Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

Kenya comes to me.. sometimes.
but when she feels that im NOT AS interesting as w/e it is shes doing, she acts like she doesnt even hear me. she will even stare at me calling her and just sit there..
how do i teach her to come?
shes about 11 months old
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:14 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

hehe i get this with my 11 week old too. though if i have treat she comes right away.

curious about the answers you get

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:24 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

Be more interesting.
Run away making silly noises. Helps if you fall down & curse loudly, too.
Make sure when she comes to you the fun doesn't end. (That is don't go straight in the house or something like that.) For now, I'd keep treats handy, too.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:58 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

ALWAYS be the most fun thing around and mix up the rewards. Like middle said.... when the dog/pup does come KEEP the fun up. A rousing game of tug can be more rewarding for some than treats but either will work.

When my pups are young we head into the woods. They are allowed to run around and explore but sometimes *I* get lost. I will duck behind a fallen tree or bush and quietly watch. If per chance they wander out of my sight while I am hiding I will make enough noise for them to look back and realize I am not there. They come RUNNING to find me. Talk about a party when they rescue me. This "game" has MANY benefits:

1) teaches them to pay attention
2) utilizes their natural abilities of scent and hunt
3) helps form STRONG bonds with their handler (well the stupid human keeps getting lost so *I* have to find them)
4) builds confidence (see notations from #3)
5) teaches them to stay closer to you which is great when they get older as they will be more trustworthy to be off leash

I played this game once with FIVE dogs that ranging from 4 or 5 months to barely 2 years- all were raised playing the same game. All 5 were romping along a loging path about 25 yards in front of me. About 50 yards in front of THEM 3 deer bolted from the woods across the path. I heard the deer a split second before they hit the clearing. I hollered and DOVE to a hiding place. Within seconds ALL 5 dogs were nudging me and being praised as the deer went completely un-noticed by them. I will admit that scared me as it could have gone VERY wrong. After that I would only venture out with ALL the younguns if I had my eldest male with me as well.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 08:50 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

are you just starting to work on Kenya's recall at 11 months old??
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 09:00 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

Absolutely agree with the above posts - you must be the biggest jackpot ever - the most exciting thing in the world at that given time no matter what you may end up looking like to achieve it ! First find what your dog thinks is the best "reward" (eg tug toy, squeaky toy, food, etc) and then go with that to begin with.

Once this "fun" is "ingrained" then a reliable recall is much easier to achieve and eventually the "reward" will be to come to you (because the dog learns/knows you are the fun one).

Never try to run after your dog when he/she is sitting there looking at you like "um, yeah right....not in the mood" - instead start running in the opposite direction - most dogs will respond to that, especially those with prey drive.

And you probably already know this - never give your dog heck when he/she eventually does come to you....hard to do sometimes but all positive work done can go down the tubes with one bad recall experience.

My 2 cents
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 10:38 AM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

this is a great question and i will be waiting to see what else people have to say. when we first brought niko home i never had to leash him to go potty - now i do. i have about a 98% recall in the house(the only time i don't is when hes chasing cats) outside its much less. and all the running away and funny things i do don't work - he just looks at me like i am an a$$.

so if i take him out to play ball or something he has a long lead on that i let him drag and if i do have to go get him i am able to step on the lead. i can't wait for the realiable recall to come.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 11:37 AM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

"Be more interesting..........." just about puts it in a nutshell. Specially for the younger pups and all the initial training. Using treats helps, but working on a motivating tug toy at the same time is ultimately even better. Prey drive (with a toy) is a much more reliable drive for our dogs. I've NEVER seen my dogs tear off after food with the same speed and enthusiasm they have for a squirrel. 100% fast 100% of the time for a running squirrel. So THAT is the 'reliable' I'd like for my 'come'.

All initial training should have the pups set up to succeed each and every time. I find running away when I call helps with the speed. No movement and standing facing the dog s l o w s them down. I don't even say 'come' just their name and when they turn on that it's to see me tearing off and away from them. When they catch up it's a food reward or game/play. Each and every time.

Only after quite a while when this is clearly working 100% of the time do I start the 'random' reinforcement' . And it's not a sudden and abrupt 'yesterday 100 % reward 100% of the time and TODAY I just use verbal praise'. Instead I start with maybe one time in the day of JUST verbals and all the rest with the toy. Then a few days later randomly choose 2 times with the verbals and the rest with the toy.

So the dogs always think THIS time may get a reward and it's worth the run. Rather than this time they may or may not so why bother............

The 'random' use of the reinforcer (and it's what is reinforcing TO THE DOG, not what we think they should want) I find most of us mess up. We go too fast too soon and lose the intensity from the dog.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 01:37 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

I believe that knowing when and how to do the recall is not as important as knowing when not to train a recall. Everytime that you use your recall and the dog does not come you are training the dog how to ignore your command. When I start training the recall with a puppy or a foster dog I never give the command untill I am already 100% sure that the dog will come. I also never use my dog's recall for punishment- that is anything that the dog sees as punishment. For example, if a dog would rather be outside I will never use the recall to bring them in since coming in would be punishment to the dog. Same if a dog does not like having their nails clipped, being brushed, getting medicine, a bath, etc. You will never have a 100% reliable recall in the real world if you do not have a 100% reliable recall during training.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-25-2008, 04:24 PM
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Re: Recall when she thinks im not interesting enough

At 11 months she tests her limits. You call her, she thinks 'If I don't come to you than what?' And then what do you do? Call again? Go grab her? Correct her? Ignore her? Have you done a leash training and long line recall training with her?

I agree that being the most interesting and fun thing in the world works for an initial training but if you have an independent dog than you need to make one step further and actually correct her for ignoring you. I know it's against what everybody says here but happy dances don't work for every dog forever.

My Yana needed some strong corrections in order to realize that coming when called is not an option. Which probably saved her a months ago when on our walk with another person with two dogs we encountered a horse and all dogs rushed to the horse. I called Yana back and she came right away after a single command. Other dogs didn't even though their owner was making happy noises and ran in the opposite direction and did everything right and fun. One of her dogs was hit by the horse.

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