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FAO Spaniel Owners

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by SEVEN_PETS, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    Hey

    I want to ask a question to spaniel owners who let their dogs off lead.

    What do you do when your dog goes out of sight after a fox scent or rabbit scent? Do you call them, even though you are likely to be ignored? Do you stay still and wait until they come back? Do you continue walking and they eventually catch you up?

    it is the only thing that Ollie doesn't recall from, and I imagine it must be common amongst spaniels, so wanted to find out what you all do with your dogs. :)
     
  2. PetloverJo

    PetloverJo PetForums VIP

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    Continue walking and they eventually catch up!!! Once they have caught up you wish they would go away again, as they have rolled in the fox's poo:eek:
     
  3. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    Well, I dont have a spaniel but I do have a hunting gundog, and 2 collies who also hunt.

    For me, it depends which way they are running as to whether I whistle them back (i.e are they running towards potential danger - roads, livestock etc). I dont get this very often because I tend to walk them places where they are safe to hunt so I generally just let them get on with it.

    However, they generally do as they are told if I need to recall them and I know they wont disappear completely and will always come back fairly quickly so I tend not to worry, I just continue to walk and they appear a couple of minutes later. If they dont reappear within the normal time thats when I start whistling since they may have gone the wrong way looking for me.

    If you know you are going to be ignored, dont bother whistling because it's only teaching the dog it can ignore you. What about another tactic like a 'leave it' command or a stop whistle rather than a recall? Or is it a case of your dog goes deaf when he's on a scent?
     
  4. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    I call Henry with my spaniel whistle and he usually comes straightaway, unless he's on a pheasant scent, in which case he comes when he's ready!:D

    We walk mainly in woods for at least an hour and a half at a time and Henry is always darting into the undergrowth or trees but he will panic if I go too far out of sight.

    When he was learning recall, I found the best way of ensuring he came back to me was either run away and say "Byeeee" or hide behind a tree and make a game of it! ;) Claire
     
  5. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    I think he goes deaf after a scent. His nose is on the ground, and no calling will get his head up. I mean, if he does find a scent, and he's in danger (ie heading towards a road), then it's my fault for letting him off in a dangerous area. So I suppose the important thing is to let him off only away from roads, and if he does get a scent, just wait for him to come back.

    When they do come back, do you give them a massive reward?
     
  6. SLB

    SLB PetForums VIP

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    Having part spaniel - I have had to learn to let him get it out of his system - but if I can't see him/hear his tags any longer then I call him back. Otherwise I generally carry on walking. I have gotten loads better around one walk because I know where and when to put him on and which part to send him into and which parts I shouldn't. And there is one place I just don't worry about at all - he can go as far and wide as he likes. But if there is a fairly new walk - I check for livestock mainly and how close the roads are just incase he does get on a chase or scent.. I don't want him tearing off onto a main road nor into a cow/horse field.

    I stopped giving Louie a reward and then had to double it when retraining it in again, he normally just gets a huge Yes or yay because he's not big on food/toys when we're outside.

    I would train for the whistle though.. spaniels can travel a lot further than we think after a scent and voices just don't go that far!
     
  7. clairesdogs

    clairesdogs PetForums Member

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    both mine have good recall, Jess before she came to me at 10 months had been in a rabbit pen to steady her up, although she does chase when she is with Ollie!! I do keep walking and they do catch up, I give a few pips of the whistle.
    Have you tried whistle training with your Ollie?

    forgot to add, I play hide and seek, hide behind trees etc, they always dart back to see where I've gone, they then will get a high value treat
     
    #7 clairesdogs, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  8. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    I was thinking about doing whistle training. I'm going to buy a whistle and try it out.
     
