Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

How to keep my overly confident dog within sight - always comes back

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Kinsy, Mar 22, 2017.


  1. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi, I have a 10 month old pointer who has excellent recall but has become so confident. I walk her off the lead every day and she will run anything up to 150 yds away in the deep grass exploring. We go to a marsh where there are not any rabbits etc and she is in her element exploring, sniffing and checks on me visually often however, she is becoming overly confident and is now pushing these distance boundaries.

    She will always come back to a whistle and if reprimanded shows an acknowledgment that she has gone too far but instantly returns to hunting and gets engrossed again and slowly pushes that boundary.

    I know I am up against instinct here but it would be nice to walk "with her" and even if we walk with other dogs, she will be off in her own world much further away from me than any other dog seems to be. I have tried hiding from her and she always comes flying back but it feels like she "trusts" me to always be there and therefore can check in on her terms not mine.

    So my question is, how to bring her roaming back to within normal limits - will this get better as she matures. She is very good with other dogs and people so I have no concerns on that front. Not interested in a ball - rather other dogs etc.
     
  2. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    15,990
    Can you elaborate a little on reprimanding, please?
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,926
    Likes Received:
    11,516
    Isn't she just doing what a pointer is supposed to do? I've never had a HPR breed, but wouldn't expect the expression of breed traits to improve with age.
    Don't reprimand her when she's gone too far away, unless possibly if you have to go and get her. Even if she's gone too far, and recalls, the last thing she did was come back; you don't want her to think she's being told off for doing that.
    How about taking treats out with you, and calling her back as soon as she gets to the distance limit you want? She should learn that staying closer is rewarded, and it should become habit. I overcame my rescue dog's reluctance to recall with the 'Ziggy come' game - frequently calling her back, giving her a treat, sending her off again.
     
    lorilu likes this.
  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    13,882
    Likes Received:
    22,113
    i know you say she is good with people and other dogs, but what would happen if she comes across a dog that doesn't like her and starts a fight and you are too far away to do anything to help her.
    She is coming into her teenage years and she may stop being so willing to recall as well as she is doing now. I think you need to keep her closer to you, keep recalling her back to you if she goes further then you want so that she gets used to being a certain distance from you. I taught my retriever to 'wait' if I felt she was going too far ahead, which was for her to stop and wait for me to catch up a bit and then carry on
     
    Sairy, Lurcherlad and lorilu like this.
  5. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks. By reprimanding her I call her to me, make her sit and use my tone of voice to ensure she understands that she was away for too long etc. She cowers her ears and then stays close by for a short while before wandering off. This reprimanding only happens when she goes far too far away ie. onto to local golf course or if she has got too far away to hear my call. She knows when she has pushed it - you can tell by her bod language. Perhaps every couple of days as she is usually very good. I take treats and I get the point about other dogs being less than friendly. These instances are becoming more frequent and I am torn between this total enjoyment of the outside space to "at what point does it become too far".
     
  6. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    15,990
    ....surely this is just telling her off for returning to you and sitting??
     
    Sairy, LinznMilly, Lurcherlad and 4 others like this.
  7. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    She cant have it all ways - there has to be an understanding of "if you leave me and think it is ok to run wild then I am not going to be pleased"
    She always comes back usually at 100 miles per hour but I don't see other dogs running that far away from their owners. We have just got back from her usual walk and she behaved well - albeit never at my side - always 50 feet away at least.
     
  8. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    15,990
    Yes, but by calling her back and telling her off, she is likely not understanding at all that she is being reprimanded for running what you deem as too far
     
  9. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,926
    Likes Received:
    11,516
    Those other dogs - were they breeds that are supposed to work away from their owners?
    You can't compare the behaviour of a HPR breed to a lab or collie.
     
    LinznMilly and Lurcherlad like this.
  10. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    12,461
    Likes Received:
    14,435
    Exactly. @Kinsy She doesn't "know" she went too far when you 'reprimand' her. Her perceived guilt is because of your tone and displeasure, not because she went too far. You're likely to make her not want to come back at all, with that.

    Follow the advice given, it's exactly what you came for. : )
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  11. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    13,882
    Likes Received:
    22,113
    I wonder what view @rottiepointerhouse will have on this, she has pointers. Hopefully she will see this tag
     
    rottiepointerhouse likes this.
  12. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you Siskin.

    I took my dog on a pointer walk on the beach and after initially saying hi to everyone she was off in the distance, hunting - all the other pointers were playing much closer on the beach. I know she was the youngest there.

    I love to see her so happy, hunting etc - just want to bring her in a bit!! I will have a go with some of the suggestions re waiting for me and see how we get on.
     
  13. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,301
    Likes Received:
    7,118
    My pointer mix would have been gone over the horizon if he'd been able to go off lead and just left to his own devices. And even my Lab doesn't really stay close. I just call him back if he's getting too far ahead.

