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Discussion Starter #1
OK, 100% is an exaggeration, I realize that it can never be guaranteed. But I had a minor incident with my puppy and I'd like to work with her to avoid it.

I was in a field in a park that wraps around a lake in the subdivision where I am renting. It's a pretty isolated field, away from cars and the trail the circles the lake. It was lunch time and I was working with my 5-month old puppy on off-leash recall. She was doing quite well, coming to me every time like a bullet and ignoring all the distractions of a new place. Then she noticed two women taking a walk around the lake. They were quite far--about a football field away. I tried to get focus / recall / just have her platz down. Nope. This time she decided she had to say hi. She tore across the field and started jumping on them looking for attention. It was completely non-aggressive but it turned out that they weren't dog people. The younger of the two women tried her best to kick Nikita. Thankfully she wasn't very athletic and 5-month old puppy is pretty agile; the woman wasn't able to make contact. I was running in that direction and finally the focus worked. Nikita looked at me, I called 'hier' and she left them and came back to me.

Avoiding the discussion on why someone would want to kick a 5-month old puppy, I freely admit that I was in the wrong. The park has a leash rule. I failed to control my dog.

Her recall while on a long lead and in my back yard is very reliable. So I thought I was doing the right thing by bringing her to new areas to proof her against different types of distractions. I've also thought we were doing well. I've been in other places and successfully gotten focus / recall with a squirrel distraction, another dog distraction, etc.

Any comments appreciated. I'm specifically looking for tips on how to teach a reliable recall in new places while avoiding failures like the one described above. The failures are dangerous (what if they had called animal control? what if she had kept running?) and I think they set back training.

Thanks,

-Dan aka Colorado
 

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I always kept Molly on a 30 foot light leash when in the same situation you explained. We would go to a local school yard for some off leash training and play and I would always keep that leash on her because if she ever did get distracted by a squirrel or bird then I had 30 feet of leash dragging behind her to grab to get her back to me. I would lure her in with the leash and make sure I was much more fun and entertaining than anything else on the field and then praise, praise, praise when she made it to me.
 

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You're doing everything right--just moved ahead a little too fast, IMO.

Back up one step (to the point where you know the pup will succeed) and keep reinforcing that, then move forward in smaller steps.

I agree with keeping the long lead on her even while you're working on proofing this in the park. That way you can grab her back.

You and she both lean from mistakes. Now, you know you need to work on recall with people as distractions...just do it from a safer distance, and keep the long line on.
 

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Originally Posted By: ZeusGSDI second a long line on a pup. She will drag it like it's not even there, and you can grab it if she gives you the paw and runs away.
DON'T grab it!!! step on it, it will kill your hands to grab. Make sure there is a LARGE knot in the end
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll try the long lead...I'm still a bit worried. If she runs at me, or perpendicular to me, I'm sure I could step on a 30' lead and stop her. If she were to run away from me, there's no way I could catch her. She's a fast pup and I am a slow white guy.


I could also try with it with me holding the lead, but then I'm limited to recalls of that length.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.

-Dan
 

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Originally Posted By: ColoradoI'll try the long lead...I'm still a bit worried. If she runs at me, or perpendicular to me, I'm sure I could step on a 30' lead and stop her. If she were to run away from me, there's no way I could catch her. She's a fast pup and I am a slow white guy.


I could also try with it with me holding the lead, but then I'm limited to recalls of that length.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.

-Dan
Your pup is only 5 months old. There will be many stages of joyful lack of focus and downright wilful disobedience to come in the next few years. Your pup is doing great
but you are giving her too much freedom at this young age where, really, she is not disobeying you, she is still too young to totally undertand what you want her to do even though she is well advanced at what she is now doing - be prepared that this may (or may not) change.


Please do attach a long line to whatever length "a slow white guy"
is comfortable with being able to get to if needed. Then you are setting her up to win rather than to fail.

All the best.
 

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she is doing great for five months!! continue to do what everyone said and she will have that 100% recall. an e-collar should only be used as a last resort for your situation not on your six month old puppy. it is very possible to use positive training for a great recall, it just takes lots of time- and it seems like you are more than willing to take the time
 

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Originally Posted By: I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO an e-collar should only be used as a last resort for your situation not on your six month old puppy. it is very possible to use positive training for a great recall, it just takes lots of time- and it seems like you are more than willing to take the time
I disagree with this statement. An e-collar is a very useful tool for developing near 100% recall when used PROPERLY and taught by a QUALIFIED e-collar trainer. Speaking with first hand experience, when used properly it is not detrimental to a young dog.
 

