Dog Problem: Dog Runs Away From Us When Off Leash


Question from Chelsea Younger
I have a 5-month-old staffy Tyson who is very friendly and an all round happy puppy. We’ve started taking him to the dog beach where all of the other dogs are off leash. Every time we let Tyson off the lead he just runs off and just totally ignores us, which leaves us running up the beach after him. Just wondering if anyone has any tips on how to train him to stay close to us and to come when he is told.
Advice from Cesar’s good friend and dog trainer Cheri Lucas:
Consistent leadership is the key to teaching solid recall to your dog. If he doesn’t see you as the person in charge of his Pack, he has no incentive to obey you. This can be said for any behavioral issue, but it’s particularly important when it comes to asking your dog to come to you.
If you’re running after Tyson when he bolts from you, the panic and frustration in your voice will make him even more reluctant to return. Allowing him to play “catch me if you can” only reinforces the behavior, and turns it into a game instead of a serious disobedience issue. It’s never a good idea to ask your dog to do something if you can’t enforce the outcome.
My advice is to establish solid recall with Tyson before you attempt to take him off-leash again. Using a six-foot lead, practice asking your dog to come to you when called. Use the “Say it once, then make it happen” strategy that I always abide by. By having Tyson on leash when you call him, you’ll be able to reel him in if he doesn’t obey the command immediately. Once he comes back to you, reward his compliance with calm, assertive praise.
Make sure Tyson has a long STRUCTURED walk before going to the beach. A long walk will not only drain his energy – it will also remind him who the pack leader is. Keep him by your side or behind you during the walk. Stay calm and assertive, and keep Tyson calm and submissive as you practice this primal activity of “follow the leader.”
When you feel more confident of Tyson’s recall on a daily basis, you’ll be ready to attempt the beach activity again. Purchase a 35 or 50-foot lead at your local pet supply store. They are inexpensive and a must-have for challenging your dog’s recall in an uncontained area.
When you arrive at the beach, make sure Tyson is calm before he’s allowed out of your vehicle. Don’t just open the door and let him charge out of the car. Practice having him walk beside you using the long lead for the first few minutes. The beach is new and exciting, so give yourself and Tyson plenty of time to acclimate to an environment with higher energy. When you’re ready for Tyson to have more freedom, let the line out, keeping your grip on the end of the lead in case he doesn’t respond when called.
Going to the beach should always be seen as a “dessert” activity, reserved for dog’s that are 100% trustworthy. Trust is something you build with your dog over time. Stay patient and consistent and soon you’ll both be rewarded by frequent, stress-free visits to the beach!


