Recall Training and How to get it to work 100% of time - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Recall Training and How to get it to work 100% of time

Hi all,

I am looking for some advise on training for a successful recall.
We are in session 2 (11 weeks)!of Puppy Kindergarten and my boy has seemed to have completely forgotten or is being really stubborn about coming to me
during recall. Stryker just turned 5 months and at this point I can only do recalls inside the home or at the training facility, as I can’t trust him in yard off leash until our fence gets done.

Last week after class, we had an off leash play session and he would not come back to me. The same thing happened this week during the recall exercise. Everything else is coming along well in the training.

So we graduated this program (AKC STAR)once successfully and I decided to do it again because I started his at 11 weeks. I will be asking my trainer next week for suggestions.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, as I like to get multiple ideas.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 10:40 PM
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Start off with zero distractions.Add distractions slowly.Playing with other puppies or chasing a squirrel is much more rewarding to him than coming to you.If there is any chance whatsoever that he won't recall keep a long line on him and reel him in.Reward with whatever he really loves- steak,a game of tug,his favorite toy.He will learn with practice over time that he MUST come when called.
Try to never set him up to fail- if he's obviously focused on something and unlikely to recall go to him instead rather than calling him again and he ignores you.Patience and persistence

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 12:32 PM
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also remember that you have a very young dog. Maturity helps bring more impulse control. Your dog will be entering adolescence. There will be times it seems that your buddy have forgotten everything. He might be testing his limits to see if you mean what you say, so as Dogma suggested, long lines and plenty of rewards are you go to tools. Sometimes my dogs won't come because we are playing a game and they don't want it to end. Their refusal to move is them telling me that they want to continue our fun! Since we are in a fenced yard, I turn and go into the house. I watch for awhile and my dogs come to the door. I praise and reward when they come in. (this won't work with all dogs. Some love being outside so much they don't mind being out alone).
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Start off with zero distractions.Add distractions slowly.Playing with other puppies or chasing a squirrel is much more rewarding to him than coming to you.If there is any chance whatsoever that he won't recall keep a long line on him and reel him in.Reward with whatever he really loves- steak,a game of tug,his favorite toy.He will learn with practice over time that he MUST come when called.
Try to never set him up to fail- if he's obviously focused on something and unlikely to recall go to him instead rather than calling him again and he ignores you.Patience and persistence
This! And also, if you do get him to leave play and come to you, immediately release him back to play more, DON'T make that the end of the play session. At the actual end of the play session I'd just walk up to him, offer him a really tasty treat, and clip on leash while saying nothing at all. Then it's over, but he didn't really realize what was going on, just got a yummy treat and got clipped. At this age I would never call out of play to end play--calling out of play means great treat then right back to it.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 03:36 PM
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This! And also, if you do get him to leave play and come to you, immediately release him back to play more, DON'T make that the end of the play session. At the actual end of the play session I'd just walk up to him, offer him a really tasty treat, and clip on leash while saying nothing at all. Then it's over, but he didn't really realize what was going on, just got a yummy treat and got clipped. At this age I would never call out of play to end play--calling out of play means great treat then right back to it.
100% agree.This also a strategy for practicing other obedience commands while a dog is excited.Play,SIT!release to play.I like to sneak one or two in during different activities
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 03:50 PM
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Cowboygirl's advice is excellent. And...they will never be robots. There is always the chance they won't come, depending of what is going on that requires their attention more. We need to manage them in all situations, be one step ahead of them and making sure that they will be successful. Be patient, he is a very young dog. Adolescence can be a whole other can of worms, just around the corner.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 04:09 PM
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When Beau started learning recall as a puppy I made it a big party. Here here here!!! In happy excited tones, playful body language, treats or play when he got there. So he learned coming when called was FUN! I used the strategies mentioned above as well so coming to me very rarely meant the end of play, it meant more fun. I used other ways to cue that it was time to move on/go home/whatever. Even now at 3.5 he will respond to that kind of recall when he is super distracted or engaged in something interesting. The norm now is a simple Come, and he’s maybe 80% responsive to it, but if he’s too distracted, the recall party still works.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the excellent responses! I was leaning towards using a 25 foot training leash. We actually do pretty well in the house without lots of distractions, but out in public is a whole other story. That is why I want to get it right. I would hate to be “one of those GSD owners, with an out of control dog”.

