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Elliot has a real problem with coming when she is called, even though I have trained her to do so. Like with so many Chis, she only does this when she wants to.

Lately, it has been getting a little bit worse each time we go outside to go potty. She will go a little farther away from me until she comes back. I decided to put her on her lead for awhile and give her a refresher about how to "come". She did excellent as per usual. So I let her off again.

Pip, I rarely put her on a lead unless we are going out in public because she stays with me and comes when she's called.

Well, today Elliot takes off across the road (we live at the end of a dead end road, so it isn't THAT terrible that she crossed a road, but still A ROAD. What if she had gotten away from me downtown for some reason?!) and in to the unplanted cornfield. I call for her to come back, she looks at me... and then takes off at a run in the other direction. Pip follows her.

And so it went. I followed after them, calling for them in my bathrobe and flip flops in to the corn field. On my way I picked up a hunk of the hollow corn stalk. Pip was the first to be captured half way up the width of the cornfield. I gave her one good swat on the butt and picked her up. She screamed like I was killing her though. She's pretty sensitive like that, so it doesn't take much.

Elliot made me follow her not only the entire width of that cornfield, but the ENTIRE length of it too. Let me tell you, I was pretty livid as she would turn around, look at me, then take off again. When I finally caught up with her, I grabbed her by her scruff and gave her two good smacks on her butt and two across her nose.

Please keep in mind that I never use physical force as a punishment for my dogs. I have AlWAYS used positive reinforcement, praise, and treats. This time, though, I wanted to send them a message and I think I have. I banished them both to the sofa instead of allowing them to follow me in my room as per usual.

This has got to stop. In this area I have owls, coyotes, hawks, eagles, the neighbors bitbulls who are uncontrollable, all the cows out there... all manner of things that will either squish or eat a couple of chihuahuas who run a cornfield's length away from me.

So, I have finally made the decision to train Elliot on a shock collar. I have talked to my vet about it, and she has had great success with them personally. The collar will emit a high pitched sound before the shock (which I control from my hand, it is a low shock) and then if she doesn't learn to come back when that sound goes off... she gets a shock.

I really didn't want to have to do that to her, but this is one behavior I WILL NOT tolerate from any of my animals (even my cats come when they're called) and I have been more than patient with her. I have spent more than enough time with her from 3 months old working on this. She knows better, and she has proven that she knows better.

How about you guys? Ever come to a point where you are ready to try something drastic to get that habit in control with your Chi?
 

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OMG.. I'm sorry but the vision of you in a bathrobe with flip flops running through a cornfield yelling at your Chi's made me laugh out loud.

I'd be mad too mama! I would! I agree it's not acceptable.. they could get killed by an animal or even worse hit by a car! I don't have much experience with this.

I hope the collars work for you, she sounds like she is one hard headed Chi!
 

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I hesitate to say this because so many people disagree with them, but we had no choice but to get a bark collar for Laurel. We needed results...FAST. She was being so loud and mouthy all day long that our townhome complex was ready to kick us out.

The young ones have all been trained to be quiet when told, but Laurel is 6 and has done whatever she wanted for as long as she's been alive. It's been very effective, but I will warn you, when they do get shocked, it really seems to hurt them. She yelps and seems terrified (and then barks again, stupid dog). We got one for dogs 6-12 lbs and she's 13 lbs and still yelps like the world is ending whenever she gets shocked. It gives her 2 warning beeps but she ignores them. We talked to a dog trainer who said that if we genuinely needed fast results, the collar was the way to go. I swear Laurel is brain damaged because you'd walk in the door and she'd run up smelling you and looking at you and keep barking for 5 minutes no matter how much you tried to get her to be quiet. Even holding her muzzle shut she'd still be going at it:-/ You can't reward a "quiet" moment if there ISN'T one, lol.

That said, we don't ever hit our dogs, EVER. They're too small and you can really hurt them. I know you were angry and frustrated and upset but you'd feel really bad if you caused any damage. I don't believe that a dog should associate physical correction with me as a person.

If they're running off when they're outside, simply do NOT let them off of their leashes. Being leash free is a huuuuuge privilege, and quite frankly, I never let ours off lead because of the hawks and eagles that are around... I know it's not as convenient for you as it is to just let them scamper out the door to potty, but obviously they have other ideas in mind. I don't see how punishing a dog for not coming when it's twenty feet away from you is going to do any good, other than startle and scare her and confuse her. It doesn't say "run to mommy" it says...'RUN!'.

