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Teaching recall

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Rhi and Cai, May 19, 2010.


  1. Rhi and Cai

    Rhi and Cai PetForums Junior

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    Hello there ^^

    I have a seven month old pug puppy and I'm a bit nervous about working on his recall skills. I've tried him off the lead in the back garden but he just takes off and runs in circles like a puppy possessed! :lol:

    Obviously, I can't have him doing that outside the garden for fear of cars, him not returning at all, or even, dare I say it, him being stolen.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm very new to all this and just want the best for my boy ^^

    (an example of Cai in his "milgi mode" as I call it :lol:)

    [​IMG]

    Also, I noticed in this picture that he isn't wearing his collar. He usually is wearing it, DEFINITELY if we go out. Didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea ^^'
     
  2. Merry Dogs

    Merry Dogs PetForums Member

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    You could use a training lead (an extra long lead) to practise recall. You don't use the lead to actually pull the dog towards you, just to stop it wandering off. The Company of Animals/Halti one comes with instructions.

    You could practise with the lead in your garden, then practise in a park/other suitable places, once he has got the hang of it.

    They come in various lengths - and also various widths so you can get thinner ones for smaller dogs. (Ebay usually have some)

    Love the pic - he looks a very happy, very enthusiastic boy.
     
  3. Rhi and Cai

    Rhi and Cai PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for the advice, Merry Dogs. I'll be sure to try that!

    He's a very enthusiastic boy. I think that's the best word to describe him :lol:
     
  4. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    A long line sounds good. Also I dont think its bad if he runs in circles. The first thing my oldest Chi does when his lead comes off is zoom off and run gigantic circles around me, then he is abit calmer the rest of the walk.
     
  5. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    Love the picture, he really looks like he's enjoying himself :D

    I have a Mali puppy who also loves to run and she's fast. Luckily she's great at recall so I can let her off lead and let her run daily. But that has been my goal since the day I got her and I've trained her with that in mind.

    I started simple, by teaching her her name. I did that by saying her name, Chansa, and then I rewarded her with a treat when she looked at me. Of course I did this inside where there were no distractions. After a while (a few days) I started to say her name when she was at the other end of the room and not in "training mode" and I rewarded her when she looked at me.

    After a while I added a "come" to her name when i wanted her to come. I did this inside because there's not as many distractions inside. But I also had her off lead all the time outside. Small puppies doesn't go far and that gave me opportunity to reward her for staying with me. When she could come when called inside I started to call her even outside. Before then I just picked her up instead of calling her, because she didn't know the come command and had I called her and she didn't come I would only have taught her that she can ignore that command.

    At first I just called her when there were no distractions to be sure that she'd come to me. Otherwise she would've learned that she can ignore the command. Gradually I made it more and more difficult with some distractions, but I tried to make sure she'd succeed so I got a chance to reward her. If she didn't obey I went to pick her up. I clicker train and don't believe in positive punishment, so I didn't correct her in any way, except that took away the possibility of reward. Running after a dog that doesn't obey a recall command is pointless; you'll never catch up and the dog thinks it's a fun game. Instead, run the other way and let the dog chase you.

    But I didn't focus on just coming to me, because I believe that recall is a lot more. As a dog trainer, I've never encountered a dog with recall problems that didn't also have relationship issues with the owner. I did a lot of contact training and I also always rewarded spontaneous contact from my dog. If she, for example, looked back at me on a walk I rewarded that with praise and sometimes a treat. I also play games with my dogs when I'm out with them. For example, I hide toys/treats for them to find, we do some obedience training, I have them jump on park benches, crawl under fallen trees, balance on stones etc. That way my dogs think that I'm a resoruceful person who it's best to stick around.

    I've also been very careful not to recall her only when people and/or dogs are approaching, because most dogs quickly learn to look around to find people/dogs when they hear "come". And they also quickly learns that "come" means that the fun is over and it's time to put on the lead, so I recall my dogs often during a walk, only to give them a treat or play one of our little games. Sometimes I put on their leads, walk a few steps and then let them off lead again in order to teach them that the lead doesn't mean that playtime is over.

    My puppy is now 6 months old and her recall is quite good. She loves other dogs and if I'm not quick enough to recall her before they get to close she'll run to them. But she's getting better and I'm sure that she'll be as good as my older dog in time.

    This became a rather long post, but to conclude my tips for you are:

    * Start training indoors, with no distractions.
    * Add distractions gradually
    * Reward all contact from your dog
    * Do contact training
    * Be a resorceful person that your dog benefits from being with
    * Recall often
    * Don't always put the lead on after a recall
    * Don't chase after the dog, let the dog chase you
    * Don't punish your dog for not coming.
     
  6. Rhi and Cai

    Rhi and Cai PetForums Junior

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    Thank you catz4m8z and Vicki ^^

    I already have a long lead for when we go out to the woods or the beach. He usually never goes to the end of the lead, but when he see's people or other dogs, he takes off like a rocket and usually ends up yanking me with him! :lol:

    He already knows his name, which is a bonus, so I'll start today on calling him inside the house. He loves training, and learns quickly (apart from when it came to toilet training, but hey, can't have it all!). Fingers crossed, we should make some progress ^^
     
  7. Rhi and Cai

    Rhi and Cai PetForums Junior

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    I went away this weekend to my family's caravan and it was a great place to try him out off the lead. He behaved very well off the lead, but then again, it was boiling hot and he didn't really want to do anything!
    Although, he did think I was being very rude not introducing him to the neighbors, so he went under the caravan and introduced himself on his own! Lol
     
  8. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    sounds like he is a lovely bundle of fun!

    the important thing about teaching the recall is to make sure the dog comes to you every time BEFORE you try it off lead. you must be able to get him to come to you when you say so with or without distractions. it doesnt matter what words you choose to use for your recall but you must be consistent. My own dog will only recall to Whats this? everything else she ignores! lol funny creatures arent they?
     
  9. the melster

    the melster PetForums Senior

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    We are in the process of teaching Bo recall at the moment .. she is just 7 months. She is mostly off-lead now although we are not near a road where we walk her. The best piece of advice I got on here was to make yourself more interesting than anything else and this has worked a treat for us.

    When we are out walking we wait till she isn't looking and hide (where we can see her), jump and make silly noises, suddenly run away backwards or forwards and making silly noises and doing silly things. Everybody else will think you are a nutter but your dog will be more interested in you guaranteed.
     
  10. Rhi and Cai

    Rhi and Cai PetForums Junior

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    Thank you again for your answers^^

    I let him off again today at a nice big park. He followed me like a little trooper and behaved better off the lead than on it!
    Random strangers needed to be greeted though. He just adores people but not all people adore him! :lol:
     
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