My boyfriend and I get so frustrated every time Curtis runs off and won't come when we call him.
He does this on especially these 2 occasions:
1. I usually have him on a leash if we are walking, but if I go outside past my back fence, or in my front yard (no fence) and he follows us, he will start running off and will not come. The further we follow him, the further he goes. It gets to a point where we have to turn around and pretend we are going back home, and eventually he comes running back to us. The other day my boyfriend was out the front garden watering the plants and some neighbours of ours walked past, Curtis followed them all the way to their house, and the lady had to pick him up and return him.
I know he is friendly and he loves people (I do not want him to know people can be bad, so he loves everyone)... but it is very frustrating.
What can I do to help this behaviour?
2. When we are leaving the house to go to work, we leave through the garage door. He usually goes in the garage and will not come. He runs from us inside the garage, and the other day hid under the car.
Why is he doing this?
We think we need a dog whisperer. LOL
Valentina, Proud Mama of Curtis, born 21 October 2011
Welcome to the world of Pugs!! Bella does the same thing. I end up having to let her just keep running around until she gets exhausted and then catch her. I have friends w/pugs and they have the same situation== this is where their stubborn side comes in. Good luck!
Thanks Bellas_Mom, it makes me feel a little bit better to hear I am not the only one with a stubborn pug.
Valentina, Proud Mama of Curtis, born 21 October 2011
Also, if you keep running in the direction of the dog, they will run away from you. Ignore, and they will come back.
You aren't alone. I joined this site because I thought I had the worse dog EVER!!!! but she is a typical pug which is comforting. I walk away from Bella and she will sometimes follow me back.
This was one of the big reasons I put Spud in training and Spud is amazing at it now after just like a week. The trainer calls it jackpot treats and it takes a little bit of trying but for the jackpot treats we use cut up hotdogs and thats all its for is come. Nothing else it has to be something special that they love and will never get except for this. Basically you want to make it a game also. You start out with being some place your pug can see you and call him over and when he comes give him like 5 pieces of the treat and do that a few times then hide and do it. When you hide its more like a game. I signed up for classes at petsmart and from what I read it kind of depends on the store that you go to if it is good training or not but I like my classes.
Anyways she had us start it last class and I tried it with my mother taking turn calling him and a week later even with dogs, food people and all sorts of stuff around I would call him and he ignored everything to get to me. It has been a great way to get him into it and we still have work to do but he will come. For starters make sure when he comes it will always be something great as a reward i.e. the treats and after something fun. If he is playing let him go play again. Don't make it always something bad like a bath or something else he hates. If you need him in for something he won't enjoy just chase after him for a while. Keep him coming to you fun and positive and after a while you can use it for stuff he won't enjoy like ending play and such.
I have to ask, what have you done in terms of obedience training? Dogs weren't born knowing what we want them to do and they don't speak human. I don't think your dog is being naughty or stubborn. I think he has no clue what you want. If you go after the dog, it is natural for him to move away from you. He may even think that you're playing chase.
I have two pugs, one of which I didn't get until she was over a year old. I have found them both easy to train, and I'm certainly no expert. You just have to 1. have a method and 2. work at it. Training a dog is something you do every day, not once a week in obedience class.
As for method, I think Spud gave you some great tips. With pugs, always use reward based methods. They work magnificently and are the most humane. Training with your dog is a great way to built the bond between you. Just 5 minutes a day or a couple of times a day will suffice. Keep the sessions short and sweet. If you can find a trainer who teaches clicker training, I warmly recommend taking a class. It will be an eye opener and your pug will love it! The better the relationship you have with your dog, the better he will understand you and the more eager to please you he will be.
It's natural for a pug to be super friendly, so it's not strange that Curtis could follow your neighbour. If I let them, my dogs would make new friends every day :) However, a tendency to run away can be a sign of boredom and pent up energy. How old is Curtis? If he's more than 6 months, it may be that he needs a bit more excercise and excitment in life than he's getting. Even pugs need challenges and adventure in their life, especially when they're young.
Last edited by Hellas; 04-08-2012 at 02:52 AM.
Proud mama to puggies Winston and Ozzie, Slatan the Cat and Zino the horse.
Classes are great and I highly recommend them.
For a really reliable recall the dog has to have a happy outcome every time he returns to you.
Start by saying "come" or whatever command you want to use when you know he is coming anyway; you are preparing his food, you have a toy he wants, whatever. Say "Curtis come" in a happy voice and as he gets to you give him a treat and praise him. Don't stretch out your hand with the treat, bring him right in to your ankles and pet him around his neck and shoulders. (The petting is to get him used to you doing that so that it is not immediately obvious which times you are actually planning to make a grab for his collar or harness to put his leash back on). You need him right in by your ankles because if they realise you may put the leash on and end their fun they are astonishingly adept at staying just out of reach.
When you have spent some time calling when he is coming anyway you can start calling him when he isn't. Take it slowly. Don't keep repeating yourself. If he does not come at the first time of asking check that you have not upped the ante too much (e.g. previously you have always called him when you are in the same room and now you are downstairs and he is upstairs. The more often you get him to come successfully the quicker training will progress.
When you get to the stage of calling him whilst out on a walk recall him several times and let him go again. If you only ever call him to put the leash on to go home he will soon realise what you are up to.
Gradually you can phase out treats, but you MUST always praise him when he returns and occasionally surprise him with a treat or two to keep him interested. Even if you have been trying to get him to return for 30 mins and are out in the pouring rain you must NEVER scold him when he comes back to you. Ever.
If you need to get him back to you quickly (my Snifter once slipped his leash getting out of the car and ran towards the road) do NOT chase him. This will only make him run away more because he will think it is a game. You must run away from him, calling his name and sounding really excited like a small child. Call things like "Curtis, woo hoo, let's play". (Yes, you will look as if you are deranged.) He should come rushing to you to investigate your super new game. As he approaches, do not lunge for his collar or harness as he will likely dodge you. Offer a treat; if he is really skittish then sit down on the ground or lie down and he will come close enough for you to get him.
Bella, mummy to Snifter and Toddy!