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?
Grimm van den Heuvel, aka "The Doofinator"
My strong-minded, very loving boy