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Hi, I have a 10 mth working line male who has been in schutzhund training since 4 mths of age. He is doing very well and will be training with a SAR team this summer also. His ob is great on and off the field but when we are at home at a park sometimes if he sees a dog he runs after it and I cant call him back. This dosen't happen all the time but he almost ran into the street earlier this week chasing after a dog he saw running on the side walk. The here command is great on the field but not so at home. Any suggestions? Thank you very much.
 

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I'm moving this from SchH to general training because it really has nothing to do with SchH, but rather general training and dog management.

With regards to the topic, I would second the question of why is he off leash? Clearly he's not ready to be off lead outside of a formal training scenario, so for his own safety and that of others he should be on leash. Plus, every time he's off lead and gets to ignore the recall command he is learning that it is optional. A dog should never be set up to fail that way or put into a situation where he can practice the exact opposite of the desired response. So I'd say put him back on lead and do some specific training work on informal recalls amidst distraction. Sounds like he has learned what the recall means in the formal setting of the SchH field, but is no where near to the point where he is going to globalize that to other areas, situations and distractions.
 

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If you can't find a fenced area to exercise him in safely, then use a long line. You can get a heck of a game of fetch going with a 30-50' long line, and if he goes to take off after something you can still use the line to stop him. Inconvenient and a bit cumbersome yes, but better than a dead dog.

The long line will also be needed to train his recalls, since it will allow you to reinforce the command and prevent him from ignoring you and taking off.
 

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We used a local fenced tennis court when we were working with Max on recall. That way he could be off leash but contained.
 

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I agree with the above, and as well as the tennis court idea, look for baseball fields that are fenced in.
 

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Also in an emergency situation try DOWN!! instead of COME.

For some reason I've had better results with difficult dogs doing that, and even saved their lives when about to sprint across a highway.
 

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When John and I were looking in SchH the trainer explicitly told us that the training the dog learned on the field WOULD NOT transfer to real life. The trainer told us that this is a performance for the dog and they know the difference between when it's time to perform on the field and when they're just at home with you.

I think you should either invest in a line long or, as suggested, go to some fenced in area. Sometimes I'll put Jerzey on a long line in the yard that's not actually connected to anything on the other end. It's just in case something catches her interest and she tries to go for it, then I'll just grab it. (It's been a problem lately when I go to my parents house that the neighbor's dog gets out, so it is esp. helpful in similar situations as yours!)

I've also used the tennis courts at my University quite often. You could try a dog park, if you feel comfortable with that. Perhaps go to a local school and ask if it would be okay if you use the courts when the school is closed if you pick up after your dog. (Since it's public, I feel like technically you're paying for it so you should be able to use it either way, but that's just me!)

I hope this helps! Good luck with your pup.

ETA: Some suggested the "down" command above instead of "come." We've actually started using a "touch" command... in which Jerzey is expected to come and touch our hand. It requires her to come, without necessarily saying the word. There is something about that "come" command, I swear, that just causes a dog to turn their nose sometimes and keep on running!
 

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Quote: the trainer explicitly told us that the training the dog learned on the field WOULD NOT transfer to real life. The trainer told us that this is a performance for the dog and they know the difference between when it's time to perform on the field and when they're just at home with you.
This is true unless you work at the commands out in real life.
Also many of the clubs I go to said hold the end of the long line and let the dog choose to run after the other dog and LET THEM hit the end of the long line. At that moment they hit the end of the long line the shock of hitting the end you say a firmer sharper HERE command!

For us the down command is my safety/calming command one of which I have had to use quite a few times with both dogs.
 

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Quote:
This is true unless you work at the commands out in real life.
And real life means all sorts of places. There's a general rule of twenty that I practice. Until my dog has completed a command a minimum of twenty times successfully in at least twenty places, I don't assume she knows it at all. Dogs don't generalize well at all.

A "here" at the field is simply that. A "come" in training class is only that. Your dog is learning to return to you in those specific locations.