    Do you do anything with her on walks? Or is she left to find her own entertainment? That makes a big difference with Spen, if I keep doing stuff with him (a few tricks here and there, a few throws of the ball, a scent game) then he stays much closer than he does if I just walk and leave him to his own devices apart from calling him back if we see anyone or he gets too far ahead.
     
    Rudydog, Sairy, lorilu and 2 others like this.
  14. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you Sarah1983, I hadn't considered this approach. She has not been interested in a ball, preferring playing with other dogs but I guess its like kids - you need to keep changing your approach as their needs change. Will try bringing a ball but not giving it to her all the time to keep her guessing.
     
  15. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    18,718
    Likes Received:
    29,814
    Hello Kinsy - welcome to PF and welcome to the world of owning pointers :D

    I can't tell from the photo whether yours is a GSP or an English variety??

    The most common search on google used for pointers is "pointer running off" so I am afraid it does pretty much come with owning them. They are known to work considerably further from their handler than other HPR breeds. You might be lucky and get one with less drive who is happy to walk next to you playing with a ball (usually show/pet breeding) but if you have one from working lines expect to spend the next 10 years or so working out how to harness her drive and work her on a walk. Gone are the days of ambling along chatting to other people not watching your dog :Hilarious:Hilarious

    We've had two GSP's who were pretty good at exploring but always coming back to the whistle and running a figure of 8 around us so always checking in. Then Arthur the English pointer landed and everything we thought we knew went out the window. He is not interested in treats or toys or playing with our other dogs when on a walk - you can stick best steak or roast lamb on his nose and he won't eat it if there are smells around. Initially we went down the standard dog training route but then were lucky enough to have some help from a kind working trainer who taught us that Arthur was running out then working the ground back to us and how we had to learn to control/direct him to the whistle. We spent months working him on a long line to the whistle - standard is one peep means stand still (or drop if you are a clever clogs) and wait there, two peeps means "this way" or change direction and three peeps means come back to me. His reward is "get on" or releasing him to run again. Our boy never really cooperated with the come back to me so we used to change his direction towards us then do a wait. Unfortunately having been a stray from Ireland and from working lines despite our best efforts over several years we could only ever trust him in remoter areas away from roads and livestock and even then and with the benefit of a tracker collar we have lost him or should I say not able to get to him before he moved off again with his nose ruling his brain and training. In the end we gave up and keep him on a lead or long line now but he is getting on in years. The only time he can be trusted off lead and will "play " is swimming in a pond after big sticks.

    Here is a quick video taken In the days when we did let him off which shows him working to the whistle



    @BlueJay is correct, never reprimand when she is back sat in front of you, that must ALWAYS be a positive experience. Can you find a positive reward based gundog trainer in your area who can help you with understanding how to work her - I don't mean take her out with the shoot - just using her nose and working to the whistle? please be careful though as there are a lot of old school trainers into "show em who is boss" or worse still shock collars. Hope that helps :)
     
    #15 rottiepointerhouse, Mar 22, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
    Sairy, LinznMilly and Lurcherlad like this.
  16. Kinsy

    Kinsy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you so much for this. Our dog is 3/4 G wirehaired Pointer and 1/4 Vizla (if that's how you spell it!) from a working family but very much a family pet. Apart from this roaming she is great and I guess you are right - I have to sacrifice the chatting on walks and put up with the glares of other owners wondering why my dog needs to be so much further away than theirs. Lots to think about and need to put in a plan for "whistle work" - keen to do this in-house as all other training has been successful. Thanks again.
     
  17. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    18,718
    Likes Received:
    29,814
    @Kinsy - I forgot to say if you are walking her at a marsh she is probably picking up lots of bird scents.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  18. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    18,718
    Likes Received:
    29,814
    If you are going to try training it yourself work on putting whistle peeps to actions so if you are brave you could try teaching her a drop - close at first then from further away - when she has the hang of it add in the one peep on the whistle and a hang signal (point at the floor), on walks in a jolly chase me sort of way call "this way" then start adding the two peeps and point your arm in the direction you are going etc etc.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  19. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,647
    Likes Received:
    2,602
    I would say her roaming is within normal limits and if she has good recall and checks in regularly then I wouldnt say you have a massive issue. When I walk in certain heathland places my dog can be several hundred yards away from me and as long as it's safe for him to be that far away (i.e no roads, nobody else around etc) then I just let him get on with it. Do you have a stop whistle, or a turn whistle? If your dog is getting too far away you could change her direction or make her stop and sit. I would also try walking her in boring places like the local park where there isnt anything to hunt and the only entertainment really is yourself.

    If you have a dog who is obsessed with hunting then you should never really allow them to free hunt otherwise they go self employed and only have one thing on their mind. It sounds to me like you have allowed her to free hunt too much. Perhaps try going to some HPR gundog classes or a trainer so that even if the dog is hunting, you can teach it to work with you and not for itself.
     
    LinznMilly likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice