Not coming back when out of the yard

Posted by Gem-Lily
Aug 20, 2010
I have a one year old Border Collie named Lily. She comes with me to work everyday and in the back yard we have a gate so cars can pull in. She has been really good up until about 2 months ago when she started to take off out the gate and not listen to me. She will get about 10m away and then just sit and look at me. I will say 'stay' and she will but as soon as i take 3 steps towards her she will get up and move away from me again.

I have tried using treats, food toys to get her to come back to me. Nothing is working?!?

If i have her in the yard all closed off or inside she listens but as soon as the gate is open she takes off and wont listen.

Need HELP she is driving me mad and i end up gettin angry with her. And i know that will not help the problem any.
Posted by kjd
Aug 20, 2010
Hi, Gem,

As you have experienced, when you go after Lily, she considers it a game and moves away. There are several things you can try.

One is to kneel down and open your arms, calling her.

Another is to lie down. Her curiosity as to what you are doing will bring her back. Another way using her curiosity is to turn to the side and start poking in the grass with "What is this!"

A third, and I think the most often successful, is to join in her game. Just change the rules. Turn and run away from her, while calling her. Now she chases you, which gets her back into the yard. You might even be able to get her to chase you into the house.

BTW, since you know she is going to break, don't use "stay." That will only teach her it doesn't actually mean to stay until released. Also, do not use your "come" command when you know you cannot enforce it, until she is 100% reliable. Call her some other way: "Lilly, what's this?" "Catch me, silly dog!" "Over here!"

See if one of these suggestions helps and let us know how it went,
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 21, 2010
Hey Gem,

Things like this can be a bit tricky. I would follow kjd's advice, they are some really good ideas.

One thing I might add, which is what I did with my own pup and our driveway gate, is to only take Lily out of the gate when she's on a lead. That way she learns that the only time she goes out of the gate is when she's with you. Try to limit her access to the yard if you know the gates open, I realize it might be tricky, but you should cut down on her escape opportunities as much as possible. I think this and the methods kjd described combined should help. Let us know how it goes
Posted by drp11n
Sep 20, 2010
i have the same problem with my dog except he will just completely run off instead of sitting near by and he will come back after a few hours. what our trainer suggested was taking him out on a really long rope and letting him run off, then try calling him back and if he doesnt come pull on the rope and call again. if he still doesnt come back pull him all the way in and give him a treat. my dog seems to have teeth of steel and just bites through the rope and runs off but it may work for you