We need to get our dogs out in the real world and practicing their commands EVERYWHERE. This way, they learn that "here" means turn around and return to my owner asap every single time (yes, even when that cute poodle is about to cross the street, or even when the nice man is about to hand me half of his hot dog).

Then, we can assume that our dog knows the command. Really knows it, at least, when we give it. If we want them to return to someone else (a spouse, a dog walker, etc), we're going to need to work even harder -- and preferably get those humans involved too. Coming back to my owner doesn't mean the same thing as coming back to the lady I barely know, even though I like the fact that she takes me for a walk every day.

We hear it all the time in classes "but my dog does this perfectly at home. " That's because she's been trained to perform that command at home. She hasn't been trained to perform it elsewhere. Get the dog out of the house, out of the classroom and off the field and PRACTICE.

And even when I'm certain that my dog has a rock-solid recall, if I take him to somewhere completely new (perhaps the beach if he's never been there), I'll leave him on the long line and practice a dozen times or so. Yes, this is exactly like every other place we've ever been. "Come" means "come" means "come." Then, when he clearly shows he understands that, I'll take off the long line, but not til then.

It's far easier to keep my dog on a long line, and practice than it is to chase after a dog that's off happily doing his own thing.

And unfortunately, that IS the best case scenario...
 

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Quote:Dogs don't generalize well at all.
Oh my goodness! I am beating my head against the wall with Hella and her blind search she refuses to recognize the green Tee-Pee style blinds and will not go around them. But wooden ones that are on the field are no trouble.
She knows this command! She just does not generalize the blind difference!
 

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I'm with Windwalker18 on the DOWN vs the COME.

Had an older male years ago, that got nailed by a dog on a recall, and swore
that I would never setup my dog again to get attacked from behind.
I never use the recall unless we are training, dog goes in a sit or down & I go to them.
 

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Great advice 3K9Mom.

My dog is 10 months and works well at home, in obedience class and in a controlled envirmonment outside. She would not come, and sit in front if I called her away from playing with other dogs. Instead she will come to me but not sit in front. If she sat it would be sideways keeping one eye on me and the other eye on the activity she just left.

Let's go, and/or walking away works great. So we use that.

Our instructor said it can take a long time before a dog has a rock solid recall, and it needs to be worked on seriously all the time. Do not use come unless you can enforce it, by either a long line or physically getting your dog.

It's really odd, but when she is outside in my backyard and I want her in, she ignors me when I call come so I go get her, set her up and work on it a few times. What works for her 100% of the time is if I tell her to "kennel up". Bam - she runs right into the house and into her kennel. Kennel Up was a command we would do from day one when we put her into her kennel - the reward was an ice cube.

3K9Mom - Is it realisitic for a 10 month old puppy to have a solid recall? I'm not expecting one now but hope to have one by the time she is 1 1/2.
 

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I think 10 months is quite young, but that depends how long and how you've been training it.

If you've been training it this way -- walk in the back yard, stand there (probably with a treat), say "come," dog ignores you, say it again, dog trots toward you. Shout it and lean forward with a big piece of treat, and dog finally comes. Then yes, 10 months is way young. In fact, with that approach, 4 years is probably "too young."

When I get a pup, from day one, I start with high value treats in my pockets (I don't use a snack bag when training pups, because they get smart and realize "If she's not wearing a snack bag, there are no snacks." But I always have pockets!). I walk over to him when he's playing outside. We play for a while, then I show him the snack, right under his nose, and I tell him, very excitedly, "Come, puppy, Come!! And I take off running, skipping Woo Hoo! "Come" is FUN!!!! I run about 20 ft. He follows. Then I stop, drop to the ground. He arrives in my arms. I give him a rubdown, tell him he's brilliant, and I give him the treat in tiny pieces, what I call jackpotting.

