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2-year-old Boxer won't listen at all and runs off and got hit by a car

My 2-year-old Boxer, Betsy, is pretty obedient when on the leash. Off leash, though, she won't listen at all and runs off. Because of this she got hit by a car. She's fine now, but it could happen again. I've looked everywhere for the answer and tried everything, but nothing works.

The answer is, do not allow your dog off the leash, period, unless inside an inescapable enclosure. This answer works and will keep Betsy alive. When she is inside a fenced area or on a leash, work on developing obedient responses that are truly willing on the dog's part. "Pretty" obedient isn't good enough to save a dog's life. I never take chances with my dogs off lead in potentially dangerous areas. Even though they are trained dogs, I err on the side of caution. I'd hate to pit a year or two of training against a hard-wired predatory drive that has been handed down genetically for thousands of years.

Training is great; in safe places it allows a dog to enjoy off-lead freedom, while in more potentially dangerous settings, it's nice to know it's there for backup. When training, never punish, threaten, hit or jerk your dog around on the leash; build her willingness to follow your lead by using positive reinforcement for her desirable behaviors. If during a walk or training session you feel her leash become momentarily taut or you need to use it at all to restrain, control or "correct" her, realize that off lead during those same instances she would be gone. Please follow my instructions, and don't take any more chances with crossed fingers; this is a way to make certain Betsy will not get hit by a car again.

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