Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

Well, I have no training help. I live in an isolated area, and am working with Grimm alone. I've trained the recall this way:
1.As a teeny puppy, I used food reward.
2.As a very young dog, I moved on to tuggy toy tossed to him reward when I called "Come!" in calm situations.
3.Then as a young dog, the reward became a soft tuggy game, super-short, when called to come during interesting-sniffing-situations.
4. Finally, during the past month or so, I call "Come!" when he is racing full-out away from me towards a stick he sees in the field, or a big rock on the slope that he wants to dig at, etc... as he is in full charge, I call "Come!"-- and now the reward is a brief but fun, vigorous tuggy game, with my full involvement and happy voice sounds of encouragement.

What's happened: I now have a BLAZING fast recall on him, when we are outdoors. I have seen in the past few weeks, him occasionally crash through dense underbrush if I called and he didn't even try to find a clear way around the brush!

Today's Horror: Grimm was on the opposite slope of the valley. A somewhat deep ravine is in the middle. I saw people suddenly coming with a dog offlead down the ravine, and I called Grimm "Come!" He ROCKETED down the opposite slope, and BURST through the brush that lined the ravine-- forgetting about the ravine's 6 ft drop completely! Grimm had launched accidentally by blasting through the bushes without looking in front of him! He was launched airborne..... and tumbled down the ravine's slope. He Limped a few steps, but still continued to run straight towards me like his butt was aflame.

I was horrified. How do we teach them to look where they are going?

Patti
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Grimm van den Heuvel, aka "The Doofinator"
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 06:24 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

What you need to teach is drop - then drop on recall. Then you need to remember to think when you recall your dog (thinking beyond "Oh crap!) ... So that you can, when it is called for, get a long distance drop & stay or when you see that ravine & recognize that you just gave a stupid command (such as recalling across a street and crap here comes a car) you can demand a drop.

It's the human component that usually malfunctions and needs some training on looking, evaluating and thinking. .. At leasat that's how I evaluate most of my situations.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

I thought he would slow down, at least, because he would *remember* the ravine he had climbed up to get on the slope to begin with. What I didn't see coming is that he SHOT through the bushes withOUT looking at all! Gaahh!

Distance drops are not a bad idea in general, though.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 06:59 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

I trained mine to platz anywhere anytime, I taught Erika links and recks as well


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 07:36 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

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Originally Posted By: Brightelf I thought he would slow down, at least, because he would *remember* the ravine he had climbed up to get on the slope to begin with. ....
Which is my point ... more human error than dog error. Dog has been trained to shoot back to you ignoring all distractions... It could have been much worse. Only way to assure against this is to teach a drop. When you teach the "come He** or high water" commands (recall or platz either one) you are training the dog to trust your judgement. We were "attack" by a small mop terrier once. My dogs were on lead. Barker the Younger picked up the attacking menace and began shaking it... I tried "No" a few times until I remembered "Leave it!" "Leave it!" was instantly effective, "No!" was worthless. Human error, not the dogs. (Double human error because terrier's human had him loose in her front yard and she was in a houserobe and slippers ... )

We are training the dogs to abandon their judgement and trust ours.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:35 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

I tried to search, but didn't come up with anything.

What is the best way to teach the down recall?
Sasha is reliable on the recall, but I would really like to add the down to it so I can avoid any mishaps.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 05:28 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

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Originally Posted By: middleofnowhere
I tried "No" a few times until I remembered "Leave it!" "Leave it!" was instantly effective, "No!" was worthless.
Happens to me too. When Yana barks and I say 'no' (my first reaction when on public) she ignores it but when I say 'no speak!' she's stops barking immediately. I just need to remember myself.

How to teach drop on recall and drop on the distance? I tried but I haven't succeeded and I do see what an importrant command this is.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 09:48 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

I've been reading a book by Brenda Aloff which sort of addresses this issue. There's a game in the book that involves teaching your dog to switch instantly from hindbrain (reactive) to frontbrain (thinking) using a 'sit' or a 'down.' You start off at a walk with your dog next to you and then stop and say 'down' (or whichever command you want to use). If they do it, reward them. You slowly work it up to a run where your dog is 'chasing' you and you stop and say 'down' and they instantly drop. As your dog gets better at it, you can work it even further to involve prey items, toys, etc. Umm. . .hopefully that makes sense. If not, I can clarify it. I've started doing it with Risa and she's already up to running next to me and then dropping into a down when asked. She really enjoys this game.

~Jamie~
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

What's the name of the book? Is it a training based book, or did it just mention the down game?

Thanks!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 03:27 PM
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Re: Recall issue: Blazingfast, but doesn't LOOK

The book is <u>Get Connected with Your Dog</u> by Brenda Aloff. It comes with a DVD too (though I haven't watched it yet).

~Jamie~
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