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February 21st, 2012, 02:42 PM
Hello, All

I have a Mastiff that I rescued who has been great but we never went through the puppy stage, we now have added a puppy ( she is 3 months old now) and she is a Wheaten.

We are having a little issue with house training but I am sure that will come with time but my real concern and I am not sure how to approach it correctly is how to get her to listen off leash and to come when called off leash?

She listens in the house and when on a leash.

Thank you to everyone and am looking forward to chating with you all.

February 21st, 2012, 03:11 PM
Welcome to the board, Machunry. Pics of your Mastiff and your Wheaten would be wonderful! :D (Not that we're picture hounds mind you....well, maybe we are... :o I guess we have been known to hound new members till they relent and post some pics! :p)

As for the recall. Best if you can work in a safe area--a fenced-in yard to start with. When I'm training recall, I always want the dog in a place where they can't escape me for long. :) So we'll do voice command recall, lots of praise and perhaps a toy toss when they come--you don't want pup to associate coming on command to the ending of playtime, so make sure you have some time to play before you start your training session. If pup doesn't come, grab your patience with both hands, and walk with a determined, but not threatening, step toward pup and follow her calmly till you catch up with her. Then gently lead her back to where you gave the command and love her up a bit. The idea is to never let her get away with NOT coming to you, even if it means following up with a stalk and retrieve. :D Gradually move to a bigger fenced area as she gets the idea. A dog park is ideal if you can find a not-so-busy time to go (work in the distractions of other dogs later). Again, if she doesn't come right away, you'll have to go follow up. This is not an activity to entertain when you're in a bad mood, btw--when they're off in their own world and ignoring you, it can be quite challenging to stay relaxed and calm.

Keep your training sessions short--remember that a pup will have only a limited attention span. Crouching down and sweet-talking your dog can also encourage her to come a'runnin' when she's quite small. As she gets older, add other commands so she doesn't get bored while training. Training should always be fun and challenging for her.

And finally, we train with a whistle for an emergency recall. Once she gets the idea of your verbal recall, give the verbal command and then blow the whistle while she's running toward you. When we're training with the whistle, the recall is always rewarded with the highest value reward possible--in the Pack's case, that means a treat. I never call them with the whistle during training without treating upon success. They will come hell or high water now, no matter the distraction, if they hear that whistle. We use the whistle as an emergency recall tool--most of the time voice will work, but if they're approaching a porcupine, for instance :eek:, the whistle comes out. We rarely use the whistle, but we still train with it and so far it's served us very well in the field when we've needed to avert disaster.

Hope that helps some. I'm sure there will be others chiming in later. :thumbs up

Dog Dancer
February 21st, 2012, 03:59 PM
Welcome to the board. Interesting mix of dogs there! Like Hazel said, we love pics!

I find with recall that trying to catch the dog (following it or chasing it) can make the dog think it's a great game of catch me if you can. Another trick to try with recall (always in a fenced yard until you have it down) is to have a great yummy treat in pocket and squat down to call the dog. Most dogs will come if they think there's something in it for them. Sound very happy excited. You can also try running the other direction and let them chase you. Praise when they come to you no matter how long it takes. Never punish. It will work eventually, but takes time. And as Hazel says, always end your training on a good note, when the dog comes don't immediately go inside because it won't take long for the dog to figure out that coming means the end of outdoor fun. A short leash walk would suffice. Good luck.