Ever since my youngest dog was born, Chocolate, he has been a stubborn and spirited dog. At every turn he wanted to butt heads with me. His mother, Delilah, my other dog is very obedient. Inside the house Chocolate does pretty well. He doesn’t destroy furniture, rarely tries to eat the carpet, etc. However, once you let him loose outside he doesn’t want to return. I currently live on a half acre of land without a fence. All roads in this area are dirt roads, but that doesn’t slow down any of the drivers, including the school bus drivers.
When I call for his mother Delilah, she returns no problem. She rarely wonders that far off. However, if he is off the leash outside I have to keep an eye on him at all times. Otherwise, he’s gone and I will have no clue as to where he went. The first time this happened he was chasing a deer and ended up getting lost several streets over. He got confused and thought he had found the house but it didn’t smell right. Once I came around in the car and called his name he came running and jumped in the car. Since then, he wonders off and eventually comes back, but still doesn’t want to come inside. About a month or so ago he got lost again down the road. Luckily, I was looking for him and found him. Often times the only way to get him back in, if not on the leash is to lure him with a treat. I will leave the door open and give Delilah a treat for being so good and he will come running in. When he’s on the leash I call him and he comes running inside the house. I don’t have to pull on the leash or anything. Which in the past has tricked me into thinking that he understands what to do. So, I’ll give him another chance off the leash and he reverts back to his old ways.
Since he has this problem and I’m worried about his safety I have decided not to let him have any freedom outside. However, since he is now on the leash all the time, he will try and dart out the door when I enter or leave the house. I hate taking away his freedom, but I just worry about him. He is a high-energy dog and I’m sure he’s not able to exert all the energy that he has, which is part of the reason why he feels the need to roam. That paired with his desire to sniff and check everything out.
Other than putting up a fence, which is being worked on. I am at a loss of what else I might be able to do prevent him from refusing to come back into the house or staying near by. I don’t mind him roaming or playing around the house as long as he doesn’t wander off or into the road. I also worry that since he doesn’t obey me when I call him to come inside that if necessary he won’t obey me, when it really matters.
Does anyone have any idea of what else I might do to curb this behavior? He is a very sweet and loving dog and I know that he doesn’t want to run away, he just wants to follow his instincts, but I want to keep him safe.