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Old March 4th, 2006, 06:33 PM
Suzan Suzan is offline
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Un-reliable recall

I have a well trained, but hard headed, German Shepherd with a strong hunting drive. She knows her basic obedience very well but occasionally, when off lead, decides where she wants to go is more important then coming back to me immediately.
This morning she was off lead and suddenly decided to go check out a place where a couple of cats have been seen. When I called her, she laid her ears back and picked up speed, to go where she wanted to. She came back within 5 minutes (before I could get there to get her) and I put the leash back on immediately and headed home.
I am at a loss as to how to get her reliable when she sees or smells something enticing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. FYI I do not have an enclosed yard available and we walk 5 miles a day.
Suzan
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Old March 4th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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If you have a dog with an unreliable recall, you must not let off the leash for now. If you do you're teaching her she doesn't have to come when you call.

Get a very long - 50' or longer - line and keep her on it. Let her range around at the end of it, then call her. Give her 3 seconds to comply, do not repeat the command, then reel her in.

You must do this until she comes every single time you call. This way she will learn she must obey.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
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Lucky is right!

I have a hound so un-reliable recall is always at the forefront of my mind!

If you use a long line, make sure your dog comes all the way so you can touch her collar (its not good if she comes back but stays out of reach of you!)

Leslie Nelson's "Really Reliable Recall" is probably the best resource out there!

Only use "come" for pleasant things - it is best not to say "come" and then clip her nails or giver he a bath.

Also, perhaps changing her recall word will help. If you train her with a new word, make sure she knows that this one mean "get over here NOW!!" - not after you sniff!!!

I play hide-and-seek with Dodger so he is always keeping an eye out or looking for me and not the other way around.

With a long line, you are controlling the circumstances so your dog never thinks that come is optional. If she doesn't come, you reel her in (and if you are using treats, you can show her the reward but she doesn't get it - only praise since she didn't listen)... If she's not on-leash and you don't have that control. Do not call her, just go get her (if the odds are against her coming right away)! Otherwise she is just learning to ignore the come command!

I use a variety of "come" based commands with Dodger: "this way" - to make sure he is coming the right way but he doesn't have to be close to me; "with me" where he needs to stay in a 10 foot radius of me, "close" - wherever he is, I need him right beside me; "come" - only used when it is imperative that he come immediately (so it is very rare for me to say "Dodger Come" unless we are practicing and he's getting rewarded for coming!)
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Good steps in the right direction but 'reeling' a dog in still doesn't teach them to come. Sure I can pull a dog to me but did they learn anything or choose to come to me? It needs to be her choice out of respect for you. I would rather you start on a short leash and begin again.
Coming to you is about respecting your word - it is not a game. Come is the most important instruction there is as it can save his life. It can take minutes to teach, but longer (not months or years) to practice and reinforce.
Every time you ask him to come and he doesn't he is challenging you. Are you going to make me come? So, because he is in the habit of making it a game and blowing you off - he goes back on the leash until he shows us he can be trusted. The leash is your tool to empower your words.
Here is our version of the come.
Come = come straight to you, sit in front of you and look you in the eyes waiting for the next direction.
You start with the dog in the house on a 6 foot leash. You call him to 'come' in a super happy tone (the party is over here - attitude), if he ignores you say 'no' in a firm, sharp tone, give a leash correction and when he looks at you get happy again and invite him in. You might have to correct his bad choice a few times before he decides to cooperate. He should happily come to you as you vacuum him in with your happy and loving tone.
If he veers from any of this - you continue facing him and back away with a sharp (not loud) "NO" and a slight leash correction. He should look at you and then you get super happy and ask for the 'come' again in a very happy tone. The idea is that you pressure him for making the wrong choice - not coming or veering off - and reward him for any effort in the right direction. Even if his eyes leave you (if his eyes are not on you neither is his brain), then you correct him, but the very second he is looking at you again you have to get happy. You are telling him that the best place to be is with you and any other choice will be pressured. You might even interrupt yourself as you change from correction to reward and correction and reward again. You have to be able to respond as quickly as he changes his mind. When he is sitting in front of you and looking in your eyes then you can release him with lots of enthusiasm. ALL of this is done on the leash to empower your word - but as soon as he is sensitive enough to respond to just your word then you are starting to get off leash - which can happen in minutes not days.
Each step in the teaching of any cooperative action must be done in successful sequences. From a good 'come', move onto the 'come' with distractions - introduce a toy. Put him into a sit-stay and toss the toy a few feet away. Release him to it and call him back. Using the pressure and release methods to advise him on his decisions. As you are successful, put him on a longer leash and throw the toy further away. Help him to understand that the toy is part of the fun, but that his playing "keep away" will stop the fun and cause you to pressure his poor choices. Now move outside with this game, and begin again with shorter distances working towards longer distances as he earns them.
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Last edited by tenderfoot; March 6th, 2006 at 07:22 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Suzan Suzan is offline
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Recall

[QUOTE= If you do you're teaching her she doesn't have to come when you call.

Yes, I came to that conclusion today when after 2 minutes she took off again. She was doing better a month ago when I started letting her off lead.

>Get a very long - 50' or longer - line and keep her on it.