So this affirms the right direction to go.

I was going to add a pic but I don’t think it will let me do that on mobile phone. But not sure. 🤔

If they do come through, one was from last night and the other was our “first graduation “.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 08:32 AM
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You can get 50' of thin line at the hardware store and tie a leash clip to it. If 50' is too long, just shorten the line. Don't call him to come unless he is on the long line so that he doesn't have the opportunity to disobey. Also, don't be afraid to give him a sharp pop on the line if he hesitates to come. When he starts coming towards you, squat and open your arms and use a silly, high pitch voiced to encourage him like, "Good come!" repeatedly. Then reward with food or toy, and praise and petting. Finally, have a release command so that he knows the expectation is over. You can do this informally by having him on the long line just walking around with him and letting him get the distance of the line from you. After a while when he is sniffing around or his attention is occupied with something other than you, give the come command with some assertiveness. If he doesn't come, pop the leash enough to get his attention and repeat come. But don't get into the habit of repeating commands over and over. If he absolutely refuses to come, reel him in assertively. Be consistent. I don't think people are often aware of how many repetitions of training a behavior is required for a dog to become reliable.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chip Blasiole View Post
You can get 50' of thin line at the hardware store and tie a leash clip to it. If 50' is too long, just shorten the line. Don't call him to come unless he is on the long line so that he doesn't have the opportunity to disobey. Also, don't be afraid to give him a sharp pop on the line if he hesitates to come. When he starts coming towards you, squat and open your arms and use a silly, high pitch voiced to encourage him like, "Good come!" repeatedly. Then reward with food or toy, and praise and petting. Finally, have a release command so that he knows the expectation is over. You can do this informally by having him on the long line just walking around with him and letting him get the distance of the line from you. After a while when he is sniffing around or his attention is occupied with something other than you, give the come command with some assertiveness. If he doesn't come, pop the leash enough to get his attention and repeat come. But don't get into the habit of repeating commands over and over. If he absolutely refuses to come, reel him in assertively. Be consistent. I don't think people are often aware of how many repetitions of training a behavior is required for a dog to become reliable.
How old is this puppy again? I never give corrections to do with recalls with young pups, and i think for the most part they are so unnecessary. Puppies love fun, and they love us, so if we are fun for them there won't be any conflict and why should there be? I never call for anything that sucks. I don't call them for play being over, I don't call to come inside (same thing), ear cleaning, being put up, what else?

I call them for going OUT to play, special amazing treats, meals, basically anything they love. restrained recalls with high value rewards.

I have found that far fewer corrections or force is needed in the long run if there is a strong positive association to begin with. I prefer to train with as little force and corrections as I can. It usually does become necessary at some point, but I wouldn't pop an untrained puppy.

If I need them for anything they aren't going to like, I just go get them and add in a tasty treat if needed so they don't resent me coming to get them. On the RARE occasion someone decides to run from me I let them know that will never be tolerated but they are only in trouble until they turn themselves in and as soon as they stop running I flip back into you're the best puppy in the world.

Look how hard they work for things that they want--I want them to WANT to do what I want them to do, and want it bad, so I have all their effort and enthusiasm on my side, not vise versa.

When I think they can succeed because they've trained that far, I do start calling out of fun things as a training exercise only, so I am prepared to follow through and prepared to release them back to the great thing as part of their reward. If I don't have anything higher value than what they were called off of, then they are released back to it as a training exercise.

As they grow up we gradually enter the real world where yes, i will call you for things that suck and you will have to come anyway and they will. If a bit of correction or follow thru is needed as we get into the world of "adult" recalls then they get that...but like I said I find way fewer corrections and less force if you do a strong positive foundation. If they refuse a recall it's because whatever else they are doing is more rewarding than you. That means you need to be more rewarding.
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