, where the dog cannot stand the desolation of being left alone and will try to dig through doorways and windows in order to follow its human.
The other is the ‘escape artist’ [lets call them HOUDINI] who regardless of what obstacles are placed in their way – they will go under, over, or through them to escape from the confines of their home and explore the big wide world.
It is this second category that we are going to deal with.
The two elements that need to be explored are:
- What is the external incentive that is encouraging the dog to escape?
- What steps have been taken to ensure that the environment is secure?
By discovering what it is that makes the dog so dedicated in its attempts to get out, we can either remove the incentive or satisfy it in our home.
For example if it is simply a lack of mental stimulation, increased adventures away from home which are controlled exercises can satisfy the urge that the dog is choosing to satisfy for itself. The solution is taking your dog for daily walks.
If your dog is an intact male then consider neutering, as this could be the long-term cure for the escaping Houdini and wondering Romeo.
Some dogs are keen to escape on just one day of the week, usually rubbish day, the simple solution is to keep your dog indoors until the rubbish has been collected.
Alternatively a sensible solution is to make the environment more secure. Building higher fences is not always the answer for the dog that is a climber. Turning the top of the fence inwards at a 45-degree angle is a much better solution.
Managing Escape Behaviour:
Provide your dog with some stimulating activities like walking for 30 to 45 minutes a day or a training session which includes some games and fun before you depart.
Make your departure a non-event; there is no need for big goodbyes and long explanations as to where you are going and stop feeling guilty about leaving your dog at home.
Create a dog departure strategy routine where you leave your dog feeling calm and satisfied.
If your dog is still a puppy or under 3 years then provide a few toys that will keep them busy and stimulated while you are away.
Love Licks and Tail Waggs
1-2-1 Personal Puppy and Dog Training
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