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My dear dog, Jade, is good in just about every way, but one. And that one thing is driving us nuts! I know that I am starting with a built in disadvantage since she's a 1/4 Anatolian, 1/4 Pyrenees, 1/2 Border Collie. She was an oops breeding, but is really a lovely dog 95% of the time. She is 2 years old and has been spayed, is housebroken and good with all the farm animals including the chickens. So now that you know her a little, let me outline the problem we have:

She has developed the habit of leaving the farm at a whim, if she's not tied up in the yard or on a leash. She always eventually comes back, but the time it takes her to feel like coming home can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours! We live on a really quiet road, with wide open spaces all around, so it really wouldn't matter that she wanted to expand her territory a bit, so long as she would come when called. I know she knows to come on command, but she had gotten downright willful and insubordinate in the last 6 mos.. It has gotten to the point that once she enters our large sheep/ cattle pasture, I know she'll take off. What really chaps my hide is that I'll call to her when I see she's sneeked into the pasture (it's fenced with field fence, so that should be enough to tell a dog to stay home, in my opinion) and she'll either look at me and then continue running in the opposite direction to the corner where she likes to duck under or jump over the boundary fence or not look at me at all and do the same thing.

How can I allow her to get enough exercise, but keep her from bailing each morning when we let her out of the house? She used to have a nice big dog yard to play in all day long, but I've taken to tieing her up when we leave for work because she's learned to jump over the four ft. fence in the dog yard.
Oddly, she'll stay all night in our front yard, that only has a 3 ft tall fence.
I don't want to get rid of her, but I really am having a hard time living with this behavior. HELP!!!!!!!
 

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While you are at work, bring her inside. While she's tied up she can't guard the livestock anyway. A border collie is bred to work with a human, and being alone all of the time is not good for them. Prys are known escape artists.

As for training: Go out to the pasture with your dog on a long leash, at least ten feet (a rope works fine). Walk with your dog all over the pasture, and every couple of minutes, with her three feet from you, as well as ten feet from you, call her back to you. Praise and treat. Do this all over, especially the area that she usually escapes from. Expect to spend a half hour or more outside with her doing this exercise. I would repeat the procedure every evening (or morning) for three or four days. The next day, call her to the recall when she is farther away from you, ten to twenty feet, but do it all over the pasture. When she is doing well when she is in the pasture, go out with her to the woods, or wherever it is she goes off to, and repeat the training.

Dogs don't generalize, so "come" in the front yard, means nothing in the pasture. You have to retrain them every where. While you are retraining her to the recall, use a whistle as well. If you don't have a good, loud whistle in you, buy one. A whistle carries much futher than your voice.
 

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Maura,
Thank you! for the training advice. I assume when you say that I should, on the second day, recall her to me from a farther distance, like 10 or 20 ft, you mean with her still on a lead, correct? I hadn't considered going into the woods with her. That's a great idea; I see how that could really help her learn to come when called no matter where we are. The reason I tie her out during the day is that she would get WAY too hot in the house during the day. We don't use air conditioning and it's a mobile home, so by mid afternoon it's around 90 degrees in the house. The cats do okay because they can curl up on the bathroom floor where it's a little cooler, plus we leave fans running in front of many of the windows. Also, we're often gone for 12 plus hours at a time, and Jade can't hold her bladder that long if she's gulping water cause it's so hot in the house. I put her out under the big oak trees near the house, so she's in the shade and has room to walk around some and drink and pee if she needs to. She actually seems quite satisfied tied in the yard. She doesn't bark or whine, just lays down and looks around at all the critters roaming around.
 

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(in my opinion) A dog that isn't a livestock guardian dog that's going to stay with the flock ought to be kept put up when they aren't with their owners anyway. I don't see anything wrong with keeping her tied up. I would definitely try Maura's suggestion though, a dog should always come when called. I had a dog that I bought as a two year old, I was her fourth owner, and she had some big issues with come. I kept her on a thirty foot line for a month and as long as I had hold of that line she would come but if I didn't she'd look at me then run the other way. Eventually I give up on the rope. Shock collar solved that problem.
 

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Sunraven,
I have been thinking about a shock collar that has a remote control with it, so I could shock her when she turns to run from me. Is that a good idea? I don't even own a shock collar, so I'd have to borrow or rent one I guess.
 

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farmergirl said:
Sunraven,
I have been thinking about a shock collar that has a remote control with it, so I could shock her when she turns to run from me. Is that a good idea? I don't even own a shock collar, so I'd have to borrow or rent one I guess.
It's the best way, but you need to learn to use it properly. The advantage is that the correction is instant and the dog doesn't connect you with the correction, she associates her behavior with it.
 

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What Tinknal said. It is a very handy tool if used correctly. Mine I got off ebay brand new, it's a Tritronics G3. Tritronics is the best brand out there, they're a really good collar. Mine has settings all the way from just a tiny little tingle all the way to real hot electric fence and has a half mile distance that it'll work. When you first use it put your dog on a thirty foot line, and always start with the lowest setting, some dogs are more sensitive than others. Make sure you collar is good and TIGHT. The studs have to make good contact to give you consistent results, also they make long and short studs so if your dog is on the fuzzy side use the long. Try settings, don't say anything to your dog, until you see some reaction in them- their ears come up or twitch, or they'll look around wondering what that feeling was and where it came from. I say to start on the line because some dogs the first time they feel the shock will head for the hills. You want to make sure to teach the dog to come to you to relieve the shock not to run and hide.
 
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