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My dog bolted home from the park


Yasmin
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That is VERY scary! I wonder if he had a bad experience the first time he bolted? Scared of another dog? Noise? Poked by a kid?

 

I had my girl at the wooded park near me today. She is a bit scared upon first meeting newer, bigger dogs; she generally will dart away from other dogs coming at her, and mostly it turns into a fun game of chase. But today a lab came at us, and she started running down the path through the snow, and he pursued her. We watched helplessly as the two dogs barreled down the biiiiiig hill, down the little hill, around the corner on the path that leads toward the exit. Honestly, it must have been 1/3 mile or more! I was afraid my dog would get to the exit and barrel into the street and get hit by a car. Thank heavens she shook the big dog off and came running back to me up the hill again. (The big dog, distracted, found a golden retriever to play with.)

 

Anyway, super tired little dog lying next to me right now. I think I'm going to have to stop taking her to that park - too many big, loose, uncontrolled dogs = too many chances to cultivate fear rather than diminish it.

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...Your dog ran across four roads, could have ended up anywhere, you had no idea why he was doing it, so you decided to let him off leash in the same place and situation again not once, but twice? You need to think about what responsible dog ownership entails. When your unpredictable dog is running around loose, on the streets no less, you're affecting more people than just your dog (as if that wasn't enough).

If this happened when your dog was leashed and you just weren't holding the leash firmly, that's a whole different problem, but sheesh...It's like this post was designed to upset people.

I agree with Gideon's Girl about watching body language to see if he's stressed. Lots of dogs just discover that they CAN run away and so do, but the fact that he's going right back to your house would indicate stress to me.

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1) This is in the Working Stock Dogs section - it should be in the "General Discussion." I'm assuming a moderator will move it.

 

2) Re the dog bolting: been there, done that. I had adopted a 4 yr old border collie, who was superior in her recall. We had hiked 2 miles up to a rim, I'd just poured her some water, and she took off, full speed, back down the trail. Somewhat confused, I called - feeling confidence she would come. She did not. It is steep, she would have had to cross a busy road to get to the car. There was no way I was going to catch her. So, I grabbed my pack and started after her, calling and calling. Finally, I tried a "Lie Down!" and she did. Whew.

 

Turns out that someone was duck hunting below this rim (probably 2 miles away, as the birds fly). I knew that went on, and I knew the dog was noise sensitive - but I never heard the gunshots! It took awhile for my brain to figure this one out.

It wasn't the only time she bolted after hearing noises I did not - but I figured out how to deal with it (her "lie down" was practically innate, and it worked).

 

As others have said: Dog should not be off-leash in this location until you figure it out. Good luck.

 

diane

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Also wishing you luck, and hoping you won't let him off leash again. Not all dogs are suited for dog parks or public parks in general, and border collies in particular can be sensitive to other dogs that are too pushy, too boisterous or two in-his-face. Also, if something scared him there, a sound or a person or whatever, anything that reminds him of it, or even just being in that location, could trigger the fear response again.

If he has bolted and run home 3 times, I'd say he's decided, for whatever reason, that it overwhelms him. There could be a sound in the neighborhood that you don't even notice, or something else that scares him. Keep him leashed and if you do decide to go back, watch closely for any signs of fear while he is with you. It could be anything from car noises to bicycles to other dogs - who knows. Please do not take the risk again of letting him off-leash again, as he may not survive a 4th escape.

Good luck.

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Tess only bolted one time, and not with me, with my brother. She was startled at the beach by several kite surfers on a very windy day. I don't think she would have bolted with me, she trusts me a lot more and her default behaviour when startled is to come to me. Anyway, problem there was that he didn't recognize the stress signs imediatly, not being as tuned with her as I am. I can tell if she's uncomfortable right away and leash her imediatly if needed.

 

So, if your dog is bolting, there's something there that has or is troubling him. Keep a leash on him always when there and look closely at his behaviour to detect when he feels uncomfortable and what may be causing it. If you are able to determine cause, you can then hopefully work on it. But for the time being, just don't give him any opportunity to be able to bolt. If you find he is consistently uncomfortable there and can't find a cause, stop going there for a while. He might forget and get over whatever upset him.

 

At christmas my bf, Tess and I went for a walk. They where walking a bit ahead of me and he had her off leash and was working on her walking at heel (there where no cars). Then a firework went off and instantly I yelled, leash Tess imediatly.

Of course he had to ask why instead of just doing it. So I called her, leashed her and then explained - fireworks, duh. She's going to shut down a bit and stop listening to you! Thing is he just didn't see the potential problem right away, and that's what creates potential danger.

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  • 1 month later...

I know this post is a month after other postings, but I thought I would add to the conversation.

 

I adopted a bc mix seven years ago who was very, very sound sensitive. He is a very sweet boy, but had been through a lot of bad treatment and had been dumped (literally pushed out of a car). We found out after we brought him home about the fear issues with different sounds. Even the sound of sneakers squeaking on a floor would scare him! It just takes time and patience, a lot of love and understanding, and good management, meaning don't allow him to get in a situation that will overwhelm him and freak him out! Be aware of your environment and what it is that is scaring him. Let him know, with treats and gentle treatment, that he doesn't have to worry, and that you are there for him.