Ever watch a game show? They never hand someone $1000 in cash all at once. "Here, here's your prize. Thanks for playing." Noooo... They hand over the $100 bills one at a time, counting. ONE hundred! TWO hundred! THREE hundred! FOUR hundred!... Why? It's more exciting! That's what I do with recall snacks. You came to Mom! You hit the jackpot!

So, that's how I train recall. By the time my kids are about 5 months old if they're outside in the backyard with Dh, when they hear me open the back door, they come flying around the corner to the door: "Yesssss? Did you call????"

At the park, before we even play ball or walk around, Dh and I play the Recall Game. We go into the fenced baseball diamond and stand as far apart as the youngest (or oldest or shortest) of the legs can manage. Then one person shouts "Camper, Boni, Meri, COME!" and the dogs take off running to that person. As they arrive, they get a tiny piece of snack. They have to wait --no fair jumping the gun while the little ones catch up -- then they are called by the other spouse. They're kind of racing each other (although the adult GSD always won), so it's fun. But everyone wins a prize.

You can easily do this with one dog and two people. You certainly don't need a pack.


We actually do this in our house too (especially when it's raining). Dh stands in the bedroom, on one end of our house; I stand at the other end, in the family room. And we call them back and forth. They LOVE this. For fun (and as long as there are no puppies with developing joints), I'll set up obstacles, like ottomans and a box or two, so they have to run a slalom course. Zoom! And they get treated at either end.

Right now, only Meri plays this indoor game. She gets so excited, she forgets to get her treat half the time. She just likes running back and forth when we call "Come." Imagine! A beagle that forgets to get a snack! Whoever would have thought!

Finally, when my kids are playing, especially when they're playing with their friends, I'll call them over, hand them a tiny bit of high value snack, then release them to go back to playing. I call it checking in. I do it when we're on a hike. They may all be offleash and just sniffing around. I call all of them, hand out the snack and tell them "ok, go play." So "come" doesn't necessarily mean "Game Over." Most of the time, it just means, get a (tiny) snack. And I'll offer some water before they go back out.

So, by the time my kids are a year or so old, they have a good recall -- and considering the fact that two of them are beagles, that's a good accomplishment. My GSD had an excellent recall, in general. If he got a little too caught up in what he was doing, I would just shout his name take off running in the opposite direction. That always got his attention. But he was an adult. I knew that he had excellent obedience, so he would look up when I called his name (if they don't even look over, running away doesn't help).

I guess my answer is, if you have the foundation established, then by the time your dog approaching adulthood, you can expect a good recall (adolescents are always going to be squirrelly). But you have to lay the foundation now.

And, again, I don't trust them anywhere until I am 100% sure they'll come back every time. Long lines are cheaper than vet bills.

Recall has to be fun. If I had a dollar for every person I've seen stand straight up and say in a stern voice "Fido. Come," (or worse, the angry, leaning forward posture "Maggie, GET OVER HERE NOW!) I'd have enough low fat (no corn syrup) turkey hotdogs to keep my kids coming to me for the rest of their lives.

 

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3K9Mom has given GREAT advice.

I'm just going to add for the single folks out there who don't have anyone to play the Recall Game with, I found a way to do it with Dante alone.

Once he had the wait command down pat I'd put him in a wait in the living room and then walk down the hall to the end and call him from there. He'd FLY down the hallway
I was actually teaching a formal sit in front of me so if he did an especially great sit very close with his head up and eyes on me immediatly he'd get the treat jackpot, though he always got a treat.

We moved it outside after awhile and I was able to put him in a wait on one side of the house and call him from the other

Outside also worked very well using his special jute tug as the reward, he loves a good game of tug.

We once did this at a park near my house and I didn't notice until he was flying to me that the grass was really pretty wet. Well sure enough, he planted his butt and started to slide...slammed right into me and put me on my butt. I had to walk home with a completely wet butt, thankfully there was mud as well so any passerbys would know that I hadn't just pee'd my pants
 
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