Recall/Distraction Help Needed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Recall/Distraction Help Needed

Hi, our pup just turned six months and Iím really struggling with recall and obedience under distraction overall. In a non distraction environment he solidly can sit, lay down, stay, come (here), speak (all the normal stuff), but as soon as he sees something or gets in a mood, Iím totally ignored. I had him in the unfenced backyard today playing off lead as I was confident that he would stay with me since weíve been playing fetch off lead quite a bit. Today he took off and wouldnít come back even with my precious ďHereĒ command that Iíve working on for several weeks with great success after spoiling ďComeĒ with negativity early on in training (my mistake out of frustration). I remained calm throughout and eventually walked up to him and brought him home. Anyways, pretty discouraged that it seems back to square one with this incident. Am I expecting too much at this age. This is my second shepherd and off lead was joy with the first though I canít recall (pun intended) how long it took to get there. Advice for how to improve recall and obedience overall in distracted situations would be greatly appreciated. I spends LOTS of time working with him so I donít mind putting in the time just not sure Iím missing something or expectations too high at this age.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 05:34 PM
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Hi, our pup just turned six months and Iím really struggling with recall and obedience under distraction overall. In a non distraction environment he solidly can sit, lay down, stay, come (here), speak (all the normal stuff), but as soon as he sees something or gets in a mood, Iím totally ignored. I had him in the unfenced backyard today playing off lead as I was confident that he would stay with me since weíve been playing fetch off lead quite a bit. Today he took off and wouldnít come back even with my precious ďHereĒ command that Iíve working on for several weeks with great success after spoiling ďComeĒ with negativity early on in training (my mistake out of frustration). I remained calm throughout and eventually walked up to him and brought him home. Anyways, pretty discouraged that it seems back to square one with this incident. Am I expecting too much at this age. This is my second shepherd and off lead was joy with the first though I canít recall (pun intended) how long it took to get there. Advice for how to improve recall and obedience overall in distracted situations would be greatly appreciated. I spends LOTS of time working with him so I donít mind putting in the time just not sure Iím missing something or expectations too high at this age.
Dude relax. Don't get discourage just yet. He's 6 months old. There's going to be highs and lows in training. Distractions should be layered in slowly and once you find a point where he fails go back a notch and work some more. I got discouraged around the 6 month mark and came down with an iron first. The dog obeyed but he was stressed and not having fun. So I went a different route.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 06:02 PM
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What gooseman said^^^^^.He's very young still and there's so many wonderful smells and things to investigate!

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 07:01 PM
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I'm sure you will hear "be more exciting than everything else". That is loosely translated into "if you don't look like a certifiable maniac while keeping your dog's attention, you are doing something wrong"

First, don't worry about the perception of people around you. If you have to jump up and down, play chase, make weird noises to keep the attention and engage your puppy then just do it.

Second, dogs do not generalize. Sit at home does not mean Sit in the park. You have you take a step back in training when in new places with higher distractions. Start at step 1 in the Sit training process. It will come faster as they learn that Sit means Sit means Sit in all different places. It will come faster as you behave like a clown and your puppy learns engagement.

Third, enjoy your puppy. If you are not having fun, the dog is not having fun. Energy in is what energy you will get out.




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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help folks. Much appreciated
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 08:45 PM
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First, everything that @Jax08 said! Good solid advice. My pup did exactly the same thing at that age, she'd look right at me and decide no, not now! It's frustrating when they're so darn good at home. I solved that by working at home and showing her that come, or here, is not optional. My puppy is now almost a year old, and her recall remains impeccable...unless there are rabbits, rabbits change everything LOL! For that issue, I'm leaning toward an e-collar.

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 08:55 PM
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My pup was the same way actually only until about a month or two ago (he is 10 months now). I feel like it is a maturity thing for one and practice. Just today he saw a rabbit in the yard and was off and chasing but I was able to call him right off it! Keep working hard with the pup, practice with a long line around distractions that way if he decides he doesn't want to come you can reel him in and show him it wasn't an option. We did a lot of work around the things that distracted him most, birds and dog parks. Happy to say now my neighbors toy poodle is finally safe!
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 09:04 PM
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My pup is 10 months and I don't have a solid recall under distraction. I do have a pretty good recall. It really depends on the distraction. Some smells slow him down, other dogs, and running cats. He will blow me off for dogs bigtime. My pup is excitable and very friendly and he thinks the rest of the world should be too. I never give the command if i can not enforce it we use a long line a lot. One thing I learned in this site is the 2 ball recall. I play fetch with 2 toys and say Come as the pup is running to me. If i step back he speeds up. This has conditioned an amazing response took a a couple months. Without thinking he comes lightening fast to me. The only down side is he has not associated that response with stay with me LOL. So he runs to me looks me in the eyes then boom if he is into something else he runs right back to it. Now I am trying to figure out how to teach him to stay with me after the recall. One step at a time. Give it more time. They are so big and smart it's easy to set your expectations to high. Thats just my experience with 1 pup.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Apex1 View Post
My pup is 10 months and I don't have a solid recall under distraction. I do have a pretty good recall. It really depends on the distraction. Some smells slow him down, other dogs, and running cats. He will blow me off for dogs bigtime. My pup is excitable and very friendly and he thinks the rest of the world should be too. I never give the command if i can not enforce it we use a long line a lot. One thing I learned in this site is the 2 ball recall. I play fetch with 2 toys and say Come as the pup is running to me. If i step back he speeds up. This has conditioned an amazing response took a a couple months. Without thinking he comes lightening fast to me. The only down side is he has not associated that response with stay with me LOL. So he runs to me looks me in the eyes then boom if he is into something else he runs right back to it. Now I am trying to figure out how to teach him to stay with me after the recall. One step at a time. Give it more time. They are so big and smart it's easy to set your expectations to high. Thats just my experience with 1 pup.
This about sums up what we do with ours too! I never say come unless we have a huge reward and throw a party! I never use the word unless I absolutely have to. We use leave it or let's go for minor distractions. The idea is that if he's in danger (running into traffic, etc.) he won't think twice about coming because the reward is so grand. What helped keep our guy close to us after the recall was introducing a tug (we use his ball on a rope). He sticks around to play now!

SQUIRREL!
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 10:40 PM
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At six months I had a pretty reliable recall until he saw a squirrel then he was like screw that I'll be there in a few minutes. I decided I didn't want to chance my dog recalling or not recalling depending on the distraction. So I done some work with an e-collar and now recall is recall regardless of distraction. I would get with a trainer that is experienced in electric and work that.
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