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Old 05-31-2012, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Off Leash control/ recall help please

My dog is 13months old, male. So far he has learn the sit/stay/down commands, and also the come command in some occasions. My problem though is when he is offleash...although he knows the basic sit-stay etc. commands when he is offleash he knows that i can not control him so he will do what ever comes to his head. So far he is offleash only in my fenced backyard, so its safe for him. I've tried with treats, he is coming 2-3 times but if he finds something more interesting to do, he will immediately forget the come command and do whatever he wants to do. Its a bit frustrating because he knows the commands, he just knows that i can not do anything so he will do what ever he wants. Also because of this behaviour i only have him offleash on my back fenced yard, but this is not a solution, i also can not leave him offleash anywhere else because i know he will run away or do whatever comes to his mind and ignore me (it happened one time,luckily it went to a nearby house and i got there on time before trouble came up). I devote a lot of time to my dog, play with him for about 1 hour every day (playing with balls-freesbie etc. offleash on my yard) and also i take him for a walk everyday for around 40 minutes, so he is getting exercise-play time . I really have no idea what to do to correct this problem
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Easy fix...put him on a leash lol.

Put him on a long line, and don't let him fail. Reel him in each time you say come. Give a treat. Try again. It will be difficult to break this now that you've allowed him to not listen to you. The first rule of recalls is to not say come unless you can guarantee the dog will come in or you can force the dog to come in. But with time you will be able to break your dog of this habit. Just don't say "come" unless you know the dog will be coming to you. You can even help by just saying come when the dog is already going towards you.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One word: e-collar. Or would that be 1 1/2 words?

Anyway, I had the same problem with my boy. So I got an e-collar, took him to the off-leash dog park, and began training. I would let him run and do his thing and then I would give the come command. If he didn't come immediately, I gave him a little buzz. He started coming to me after that. Now I've gotten it to where I just give a little whistle and he immediately turns around and comes back to me.

However, it's a different story if he's chasing something.. Then all bets are off. Needless to say, we're still working on that one.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wrote an article on training a great recall... worked on my boy, Hunter. I am extremely confident about having him off leash. You can read what I did here:

K9 Instinct - Dog training, dog obedience training, raw diet, raw feeding, minimal vaccines: Dog Training: Teaching your dog the perfect recall.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would re-visit focus...get that down 100% and then continue working on the recall..the long line is a pretty good idea.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I would re-visit focus...get that down 100% and then continue working on the recall..the long line is a pretty good idea.
This is the first thing I would do as well. Keep treats on you and everytime your dog voluntarily gives you his attention, treat him. This reinforces their focus on you. Soon, you won't be able to get their focus off of you!

Quote:
Easy fix...put him on a leash lol.

Put him on a long line, and don't let him fail. Reel him in each time you say come. Give a treat. Try again. It will be difficult to break this now that you've allowed him to not listen to you. The first rule of recalls is to not say come unless you can guarantee the dog will come in or you can force the dog to come in. But with time you will be able to break your dog of this habit. Just don't say "come" unless you know the dog will be coming to you. You can even help by just saying come when the dog is already going towards you.
And this. Until he has a solid recall, every time he ignores you he is reinforcing himself. I recently had a foster that had a very bad recall and after a few days on the long line he would come to us.

You can also play a game where you have yourself and at least one other person standing across from each other/in a circle, and call him back and forth, rewarding each time.

Does he get nervous when he can't find you? If so, you can also go outside with him and when he turns his back, hide and he will try to find you-it will scare him and keep his focus better on you.

I would not resort to physical punishment like an e-collar at this point. There are many ideas you can use to teach him what you want.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My recall rules.

1. Never recall to punish
2. Always praise/reward on recall
3. Never set your dog-in-training up for failure. Do not call your dog if you know you cannot reinforce the recall. Start in a fenced area or with a long leash. Punishment only comes in when the dog fully understands the command but refuses to obey.
4. Never repeat the command (unless you are absolutely sure your dog did not hear it)
5. Don't wear out the command. Don't train repetitive recalls. 2 or 3 per session is plenty.
.. for dogs that have learned the basic recall...
6. The recognition and start to return must be immediate, no avoidance, finishing up what they are doing then coming, etc etc.
7. Random recalls. Don't leave your dogs only "come" of the day to be the one where you leash him at the end of a hike or playing in the dog park.
8. Proof periodically. When in the middle of play, sniffing around or otherwise distracted.

If the dog (already has basic recall training and) does ignore (or is slow to begin) the recall I..

1. Mark the disobedience Immediately with a loud "Naaahhh!", even if it takes you a while to get to the dog to punish, the disobedience has been marked.
2. Got to your dog calmly but deliberately. Even if you have to follow your dog around for an hour, he/she will know that eventually you will get to him.
(at this point my dog know she has disobeyed and lies down and waits for me to get to her. I never issue a second recall to correct the first, I go straight to step 3.)
3. Punishment, no more off leash for at least 30 minutes. (don't get frustrated and moan at the dog and drag it home, carry on on-leash and in 30 minutes you have another chance to train/help your dog again)


The greatest gift you can give your dog is freedom off leash but that freedom must be deserved/earned.

Last edited by pfitzpa1; 05-31-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And this might be of help...

Earning Your Dog’s Respect | Doggy Times
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wild Wolf View Post
This is similar to how we taught Annie recall. It actually worked really well. The first time my husband held her back so I could call her, (off leash) she ran towards me at full speed and knocked me over. The trainer must have laughed for 5 minutes.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Whiteshepherds View Post
This is similar to how we taught Annie recall. It actually worked really well. The first time my husband held her back so I could call her, (off leash) she ran towards me at full speed and knocked me over. The trainer must have laughed for 5 minutes.
It worked so well for me. Hunter has beautiful recall!
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