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Dakota is nearly 18 months old now. She is very good at the basic commands, but sometimes we have trouble with come. If there are not distractions, there is never a problem. The problem is when she thinks something else is more fun. For instance, she loves to play frisbee, and she brings it back fine, but as soon as she gets to me she darts back off. I'll slowly take a couple steps towards her, or tell her to come, and she does the same thing. She is not being possessive of the toy, she usually drops it when I come towards her, she would just rather me chase her than keep playing frisbee. When she gets it in her head that she wants to play "chase", I cannot get her to come.

The other major time that we have problems is when a cat is around. We have a stray problem in my area and while Dakota is fenced in and cannot get away, she will still chase them along the fence and not listen when they are around.

Any suggestions?
 

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1. Don't give in to the chase game.

2. Have a second toy with you to display-and display it as soon as she starts to dart away. Treats also-offer a treat when she brings it back to you and either drops it at your feet/waits for you to take it from her.

3. Long line. You want to put a long line on her. And give a slight tug/reel it in when you call and she does not immediately turn and start coming toward you.


You do not want to issue a command when you can not enforce it. It communicates to the dog that she really doesn't have to respond to you-not if but when there is something else entertaining/interesting. I did not say more entertaining/interesting as it is your job to make yourself the most interesting lovable treat dispensing toy displaying object to your dog when you are out and about.

Spend some more time working on the recall without distractions. You really want this one down pat as it is one of the most important commands you can teach.

Good Luck and enjoy!

Oh and welcome to the forum!
 

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Originally Posted By: Everett54 I did not say more entertaining/interesting as it is your job to make yourself the most interesting lovable treat dispensing toy displaying object to your dog when you are out and about.
I do agree with everything adviced but I don't totally buy the 'handler must be the most interesting center of the world any second and forever' approach, especially for a young dog. The world truly is interesting and exciting for a dog and a handler should try to incorporate it into training, not just replace the entire world with himself.

For example, if your dog wants so much to catch that bee it's better to ask him to come to you for a second and immediately release to catch that bee, and not to shower him with treats, and produce toys, and try to make sure he forgets about the bee. He won't


Leslie McDevitt talks about this in her 'Control Unleashed' book.
 

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I can't really add much to what Samuel said, except this:

-- the dog that runs with the toy is usually (not always but usually) the higher-level dog in the pack. So if your pup is ignoring you THEN being chased, you're messing up the pack dynamic that you want.

-- what we at my house call "the upgrade game" works. Dog has something I want. I always have something he wants more in my pocket. Always. (I carry about 2-3 kinds of treats in my pocket at any given time. I hand out the lower-level treats normally. The really snazzy smelly treats are held back for just this sort of occasion. For my dog who isn't so food motivated, I always hold back a better toy for this sort of occasion. Or, if/when he's been perfect during play, it's the best reward to give him!) So, dog has something I want. She's thinking she wants to keep it. I offer something better. She rethinks her prior position almost every time.

Think of it this way. I really like my Nissan. If someone wants me to give it up, I'd resist. But if someone held out the keys to a car I like even more, maybe something I've always wanted but couldn't afford, I'd toss them the keys as I climbed in the new car and zoomed away.

Dogs don't care about cars (well, only when the car takes them to the park, beach or their favorite pet shop), but they do care about food and toys. We can use these to train them, so that eventually, the point of the game is that we won't toss the frisbee or throw the toy at all unless they Drop or Give the toy (the reward is the toss itself), but first they have to bring it to us, and do so consistently.

Start there. Training is often about baby steps (which I think the hardest thing for almost all of us to learn). Accomplish one thing at a time, and you'll have a better time playing with your pup too!
 

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What I am referring to is that point in time when you actually use the recall command. At that point the dog should put his full attention to returning to you-or going into a down/sit if that's the command you use at that point. You can release them to return to whatever they were doing or redirect to something else.

And the more reliable and confident we are with our recall, the more fun and exploration both handler and dog will both have when they are out about.

You need to keep the fun even in building to a reliable recall, but while building it, you do want to be the most interesting .... - just not the only interesting item.

Regarding the bee - agree with you and if I truly want him not to go back, that is where I would incorporate a "leave it" command.
 

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Everett, I have given in to the chase game in the past, but not anymore. In my own defense, I wouldn't call it giving in, it was simply a fun way for us to play together. Key word being "was".

Your second tip generally works well, I guess I just wasn't expecting to have to use two toys for so long. Sometimes, though, she rather get chased. I do agree that I also need to get a long lead.

GSD07, I like the sounds of that and will have to check the library for the book.

3k9, the thing is, is that she does not care about the toy, and frequently does not care about a reward. In her mind, at that moment, she wants nothing more than to be chased, and that is the greatest reward.

It is actually comical at times how much she wants to be chased. She does the exact same thing to other dogs. If they have a toy or treat, she will take it just to get them to chase her. When she finally tires out she will give the toy back without any problems. The chase really is the greatest reward in her eyes. If there is no toy around to "lure" another dog into chasing, she will just start running back and forth in front of them until they get fed up and chase her.
 

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Originally Posted By: tedro
3k9, the thing is, is that she does not care about the toy, and frequently does not care about a reward. In her mind, at that moment, she wants nothing more than to be chased, and that is the greatest reward.
Turn the tables!! Pull out something (or not) and run in the opposite way! You become the "chasee" and make her the chaser. You can still have fun with it.

Now that I have two dogs, they do the chasing games with one another - I can kick back and enjoy the antics (and try to have a camera ready!)

