Originally Posted by LauraGSD
Hi, this is my first question on his forum so please forgive me if I'm inexperienced. My German Shepherd, Laura, is an outside dog. She would be an inside dog but she was hit by a car in October and we have a lot of hardwood in our house that she slips on and gets really scared and hurt. Don't worry, she always has blankets, a bed, and a heat lamp on her in the garage during winter. Anyway, we let her out very often because she obviously cannot run around in a cage so we rarely put her on a leash. This off leash play time becomes problematic because SHE RUNS OFF! EVERY TIME! We have a very large backyard with woods in the back and she ALWAYS TAKES OFF IN THE WOODS AND COMES BACK WHEN SHE FEELS LIKE IT! I'll be running around with her and then she'll start taking off, I'll call her and say "Kommen!" (She's been trained in German since we got her at 6/mo) and she turns around and looks at me and just takes off again! Please help! It's very frustrating!
Yeah, no doubt that's a pisser....I hate it when a dog doesn't come back when called. The current shepherd I have is probably the best at the recall of the 3 which I have had over the years and it seems to be completely food/treat oriented...yeah I give her a ton of loving as well when she comes charging back inside the house. I wonder if you need to evaluate what she is coming back to??? If she is coming back to a place of confinement which is of no appeal compared to romping around in the back 40, I would do the same as your pooch.
My current GSD is my third and I have learned from my past failures...especially with the recall. From the very beginning, with my new pup, EVERY time I told her to "come" back into the house...it was a freakshow of treats and loving and I ALWAYS took opportunity of feeding time. Now, I can either say "come", "treat" or "are you hungry" and she comes a charging even if the neighbor's 3 dogs are out running the fence with my gal. I have a long way to go with my current shep but I have put a super premium on the recall....every time she comes to me when called she gets praise and/or treats..and I mean every time. I believe the process you have to undertake will involve consistency, repetition and a huge emphasis on a wonderful reason for your dog to want to return to you when called. Yes, I know there are folks in here who have more of a magic touch but what I have accomplished with my present pup is great but it has strictly been accomplished via praise and reward....she knows most anything she will get for coming when called is better than anything outside.....don't know if that is cheating but it sure has worked.
Good luck to you on your endeavor and I'm sure if you throw yourself into it and get your pooch to understand the best things in their world happens when they come when called...you will win the day.