Recall or "come" frustration. Tips please? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Recall or "come" frustration. Tips please?

It's so frustrating with Abby!!! I don't see why she's not getting it.

We were at Petsmart for her Vaccines. When I finished checking out, I switched her to the prong because she was pulling a bit (excitement). Well, we started walking down the isle about to leave the store when I noticed the leash was no longer connected to her collar. I kept calm but accidentally dropped the flea/tick medication. So Abby was walking, thinking she was still on the leash. I called her to come, so her mind set immediately came towards me. She was very observant when walking towards me and it *clicked*! I could see it in her eyes, "I'm not on a leash??!?! SWEET!!!" She was just about arm length away and she dodged being grabbed. I was very casual with everything too! Luckily, a Petsmart rep helped me block her into an isle and got her back onto a leash. The worse case scenario kept playing in my mind that she would run out of the store and get hit by a car. I'm just thankful we got her and I have no clue as to how the leash came off her collar.

Yesterday morning, we were working on recall again with the trainer. I told her what happened so the trainer told me to let Abby off-leash so she can observe. I did so and Abby did not come. She knows "come" because I used it inside the house all the time. The trainer suggested I just walk away and Abby will follow. Abby did follow but outside of my range. My trainer evaluated that Abby, technically, doesn't really know come. She just comes when she wants to and suddenly gets rewarded for an action she doesn't know. For example, I say "come" many times but she still doesn't. So I try to lead her on with some treats and she still doesn't. When she sees a hot dog, she comes and I say the command throughout the entire process and treat her for coming. All the while, she doesn't get the concept of "come" just that she knows she got a treat. That's how my trainer explained it.

How my trainer wants me to work on "come":
Keep Abby close and take a step back while saying "come" initially with a treat in my hand. Abby would follow with the hot dog as the attraction. I hope this works. Just to be more detailed, I'm not pulling. Abby is voluntarily coming forward due to the hot dog. Would this overtime build the concept of come?

Abby - Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 27, 2013
Bandit - Sept. 17, 2012
Rogue - Feb. 14, 2014
"A tired dog is a happy one
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 04:38 AM
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my GF and i use to sit on floor facing each other with our feet touching.
i would hold the and face him towards my GF. my GF would call him,
"Loki come" or "come". at the same time she was saying "Loki come"
i would say "go to Rosie". we did this many times during the course
of a day but we only did it for 5 to 10 minutes each time. slowly we started
putting distance between us. when we trained by ourselves the pup was leashed.
we sat the pup in front of us, called him, "Loki come" and pulled him towards
us. we trained indoors and outside. as the dog learned the distance
was increased and distractions were added. when we added distance we used
a long line. you have to train a lot usuing treats and praise.

if you're going to use hot dogs i suggest cutting the hot dog into
small pieces. then cut each little circular piece in half.

Last edited by doggiedad; 04-29-2012 at 04:45 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 04:59 AM
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This is how I train a down and recall:
1. Make sure focus training and basics are solid. So focused heeling, good alert sit, and a good down without too much handler help (leaning over, baiting the dog etc).
2. Have the dog down next to you. Start getting it used to you being out front. Keep your foot close to the leash end that is attached to her collar. Basically you don't let her get up while you are still standing.
3. Keep treating and praising her for downing in front on you. Slowly start reducing the amount of treats and increasing the time in a down.
4. Once she can down for a good while without shifting about, start increasing the distance between you and the dog. Get a long line and keep your foot on it as you increase distance. The worst thing to do is let the dog run off and go chasing after it. Once the dog learns "hey I can avoid doing this annoying long down by just running away!", it is going to be difficult to break that habit. Always keep your foot on the leash till you can reliably leave her so in case she bolts, you can stop her and return her to the down position.
5. Once you can increase the distance between you, you can start increasing the time she stays in a down. When doing recall, be extremely animated and excited when you call her.What does she like to play with? You can reward her with a game of tug when she comes to you so you can keep her excited about the task. Down/Recall doesn't have to be a forced exercise. You want to be a fun thing, not something to shy away from. She'll soon realize that coming to you is a GOOD thing because you are a source for positive events like play or food. If you are used to calling your dog and correcting her, reduce that habit. You don't want her to think she is in trouble when you want her to come to you.
6. Keep doing this every single day till it clicks for the dog. Some dogs are better than others at this I've found. Whiskey can sit in his long down for 20 mins no problem. You can parade other males in front of him, have people distract him with noises around him, etc and it won't phase him much. My girls on the other hand will still break their downs if I am out of eye view and are far more likely to give in to distractions.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
if you're going to use hot dogs i suggest cutting the hot dog into
small pieces. then cut each little circular piece in half.
Great tip doggiedad. I'll definitely try that with my wife and yes, we cut the hot dog into smaller pieces. lol. I think she'd be much too distracted to focus on training with an entire hot dog.