Cesar Answers Toughest Dog Problem Questions


Greetings from Australia! I’m currently here on my “Unleash Your Pack Power” tour. I had the opportunity to sit down with the Herald Sun, Australia’s most popular newspaper, to participate in a live chat where readers put me to the test with their toughest dog problems:
Aggressive Dog with “Attack” Mentality
Dog Ruins Clothes
Dog Jumps on Us All the Time
Dog Afraid of Storms and Fireworks
Dog Digs Up Garden
Problems on the Walk
Breed to Choose
Problem: Aggressive Dog with “Attack” Mentality
Adrian: Cesar, I have tried to be calm and assertive with my dog (Staffie cross Ridgeback) however when she sees another dog all she wants to do is attack it, we live with two cats also and she is fine with them and with other humans she is fine also. Any ideas how to get this “attack” mentality out of her system?
Cesar: Hi Adrian, This is for everybody—before we ask a dog to do anything for us we have to be aware of the energy we project. We have to be aware and emotionally in tune. Let’s remember the animals don’t listen to instability, so never focus on technique. First always focus on principles. That’s one thing we don’t know about your relationship with your staffy. The funny part is that people always tell me what’s wrong with their dogs, that’s why I always want to know what is wrong with their humans. I know I haven’t given you direction on what to do because no technique will work without the presence of calm assertive energy.
Problem: Dog Ruins Clothes
Erinna: Hi Cesar, I have a problem with my beautiful kelpie x mastiff dog, Mish, who we adopted from a shelter. He loves to rip clothes off the line. Even if he’s JUST got back from a big walk/run, if I leave the house for less than an hour he still finds time to rip all the clothes down. He puts holes all through everything and tramples them in mud. He is one year old (just). Will he grow out of this bad habit or is there something we can do to stop the urge, apart from not hanging clothes out when we need to leave the house? Apart from this one problem he is very polite and well trained. He gets a good walk most days on and off the lead.
Cesar: Hi Erinna, you came out with one option, which is not hanging up clothes outside, but does that really solve the problem? In my experience, I help people with their dogs to adapt themselves to their human style of living. Your other comment as to whether he will grow out of it—there is a very small chance that he will stop this playful behavior and not redirect it somewhere else. It’s more common that they stop chewing or playing with certain objects and redirecting it somewhere else. A dog is finding pleasure taking things that you put up because they see humans put objects on a wire and they are helping by “retrieving them.” Obviously we don’t see it that way, so what we need to do now is make it a dog training moment for your dog, where you teach him to help you by practicing “sit” and “stay” or “down” and “stay” while you are hanging up the clothes. What you are going to do is condition his brain so that he remains calm while you are hanging up the clothes.
Problem: Dog Jumps on Us All the Time
Sam: We have a 1 yr old border collie x poodle. How do we stop her from jumping up on us all the time?
Cesar: Hi Sam. This is the something I talk about in my upcoming tour. Basically, this is a perfect reason I suggest no touch, no talk, and no eye contact when you meet a dog for the first time, or when you reunite with your own dog (such as when you come home from work). What your dog will learn from this ritual is that every time you reunite as a Pack or a family, what you want from him is to greet you with distance in a calm way.
Problem: Dog Afraid of Storms and Fireworks
Dianne: I have a 10 year old doberman that goes crazy when there is a storm or fireworks go off. He tries to get under furniture or into cupboards how can I make it less stressful for him.
Cesar: This is a very common question, especially in the Midwest of the United States. We have been very successful with our suggestions and we are going to begin by reminding people who have this kind of scenarios to think of yourself as a paramedic. In this moment you are not a dog owner. This way you remove emotions. People feel bad when their dogs feel bad, which doesn’t help because there are too many negative energies in the room. Instead, be calm and rub some lavender oil in your hands. This calms you and eventually you can start giving direction to your dog. You can redirect its energy and help the mind move forward by putting the dog on a treadmill, putting a backpack on the dog, or putting the dog in water in the bathtub.
Problem: Dog Digs Up Garden
Ben: My boston terrier loves to dig in the garden, how can we make him stop. Also he is a big dog but scared of everything. How can we make him more assertive?
Cesar: Digging comes from two possible reasons: 1) curiosity, and the smells and sounds underground that we don’t ourselves see or hear, and 2) being bored.
The first reason can be redirected by practicing search and rescue activities such as hiding objects that he likes, hiding humans that he trusts (hide-and-seek).
The second reason can be addressed by increasing physical challenges.
Problem: Problem on the Walk
Kerryn: Hi Cesar – I have a 3 year old male American Staffy who is great at home. He is very friendly and playful but when I take him for walks and he sees another dog, he goes into some sort of zone and doesn’t respond to anything I say. I am stern with him but all he is interested in is getting to the other dog. He will growl at the other dog. How do I get him to focus on me and not worry about the other dogs? I walk him with a correction collar and apply the correction to get his attention but it doesn’t work. Thank you.
Cesar: Hi Kerryn. If you can, use bikes or roller blades next time you take your dog out. This gives him the opportunity to release his explosive energy created by the description that you are sharing. Friendly and playful usually equals excitement, so when they see another dog in front of them they want to practice exactly that. The leash holds them back and that’s what creates that explosive energy. You will see after you drain this explosive energy that he is no longer interested in pulling you towards the dog. Never work against Mother Nature.
Problem: Which Breed to Choose
Kyle: Hi Cesar, do you believe that there are certain breeds that make better family pets than others? If so what breeds do you recommend around young children?
Cesar: My kids were raised around every breed you can think of, They learned to crawl, walk, ride bikes and eat food with no problems at all. As you know, their father (me) works with dogs who have developmental issues. My kids have never been hurt by dogs who have these issues. So, the most important thing as a parent is compatibility. Remember, there are four levels of energy: very high, high, medium and low. For my family I always choose medium-level energy dogs. My dogs Daddy, Junior, Coco, Apollo, and our new greyhound, Argos—they all have that in common. Our style of life does not allow us to have high-energy dogs as family members even though we have the knowledge on how to look after them. It’s just that we don’t have the time cause we are always looking after other people’s. Breed is cultural—labrador vs border collie. That’s the only difference. One loves water, one loves sheep. At the end of the day it is the energy that matters, because to me they are all dogs.


