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do ya punish or reward???

i have a 3yr old golden retiever who SOMETIMES likes to run outta the yard..he really only does this once in a while, like for example, today i came home from grocery shopping, so i had the gate open cuz i was bringin in the groceries and OUT he goes..running to the neighbors, across the street...anywhere he can get to..and when i call him, he doesnt come back..well..he will..when hes ready... i call him like 20 times!!! so my i get mad at him for running away?? or do i reward him for coming back?? cuz i dont want him to think its ok for him to do that...but..if i get mad at him, NEXT time he might not want to come back...ya knoooow???? so whats the best way to deal with this??


Asked by alexis_06 at 2:47 PM on Sep. 10, 2010 in Pets

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Answers (8)
  • I would reward him for coming back. If you call him to you and then punish him he will think he is getting punished for coming to you and won't be so inclined to do so next time.

    Answer by luvsmysonjames at 2:49 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • LindaClement, I am not sure how to word this. Dog's may not think, but they do react to the sounds of our voices. If she yells at him for returning he is going hear the loud voice and react as such. He won't want to come back next time for fear of getting yelled at again.

    Dogs can and do react similarly to humans. They feel sadness, understand fear, neglect and abuse. They mourn, they feel bad when they are sick and are quick to be happy when their human returns home from being away.

    As much as your latter advice was spot on, saying that animals don't think is untrue.

    Answer by Acid at 3:12 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • He isn't going to 'think' anything... he's a dog, not a 14yo.

    What's happening is he is being trained by what is possible, and by the reaction he gets to what he explores.

    It is your responsibility (to him, and his conditioning) to control your dog. If he is likely (as in: he has, so he probably will again) to bolt at every opportunity, make it so he can't. Make the gate open a different way, chain him, corral him or keep him on a lead.

    Do you get punished because you let him out, or rewarded because he came back? You are his trainer, and if he is not learning or in control, it's your fault, not his.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:57 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • The first thing I would do is train him. What you have taught him is that come means he really doesn't have to. If you call him you never want to punish if you do why would he want to come? Get out there with him on a long leash and practice his recall. Make the come fun and worth his while. My Golden did this so I picked a treat(chicken nuggets) that she only got when we worked on this command. I also taught her no to dart through door ways. I would treat the gait as a doorway. I also taught her the command "wait" This command I used so that I could go get her when I knew she would not come to me in the beginning. I am not saying I never punish but I am very careful about when and how I do it.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 3:43 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I reward for them coming back, but I also keep a very close eye on them when they are out of the yard. I have found that I can usually see that "I'm gonna run away" thought before they actually act on it, and then I call them to me or make them lay down or just say their names in a warning tone. They will perk up their ears because they see a squirrel or a person walking down the street or whatever, and I get their attention back and remind them that they are expected to stay where they are. Good luck! RUnning away dogs are SO frustrating, I have done my fair share of driving around the neighborhood, looking for my dummies.

    Answer by getrealmama at 2:52 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • We have this same problem with out 3 yr old puggle. I reward him for coming to me but it's been getting harder and harder to get him back .He goes a little farther from home every time he runs and we live by a busy road so I'm afraid one of these times he's going to go toward that road. My husband likes to punish him once I return home with him(he'll only come to me) and I think that is why it takes longer and is getting harder to get him back.

    Answer by lil_angel00 at 2:58 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I would think once he gets back to you he doesn't even know what he did was wrong. I would think if you had gone after him, brought him back home yourself then you could have punished him for running off. So since he came back on his own I guess you should reward him, at least then if he does it again he will remember the treat he got for coming home.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 2:49 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I think he's gotten good at keeping an eye on the open gate.   

    Perhaps tie him down first then do then unload groceries. When you're done then untie him.


    Answer by musicmom08 at 11:54 AM on Sep. 11, 2010