I do hope you can find another solution but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. After about a month of use, the collar has made Laurel bark less, but she still barks. The collar might make Elliot run off less, but she will still run off. :-/
 

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Why is it some dogs bolt? my oldest dog was bad for this when he was young, any open door and he went nutso, I spent ages working with him and eventually he got over it.. but truthfully I think he just got old ;-)

The bark collars did not phase my mom's dog that she used it on, she kept barking right through the shocks and didn't seem to mind them! LOL now that's brain damage!
 

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I have no Comment, Did you try and turn around and run in the other direction in hopes that they would follow?
 

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My answer is really, really simple. Don't let them off the leash. With you chasing her, she thought it was a fun game. Hitting them will not train them to come to you. All hitting them does is let you relaese your frustration. If you really have all those dangers, don't let them off the leash. I have had almost 80 dogs and only with two was I confident enough to walk without a leash, my whippet that was course trained and my german sheppard that was glued to my side always.
 

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I feel very strongly about not hitting or using any type of shock collar. I agree with svdreamer, keep them on a leash. I really don't think most dogs can be completely trusted off a leash, even those that are very well trained will still sometimes give into the temptation of a distraction.
 

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Hmm, I don't necessarily disagree with a shock collar. For a bigger dog with barking problems. (we had one when we had our large lab mix for barking & it worked great with the 2 warning beeps prior to a small shock which increased with intensity if the dog continued to bark every 15 seconds) My dad & step mom have a shock collar & use it to train their dogs to stay in their yard. If they wander too far they call & hit the button when the reach a certain spot in the yard when they've gone too far & aren't responding. I've personally never tried this but to each their own.

However, I'd never dare to use a shock collar on a small dog. Perhaps if I was DESPERATE & in a situation about being evicted because of it I'd consider it as a temporary training tool (and made especially for a small dog). Otherwise I would not.

Personally though I'm going to agree with those that say do not let her off leash PERIOD. It would save on frustration for you & danger for her. I've heard even the best trained, with 100% recall, agility dogs are not allowed off leash because they just can't have the opportunity to mess up.

If I had a bolter - I would NOT let them off leash. My lab mix was a bolter & he was never allowed off leash except when we played fetch with him (he'd stay for fetch LOL). Otherwise he was always on a leash - no questions asked. If he did happen to get out, I finally got to the point where I just left him....and he came back. But I live in a very quiet area on a dead end road where I was comfortable to do so. And honestly I was so angry when it happened I just said "frig it!". haha

Anyway, I always read/heard on training videos that when it happens to make it a game because that's what they think it is. Make a loud high pitched noise & when they turn to look at you turn & start walking in the opposite direction...make it VERY exciting by acting excited & loud. If they follow - treat them. It's good to do this in a controled place for practice but I'd still keep them leashed even if their recall goes up. But then you have it to use in emergency situations. As mad as you were you should have praised when you finally caught them. Spanking is only going to make her run further & longer next time because she knows she'll be getting a swat if you catch her. While I don't disagree with a swat for certain things (or a flick as I like to do with these guys since they're so small) - using it when you get something you WANT is detrimental to what you're trying to accomplish. When it's used as a frustration relief...it's not really doing anything useful & will only regress any progress she had made previously.
 

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I agree with what Heather has said. We really had no choice because we *were* in danger of getting evicted and needed to figure something out FAST. We only leave it on her when we are not home and I *HATE* it. Sure, it's worked, but the poor thing. :-/ I also never would have felt comfortable had she been a normal sized chi but since she's a mix and 13-14 lbs, we decided to try :-/ but we are trying our best to use it's help now and train past it, but its hard because when we're not here, we're not here. Your situation is different as Elliot isn't outside when you aren't :-/
 

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I am livid too. But not because of the chi's not coming when called. Because of how YOU reacted.

First problem - you let them off leash. YOU let them off the leash. They are not reliable with their recall so that was your mistake.

Second - you chased after them with a cornstalk in your hand. Of COURSE they are going to run. I'm sure your body language and you yelling at them to come back was frightening.