Ask Cesar: Pup with a Pug Problem


Hi Cesar,
I have a 10-month-old bichon shih tzu, Maggie. She’s had all of her shots and has been going to dog training classes once a week for a number of months (she’s currently in an advanced class). She’s also going through our local Pet Therapy Society screening and training so she and I can volunteer after she turns one. She’s very well socialized with all types of people and dogs – except one. My friend brought home a Pug puppy last week and Maggie has visited him on three separate occasions. Each time she looks happy, tail up, posture is positive, and she’s very appropriate in her play with the pug. However, every time she’s seen this dog, she drools and froths from the mouth so excessively that she leaves pools on the floor. She does not look stresses or overexcited. I’m very concerned because we were hoping to have them enjoy play dates and puppy sit for each other. HELP! I’m taking her to the vet along with the Pug this Friday but am afraid they will not have an answer (my trainer had never heard of such a situation before). Like I say, it’s only when she’s around this one dog – no others. When they’ve seen each other, it’s always been in a different location too, so I don’t think it has anything to do with the environment. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Thank you,
Sheila Robert
My first question is – are they both spayed or neutered? This can be a cause of many behaviors, including excessive drooling. For example, when a dog is in heat, a male or a female can drool and froth. Or when a dog wants to eat and they can’t get to the food, they’ll drool. Both are behaviors where they want something and it causes the natural reaction of drooling. It takes a stimulus – or excitement – to get to this point. Food and sex drive are the strongest, most powerful drives a dog has. It doesn’t sound to me like food is involved in this case. You can think of this situation like you would a submissive pee – a behavior that is not necessarily a “problem” but an inconvenience and something you would like to discourage. I would suggest continuing to familiarize the dogs with one another. Go for more walks together, with the dogs side-by-side, not head on, or one leading the other. Control their playtime and make sure that you are only allowing them to meet and engage when they are in a calm state of mind. And, if one or both are not spayed or neutered, this is something to seriously consider as well.

‘Sit Up’ Buddy: Training Your Dog To Sit Like You


The trick of “sitting up” is easily taught to small dogs, but should try not be included in a big dog’s education, as it is difficult for them to preserve their balance.

The training of sitting up is one of the first tricks to teach and forms the groundwork for many other dog tricks. To train a dog to sit up, prepare some treats as a reward, and set your dog on his haunches in a corner, so that he cannot fall either backward or sideways and has very little or no space to lose balance.

Keep him from pitching forward by holding one hand under his chin and with the other hand hold the treat above his nose and keep repeating distinctly and deliberately say, “sit up.” Do not make him sit up too long at any one time, but repeat the lesson frequently and reward him often with plentiful of praise and treats.

During his first lesson he will require considerable assistance from your hand to prevent him from pitching forward, but as he gets control of the balancing muscles and understands what you want, he will depend less and less upon your hand to keep him in position and you can gradually render him less assistance until you will only have to keep one hand in position two or three inches from his neck or chin, so as to be ready to prevent him pitching forward; later on you can withdraw this hand entirely and simply hold the treat just above the level of his head.

By constant practice he will sit up well after you set him up; then he should be set up against the wall, so as to afford him a support for his back only, and after he has been well schooled at this and can keep his position easily, practice him against chair legs, cushions or other objects that afford him less and less assistance, until finally he learns to preserve his balance and sits up without anything to lean against.

During all these lessons the words “sit up” have been impressed upon his mind by frequent repetition, and now comes the final lesson to teach him to sit up as soon as he hears the words, and the chances are, if he has been diligently drilled, it will be necessary only to call him out in the room, show him a treat, hold it up a suitable distance from the floor, say “sit up” and he will do so, when he should be given the treat while still in position.

The only necessity to perfection is to practice him several times a day until he will sit up at the word and without being shown a reward; that can be given him after he has obeyed.

You have now a foundation for many other tricks. He can be taught to beg by moving your hand up and down just in front of his paws, which he will move in unison with yours. He can also be taught to salute by bringing one paw up to the side of his head, or to hold a wooden pipe in his mouth, or to wear a cap on his head or other articles of wearing apparel.

In teaching a dog to submit to being dressed up, do not attempt to get him to wear too many things at once; try him at first with a cap and after he becomes accustomed to that you can put on a coat and gradually accustom him to the other clothing articles.


Enjoy teaching your dog the “sit up” trick and most importantly have fun along the way!

orijen dog food

orijen dog food

Orijen dog food is manufactured and marketed by Champion Pet Foods. Champion Pet Foods has been in the pet food business for over 25 years, and was first founded inCanada. They are a family owned company, and currently operate out ofAlberta,Canada. None of the ingredients of Orijen brand dog food formulas are obtained or produced in a facility other than their manufacturing plant inAlberta.