drive/recall issue - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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drive/recall issue

hey guys so for starters i have a 5 month old pup. i realize she's only 5 months so I'm not too worried about our little issue and i never force my pup to do anything. i want her to have the ultimate confidence, i rarely correct her on her prong but sometimes i have to. in drive she is a very hard dog, anyway with that being said when i put her into drive with the ball and let her have it i cannot for the life of me get her to recall, i have to give her her down command and then get the ball from her out of a down. is this a bad habit or can i continue on with this method for now? ideally i would love her to COME whenever/whatever the circumstance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 02:05 AM
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I wouldn't use a prong on a dog that young. Right now it should all be a very positive experience. You are ruining the come command if you say it and the dog doesn't do it. I never repeat the command so it's important that it's not blown. If you want to teach the dog to bring the ball back, teach that as a bring it and drop it kind of thing. Right now the pup is choosing not to come when called and the ball is higher value. If you don't want to use treats you can use the ball as a reward system too. I use both.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't use a prong on a dog that young. Right now it should all be a very positive experience. You are ruining the come command if you say it and the dog doesn't do it. I never repeat the command so it's important that it's not blown. If you want to teach the dog to bring the ball back, teach that as a bring it and drop it kind of thing. Right now the pup is choosing not to come when called and the ball is higher value. If you don't want to use treats you can use the ball as a reward system too. I use both.
i have to use a prong, i have had my pup since 8 weeks so there are things that she knows and she will receive a level 2-3 correction for.

but as i said earlier in my post she rarely gets one!

anyone with actual schutzhund training/dogs that can help?

Roddie-vom-Szymczyk 8.17.14


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SchattenHaus View Post
i have to use a prong, i have had my pup since 8 weeks so there are things that she knows and she will receive a level 2-3 correction for.

but as i said earlier in my post she rarely gets one!

anyone with actual schutzhund training/dogs that can help?
Why do you have to use a prong? Most people are not going to agree that a 5 month old pup needs a prong, whether they train in the sport or not. You can't correct a dog for what they don't know and at 5 months your dog doesn't know anything yet. Right now it's about laying a foundation. You teach it then proof it.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 07:16 AM
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As for the recall question; you have to make the game the reward, not the ball. You can use two balls instead of one. Be very animated and let her know that you have a second ball ready to throw as soon as she returns with the first. Keep your self in the middle of the game and toss each ball in opposite directions to keep her coming back towards you. It might take a few sessions for her too pick it up but this worked for my dog who is also very possesive.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SchattenHaus View Post
i have to use a prong, i have had my pup since 8 weeks so there are things that she knows and she will receive a level 2-3 correction for.

but as i said earlier in my post she rarely gets one!

anyone with actual schutzhund training/dogs that can help?
I have "actual schutzhund training" for several years, and I would not use a prong on a 5 month old, and certainly not to give corrections for non compliance for things "she should know." That is like screaming at a 10 year old for not being able to do algebra. You have a BABY, you need to step back and treat it like one. Step way, way back. You need to work on your relationship, work on being able to "play" WITH her, work on games through play, relationship through play, and getting focus under all circumstances (without correction!). Showing her what you want and building confidence, not tearing her down.
I recommend you get with a club and do some more learning (a lot more) and slow the heck down.
Also yes, the 2 ball/toy game which I still play with my 3 possessive year old instead of trying to have some sort of power struggle.

Last edited by ugavet2012; 01-28-2015 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Pronoun change
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 08:39 AM
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There are some working lines that are so drivey and impulsive that a prong may be required for the safety and security of the person holding the leash, but playing ball with a five month old future prospect is NOT one of those situations.

I agree with the others, ditch the prong, ditch the corrections. Find a CLUB and work with them since you don't want to make mistakes now that will mess up your foundation training and the relationship you have with your pup.

To stop this "Come and get the ball if you want it" game, and get your dog to come to you and release the ball, play "two ball".

Have two balls on a string (or two of his favorite fetch toys). You throw one, when he picks it up, call her and show her other ball. Do not throw the second ball until she has released the first ball. At first, just throw the ball a short distance so that she pics it up, and the second ball is there in her sight and the getting the first ball, releasing, getting the second ball is a fast-paced, quick-fire game.

Once she knows the game and releases reliably at the right time start saying "Out" just as she releases. When she starts coming to you on her own for the second ball, start throwing the balls out further. When she is running out further and coming back to you start running backwards/away and calling her to build drive for coming back.

Another thing you want to work on is making playing with the ball WITH YOU more fun than anything else. Make sure you have the balls on a rope, and play lots of tug with her, but let her keep the ball. On a walk, whip out your ball, play tug. Let her carry the ball, say her name, to get her attention, take the rope hanging from the ball, play tug, let her win. Take her out in the yard, give her her ball, let her sniff and potter around, call her grab the rope of the ball, play tug.

I got tot he point with Gryffon that we could be out in a big open field, and he was playing and running around with Keeta completely into the chase (but he would have his ball in his mouth). I could just call him, and he would break away from the chase and run straight to me, and I would play tug with him and make a huge deal of letting him win, then send him out on his way and he would resume being chased by my other dog.

I still play two ball, with Chuckits in big open areas with him, one of his favorite things. When he has one ball and runs back to me, I turn the other way, give him a drop it command when he is close, and launch the other ball in the other direction, so he keeps on running full speed. Again, this builds drive to run to the ball, and back to me. Runs twice the distance, half the stopping, better for him too.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 08:55 AM
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I do know that some dogs have super high possession at that might make playing two ball more difficult. It depends on the dog obviously, and I play two ball when I can utilize it, but I have also played with a long line on the dog to ensure that they come back to me, and the reward is continuation of the game by tugging or another throw, etc.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 09:08 AM
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Long line is always on a young dog. Restrained recalls should be done every training session if possible. I agree, ditch the prong on this puppy and get with a club for some help.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 09:29 AM
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Hey Schatten, our dogs are related. The sire of your pup is a litter mate to the dam of mine. What worked with him and two ball, was to not try and make it to structured, I moved around in an area where he didn't have too much room to go anywhere else, but I didn't stand still. It didn't take much work to create the pattern of him running to me. Two or three times of tossing the second ball, then keeping it a little out of sight so he wouldn't just leave the first one.

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