Third - when you caught them, you hit them. With a stick. You said ... "When I finally caught up with her, I grabbed her by her scruff and gave her two good smacks on her butt and two across her nose." With Pip, you said ... "I gave her one good swat on the butt and picked her up. She screamed like I was killing her though. She's pretty sensitive like that, so it doesn't take much."

You picked up your dogs and you hit them and one of them was screaming. I am shocked and speechless to tell the truth.

And now you are talking about putting them in a shock collar? Have you ever tried one? It's not just a tiny vibration. It is A SHOCK. I can't even IMAGINE putting a shock collar on a chihuahua's tiny and tender neck/trachea. I think it is cruel and barbaric.

As for solving your problem, I can't even think straight right now as I am sooooo very upset by your post and how you handled the situation. I will stop now before I say something I regret, but I am SHOCKED AND APPALLED at how you handled this situation.

If I was your dog, I would run too. I would run as far away from you as I possibly could. :(
 

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What you just taught them is that when you call them, when they reach you, they will be beaten. Not what I think you're trying to teach them. Dogs are not capable of understanding why they are being beaten. They should never be hit. It serves no purpose and is harmful, physically and mentally, to the dog.

They both need to be on lead at all times. I don't know of any place that doesn't have a leash law. Just because they are Chis doesn't mean they shouldn't wear one. If these were Pitbulls off leash, everyone would be screaming. If they then ran away, you can bet AC would be called.

I haven't seen any shock collars that I think are appropriate for Chis. They are small dogs and I've not seen any systems that have a small enough collar not to a.) have too strong a current and/or b.) have a collar that doesn't weigh too much for Chis to comfortably wear. For other breeds, I have known them to be successfully used for avoidance training (underground fencing, fence fighting, jumping, barking) but I've never heard of them being used to teach "come." I'm not sure how a tone or sock when the dog is standing away from you is going to make them come to you. I'm not a professional trainer by any means, so maybe they know something I don't when it comes to shock collars. I'm still trying to get over the shock of the dog being beaten in the head and rear. Poor baby.
 

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Yeah am pretty shocked myself with how you reacted.
I cant believe you would hit those teeny dogs like that and admit it on a public forum, like it's ok too, it's not!
I also dont agree with shock collars either.
 

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I am livid too. But not because of the chi's not coming when called. Because of how YOU reacted.

First problem - you let them off leash. YOU let them off the leash. They are not reliable with their recall so that was your mistake.

Second - you chased after them with a cornstalk in your hand. Of COURSE they are going to run. I'm sure your body language and you yelling at them to come back was frightening.

Third - when you caught them, you hit them. With a stick. You said ... "When I finally caught up with her, I grabbed her by her scruff and gave her two good smacks on her butt and two across her nose." With Pip, you said ... "I gave her one good swat on the butt and picked her up. She screamed like I was killing her though. She's pretty sensitive like that, so it doesn't take much."

You picked up your dogs and you hit them and one of them was screaming. I am shocked and speechless to tell the truth.

And now you are talking about putting them in a shock collar? Have you ever tried one? It's not just a tiny vibration. It is A SHOCK. I can't even IMAGINE putting a shock collar on a chihuahua's tiny and tender neck/trachea. I think it is cruel and barbaric.

As for solving your problem, I can't even think straight right now as I am sooooo very upset by your post and how you handled the situation. I will stop now before I say something I regret, but I am SHOCKED AND APPALLED at how you handled this situation.

If I was your dog, I would run too. I would run as far away from you as I possibly could. :(
I absolutely agree, if your dog has not a good recall, KEEP IT ON THE LEAD. Rocky has an excellent recall so therefore has the privilidge of getting time off lead in the park.

A dog will ALWAYS run when getting chased.

And as for a shock collar, I would never use one.
 

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Defo try the walking or running the other direction, its always worked for any dogs iv had/walked, my dads dog always did that but as soon as i turned and walked away she would worry id leave her and followed me.
Try treats even too, there has to be other ways, i personally would only consider using something like a shock collar on big breeds, if even.
And obvious answer every1s said just dont let them off if u have to.
And dont punish them wen u eventually get them back to u, ur sending them the complete opposite msg ur trying to, no matter how angry u are, keep it in.
Why would they come back to u if you punished them the last time they did.
 

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P.s iv held shock collars b4 as a friend has one 4 her doberman and they r quite heavy i dont know how a chi could even carry one let alone bare the shock of one!
 

