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Thread: VAGRANT behavior in 5 to 6 month gsd pup Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-23-2014 06:26 PM
John C. Also, although I'm hardly a professional trainer or an expert, but I suspect that your dog's recall was never as solid as you thought. Young puppies naturally want to stay with you. With a young puppy, if he starts getting too far away from you sometimes the best thing to do is to actually move away from him. There's natural tendency is to want to stick close to you because they are insecure.

As they get older, they get more confident and independent. I've definitely noticed this with my puppy -who's now almost 5 months old. When I first got him we'd play together in the yard (which for the most part is away from the road and blocked by trees and underbrush) because he would never go more than 20 yards away from me. Recently he's on leash anytime he's not in a totally secure area because he's become more independent and I can't rely on him to follow me if I start to head away from him.
08-23-2014 02:27 PM
llombardo I just recently noticed a young mom taking walks down the road with her toddler and a baby on her back with a medium size dog off leash. I can't possibly imagine the situation if she needs to either protect her dog or if the dog decides to chase something, well I guess I can imagine it but I don't want to see it. As the person that is driving down the road I would be horrified if that dog darted in front of me. I also would have a few words for her.
08-23-2014 01:50 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I personally would never trust any dog off leash near a road much less a puppy. I've seen dogs with perfect recalls for many years end up dead on a failed recall. No recall is ever guaranteed. I'm not willing to have my dog end up dead for the sake of saying his training is solid and perfect. They are dogs, nothing is solid and anyone that thinks so is not being realistic. This is one area I feel very strongly about and won't even consider it.

I agree - never, never, ever. It's simply not worth the risk. Even in our very quiet neighborhood the only dog we've ever had off leash out front was Sneaker when she was like 13 years old or so. We'd walk down the sidewalk a few houses and back every day, which was about as far as she could go. And she moved so slowly that even if she did start to veer into the street it would be easy to head her off.

Keefer and Halo are very good about staying close and coming back when we're at the park, but both of them would chase a squirrel or cat in a hot second if we let them loose in the front yard. I don't see any reason to spend a ton of time proofing against that since they're always on leash to and from the car, and that's really the only situation where a less than 100% perfect recall might be a problem.
08-23-2014 09:34 AM
David Winners Front yard = long line or e-collar for me and 100% attention on the dog, even on my 7 y.o. working dog.

Recalls are always reinforced.

Like selzer, I will let my dogs out to the vehicle without leashes on, but it's a sound routine. I open the truck door before I let them out of the house, and I accompany them to the truck and then shut the door before I do anything else, like grab equipment or something I need to take with us.

5 months is way too young to expect 100% recall in any / every situation IMO. It may look that way for periods of time, but it only takes one refused command to cost your dog it's life.
08-23-2014 06:31 AM
llombardo I personally would never trust any dog off leash near a road much less a puppy. I've seen dogs with perfect recalls for many years end up dead on a failed recall. No recall is ever guaranteed. I'm not willing to have my dog end up dead for the sake of saying his training is solid and perfect. They are dogs, nothing is solid and anyone that thinks so is not being realistic. This is one area I feel very strongly about and won't even consider it.
08-23-2014 12:36 AM
Originally Posted by Shade View Post
Honestly I agree with Lies, I don't excuse bad behaviour regardless of age. Have him earn that privilege back and show him that disobeying gets those privileges revoked without fail.
Right, because a 5 month old pup recognizes that they almost died in the road yesterday so now they have a long line on. Whatever.

I would take away the privileges or rather remove the ability of the young dog to kill himself because he nearly killed himself. And when I feel confident again that the dog has it down 100%, I will wait even longer before letting the dog be in such a position. But not because the dog realizes it did wrong and now he needs to earn his privileges back again. More, because maybe I jumped the gun with what I thought the pup was capable of, and I don't want to do something that I will regret forever.
08-23-2014 12:33 AM
selzer Ya know what. I think sometimes people expect (and get) so much so fast with a youngster, that they are surprised when the pup acts like a pup and acts not quite so polished as you thought he was.

Letting the puppy into a situation where he might get hit by cars at his age because his training is that perfected, I dunno, I think it is premature.

On the other hand, I let pups at 8 weeks old run from the kennel to my car in an area that is not fenced. And from the car to my house, or to the kennel. They always come. I do not command them to come. I just call them and they come.

It's funny my trainer stopped by as she was in the neighborhood and saw I had the puppies out front. And in the course of them being there I had let some of them out, or was getting them back in their area, and the one went running. They were worried, and I said, "she won't go anywhere." And then I called, "Nellie!" and she came right to me, and I lifted her into her area. They seemed impressed at her coming, but she's been coming to me since she was weaned. I bring the food. I have toys. They like me.

I think they have good days and bad days. There may be something they haven't encountered before, and they want to check it out. But I never think a 5 month old pup is trained. Oh they will come, or I will go the other way, make myself more exciting, I am not frightened when they are loose in my yard. But trained? No way. I tend to let mine be puppies longer than other people. I take them to classes, yeah, but I am not looking for the same goals at the end of six weeks.

Training is a journey, and I am happy to enjoy the trip. I don't mind plodding along in the slow lane, or hanging out behind an Amish buggy for a while. When it does count, I will be able to take any one of the critters out and do whatever I want them to do, even if they are not in active training for months, because once my dogs have their foundation down, it's like riding a bicycle, they have it.

Moofie just finished his first obedience class. He doesn't stay well, his sits are good but crooked and we haven't done much with recall, but his come fronts are good. His heeling is about right for his age. His downs are sloppy but I don't have to touch him. He is 4.5 months old, and I am perfectly happy with where he is. He likes the tunnel.
08-22-2014 11:30 PM
TEZPUR1976 Thanks a lot guys,
This forum is really great.

08-22-2014 11:47 AM
Ace GSD Ace is starting to be a rebel too.... he bark at me and my GF and refuse to return the ball when we play fetch lately
08-22-2014 11:22 AM
Blanketback OP, the big problem you're going to have is that if you call him more than once, you're actually teaching him to ignore you. I'd also suggest having him on a long line so that he has no choice but to recall, after calling the one and only time.
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