Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

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maxs_mommy
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Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby maxs_mommy » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Mickey, the neph-dog, is finally out of my MIL's house and back with S's sister and her husband because they got a house that allowed dogs. SIL and BIL have a 10 y/o and a 9 mo/o kiddo. Both work full time. Mickey is 5 and has spent the majority of his life either behind a baby gate in the kitchen, in the back yard on a tie out so they didn't have to search for poop or in his wire crate due to life chaos. In the last year or so, S's dad would let him out of his crate at night and play with him but that's as much interaction as he's really gotten. Mickey never really bonded to SIL, so he's very indendent and is a door bolter. He's bolted 3 times this week so far. BIL believes in punishing Mickey by crating him but Mickey doesn't see the crate as punishment since he's been in it for a good majority of his life. He is also not food motivated. at. all.

Sooooo, given that they will. not. surrender the dog or make time/money for a trainer, give me steps to keep him safe (first and foremost) and, if possible, help teach him to not bolt while keeping some human sanity. It's a long road, I get that and I'm not sure they're completely up for it but I want give them all the tools I can. Mickey is really a lovely dog but just independent because he's had to be, which tells me he's smart enough to not be destructive and is able to self-entertain/soothe. Now this independence is what he knows and what he wants so he bolts.

I realize so many of you are screaming "Surrender the dog!". I am too but odds are really low, at least in the short term. In the meantime I want to keep Mickey safe.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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QBert
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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby QBert » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:15 am

can you get the older child on board with teaching the dog tricks? Make a marvelous game out of teaching the dog something super fun as a trick with a practical application, and teach the dog to 'go to ____' when a door is opened, be it a crate, or a mat, or a specific location?

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SherriA
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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby SherriA » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:47 am

While it doesn't teach anything, I keep a collar and leash at the door and never open it without putting them on Henry. I don't know whether he'd bolt, per se, but I'm pretty sure he'd prance right out to explore, meet a new person, and try to cadge treats. I feel safer having him restrained when I open the door.
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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby Calypso » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:07 pm

Any chance that they'd gate off the areas around the doors? There are stand alone gates that are wide to cover areas that aren't conveniently along a hallway. It's also fairly easy to teach a dog to step back from the door and not leave without permission, but it takes some time and consistency, so probably not going to happen.

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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby Jen » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:37 pm

I was going to say gate too. We have one, and while neither B nor R are typically bolters, it makes me a whole lot more relaxed about opening the door.

If only I could find a way to keep Scout the cat from bolting. :p

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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby 2dogpack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:44 pm

A gate might be the easiest solution as any training you do isn't likely to be kept up or enforced, correct?
That said, a gate and some training + collar with tags would help.

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maxs_mommy
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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby maxs_mommy » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:41 pm

I have recommended the gate, he has a collar with tags 24/7. Any training I do won't be kept up and any non-results from what little time I spend would come back to bite me. Any training they do would be, ultimately, haphazzard at best. I've also suggested, and no one was happy with, that Mickey be leashed securely to one of the adults at all times and anytime anyone come in or out they hit a doorbell or chime. The hope is to cue Mickey to his spot or crate when that happens and eventually the door opening becomes it's own cue. Again, they're not happy because of the baby who might be sleeping but better than a bolting dog.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby Moemer » Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:30 am

I'd also go with a gated door area. OR get a gate on the front porch, if the porch structure accommodates. If they don't want to train, they don't want to give the dog away, and they don't want a door bolter, they are sort of blowing through their options to prevent the dog from getting out. You might need to try to lead them to their own idea, because it sounds like they are vetoing everything that makes sense. Other than my magic wand, but I like to hoard that away in my tickle trunk.
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maxs_mommy
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Re: Door Bolter- Help with a bad situation

Postby maxs_mommy » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:11 pm

I realize they're blowing through their options, not that they ever seriously considered them. I would pay good $$$ for that magic wand, the tickle trunk kinda freaks me out though. :lol: Part of the frustration for them is that Mickey doesn't really care about them without a frisbee and isn't motivated by much except being outside running and doesn't mind being in a crate or on a tie-out. They want the "family dog" but he's been socialized to be pretty independent, coupled with their lack of consistency and it's just a mess.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP


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