  9. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    That is exactly what I do - only take Henry to woods and fields that are well away from roads, especially during Pheasant season. The woods we walk in, in the morning massive and there are no roads nearby at all. Our afternoon/evening walks are usually to local fields and I never let Henry off until we are well away from the road. Spaniels are obviously driven by their noses and often deaf to recall when there is a yummy scent to follow. Don't expect miracles from Ollie - keep him away from roads and do not be alarmed when he goes off for a sniff. I take Fish4Dogs with me and yell "Fishy" and Henry comes running! Must sound like an idiot, though!! People probably think I have a dog called "Fishy"!!:D Good luck with it - I'm sure Ollie will love the freedom. Have you got any large woods near you?? Try playing Hide and Seek with him. Claire:)
     
  10. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    Buy an Acme Gundog whistle - they're tailored for the particular breed of gundog.
     
  11. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    I tend to only let mine off where it is safe and they cant wander off. Hannah doesnt have a spaniel nose but she has a hound nose which is just as bad!!LOL
    I wouldnt risk her getting lost anywhere to far away coz not only does she go deaf but then she panics when she cant find you again and would easily get lost.:(
     
  12. clairesdogs

    clairesdogs PetForums Member

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    Taken from another forum I go on, written by a good behaviourist and trainer!!

    things you need

    Choose a treat or some other reward that is going to be used only for the whistle and nothing else. This reward has to be really high value.

    A whistle that when you blow it you can hear it. If your dog has learned to ignore a whistle then choose a different one.
    I use an Acme 210.5

    N.B
    Before doing any of the following make sure your dog is not afraid of the sound of the whistle. Introduce the sound at a distance and gauge your dogs reaction.
    If your dog appears fearful then think about choosing anther recall cue.

    A selection of whistle sounds can be found on the Acme website if you click on the individual products
    ACME Whistles - Home

    Step 1
    Blow the whistle (Fast continuous pips work well for recall) while your dog is with you and feed them the treat while holding their collar.
    Do this three times a day for a week.
    Make sure you feed immediately after you blow the whistle.

    Step 2
    Blow the whistle while your dog is in the same room but not at your side. When they come, hold their collar and feed them the treat or play the special game.
    Make sure your dog is already on the way to you when you blow the whistle.
    Do this for two or three days.

    Step 3
    Blow the whistle while your dog is in another room. Make sure your dog is already on the way to you when you blow the whistle. When they come, hold their collar and feed them the treat etc.
    Do this for two or three days.

    Step 4
    Blow the whistle while your dog is in the garden and you are in the house. Make sure your dog is already on the way to you when you blow the whistle. When your dog comes, hold their collar and feed them the treat.
    Do this for two or three days.
    Do at least one repetition where you feed or play with the dog (which ever they prefer) for a full thirty seconds.

    Step 5
    Blow the whistle while your dog is on a long line or extending lead in a field. Make sure your dog is already on the way to you when you blow the whistle. When your dog comes, hold their collar and feed them the treat.
    Do this for two weeks. Do at least one repetition where you feed or play the dog for a full thirty seconds.

    Step 6
    Blow the whistle while your dog is off lead but not playing. Make sure your dog is already on the way to you when you blow the whistle. When your dog comes, hold their collar and feed them the treat. Do at least one repetition where you feed the dog for a full thirty seconds.

    Step 7
    Blow the whistle while your dog is playing but on a long line. Start to walk backwards with the line and when your do turns towards you get down to his level, open up your body and blow your whistle recall, keep blowing the whistle until he gets to you When your dog comes, hold their collar and feed them the treat.
    Do this for two weeks. Do at least one repetition where you feed the dog for a full thirty seconds.

    I would add that you should not attempt to blow the whistle unless you are 100% your dog will respond in the early days or even months so your dog never learns to ignore the sound. I would not want to be blowing the whistle twice or else the dog will learn he comes sometimes when he hears it.
    This is why I use the security blanket of a long line more than other folks, because I want the conditioning to be strong. This is so the dog hears whistle and knows exactly what to do, doesn't have to think, just does because that is what happens when he hears the sound.
    When training this, if you can't put your mortgage on your dog coming back then DON'T blow the whistle or you will undo the conditioning process.

    Think about what your dog finds rewarding and use it to your advantage, make the environment work for you rather than against you. Reward anytime your dog voluntarily checks in and be sure to send them away when you have finished rewarding them. I would also hand feed your dog at least one meal a day.
     
