4.5 Month old puppy losing recall? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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4.5 Month old puppy losing recall?

Today was a bitter-sweet day at the dog park. I look over at Einstein and here he is trying to lift his leg and mark the fence. Poor guy was stumbling and falling but I realized how fast he's growing.

Now for the upsetting part - He completely ignored my recall today on more than one occasion. Up until today he was 95% reliable up to 50ft. When I say 95% I mean he would come running when I called him regardless of other dogs, distractions, etc. But today I called once as I usually do (not to go home, I like to call him over to give him a treat and praise and send him to play again) and he looked at me and then continued playing! Of course, I had no way to reinforce the command so I dropped it and tried again later and again he did not come!!! I really want to take him to the off-leash park so he can run around but not without a reliable recall. I'm guessing he's becoming older and realizing he doesn't have to listen to me but I wonder what should I do? I've been training with him daily on recalls on a leash, long line, or off leash and it was fine until today. How should I deal with this adolescent behavior? Any advice will be appreciated!! Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 11:23 AM
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i would continue the recall while the dog is leashed or
on a long line. practice your recall while at the dog park.
after working on your recall then release your dog to play.

if your dog doesn't come when you call him
go and get him and start practice the recall
again while leashed.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 11:49 AM
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At 4.5 months old, it's not really that he lost his recall...it's more that he probably never really had one. When our puppies are small they come with a lot of social attraction. It's hardwired into them and they will stay with you and come when you call in much the same way that they would stay with their mother. As the grow up, some of that social attraction is gone and they start to become more indpendent so before where you were relying on that to help motivate in addition to the treat...you can't anymore.

Agree with the above suggestion. Work on a line and build the distractions. If he doesn't listen, then you can use the line to reel him in so he learns that "Come" isn't an option.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I understand JKlatsky's point but I wonder since I've worked with him on associating "come" with running to me beforehand and up until recently even while wrestling with another puppy he will come running as soon as I call him. I also have gone through the steps of 6ft leash -> 10ft leash -> 20ft leash -> 30ft leash before letting him run around in the off-leash park. I guess he's just growing up and becoming more independent. I'll go back to basics I guess and work back to the 30ft line.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 02:07 PM
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Was this the first time you tried it at a dog park? Just curious because Mac did not listen to us at the dog park. A guy there said its because he's over stimulated...I don't know...

Trainer said exactly what JK said. Mac wasn't losing his training...he isn't fully trained yet. Make sense? She also suggested exactly what doggiedad said. Keep up the good work & good luck!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Mac's Mom, thanks for the reply. This wasn't the first time I brought Einstein to the dog park. In fact, I've been taking him there every morning so he can play and run since he got his last set of shots (2 weeks ago, but I've been walking him on streets and socializing him since he was 10 weeks old - now I just added the freedom to go to parks where a lot of dogs defecate). This was simply the first time he did not listen to the command. He looked up as he heard it, but then went back to doing what he was doing. Like I said it never happened before. I could call him over while he's wrestling another dog or chasing a baseball and he'll come running back to me.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 02:23 PM
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Interesting. I'm impressed you have him that well trained at 4.5 months. Good work. Good dog. Now that I think about it...even when not at the park...Mac looks at us and looks away. Like right now...he's in the garbage...gotta go LOL
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoitzrimz View Post
Hi Mac's Mom, thanks for the reply. This wasn't the first time I brought Einstein to the dog park. In fact, I've been taking him there every morning so he can play and run since he got his last set of shots (2 weeks ago, but I've been walking him on streets and socializing him since he was 10 weeks old - now I just added the freedom to go to parks where a lot of dogs defecate). This was simply the first time he did not listen to the command. He looked up as he heard it, but then went back to doing what he was doing. Like I said it never happened before. I could call him over while he's wrestling another dog or chasing a baseball and he'll come running back to me.
Probably a chick was involved...lol You are doing great just keep it up and he will do fine. If you have this control @ his age he already knows you are the boss he is just testing the water . Go and get him and do it again he knows what you want . good job
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 10:37 PM
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For me a whistle is very effective. I got one of those metal whistles you can adjust that for the most part are at a higher pitch than humans can hear.. I spent about half an hour with him in the back yard.. put him a 15 foot line in the yard and took his favorite toy (the loudest squeaker) and a bag of treats with me. I'd make him sit and then walk away. I'd call him and blow the whistle. The whistle got his attention and he knew I wanted him to come, but it was the toy that actually got him to come.. I repeated this over and over for a while giving him treats for coming of course and after just one little training session we can go out anywhere and if I blow that whistle he comes. I realize not all dogs are the same so I'm pretty lucky, but hey it might work for you. Pups do get a little rebellious, but they remember things pretty well unless you quit having them do it. You just have to reinforce your previous training and get a little routine going to ensure it sticks. Every morning, Blitz and I go over the basics, sit, lay down, stay, wait, come, go to your spot, go to your crate and shake (semi useless, but entertaining). Takes us about 10 minutes, but he gets a treat so he isn't complaining yet.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 10:45 PM
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4.5 months and he ignored a recall? That's a huge shocker. Give it another 6 months and call me in the morning.
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