Enjoy your journey with Dakota. Spend some quality time going through the threads here and asking questions, as I think you (as many of us before you) will get a whole lot out of this board.

Now go get your camera and post some pictures!!
 

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Ok. Do you have a yard? If so, you can try something we did with phenomenal success.

Our GSD is a crazy frisbee guy. A maniac. Obsessive. When he was a young pup, he just didn't want to let go of his frisbees. And he has about 12 frisbees. The problem is, he can carry about 8 in his mouth, and when we leaned over to pick up one of the other 4, he'd try to grab it as well, and sometimes, get our hand.

So, we decided to get serious. Not nasty. But we stopped messing around.

I'd toss the frisbee. He'd get it. I'd say "give." He didn't release the frisbee. I'd say, "no" (the correction.). Then I would repeat commmand (never repeat a command unless you've corrected first. And then, only repeat once.). "Camper, Give." He didn't.

(So at that point, he's now had two chances, right?)

What's the rule? Never give a command you can't enforce, right? So now, I need to enforce it. What's the way owners usually enforce this situation? Grab the toy and pull it out of the dog's mouth, in other words, play tug with the dog (which is what he really likes.) Nope. That's not what I did. Instead, I would take the frisbee bag (which had the remaining frisbees), and I said, "Ok, No Frisbee." And I walked into the house. I was calm. I was reasonable. There was no fighting. I simply was withdrawing from the game.

Dogs understand games. Dogs understand that games have certain rules. Watch two socialized dogs play. It's clear that they have rules. In fact, if one inadvertently gets hurt, the other comes rushing over and apologizes (licking the other's face and such). If one dog feels play is far too rough, he will withdraw from play. I just reset the rules. I told him, by withdrawing from the game, that he wasnt' following the rules.

It took me THREE times before he realized that when he wasn't following the rules, the game ended. He loved his frisbee games. After that, sometimes, after I gave him the first command and the correction, he'd stand there. But as soon as I moved toward the frisbee bag, he'd run over and spit the frisbee at my feet. "No wait, I'm ready to follow the rules!"

He was about 8 months old when all this happened.

Now, we have nice games. We play until he's tired, or til I say the same is over. At the end of the game, he gathers the frisbees. It takes two trips, but brings them all into the house, drops them in the kitchen and gets a small snack for doing clean up duty.

While your pup has a different issue, you can do the same thing. She brings up the frisbee, or if she's dilly-dallying, you call her. You tell her to give you the frisbee. When she takes off, you give her a correction and repeat the command. If/when she doesn't, you announce to her calmly, No Frisbee. (keep it clear. Does she know the word "no" and the word "frisbee"? Then that's clear enough. No sentences used here. You just need to announce what you're doing. Then withdraw from the game.) And when you do withdraw, it should be at least several hours before you return to the game.

If she needs exercise, wait at least a half an hour, so you're not rewarding her non-compliance with a nice walk or other game. You're not mad, but there are consequences for not playing by the simplest of rules. Watch dogs throughout parks all over the world. They understand the rules. In order for my human to play with me, I have to return this ball, deposit it nicely to them, and they throw it for me. It's not too much to ask your bright GSD to do the same. But she needs to be shown that this is, in fact, expected of her.





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she usually drops it when I come towards her, she would just rather me chase her than keep playing frisbee. When she gets it in her head that she wants to play "chase", I cannot get her to come.
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The chase really is the greatest reward in her eyes.
You CAN train your dog to be cooperative. But right now, the game isn't frisbee. It's chase.

Chase is cute. But there's one thing about a dog that likes to play "keep away." If you ever have to grab her because she's off leash and there's a serious situation (she got out of the yard and a car is coming; you're at the park and there's a feeble old man walking up, or a vicious looking dog coming right at you), a dog that plays "keep away" is nearly impossible to get a hold of.

A dog that doesn't have a great recall is one thing. I wish I could say that ALL my dogs have 100% recall, 100% of the time, but I can't. But a dog that actively dodges and runs away from her owner is a different story. It's the difference between a dog that basically says "eh, I'm busy. I'll get there in a few minutes" and a dog that says "I WON'T let you get me." With the "busy" dog, you can walk up and snap a leash on him. He's too busy to come to you, but he doesn't mind if you come get him. In fact, he's rather pleased that you did. He can share that wonderful dead squirrel with you.

Honestly, I think you need to stop the chase games right now. I know she loves it. My dogs love being chased not only by each other, but especially by their humans. But we don't play chase with them (where we chase them. We let them chase us all the time) until they are well trained and mature enough to understand that fetch games like frisbee are games with rules, that Come means Come 100% of the time, and that chase is a *game* that we play, not a way of life. And we only ever play it in the back yard.

Your pup is an adolescent. Teenagers' thinking is kind of screwy at this age anyhow. Play frisbee with her. Train her on Come. Put chase in a box and stuff it in the back of a closet. She can play that when she's older and more mature, and only in a fully fenced location.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom

Honestly, I think you need to stop the chase games right now.

I believe that playing chase is fine, if the dog follows my rules for playing. My rules are; I start the game, I end the game and at anytime during the game if I call them, they must come. When the dog is learning to play by my rules, the dog is on a leash. I chase them and then call them, and take hold of their collar. They get praise and pats, then I release them and instigate the chase game again. Soon after, I will call them again, and repeat. If they don’t come, I do not repeat my command, I end the game. I turn around and as they have the leash on they must follow me into the house where I take off their leash and ignore them.
 
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