Abby - Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 27, 2013
Bandit - Sept. 17, 2012
Rogue - Feb. 14, 2014
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by qbchottu View Post
This is how I train a down and recall:
1. Make sure focus training and basics are solid. So focused heeling, good alert sit, and a good down without too much handler help (leaning over, baiting the dog etc).
2. Have the dog down next to you. Start getting it used to you being out front. Keep your foot close to the leash end that is attached to her collar. Basically you don't let her get up while you are still standing.
3. Keep treating and praising her for downing in front on you. Slowly start reducing the amount of treats and increasing the time in a down.
4. Once she can down for a good while without shifting about, start increasing the distance between you and the dog. Get a long line and keep your foot on it as you increase distance. The worst thing to do is let the dog run off and go chasing after it. Once the dog learns "hey I can avoid doing this annoying long down by just running away!", it is going to be difficult to break that habit. Always keep your foot on the leash till you can reliably leave her so in case she bolts, you can stop her and return her to the down position.
5. Once you can increase the distance between you, you can start increasing the time she stays in a down. When doing recall, be extremely animated and excited when you call her.What does she like to play with? You can reward her with a game of tug when she comes to you so you can keep her excited about the task. Down/Recall doesn't have to be a forced exercise. You want to be a fun thing, not something to shy away from. She'll soon realize that coming to you is a GOOD thing because you are a source for positive events like play or food. If you are used to calling your dog and correcting her, reduce that habit. You don't want her to think she is in trouble when you want her to come to you.
6. Keep doing this every single day till it clicks for the dog. Some dogs are better than others at this I've found. Whiskey can sit in his long down for 20 mins no problem. You can parade other males in front of him, have people distract him with noises around him, etc and it won't phase him much. My girls on the other hand will still break their downs if I am out of eye view and are far more likely to give in to distractions.
1. That's exactly what my trainer has me doing. The focus is really starting to show. I get a great stare into my eyes with her sit. The heeling, I've gotten to 6 steps. Just started the heel about 2 weeks ago.

5. That's one of the most difficult things about her. She's moderately food driven and very low toy drive. Even with the hot dogs (High value) she ignored me because she found running around more exciting. We don't have much areas around my place to do off-leash so I'm assuming she enjoys the rare occasion. We now get to off-leash once a week either at the trainer's or at my uncle's 13 acre lot. I use the "come" command inside but I think she sees it more as a release word from a "stay" or "down". I understand that each concept must be rewarded individually but again, I think she sees it more as a release word from any given command.

I try not to chase her but she can be very stubborn and it can take hours before a response. Honestly, I just don't have such patience for hours of waiting before I can put a collar on her to go for a potty break yet I don't want a mess to clean up either.

Abby - Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 27, 2013
Bandit - Sept. 17, 2012
Rogue - Feb. 14, 2014
"A tired dog is a happy one
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
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I use the "come" command inside but I think she sees it more as a release word from a "stay" or "down". I understand that each concept must be rewarded individually but again, I think she sees it more as a release word from any given command.
Do you also have a release word? If not, I'd work on training that separately from your recall word.

How much time have you spent reinforcing her for eye contact and for being near you? That's something I spend a huge amount of time on from the time I bring home a new puppy, it's very important foundation work that everything else will build off of. A good way to do this is to teach them as default behaviors, which are uncued - the dog is rewarded for offering them up spontaneously. I wear my treat bag around the house from the time I get home from work until bedtime, so I can instantly mark and reward any behavior I like and want to encourage more of. The more I reward for attention, the more attention I get. And in order to teach my dog anything I need to get his/her attention first, so you can see how beneficial this is. The more I reward the dog for being near me, the more the dog wants to be near me.