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The only effective time to discipline a dog is IMMEDIATELY as he does the negative behavior.

By chasing him all over creation, then smacking him when you got to him, you are teaching him that if he comes to you, he'll be punished - not what you want.

You have to remain calm, no matter how difficult, with a small dog.

Anyway, as others have said..I've had half a dozen dogs and there isn't a one
I would trust off lead. The ONLY time they've ever been off lead is in a fenced in area - period.

It is impossible to train a dog to not be a dog. No amount of training results in a dog that won't bolt when his mind is made up. The urge to be a dog is stronger than any shock collar, shouting, stick or fist.

There is no value in having your dogs off leash - that could possibly outweigh
having safe, alive, and with you.
 

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When I read the post my jaw dropped with shock at how you reacted, first of all you hit the dogs because you were angry and frustrated.

By hitting your dogs all you have done is strengthen their belief that coming to you is the wrong thing to do.

You have also created a bad relationship, once you hit an animal you lose respect and they don't forget. Once you lose respect you loose the relationship. You then have an animal that never sees you as a companion, trusted friend or partner.

However the damage is done and thats that and it will take a long long time to get a mere % of trust back, you will now instead have dogs that fear you.

The golden rule as others have said is if you dogs recall is not 100& then they do not get off the lead. By giving praise and reward when they do good is a positive move, and never ever react to any negatives especially in the way you did. Hitting a dog as small as a Chi can cause internal bruising and hitting a dog on the nose is gonna do one thing, damage the dogs sense of smell and even possibly break a small bone.

An animal will always all its life test its boundaries and as the leader you have to maintain leaderships using positive methods.

When I take Jake out and I notice he has wandered off a little further than I would like sometimes I don't call him, instead I hide so that I can still see him but he can't see me.

He looks up, sees I am gone, panics and then sees me or gets my scent and comes literally bounding over like a greyhound.
I then kneel down to his level and make an enourmous fuss of him like he has been the best lad ever.

I have however had times when I have called him and he has ignored me, I patiently call until he does come to me or I get close enough to be able to catch him. I then clip on the lead and he stays on the lead until we re-establish a good recall.

I know how frustrated you felt, I have had times with my horse where I have spent 3 hrs in pouring thunderstorms trying to catch him and then got angry when I finally did and shouted at him. (as if he could understand me) which meant the next time I tried to catch him was even harder.

I learnt to control my negative emotions and now my horses catch me...

This control is what you need to learn, its hard but you can do it. Also think about things from your dogs point of view, all that space to run around and have fun, mummy playing chase which dogs love. Then you getting angry which then scares the dog so they run away even more.. Then you hit them which tells them coming to you was the wrong thing to do.

I think when you posted on here you were still angry and vented your frustations on the forum as you needed to just tell someone.

Now imagine how much respect you have lost to others on here.....

Try when you have calmed down reading your post and think... what could I have done differently?

Please please please don't hit your dogs, we take them in to look after them, love them and give them security.

Hoping things turn out for the better and don't forget, put your dog back on the leash and always use it until recall is learnt 100% even if it takes years.

Deme
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
First of all, I knew this wouldn't be a particularly popular post. I apologize to all whose sensibilities I have offended.

As for hitting them. They were not beaten, and only Pip yelped. AFTER I had smacked her behind. It was a hollow cornstalk that is easily broken in one hand, with little force. They were not injured, and they were not beaten. They were acutely aware that what they did was wrong, and have been instant in responding to my verbal command of "come" inside the house for the remainder of the day. When I take them outside for their next potty break, of course they will be on leads.

If you will recall, I stated in my original post that I DO NOT USE PHYSICAL FORCE AS PUNISHMENT. That was the first time I swatted Pip, and only the SECOND for Elliot. The first time was when she was a pup. She bit me, and I swatted her nose. She has NEVER bitten anyone again, nor has it scarred her for life as some of you no doubt have imagined. Elliot is an impeccably well behaved dog aside from the potty training quandary we have, and not coming when she is called, SELECTIVELY. For anything else, I have gotten more compliments on her behavior and training than I have of any of my dogs previously. The fact is, that physical force CAN be effective when not used all the time. If you have to consistently hit your animals, then that is obviously not effective at all. If you are beating them, bruising them, breaking bones, and generally abusing them then yes. It is heinous and appalling, and WRONG.

