Improving off leash recall - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Improving off leash recall

Hey guys,


So I taught my GSD (10 month WGSL) recall and we got it down pretty good... I can go a good distance off leash and he'll wait for my command for a recall. However this is when he is not distracted. If he sees something worthy of attention, it will take couple "come" or "sit" before I can get him to listen to me and take control. I never punish him when he doesn't lesson... I will praise him when he eventually does come.


You can see a video I have on my Instagram how he does... (hope the link works)



https://www.instagram.com/p/BlJhMLHH...aken-by=11b250


Now I'd like to improve this and make sure he lessons to me if there are distractions (other dogs, ducks, sniffing time etc). What do you suggest?


I'm thinking of an e collar specifically to be used for off leash recalls but before that, I'd like to make it bit stronger with distractions... I don't have a distraction video unfortunately lol.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 06:47 AM
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From your vid, you gave the stay command twice. Try not to repeat the command. This is something I have to remind myself all the time especially when my boy is staying and not moving anyways. He has given no reason for me to repeat or correct him.

Just give it once, if he moves just get him back to the exact same spot he was in and walk back to where you were.

Commanding just once should help condition him to hear and respond to your voice better when under distraction. That's all I'm qualified to suggest.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:34 AM
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I may use the word good with a long drawn out O sound to mark the idea "keep doing that". Videos are great. I find all kinds of oopsies in my training when I watch myself.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 12:32 PM
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IMO your distance is too far to make him successful with one command. If you have to say it more than once, he will learn that the command is just an option and the command loses its value.
Don't call him if there is an distraction because you are dependent on him for his obedience. I would start over on leash and have him sit next to you, step away two steps and step back, then release. Gradually build it up.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 12:56 PM
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I don't use a stay to teach a recall. I feel that it makes them want to break the stay when they see you at distance because that's what they are anticipating. For foundation, I always return to the dog to release from a stay. You can always call them to you later but if they anticipate being called out of every stay then they are just poised to break and it makes for a crummy stay.

I start recalls as a game for whatever the dog desires most. Food, toy, whatever. If they want it, that's how they get it. I like doing a relay between two people with a long line. Depending on how reliable/unreliable the dog is one or both people can be holding part of the line. Person 1 holds dogs, person teo gets dog's attention with something awesome. When his eyes light up, call him. Person 1 releases and person 2 runs off a bit to make dog catch up to his prize. Gradually fade visible help and/or make reward no longer on person.

Like if we have graduated to the point i have called an off leash dog with no reward on my person and he does a bang up recall I will run somewhere i have a ball stashed and give a high value reward for that recall.

Also look up paper plate recall.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 01:08 PM
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I start on leash, then long line, and i prefer dog facing away from me because usually when it counts, they are. Then it's a game. I make sure I have something they REALLY want and they keep an ear cocked for their chance to get it. Build muscle memory for turn and haul back to me. I think recall is the single most important thing for most dogs and so I reserve stuff they want the most for this and nothing else. Special toy they never see other than random recalls, hot dogs, cheese, whatever. Build super high value to getting to me. It is not a chore to be called, it is the best thing that ever happens in their day and they respond accordingly. My dogs never run faster than when i call them to me, and that's how I like it and mostly makes for having to add the least amt. Of pressure and corrections later when high distractions are present.

Build value for your reward so it trumps all else and train in the environment so your dog is not able to self reward with distrations and only can achieve the super high value reward that you have. I don't care if they know I have the ball right off and are working me to get it...if there is a hard distraction there it is still worthwhile to practice that as a start. Then less and less from me in the beginning all the way to letting them know i have no reward on my person but then i fake them out and take them to where it was hidden when I get the response I want.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorseal View Post
Hey guys,


So I taught my GSD (10 month WGSL) recall and we got it down pretty good... I can go a good distance off leash and he'll wait for my command for a recall. However this is when he is not distracted. If he sees something worthy of attention, it will take couple "come" or "sit" before I can get him to listen to me and take control. I never punish him when he doesn't lesson... I will praise him when he eventually does come.


