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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:(

Our friends have a VERY hyper, untrained 8 month-old English Bulldog/Shar-pei mix who has a terrible habit of door dashing. They have four kids who are in and out of the house constantly. My friend has been saying for the last two months that she needs to get a trainer to the house ASAP to fix this before she gets herself killed by a car. The trainer was on his way to the house when one of the kids opened the front door to let a friend in and the dog dashed out. She was running around back and forth in front of their house but as soon as some well-meaning neighbors started trying to catch her, the chase was on and she ran up to the main road and was hit :( All 4 kids (ages 3-10), plus my friend and her husband watched in horror as it happened. The trainer arrived about 3 minutes after she was hit. She is currently in surgery for a broken spine and they are unsure if she will ever walk again. If that is the case, they will have to make the devastating decision to euthanize her.

It's such a terrible situation for everyone involved. I am a nervous new puppy mom to a 15 week cockapoo and have been trying my best to teach him recall. This just reinforces the importance of a solid recall. I am only a few blocks from them and off the same major road so want to make sure Jasper never rushes the door. I don;t even know where to begin with that.

Anyway, just needed to share/unload since I am feeling so sad about it. My friend's husband told me this morning when he saw me out walking my puppy and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
 

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@MHDDOG2016 - That is heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to your friends.

I'm extremely thankful that I've taught my guys to wait at open doors until they are released. And of course, you're right, an amazing recall.

Geeze, that is so awful.
 

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That is so sad. Condolences to your friend.

I think you're on the right track with teaching a solid recall at a young age. Another thing that I would practice is "sit" at a distance. Obviously, you need to work up to it but if your dog gets out and you can say "sit" and "stay", you can then walk up to him. That is kind of a backup to the recall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is so sad. Condolences to your friend.

I think you're on the right track with teaching a solid recall at a young age. Another thing that I would practice is "sit" at a distance. Obviously, you need to work up to it but if your dog gets out and you can say "sit" and "stay", you can then walk up to him. That is kind of a backup to the recall.

I've been trying to work on "stay" but he just isn't getting it. As soon as he gets his treat for either "sit" or "down", he stands up and comes over to me. And if I try to back away from him after asking for a sit or down, he is up immediately and walking towards me. Not sure how to fix this. The trainer in his puppy class is having me say "OK" as soon as he is standing up to teach an association b/w OK and him getting up, to hopefully eventually become a release word for him, but so far he isn't making the connection.
 

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@MHDDOG2016 - Try not treating the sit. Ask for a sit, wait a second. Click treat. Next time try two seconds. Etc. etc.
 
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Obviously this pup may have been a bit young for solid training comprehension, but stories like these are why Pax has a required sit then release ANY time going through our front door and a required sit then release any time crossing a street since he was 8 weeks old.

It takes a lot of patience and practice and 2.5 years old he will still bolt for the occasional cat but it has saved his hide more than once.

There are a gazillion free training videos youtube, so there is no excuse of "needing a trainer".

For the OP with not sure where to start...here is a link to get you started:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yw_l3Ci_Q0
 

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How terrible. This happened to a good friend of mine and it was also extremely traumatizing. I hope your friend's are coping alright with this difficult situation. I send my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How terrible. This happened to a good friend of mine and it was also extremely traumatizing. I hope your friend's are coping alright with this difficult situation. I send my thoughts.

I just checked in and she is having a really hard time. Of course blaming herself for not getting the trainer there sooner, not installing a storm door sooner, etc, etc, etc. And her poor kids are a mess b/c they are the ones that opened the door without making sire she wasn't behind them. They are all blaming themselves (which of course is understandable) but guilt is a horrible thing and blame won't bring her back. They will hopefully use this as a teaching moment for their next dog, whenever that may be, train from the start, etc. Just so sad for their whole family, and because they all saw it happen in front of them, they will forever have that visual play over and over...those poor kids especially.
 

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It's important to remind them that this of none of their faults. The trauma is going to take a long time to go a way on its own, but like you said, it's important that the kids just learn from this experience but don't feel like they in any way caused this horrible thing to happen. I hope they're able to overcome this and hopefully can provide a healthy, happy home for another dog sometime soon.
 

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Even before my dogs are taught an actual "stay", when I go to the door, I tell them to sit (which is the first thing I teach). If you don't have a fenced yard, I would put a leash on them, start to open the door and shut it again every time they get up. It takes a little while but soon you can open the door right up and they will sit. Have a release word, I use OK, and they can go out. I do the same thing when they want to come back into the house. It carries over to when they are in a vehicle, they wait to get released and don't leap out before you can get the leash on them.
 
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