Help with Re-Call Training

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Chezzy
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:35 am
Location: Wigan, UK

Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Chezzy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:46 pm

Missy (Puggle) is almost a year old now and training has been going well with her since she was 3 months. I am still having problems with recall training though. I lost my confidence a few months back when she was off the lead, she ran down the road back to the house. Since then, I've been reluctant to let her off the lead. The only time I seem to be able to let her off the lead is when she sees her friend (Bailey) who is a springer spaniel. I know she will stay with him and when called, they both come back. I did let her off the lead another time when 2 other spaniels came onto the field and again she was happy playing and stayed very close by until they darted off to chase a little puppy, who ran off from his owner and onto the road back to his house. I called Missy back, and she came back to the whistle. I have practiced lots with her since, even using a long line and she comes straight back to me when called (using both whistle and the command "Come"), but tonight, whilst having taken her for 1 and half hour walk up the canal and back, we got back to the field and Bailey (her friend) was out, so I let her off the lead. She was brilliant for the first 10 minutes, then the 2 other springer spaniels turned up. At this point Missy got so excited, she was playing chase with the other two dogs and they ran near the road. My heart was in my mouth! I called Missy, but she wouldn't respond. Eventually, the two dogs sprinted towards me and of course Missy followed so I managed to get her back on to the lead. I'm worried now that it will happen again and will be reluctant to let her off the lead to play with her friends. Am I doing something wrong? Why won't Missy respond to me?
My Best Friend is a Puggle :-)

Chezzy
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:35 am
Location: Wigan, UK

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Chezzy » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:36 am

I guess i'll just be patient and keep doing what i'm doing.
My Best Friend is a Puggle :-)

Leigha
Posts: 1211
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:02 am

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Leigha » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:59 am

Chezzy wrote:Why won't Missy respond to me?
You're not fun and exciting like chasing two dogs.

This is just a me, personally thing, but... I wouldn't let her off lead in an open area 'til she comes back to me consistently. Not willy-nilly halfsies. Calling her and having her not come back to you is telling her that it's okay to not come back to you if there are better, more fun things going on. So... get a really long line (we have a 30 ft for my dog, but you can make longer out of nylon rope), and work on recall with that. Mattie suggests not letting her pull to the end of the line so she doesn't realize how much room she's got to work with. Before she pulls to the end, you call her back to you. When she comes back to you, have a mini-party. Coming back to you needs to be worth it. Once she's come back, have your little treat, ear rub, "Okay, go play" and let her go back out to explore. Call her back a little bit later and have another party. When she's doing this reliably go to an enclosed area (tennis court, dog park during off-peak hours) and work with the same thing, when she's doing that reliably do it off leash. When she does that reliably you can start working outside of the enclosed area, at first do it without other distractions around though (she's not going to listen when her best friend is there) and don't let her get too far away from you before you call her back. Let her go a little bit farther as she becomes more reliable.

But until she's 100% reliable with recall I wouldn't let her off leash near her friend.

Someone else might have different, better advice, like I said--this is just a me personally thing. Where I live we have to abide by leash laws, so the only place my dog can be off leash is in a backyard or in a dog park. We just keep him on a really long line and let him explore and do his thing that way.

Chezzy
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:35 am
Location: Wigan, UK

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Chezzy » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:48 pm

Thanks for your help Leigha. Will keep working on her with the long line. I'm sure we'll get there in the end. It just gets so frustrating at times especially when she needs a good run.
My Best Friend is a Puggle :-)

jacksdad
Posts: 4887
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by jacksdad » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:35 pm

In places it's not safe to be off leash regardless of the laws, I use a 15 food leash that I just let drag and let my dog walk around as he chooses, then randomly call him back to me as Leigha suggests. In this situation I don't worry too much about him hitting the end of the leash. I am finding that he is going to the end of it less and less on his own an almost walks a better lose leash this way then when on his 6 foot leash. This gives him pseudo "off leash" time. between his reactivity issues with other dogs, and safety concerns this is the best I can do for my dog right now in terms of "free off leash time"

But when I break out the 30 footer and do exactly as Leigh is explaining I work hard to keep him from reaching the end. with his nose for food this isn't easy, particularly on the beach, but we are working on it.

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Emma&Tess
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Emma&Tess » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:27 pm

Try hiding from her. This will train her to remember to always keep an eye on you because you might disappear. Instead of standing and calling walk or even better run in the other direction while calling without looking back.

tinytwo
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:22 am
Location: Central California

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by tinytwo » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:31 pm

I saw an episode of the show the other day (an old one!) and Victoria suggested calling the dog, and then running off just a bit, so the dog feels like it's chasing you, kind of like making a game out of it.
But, I agree with Leigha about not letting her off the leash unless you know, absolutely, without a doubt, that she will come when you call. If she doesn't come when you call, then she will get the idea "I doesn't HAVE to come EVERY time she calls, because, oh, remember that once I didn't come, and it was fine." :wink:

Chezzy
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:35 am
Location: Wigan, UK

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by Chezzy » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:02 pm

Have gone back to her on the long line and the running in a different direction is definately working, she loves playing chase! he he! She does get distracted very quickly so I'm trying to keep her focus on me especially when other dogs or people come to the field. Thanks for your help guys, will continue to keep you updated.
My Best Friend is a Puggle :-)

tinytwo
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:22 am
Location: Central California

Re: Help with Re-Call Training

Post by tinytwo » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:08 pm

Cool! Keep up the great work! :D

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