You can see a video I have on my Instagram how he does... (hope the link works)



https://www.instagram.com/p/BlJhMLHH...aken-by=11b250


Now I'd like to improve this and make sure he lessons to me if there are distractions (other dogs, ducks, sniffing time etc). What do you suggest?


I'm thinking of an e collar specifically to be used for off leash recalls but before that, I'd like to make it bit stronger with distractions... I don't have a distraction video unfortunately lol.
I'd start by keeping things separate. Use distance and play without ob to make distractions less distracting. If you can get enough motivation in his play, distractions can end up cuing more attention and motivation. When you do introduce distractions do it with simple things that are solid so you won't have to compete against them, not with you at a distance trying to recall him, or at least quit trying because he isn't ready for that yet. I've seen people use e for an actual recall, and speed them up. Its out of my skill set though, so I'd recommend forgetting that for the time being and if in the future you do use one, I keep it to simple corrections for disobedience. I'm a lot more comfortable with motivational recalls.

Motivation on a recall has to do with what happens when he gets there. The ideal is he really wants to be there. Part of it is creating the habit of always running to be there. I like two ball for it, and later on I do a lot of recalls just releasing him to run by for a ball on a rope, either taking it or tossing it behind me to get it, then play. Later on I mix in praise before playing so the praise has some value in it too. That way I don't always need a toy.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

I did catch myself giving the commands twice. I tend to do that. I need to break, and re-try if I have to say it twice.

sit is the same... when I give the command, it might take few "sits" before he sits.

He's not very food driven (I've made posts about that) there are 2 things he loves. ice and being pet. Those are his drives lol...

I did the "very long" distance to show he'll actually listen. In our backyard which is rather small. He'll stay without a problem. the community area is very large, so I wanted to show off on my instagram how he'll stay for me. I haven't measured distance, but much further than that, he will stand up and want to come (I guess it's too far for him)

I didn't give the "come" command twice though. I gave the stay command twice. When we do this, he actively lessons for the "come"

I've actually tried to trick him in the past and have said random things like "watermelon, vehicle etc" and He won't come. He actively listens for "come".

We also do it in the house. It's what we train the most.

Last edited by razorseal; 07-22-2018 at 03:16 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 12:24 PM
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I didn’t read this whole thread so hopefully I don’t repeat a bunch of stuff.

First training has to be tailored to the dog. A really high drive, nervy dog takes a different set of rules than a couch potato dog.

Many years ago it pounded into me by various “ force “ means used on humans that one word, one time was the dog command. So you show the dog wat you want. Patiently waiting until it sinks in so that the dog thinks “ oh he said sit”, if I sit I get a reward. Ok I’ll sit” . “ now he gives me a reward. If I sit faster I get a better reward. I’ll just plop my rear end down hard”. “ wow I got my favorite treat. This is great”

Now you have something to work with. Some dogs figure this out quickly and discover it works on other commands too. These guys are the fun ones to train. The couch potato will try your patience if you are looking for quick response. Even more patience on your part is required.

Where is the force here? Not. You have to get a real bond with the dog before you make big progress in training. Off leash is a long way off. I like to think all commands need to be rock solid before even attempting a long distance recall. I see all kinds of mistakes and blown off recalls in classes. The dog must just be the happiest thing when he is near you. All things good happen close to you.

For my Aussie I only use one word, one time commands. No stay. It’s a double command. The same with the name. Name is a marker or attention getter. I use name the same as “watch me”. I added this after a year of general training. Most of our training is “streetwise” and not competition. However it is just as important to have good control out walking.

I use a short loop tab for very close control heeling. She knows when I pick up the tab that it means stay in heel position and no pulling or other foolishness. It sounds like I use a lot of force but I don’t at all. A simple eye contact is often enough to redirect or be a correction because she wants to be with me. With the tab by commanding “ rightside “. Runtogether word Command, she is to heel close on the right. Follow or lead work the same way with the leash. These are important commands when out walking and unruly dogs are around or we need to work in tight quarters.

So really work on getting a good bond and reward the dog for being close to you.

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