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I just noticed this topic and decided to go through it. I must say I feel a little bit sorry for Jasmin. It was her first post and the community came down pretty hard on her. I know there is little excuse for allowing such dangerous behaviour three times in a row but then again there are often circumstances we are unaware of. I hope Jasmin returns to the forum and comes to realize that people are just trying to help. Tough love as they say.

Bill

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I just noticed this topic and decided to go through it. I must say I feel a little bit sorry for Jasmin. It was her first post and the community came down pretty hard on her. I know there is little excuse for allowing such dangerous behaviour three times in a row but then again there are often circumstances we are unaware of. I hope Jasmin returns to the forum and comes to realize that people are just trying to help. Tough love as they say.

Bill

 

I get it. I really do. Maybe not on this board (or not in a long time anyways), but in general I've had the experience of asking for help and getting anger or ridicule in return. Of hoping to come back to a thread and see some help and advice and instead just feeling worse and worse with every comment I read. That feeling of dread instead of relief when you see that another person has posted a reply. It sucks. It absolutely sucks. But it can also be a huge wake-up call, whether you asked for one or not.

 

I don't like the idea of making someone feel like shit after they reached out to us for help. But I like the idea of a dog running around on the streets even less. If the OP had shown even the slightest bit of remorse, or acknowledgement of their failure, my response would have been kind. But they didn't. Which leads me to believe that like so many people in so many situations, they really didn't understand the risks and potentially devastating consequences of their actions. Their dog could have run away. It could have been hit by a car. It could have caused the car to swerve into an object, another car, or god forbid, a person. This being near a park, it easily could have been a child. Those kind of risks are not something anyone can afford to take lightly.

 

For every poster on this board, there are a hundred people silently reading. If we upset and scared away the OP here, that's really unfortunate, but if in return we made even one other person realize the importance of taking precautions against this kind of stuff, then it's still a win in my book. In the end, it's not a difficult thing to leash your dog, and it could save you a lot more than some worry and hassle. For the OP, their dog running off turned out in just about the best way possible, but that's really not how it's usually going to turn out. Is it likely that it's going to end up killing a kid? No, of course not. Is it likely that your dog will run off and not come back? Yes, absolutely. And no matter what the outcome, why on earth would you risk it?

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I really don't think the responses are all that bad TBH. You've got a serious situation being presented, one that's potentially very dangerous to the dog and to people, and it's happened several times before the OP asks for help understanding what might be causing it.

 

I've reread the posts and there's only one of the replies that could be considered harsh, but still that post raises some very important issues about common sense and responsibility that really need to be addressed directly and emphatically. So maybe it hurt the OP's feelings a bit, but maybe it will also save her dog or someone from serious injury.

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Well, I don't know about harsh vs helpful, but I can say that there are places where sound carries differently and our dogs' hearing is usually way more sensitive than ours anyway. There are places I've been with my dog, who is generally *not* jumpy, where I notice that his body language is verging on skittish for no discernible reason. Sometimes, if I stop to listen carefully, I can make out sharp, shot-like sounds from a construction zone (?) on the other side of the valley from where we are... or a deep, ominous machine-like hum....

 

There is a hike I've taken Otto on, that goes up onto a wide open mesa. Once as we came up one side, I suddenly heard a high-whiny, swarming bee sound. Otto heard it first, cowered and started to run the other way -back toward the car. A few seconds later up comes this drone from the other side of the hill.

 

I was torn between getting out my light saber and flipping it off.

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My dogs have been known to take great exception to the couple of drones that have come by here. I think if one tried to land here the dogs would kill it. :)

since the OP has not returned, and also based on how that first post was written, I think it was most likely a troll. Nothing was said by anyone that was so harsh as to make someone run for cover, in my opinion.

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since the OP has not returned, and also based on how that first post was written, I think it was most likely a troll. Nothing was said by anyone that was so harsh as to make someone run for cover, in my opinion.

 

Do you mean that people actually go to forums and post nonsensical/stupid/controversial stuff that's not even true/didn't happen just for the fun of seeing how people will react?? Not that I doubt you, but that is strange...

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since the OP has not returned, and also based on how that first post was written, I think it was most likely a troll.

 

The OP my not have posted a response, but s/he did come back on the Boards at least once the following day and was able to read at least 6 of the replies. S/he has not been back since. Doesn't prove or disprove the troll theory either way, of course.

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Teresaserrano- very, very common. Often they will do it to multiple forums at one time.

 

Not that common on boards like these...and this would be an absolutely bizzare choice of topic and wording for a troll. It's just not inflammatory enough. A troll wants to see people foaming at the mouth while they sit back and giggle at how they managed to make everyone freak out over nothing. Some of our AKC-related threads are good examples (though they weren't started by trolls).

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Not that common on boards like these...and this would be an absolutely bizzare choice of topic and wording for a troll. It's just not inflammatory enough. A troll wants to see people foaming at the mouth while they sit back and giggle at how they managed to make everyone freak out over nothing. Some of our AKC-related threads are good examples (though they weren't started by trolls).

 

And they usually post multiple times to get things agitated.

 

I think the OP just decided this was not the best place to get info, not likely a troll.

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I think also people often post to a new forum when they have a pressing concern and some serious time on their hands... and then they just don't bother to go back and visit the site again, especially if their concern is alleviated or their free time curtailed.

 

There are those of us who live a good chunk of our lives on the Internet... and those of us who don't. :)

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