Pets' Corner: My dog is out of control out of doors

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The Independent Online

My Border terrier cross comes when he's called in the house or garden, but he is out of control when we go for a walk. He will enter ponds and refuse to come out, so I've been forced to wade in after him, which I don't find amusing. How can I stop him doing this? Mary Ruteley, Epsom, Surrey

Border terriers are not generally known for their aquatic skills. If you have the stamina to keep up with these pooches, they make fantastic pets. One of the causes of your dog's disobedience is that he thinks it's a game. We need to prevent the behaviour instead of trying to cure it. The more he goes in the water, the worse his conduct will become. You need to invest in a long lead as a training aid that will allow your pup to run, while you retain full control of him. Stay away from the water until you have an excellent recall, and take plenty of toys and treats when you go out on a walk. It may help to feed him less at meal times so he is hungry and therefore more attentive when you show him treats. When you go out for a walk, he should be on the long lead. Make sure you have fun together; when he looks at you, tell him what a good boy he is and play with him or give him a treat. If he goes too far ahead or is ignoring you, go in the other direction. When he comes back to you give him lots of praise and a reward. If he is getting the right amount of attention from you then he will not have to go in ponds.

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