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Sounds like you are doing fantastic. 5 months is still young. She will probably regress during adolesence but if you keep going the way you are the outcome will be great.

The e collar probably has its place but in this case it is a lazy man's solution. Give positive reinforcement a try.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03
The e collar probably has its place but in this case it is a lazy man's solution. Give positive reinforcement a try.
Why is it that the mere mention of using an e-collar is immediately associated with laziness?
 

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Originally Posted By: Tracie
Originally Posted By: I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO an e-collar should only be used as a last resort for your situation not on your six month old puppy. it is very possible to use positive training for a great recall, it just takes lots of time- and it seems like you are more than willing to take the time
I disagree with this statement. An e-collar is a very useful tool for developing near 100% recall when used PROPERLY and taught by a QUALIFIED e-collar trainer. Speaking with first hand experience, when used properly it is not detrimental to a young dog.
i said this because the method he is using is obviously working- he just needs to proof it, which will come in time. and since its working, i don't see a need to use an e-collar. i never said it was detrimental and i never said anything bad about it. but in his situation, it seems like him and his puppy are doing a great job and spending the time to train.
 

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What is it if not laziness or a quick fix. Not saying always, it does have a place and I do not want to change this thread into discussion on e collars. It is what it is.
 

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Hi Colorado,

I found this on a site ( http://www.trainmypet.net/info/vet.php)

How big or old does my dog need to be to use static stimulation(e-collar)?
A: The size of the dog that can use static stimulation is really dependent on the size of the receiver collar and if the dog can comfortably wear the collar. As technology improves, the receiver collars are getting smaller and smaller. The best thing to do is to look at the size of the receiver collar and determine if your dog could comfortably wear it based on their body type. As far as age, the old adage "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" just isn't true. Like us, a dog is never too old to learn but puppies can be too young. A good rule of thumb is once a puppy can be trained to simple commands, like sit and stay, he is ready to learn with any type of training (too early and they do not have the attention span to pay attention and to learn).

There are alot of great articles on this site if your interested in them
Lou Castle also has a WONDERFUL site that had a great article on recall (www.loucastle.com)
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03What is it if not laziness or a quick fix. Not saying always, it does have a place and I do not want to change this thread into discussion on e collars. It is what it is.
I chose to begin training my 4 month old shepherd on an e-collar for the sake of consistency not laziness. I don’t want my dogs’ only motivation to work for me to be based on bribery, excuse me, I mean rewards. I want my dog to be able to go out in the real world and perform just as he has in his obedience classes. By using my e-collar, I can consistently communicate with my dog and I don’t need an endless supply of treats or a rocket launcher to give him his treats if he should decide to take off after something that holds more interest to him than me. (He is a dog after all)

Training my dog on an e-collar also allows me to maintain gentle effective control of my dog wherever he is and at whatever distance away from me he may be without having to have him tethered by a 20, 50 or even 100 foot leash. (once his training was complete of course) In the event he makes a bad decision, I can change his mind quickly.

My dog has not known the restriction of a leash since he was 6 months old. So if teaching my dog to listen to me, obey my requests because he has learned to be voice conscious to my commands makes me a lazy person then by all means…your right, it is what it is and I shall be a lazy trainer for the rest of my days
 

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Go Giants, from a disappointed Packer Fan most of us folks in Wisconsin will be rooting for the Giants.

As for the E Collar, it has its place but never, ever on a puppy.

The dog ran after a few people, was never aggressive and just wanted to chase/play. Frankly, it sounds like typical puppy behavior to me.

The various suggestions about long lines worked with my GSD, when he chased a few people. At the time the dog was big and about one year old. With the use of flags, marking the dog's boundary, and long leases I was able to train the dog not to chase joggers.

As for dog parks and other open sites, leaving your yard and having the dog unleased, etc. could be a problem. I have tried to avoid letting mione off lease, unless I am sure there is no one else around.

As an aside it seems like you have a really nice dog.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03

The e collar probably has its place but in this case it is a lazy man's solution. Give positive reinforcement a try.
Another uninformed poster. I guess all those hunting and field dogs have lazy handlers? Right?

Edited by kutzro357 to be a kinder gentler response(01/29/08 02:46 PM)
 
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