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Discussion Starter #1
Hunter is my 2 year old GSD/Lab/Golden mix dog. My Summer 2008 goal is to figure out how to keep him in our yard. Last year if he was outside he had a leash on, whether I was holding it or he was dragging a long line. It didn't keep him in the yard but it was easier to grab him when he had the long lead trailing him. This year we have been gradually getting away from that...baby steps...

Every day I take the dogs out (one on one) for some sort of training. Yesterday Hunter and I went out and started working off lead. He was being a little 'squirley' as in kind of not paying attention and etc. Then he did it...he gave me the look. That's the "wanna run?" look. I did everything I knew to do... I started calling him all excitedly, turning my back and running the other way, asking him if he wanted to play ball, etc. Nope. Didn't work. He took off and that was that.

I followed him and it wasn't until he stopped to look at the cows that I got close enough to grab his collar.

We have been going new places to do some distraction training with name recognition but apparently that doesn't matter when he's running.

It's been 3-4 weeks since he's done this and this is only the second time this spring/summer so I thought we were making good progress. Guess I was wrong.

What kind of suggestions do you have????

Thanks!

Lu
 

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Have you rewarded with food? Hot dogs can do wonders! Remember being the best place to be is your goal. I would use clicker training to buid your recall as well.
Make sure you don't punish if he comes to you, even if he does a wild run first. (you may already know this but I am not sure what kind of training you are doing)
New places and distractions should still be on leash, and frequent, IF he has mastered the recall without them. Going back to no distractions and building back up to distractions would be a good place to start.
If you could give more info on how you are training I could give you some better suggestions!
 

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Lu.....you know I have the EXACT same problem with Cokie! We are still at a loss. You saw him at rally....he does pretty well (well not for the entire time, but that's too much to ask) and I think he could even do some novice rally courses if I practiced more. He DOES come when called when he *knows* he is still on a leash or a line. We use a long tie-out in the yard and practice all manner of recalls, recall games, scrumptious treats, etc., but he's not stupid and he knows the radius of his tie-outs. So anytime he manages to escape (most recently, the time our father in law walked out with BOTH doors wide open...who can blame Coke?!), he gets one step beyond where he knows his tie-out ends and he KNOWS he is free! He's gone! He runs half a mile before he even turns back to look at us. Last time this happened, we had 3 people all running and screaming, trying to initiate a chase game back to the house, we had a full bag of jerky, we had Kenya off lead trying to entice him back with her inviting play.....our problem is not the recall, it's getting his **** attention! Once he stops running (usually several blocks away) and realized that maybe playing chase and eating jerky with us IS more fun than escaping, he's not that hard to catch.
 

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MTAussie, yes I'm rewarding with food. I just switched to Natural Balance food rolls. They seemed pretty darn irresistible!! Yes, I'm doing clicker training as well. This was something we changed this year! I think we need more work here though...

Nope, I don't punish...and believe me....it takes all the restraint I have not to!!!!

Any other place we go besides our yard, he is on lead. Actually tonite we went to a park area and did some very short recalls. He did pretty well.

We are just working on basics... loose lead walking, heeling, sits, downs, stays, waits, recalls, name recognition, etc. We are in an intermediate class and will test for his CGC at the end of it.

Lu
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lies...you just described my Sunday afternoon but I was home alone. I'm so glad we live out here in the country and are back from the roads a ways or I would be totally freaking out!

But you are right about not being able to get their attention. "Hunter who?" is what I thought I heard him say as he was running.

Maybe these guys just can't be trusted until they mature even more! We used to have a husky so the ALWAYS ON A LEASH concept isn't lost on me. I just thought we were making progress.....

Lu
 

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Lu-

Zeus has a poor recall also. If he darts out the door getting him back in is a challenge unless it's first thing in the morning or if I've been gone for a while. He needs his mama fix. If he has been with me for a while he looks at me like I've grown a third head. Food doesn't motivate him when he's outside. He'd rather play keep away.

So.....I either sit down and do nothing. Just wait and ignore him. Eventually, he'll come to me. Or if I must get him inside right away I just open the car door and say bye-bye.
 

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And as a side note, I take him outside on a leash at all times. I just don't trust him to not take off. His other mom did obedience training with him before I got him. All his other commands are solid. This one...needs much more work.
 

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Hmm... My theory for running off when loose is that it is way too interesting for them. There is something in it that they've been yearning for. It could be just being somewhere they've been wanting to check out, or free running without the cumbersomeness of a leash.

We want to get to a point with our dogs where they willingly do as we ask of them. Simultaneously, they have their own wants and desires, and we witness regularly that they go ahead and do what they want when we don't have the ability to prevent it. My theory is that it would be helpful if we understand what it is that they want and need and let them do what they want - on our terms - so they have less desire to do it without our permission.

Try long exploring walks on a regular basis. Let them really know and understand everything that is around their home. This both satisfies their curiosity and desire to travel.

