Long line recalls - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Long line recalls

I've been searching the forums for how to work on long distance recalls and a key piece of advice seems to be to use a long line.... but (and this is going to sound silly...) how exactly do I use it?

I took Tesla to the park to work on long distance recalls using a 30ft long line + ball for reward. He only gets to play with this ball when we're training, so it's a big deal to him
He was at the end of the line sniffing around when I called him to come, holding the ball. He looked at me, but didn't come. I gave the leash a pop to correct (we're using a prong as recommended by our trainer), but he was so engrossed in whatever he was sniffing that he still didn't come.

At this point I didn't know exactly what to do, but I knew that I had to do something or else it would reinforce his choice not to come, so I literally reeled him back in to me. But of course, after all his sniffing around, the leash wasn't sitting where it should be (it was running between his legs along his body) so as I'm reeling he's coming in sideways, backwards, and every kind of which way... he finally gets to me, sideways, and we're both tangled in mountains of leash....

This can't be how you do it, is it?
We did this about 3 times before I gave up because it felt so ineffective...
I praised and played each time I reeled him in, but they were probably the slowest, ugliest, most awkward recalls you've ever seen!

Tesla's a year old and his shorter distance recall is beautiful - he'll come and sit right in front of me.

How do I use the long line effectively to reproduce this for his long distance recall? Is reeling part of the process or should I have done something different?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 09:58 PM
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how old is this pup?


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 10:07 PM
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I would use a flexi retractable leash for large dogs. Give the recall once then gently pull him to you. Once he gets to you reward. It shouldn't take but a few times of pulling him to you to get him to come on his own. Also I would lose the prong collar for long line recall. You want this to be something the dog sees as fun not associate a collar pop when you recall. Use a flat collar. I personally like the idea of using your dogs favorite treat. Start off with short distance and give him a recall. Dogs name followed by come. Have him sit give a treat. Make a game of it. Have a couple different people in the house take turns calling him then rewarding. It won't take long at all to get this dog to haul butt to you whenever he hears his name come. I have called my dog off a rabbit. Something I once thought would be impossible with him.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 10:30 PM
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Also up the distance in small increments.If he's doing well at ten feet,try twelve feet.The next day practice at fifteen feet.Set him up for success.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 12:20 AM
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Ok here's my 2 cents - Use a long line but do not start at the full length of the long line. (I would not use a flexi). As Dogma13 says, start with shorter increments. I'd also not do a series of these. Do one and play. Or what I do is throw whatever toy I'm training with, when the dog reaches the toy & picks it up, recall the dog (reel dog in if dog isn't coming directly)- when the dog reaches the trainer, play! Make this rewarding as all get out. Fancy treats, lots of play etc.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 12:31 AM
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When I use long lines for recalls I simply have them as backup in case the dog fails to come. At which I use the line to guide them back to me, so they don't create a habit of not responding. But otherwise I work it the same way I would if the dog were off leash in my yard, which is pairing the recall cue with the item that the dog really likes.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:32 AM
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There are lots of good ways and training drills for recall using a long line. Just like any tool in a trainer/handlers tool box timing and skill on your part is required as well for it to be successful and it does take thought and practice. The link is one of those drills I use and can be done without ecollar although it is a great way to collar condition a pup to (here) recall so the long line is no longer needed. Just remember that any constant lead pressure causes most dogs to resist which is why so many dogs walk their owners instead of the other way around. If the person hold the second long line add just the slightest resistance it will drive the dog toward you with more of a purpose. Handler corrections should always be quick and just enough needed to change the dogs mind and keep them driving towards you. Praise, always praise compliance and escalate the last three drills praise slightly ending with the biggest praise to end the session, add a toy, and big big atta boy/girls....

also I'm not a fan off the retractable death trap of rope burn leashes at all especially with big strong and fast breeds of dogs.

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