I have had many, many dogs over the course of my lifetime, and come from a long line of dog owners. There isn't one time in my life where I can even remember not having one around. If one method of training is NOT working, then it is useless to continue on in that line of training. Not all dogs are trained equally. Elliot has been exceptionally difficult to train in all areas, but it can be done.

Our landlord has made us take our fence down, as somehow he didn't like the way it looked. I have no idea. The dogs (all four of them. My two, and my roommates two) are being trained to be allowed to play in where the yard was without being on leads. YES, that is how we have STARTED them. Id on leads. Now, everyone has graduated to being able to run in what used to be our yard only without the fence. Elliot knows very well how to come. She has been doing it since she was a puppy. She has been opting not to do it here within the last two weeks. She will have several good days, then it is back on the lead because she runs off. Then several more good days. When we leave home, they are all on leads. I don't take my dogs in to public places without one. At home, they are being trained to stay within certain confines, and that is simply the way it is.

I am very close with both of my vets. One of them is my roommate, and I work for the other (they are both in the same practice, so they talk all the time). They recommended a shock collar to me as part of her training in this area. If my veterinarians feel that it is a safe and effective training tool, then I will trust them and use it. If Elliot does not respond well to this training, then I will stop using it. At any rate, the method of training needs too change, and my VETS recommend it.

Again, I do apologize for those of you who were offended and here are some other specific responses to your posts.


I have no Comment, Did you try and turn around and run in the other direction in hopes that they would follow?
Of course. I tried all methods of getting them to come to me on their own BEFORE pursuing them. Including shaking their treat canister, which I bring outside with me every time we go out.


First problem - you let them off leash. YOU let them off the leash. They are not reliable with their recall so that was your mistake.

Second - you chased after them with a cornstalk in your hand. Of COURSE they are going to run. I'm sure your body language and you yelling at them to come back was frightening.
They have been being trained, as stated above, to stay within the confines of our yard. This wasn't the first time they had been off their leashes.

Third - when you caught them, you hit them. With a stick. You said ... "When I finally caught up with her, I grabbed her by her scruff and gave her two good smacks on her butt and two across her nose." With Pip, you said ... "I gave her one good swat on the butt and picked her up. She screamed like I was killing her though. She's pretty sensitive like that, so it doesn't take much."

You picked up your dogs and you hit them and one of them was screaming. I am shocked and speechless to tell the truth.
Yes. When I caught up with them, I hit them. With a hollow, brittle, piece of cornstalk. A little more than the length on my hand. Easily broken my applying pressure, with just one hand. Pip screamed after I smacked her bottom with it. She also screamed today when the vet examined the stitches from her spay. She also screamed last night when one of the cats leapt at her. She screams. A lot. I assure you, she wasn't being beaten.

Elliot got the same treatment, with the same tool. She didn't yelp, I did not hurt her anymore than I intended to. Two swift swats across the nose and butt with a hollow, brittle cornstalk.

And now you are talking about putting them in a shock collar? Have you ever tried one? It's not just a tiny vibration. It is A SHOCK. I can't even IMAGINE putting a shock collar on a chihuahua's tiny and tender neck/trachea. I think it is cruel and barbaric.
I would venture to guess that you have never been around a shock collar, as I used to feel the same way. I was appalled when my mom used one on her basset hound for barking, but he stopped that bad behavior within two weeks- and didn't have to be on the collar again. I have personally been shocked with his collar. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but not painful. It is more surprising than anything.

Both of my veterinarians have had success with shock collar training, and it isn't meant to be permanent. Of course if Elliot doesn't respond to it, then it is pointless to keep at it. So, you may think it is barbaric and cruel, but if my Veterinarians approve and were the ones to recommend it- then I will trust the professionals and give it a try.
 

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When our old family Shepherd from many years ago was a pup, we had a HUGE greenbelt behind our house, so all we had to do was open the gate and let him out(very private community in which we all knew each other and our pets)

Well, he kept being cheeky with his recall around a year old. Would always turn and BOLT as fast as he could the other way!

So my mom borrowed our neighbours Dobe's old shock collar. Put it on him, and let him out, his usual routine.

My mom asked him to come, once again, he took off in the other direction...
One zap, a flip in the air, and a thud on his bottom solved his recall for life. :)
 
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