Introduce them to being off-leash in a safe area. You may need to find a large fenced in area and then encourage them to run at top speed a long distance. Let them get the desire to run around without a leash out of their system, and then work on training. While in the safe area, make being off-leash and interacting with you fun. Treat a lot, talk to them when they are facing you, play catch, run around with them, etc. When they aren't interacting with you be boring and then they'll realize that sniffing around the ground by themselves isn't as much fun.

Practice NILF. Make them sit and stay before going outside and reward them readily. Make them sit and stay before going off leash. Take the leash off, and continue the stay before releasing them to run and wander. Let them wander for a bit, then recall them to work on training.

When they run wild, make sure they do it with your permission (and give them permission regularly in the beginning). Then ensure that they understand "No!" very clearly. If they run wild without your permission tell them, "No!"

These are all things I practice daily with my dog. Although I know I can't leave her without watching her like a hawk, she does respond to verbal commands - especially, "No!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you might be on to something with the walks around the neighbor's yards/fields. He was awfully interested in the cows as he had only seen those from far away in the past. I think we'll try that.

Part of my problem is not that he doesn't know NO, he does. But he doesn't know that or his name when he's running.

And you can almost see his wheels turning as he's standing there with that 'look'. 'hmmm.....Mom said she'd play ball....I want to go see those cows.....oh what to do???" and off he goes!

We'll have to start back from scratch and work back up. I think that I forget he's not Gracie... He's a little dumber and I need to go s...l...o...w...e...r.

Lu
 

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Originally Posted By: luannePart of my problem is not that he doesn't know NO, he does. But he doesn't know that or his name when he's running.

And you can almost see his wheels turning as he's standing there with that 'look'. 'hmmm.....Mom said she'd play ball....I want to go see those cows.....oh what to do???" and off he goes!
Once obsession sets in, it's virtually impossible to get through to their brains until the obsession subsides. You have to get them to re-focus before the obsession sets in. Sometimes it will be impossible to have them maintain focus while the obsession trigger is around, and you'll just have to remove the trigger or train to remove the obsession.

As you said, you see the "wheels" turning - it's at that point you should tell him no. Either that, or just leash him and take him over to checkout the cows.

Originally Posted By: luanneWe'll have to start back from scratch and work back up. I think that I forget he's not Gracie... He's a little dumber and I need to go s...l...o...w...e...r.
I wouldn't necessarily say that he is dumb. Think of it like a child with ADHD vs a child without ADHD - you just have to work with them a little differently. The whole darn world is very interesting to him right now and he wants to see and experience it all. Once he sees and experiences it, and grows up a little, the rest of the world will be a bit less interesting and he'll have more ability to focus.
 

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Quote:Once obsession sets in, it's virtually impossible to get through to their brains until the obsession subsides. You have to get them to re-focus before the obsession sets in. Sometimes it will be impossible to have them maintain focus while the obsession trigger is around, and you'll just have to remove the trigger or train to remove the obsession.
Yeah..that's the tough part!!!
But we'll keep working through it.

Quote:As you said, you see the "wheels" turning - it's at that point you should tell him no. Either that, or just leash him and take him over to checkout the cows.
I think this weekend we are going to go on a cow visiting trip. My neighbors have pigs (4H) now so we are going to have to make a visit there as well.


Quote:I wouldn't necessarily say that he is dumb. Think of it like a child with ADHD vs a child without ADHD - you just have to work with them a little differently. The whole darn world is very interesting to him right now and he wants to see and experience it all. Once he sees and experiences it, and grows up a little, the rest of the world will be a bit less interesting and he'll have more ability to focus.
Yeah...he's 'slow'.
BUT....I love him to death because he is as sweet as he is slow.
When you have a really smart one (Gracie) and then get a goofy boy....it's a shock to the training system. But I won't give up on him and we'll just back up and start over a little bit. And, of course, use the advice given here!

Lu
 

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Originally Posted By: luanneMTAussie, yes I'm rewarding with food. I just switched to Natural Balance food rolls. They seemed pretty darn irresistible!! Yes, I'm doing clicker training as well. This was something we changed this year! I think we need more work here though...

Nope, I don't punish...and believe me....it takes all the restraint I have not to!!!!

Any other place we go besides our yard, he is on lead. Actually tonite we went to a park area and did some very short recalls. He did pretty well.

We are just working on basics... loose lead walking, heeling, sits, downs, stays, waits, recalls, name recognition, etc. We are in an intermediate class and will test for his CGC at the end of it.

Lu
I totally laughed when I read what you wrote about not punishing him when he returns to you!

I think long lead work (practice) in conjunction with treats and the clicker is my perferred way of building the recall. Alex will come from out of sight if I call him and whistle now.
 

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Is running off a problem for the dog. For example, might he get hit by a car, our someone shot him.

My responses would differ a bit, based on your respond to the above.
 
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