How do you not get this tangled.? Do you use rope or webbing or what? I have been using a Flexi lead which gives her 24 feet. And she does come every single time immediately when on lead.

Suzan
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Suzan Suzan is offline
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Un-reliable recall

>If you use a long line, make sure your dog comes all the way so you can >touch her collar
This isn't the problem... she comes and goes directly to heel when she comes..(G)

>Leslie Nelson's "Really Reliable Recall" is probably the best resource out there!

I will look for this.... any suggestions as to where to find it?


>Also, perhaps changing her recall word will help.

Perhaps I will try to go back to the German she was originally trained in. Good idea.

>I play hide-and-seek with Dodger so he is always keeping an eye out or >looking for me and not the other way around.

This worked great with our previous GSD who was very "attached" "dependant" on me. We got him at 3 months and kept him tied to our belts for over a month. He wouldn't let me out of his sight.
Kaya, on the other hand, came to us at 6 years of age as a rescue and is very independant. More like the Canaan Dogs I had previously then my last GSD.

> If she's not on-leash and you don't have that control. Do not call her, just >go get her (if the odds are against her coming right away)! Otherwise she is >just learning to ignore the come command!

She won't be off lead again unless after some time we find a fenced place. Today's incident she took off to "visit" with a neighbor dog when we were still walking a half mile away. The neighbor almost had a heart attack though Kaya and his dog have played and met previously. By the time I got there, he had put her in our entryway.

>I use a variety of "come" based commands with Dodger: "this way"
Yes, I've done this also... using heel when I want her right at my side, "stay close" when she has to stay within the 6 foot leash length and "OK" when she can roam either at the end of the Flexi lead or off lead.
Suzan
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Old March 6th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Suzan Suzan is offline
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Un-reliable recall

Elizabeth and Doug:
Thank you for your ideas.

>. It can take minutes to teach but longer (not months) to practice and reinforce.

Are you saying that it would take weeks.... or years....?

>You start with the dog in the house on a 6 foot leash. You call him to >'come' in a super happy tone (the party is over here - attitude), if he >ignores you say 'no' in a firm, sharp tone, give a leash correction and when

When we reach for her food bowl she is there! No come is necessary! The only time she doesn't come immediately is when she smells a wild animal around ( rabbits and squirrels) or gets excited with another dog or cat. I am working on this on lead with treats when she comes immediately.

>a good 'come', move onto the 'come' with distractions - introduce a toy. Put >him into a sit-stay and toss the toy a few feet away. Release him to it and >call him back.

This is something I haven't tried. She does not like chasing toys or balls... but it sounds like a good opportunity to practice the recall on lead at home.

Thanks for your help.
Suzan
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Old March 6th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Oh no - it should takes minutes to days. I better fix that post!

Thats why we don't treat train. It's not usually reliable when the distractions are better than the treats.

Use what ever works as a distraction - someone petting, a toy, a bone etc.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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phoenix phoenix is offline
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long lead

[QUOTE=Suzan][QUOTE= If you do you're teaching her she doesn't have to come when you call.

Yes, I came to that conclusion today when after 2 minutes she took off again. She was doing better a month ago when I started letting her off lead.

>Get a very long - 50' or longer - line and keep her on it.

How do you not get this tangled.? Do you use rope or webbing or what? I have been using a Flexi lead which gives her 24 feet. And she does come every single time immediately when on lead.

Suzan[/QUOTE]

Go to a tack store for horse/equine supplies and ask for a longe line. They are very long webbing, strong enough for horses. They don't tangle very much but can get caught on things so use in an open area.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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The thing with a flexi lead is there is always a certain amount of pressure on the dog (from the spring mechanism) so the dog is always aware of you. With a rope (we used a 100foot nylon rope), the dog forgets about it soon enough. For sure it works better in an open field than in the woods...
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Old March 8th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot
Thats why we don't treat train. It's not usually reliable when the distractions are better than the treats.
I seriously have to disagree with this statement...Only when treat training is used as a bribe is it a problem...Clicker training and positive reinforcement training are used by zillions of handlers and trainers - many in the competition circuit. Clicker training is not bribing! And your dog is still working for you (NOT a treat) - you are keeping him motivated and marking and rewarding him for learning something new.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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I understand where you are coming from Lisa. But why are treats used if it is not treat training? I know clicker training is all the rage and many of our clients have tried that route but come to us because they didn't like using having to carry a clicker or use treats.
We have worked with tons of dogs who win blue ribbons in OB all of the time, but if you don't have your bit of liver they won't budge for you. So I don't consider them very well trainined and certainly not working for their person.
I understand that if clicker training is done properly then you should wean from the treats. But why even have a clicker? It is simply a replacement for your voice and touch - I don't see the need.
I think I might get in trouble here for thread jacking. sorry mods! I know we have all had this conversation before and don't need to rehash it. I just think that some people love to click & treat and thats great, but its certainly not for everyone. Just as our methods may not be for everyone.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
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I'll PM my response because my intention was NOT to turn the thread into something else. I just wanted there to be 2 sides for lurkers.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:34 PM
Suzan Suzan is offline
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Recall

Thanks all for your comments and ideas. I will certainly get a long line... in fact, I think I may have one in storage from some tracking I did some time back. I hadn't thought that the spring on the flexi-lead would be a cue for her.
Suzan
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