Canine Behavior/running away
hi. i have a three and half yr old male boxer Milo.he is the sweetest and most obedient dog. but recently we have been noticing that whenever he sees the door open he runs away outside and doesnt come back for several hours unless searched. this has been a recent tendency seen only since past few weeks. all these three yrs he has never once done that even if the front door has been wide open. we never put him on leash,even when we go for a walk.and we take him outside pretty often plus we have a big garden where he roams around. we are very worried as me n my husband are both working and its difficult to keeP a constant vigil. also we have just relocated to a new place this august. pls help because i dont want to punish him without knowing why he is suddenly behaving like this. thank you.
Thank you for your request. It is hard of course because you are not always there. However dogs do love to roam and unfortunately once they find out that gap you have to reteach them to not run away. The best thing is to create a virtual boundary on that door that he is running out. To do this put him on a lead and walk to the door and open it. Every time he tries to go out the door simply tug the lead a little saying "back" every time you tug the lead. What this does is create the idea to the dog that he is not allowed out unless invited out. Once he gets the "back" command on the lead try it again but without the lead and again as he goes to walk out say "back" and start to walk towards him so he gets the idea.Over time they learn they can not walk out the door. You then start to walk out the door, throw some treats over the boundary, throw over a toy etc to make it really difficult but they learn that no matter what you should not go out that door.
Time frame for this would be two weeks so start today and see how you get on.