Recalling when they feel like it

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 5:53pm PST 
Definitely up the value of the treats and change it up.

And I second using a long line. I bought myself a fancy one last year as Rexy and I spend a fair amount of time in the woods and I don't trust her to not run deer at this point.

Something like this is really nice: Long Lines
I have something similar and it doesn`t snag on anything, doesn`t pick up weed seeds, and cleans super easily (Rexy has an attraction to mud puddles).

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:29pm PST 
Maybe too much repetition, not enough variation so the behavior wasn't proofed.

Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:36pm PST 
I can't up the reward value anymore, we cycle through her favorites.


I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 9:23pm PST 
Can you use a toy as her reward instead of food?
Or, can you make the food you are currently using more interesting by using movement or sound?

Have you tried using running in the snow as her reward for coming when called?

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 10:29am PST 
Rexy, those lines look awesome. I made Shadows out of climbing ropelaugh out loud

Lily, you seem really discouragedhug It's not uncommon to hit these type of setbacks, please don't let it get you down.

Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 7:52am PST 
I am getting a bit discouraged. I've put so much work into this because she used to be terrified if she got loose or if we called her. If she got loose she would cower and crawl over to us or bolt from fear. If she bolted the only way to get her back would be to open the car door and encourage her to get in because the car was one of her safe spots.

The Monster
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 8:52am PST 
If you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider taking Susan Garrett's Recallers course the next time she offers it. I found it very helpful for Cohen.

I don't have my notes from the course on me, but here's a basic rundown from what I remember:

- make everything a game
- if your dog is blowing you off when you say "come" then "come" is useless, start from scratch with a new word
- teaching your dog hand touches and making them fun and highly reinforcing is a big help - a hand touch can become a recall of sorts
- work with your dog on a line
- don't allow your dog more freedom than its earned - can you bet $100 that your dog is going to recall in this situation? If not, don't call.
- toss food and reinforcement, let the dog get it then take off in the opposite directly, calling its name. It becomes a fun chasing game.
- condition the dog's name to mean "come" as well as another cue so when you put them both together you get a really enthusiastic come.
- work on self control around distractions, and at short distances
- use environmental rewards as reinforcement for recalling
- have a friend hold your dog and do some restrained recalls so your dog is excited and squirming to get to you while being held back (you can loop a leash around an object to hold the dog back while you run a few feet then release too)
- work on recalling to you when you're running, stopping, stopping THEN running, etc, to engage your dog's chase drive

Dogs don't recall because:

- the recall word has become poisoned and is associated with a history of loss
- the dog has been granted more freedom than it has earned
- the dog is not accustomed to being granted freedom in small doses and is not equipped with good decision making skills
- the environment is more reinforcing

There's plenty more, but that's about all I can think of right now. Creating a wonderful recall is about more than just having awesome treats in your pocket. It's about building value for interacting with you, and making yourself the gateway to reinforcement for your pup.
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