I also do a lot of recall work indoors, off leash, just saying the dog's name and running backwards a couple of steps. You can also do this on leash if you're out in public, just incorporate it into your walks. Happy praise and a treat. Do this numerous times a day, every day. If she's near you at home, you can even just take a step back and pat your leg, then give her a treat for coming towards you. Don't tell her to come, just reward her for doing so. Once she's doing it consistently, on or off leash, in every room in your house and in the yard, you can add the command back in. But continuing to use the command in situations where she's not going to comply just degrades that command and makes it meaningless.

She may also be hand-shy. If when you reach for her she anticipates something unpleasant, even if that's just the end of fun times in the yard, she's going to keep playing the keep away game with you. Change her perception of you reaching for her. Grab her collar lightly, give her a treat, tell her how wonderful she is, ("yay, good girl!") and then let go. Do this over and over again, until she stays near you and eagerly anticipates you reaching for her rather than dancing away. We did this a lot in puppy class, here's Halo being used as demo dog by the class instructor:





Play recall games around the house. One I like to do is to toss a treat a few feet away and then call her name when she gets it. Give her another treat when she gets to you, and then toss one again. What you want is an immediate whiplash turn of her head towards you when you say her name. You can also throw the treat and when she goes to get it, run away, to another room in the house. Big party and another treat when she gets to you, throw a treat on the floor, and then run away again, over and over. My dogs have always found this to be big fun.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:56 PM
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I walk around the house with a pocket full of treats and at any given moment I say "Robyn, Come", she comes, I give her a treat, then tell her to go play. I do this 10-15 times a day and she now comes no matter what she is doing..it has worked wonderfully and we follow through with this when we are out of the home. If I were to drop her leash on accident/or purpose she would just look at me and walk next to me. I will probably continue to do this exercise daily forever

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 02:11 PM
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moderately food motived.

not toy motivated.

tried hot dogs, not much success.

have you tried tripe? that may be something that interests her. a nice stinky treat may pull her strings.

get a 30 ft lead, and work with her on that, it offers more room for her and you to work, and keeps her safe by still being on leash.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 02:22 PM
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Hi GSDkid

What the others have said, plus I also think it may be a good idea to change your command word. Abby has learned to understand that she can ignore you when you say 'come'. Perhaps use 'here' or whatever you're comfortable with. I say "J-aaake come here babe".

Perhaps the reason she comes when you call 'come' at home and not outside - is because you put her leash on - fun ends - no more running around. It's a good idea when Abby is coming to you anyway, say 'here good girl', go overboard, hold her collar for a second or two, release and then give her a push up the botton and say 'go' (or whatever). Rinse and repeat, everytime she comes on her own accord. Occasionly pop her leash on, and then take it off. Keep her guessing, as to whether she's going to have to have it on or not.

Play fetch with two balls and when she's on her way back for the second one - do the same - say 'here good girl' touch her collar, release and throw her the second ball.
_____________
Sue
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jakes mom View Post
Hi GSDkid

What the others have said, plus I also think it may be a good idea to change your command word. Abby has learned to understand that she can ignore you when you say 'come'. Perhaps use 'here' or whatever you're comfortable with. I say "J-aaake come here babe".

Perhaps the reason she comes when you call 'come' at home and not outside - is because you put her leash on - fun ends - no more running around. It's a good idea when Abby is coming to you anyway, say 'here good girl', go overboard, hold her collar for a second or two, release and then give her a push up the botton and say 'go' (or whatever). Rinse and repeat, everytime she comes on her own accord. Occasionly pop her leash on, and then take it off. Keep her guessing, as to whether she's going to have to have it on or not.

Play fetch with two balls and when she's on her way back for the second one - do the same - say 'here good girl' touch her collar, release and throw her the second ball.
_____________
Sue
..

The front command is a good alternative to the come command!

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
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