  13. Grace_Lily

    Grace_Lily PetForums VIP

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    If Lily and Bailey go out of sight after anything then I call them and they come back, if I knew they'd ignore me when it suits them then I wouldn't let them off-lead like Sam and Finn!
     
  14. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    thanks for this. What I don't understand is when it says "make sure your dog is coming when you blow the whistle". Does it mean you have to call your dog, and once he's coming towards you, use the whistle?
     
  15. clairesdogs

    clairesdogs PetForums Member

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    UNTIL HE STARTS TO MAKE THE ACOSSIATION WITH THE WHISTLE, YES. iT CAN BE A LONG PROCESS BUT i'VE HEARD OF ALOT OF PEOPLE HAVING HUGE SUCCESS WITH IT! Keep us up to date with how you get on, Dont try to run before you can walk!

    Sorry, Just realised I typed it in CAPS!!!
     
    #15 clairesdogs, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  16. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    thanks, just so i didn't misunderstand it. :)
     
  17. Werehorse

    Werehorse PetForums VIP

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    Oscar doesn't really do the disappearing thing but if he does get a bit stuck on a sniff I keep walking and when I get a certain distance ahead he either come thundering to catch up anyway or I say "Oscar, Let's go, come on" which is not my 'official' recall cue so if he is slow to respond it's not devaluing my proper recall cue but it shifts his attention back onto me.

    I'd say as long as he's in a safe area let him get on with it - he will come back eventually. I would give a warm welcome to him when he comes back but not a huge reward. You don't want him start to get into the disappear - come back - get reward sequence because the disappear is part of that!

    I would save big rewards and praise for when he comes away from a sniff while he is still close. Lots of good boys and random treats when he is doing important spaniel business near you. The more rewarding it is to be near you i.e. he can have free dog time and sniffs AND get treats and praise thrown in near you the more likely he is to decide not to follow that big sniff.

    You could try the hiding thing that has been suggested when he does do a bit of a bunk. It may worry him enough to think he needs to keep a closer eye on you in future. It takes quite a bit of guts to do it though because your instinct is to look out for them coming back! It probably won't work quite as well with him at his age then it would with a pup - but you have a good bond with him and he is going to care where you are if he can't find you!

    My rule for recall when Oscar's got a bit iffy was; Call his name, decide whether he was going to respond or not from his reaction to his name, if he started coming back I would put my recall cue and a click in and he'd be straight in for a treat, if he gave me a "cocker" look i.e. "come back? you're kidding right?" I would start walking in the other direction and wait a while before recalling him again. The point? To make sure I only ever said the cue when he was already responding to get that cue cemented in his mind and try and develop a proofed conditioned response.

    I'm really pleased you are trusting Ollie a bit more and being a bit braver with him. :)
     
  18. Wyrd

    Wyrd PetForums VIP

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    Harry is a working type Springer, so is ruled by his nose. I don't let him off anywhere near roads. He is trained to recall to the whistle and I mostly just let him get on with it and call him back when I need him. I can hear him crashing through the bushes and he comes back to check on me a lot and follows me when I change direction, he doesn't really bother with other dogs unless they are right in front of him on a path and then he just sniffs and carries on.
     
  19. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

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    I've had two springers in the 70's and 80's and I just used to leave them and walk off and they would eventually follow, or run through the hedgerow/woods and appear on the path in front with big grins on their faces.

    I will walk off and leave Bizkit and Pippi when they're hunting and they usually appear on the track up ahead and end up waiting for me :lol:

    I'm not quite that confident with Shannow yet because she can run at about 40 MPH so can get very far away in very little time.
     
  20. kat&molly

    kat&molly PetForums VIP

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    Evie, rescue Teckel is my most difficult, but even she will be back within a couple of minutes. I know thats not perfect but I've only had her a few months and shes a Scenthound-its about as good as I'm likely to get:p
    I shout 'this way', instead of 'come' and I turn the other way.
    Wish she were a Spaniel- they're more biddable I think.:)
     
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