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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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COME!

My GSD, Rambo, and I went throught a basic obedience course when he was about 4 months old. We passed with flying colors. He has always been an awesome dog.
Recently, though, he has become pretty bad at listening when we tell him to come (at the dog park, in the backyard, anywhere mainly). I have tried using treats and i even went back to a long leash training. (i need him to come to me when he isnt on the leash though) and he still is pretty honery. does anyone have any tips?!


Alice and Rambo

<span style="color: blue">Rambo--16 months--75 lbs.</span>
<span style="color: pink">Alice -- 5 months --50 lbs.</span>
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:45 PM
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Re: COME!

I would look into another class. While puppy classes are GREAT you now have a teenager on your hands. If he has already learned that coming is optional classes with added distractions would be VERY helpful. If mine get into a funk where they think listening is an option they loose off leash privileges. Period. Come is not a command to mess with. To me come is a life or death command that MUST be listened to. As long as your back yard is fenced you can work on a couple of different methods but if it is not fenced he should not be allowed off leash at all, until he has more training. Which means a long line.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 01:59 PM
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Re: COME!

Quote:
Originally Posted By: AmaruqTo me come is a life or death command that MUST be listened to.
I agree whole heartedly with this reponse you rec'd above.

You might also want to start doing this exercise on a daily basis to help shape your dog's behavior:

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...true#Post959950

Obedience, Behavior, Personal Protection Training

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: COME!

Thank you soo much for your tips! MrLeadFoot, i have been doing that exercise with Alice and Rambo together for a few days now. Should i separate them when i do it?
my primary concern is that my family and i are planning a trip up your way mrleadfoot! we have family in humbolt county and they do not have fencing in their yard so i am very concerned with their safety if they will not come.

also, what kind of treats do you recommend i use? right now they seem to like hotdogs cut into quarters. any other suggestions?

<span style="color: blue">Rambo--16 months--75 lbs.</span>
<span style="color: pink">Alice -- 5 months --50 lbs.</span>
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 02:28 PM
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Re: COME!

you passed a basic obedience course at 4 months old. training for my dogs start at 4 months old. my dogs are crate trained, car trained, house broken and well socialized by 4 months old. all of the good stuff starts at 4 months old.

after your OB class did you continue to work with your dog? how about retraining your dog? find another OB class and start all over.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 03:17 PM
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Re: COME!

I train my dogs from the day they arrive in my house and continue in one way or another throughout their lives. In your case, when you go on your trip I would definitely invest in long lines for both dogs. Off lead in a brand new area with unreliable recalls are not the best combination of scenarios.

I use all kinds of treats including hot dogs, dried liver, tiny chunks of heart etc.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 12:50 AM
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Re: COME!

Heehee...how's that "I can't hear you stage" coming along?
Very frustrating, sometimes scary, and really normal to go through.
I try to keep up on my recalls by doing it everyday, while doing normal things.
At random moments I will call one or all the the dogs to me. I can be doing laundry, I can be watching tv, or I can be doing the dishes. (My youngest, Tasha, actually recalled by jumping into the kitchen sink the other night. Wasn't sure wether to reward that or not....)
When they come they get a treat or praise, depending on their age and ob. level, and then I quickly release them to whatever they were doing.
By doing this, I create a happy recall that has no hidden meaning to them. (Oh no, mom's calling me and I have to stop whatever it is I'm having fun at.) Fenna was playing happily loose in the field at Fidelco today with a pack of 15 dogs but gave me a happy recall from a distance of at least a football field. I gave her a pat and sent her on her way.
At least in your house, there is little danger. If he is being really stubborn, have a bunch of treats and start by saying his name. If he looks at you, mark it with a good! If he comes without asking, give him a jackpot of rewards, and go from there.
On that note, if I am the least bit concerned that my dogs may be distracted, they are on leash. Not all of my dogs are where Fenna is, and some of them are older than her. They all mature at their own pace.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 02:43 PM
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Re: COME!

tchandler,

To me it sounds like you are calling your dog to punish it and when you cannot enforce the command, both common mistakes when people are trying to teach the recall.
Let me explain what I mean by puishment. If you call your dog at the dog park so that you can leave the dog park, you are punishing your dog by ending his fun at the dog park.
Every time that you give your dog their recall command when you cannot enforce the command you are teaching your dog that he does not have to listen to you.
Consistently training the recall when you can be the most interesting thing to your dog and are able to enforce the command will help improve his recall. You may be trying to go too fast with the recall also. If a dog does not have a reliable recall in a very familiar area such as their back yard I do not understand how the dog could have a reliable recall in an area with even more distractons such as a dog park.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 05:04 PM
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Re: COME!

Quote:
Originally Posted By: tchandlerThank you soo much for your tips! MrLeadFoot, i have been doing that exercise with Alice and Rambo together for a few days now. Should i separate them when i do it?
I absolutely recommend that you separate them when doing it. You also need to be careful with multiple dogs in that they can bond MORE with each other than with you, so you're not supposed to keep them together ALL the time. Personally, I believe doing so "dilutes" your relationship just enough to cause "challenging" effort on the dog's parts, because if the other dog doesn't listen, too, then he's got a buddy for mischief, you know what I mean?

Quote:
Quote:Also, what kind of treats do you recommend i use? right now they seem to like hotdogs cut into quarters. any other suggestions?
Some members on this forum know that I am not a big believer in bribing a dog with treat, although I do use them to teach things, but not to reinforce so much, because I personally believe that too easily results in giving them a choice to come for a treat when they want it, but not come if they decide that NOT obeying is worth NOT getting the treat. So, I just use regular kibble when I teach, just so they know that what I'm teaching is something positive and my dog knows that because the ritual of receiving a treat for doing something is just a little something that they get used to so they know I am trying to teach them something.

Something else I don't like about treats is that treats are also given to show love, so dogs can get to thinking it's just a love gesture, so treat effectiveness while training and teaching can get diluted. Again, this is only MY opinion.

Another tip might be that when you do have play time, preferrably in an enclosed area for now, that you sneakily throw in a come command, and if he comes praise like heck, then put a leash on him. Praise some more, then let him go, praising him again. It could be that you've unintentionally conditioned the dog into thinking that when he's doing something interesting to him, that when you have him come to you, it means play time is over. So, doing this exercise often can teach him that come doesn't necessarily mean play time is over.

Another thing that might be happening is that you tell him to come too many times over the course of the day. Owners often do this when they themselves are nervous about their dog not coming, so when they're out playing and the owner senses a situation, like another dog showing up at a park, or kids playing or whatever, that they better tell the dog to come, and end up doing it all the time. Now, the dog is desensitized to the command. If this is the case, start training again from scratch using a completely different command word, but use all the positives that I mentioned, including the "come" game in the previous post.

Other things that can contribute to problems in this area is chasing your dog when playing, or when he doesn't come. Now, he thinks "come" is a game. Another reason to change commands, and in the future when he doesn't come when called once or twice, nonchalantly mosey over to him calmly, leash him then show him what you want by taking him over to the spot you were at when you issued the command. And, stop chasing him, even when playing, period.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 10:52 PM
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Re: COME!

Quote:
Originally Posted By: tchandler....also, what kind of treats do you recommend i use? right now they seem to like hotdogs cut into quarters. any other suggestions?
Recall is a high stakes command, meaning that you want it 100%. I would use a high stakes reward, like the Natural Balance rolls of dog food. Anything can be used, but when you get to the point of distraction training, you will want th really good stuff.

Here are a few links that might be helpful:

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/309

http://dogliness.blogspot.com/2006/0...-reliably.html

http://www.perfectpaws.com/recall.html



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