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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

I know that the title of the post imply mutual exclusivity but that is not what I mean.

Allow me to explain.

So I think I have achieved a good basic obedience level. It worked in most environments for now, at the park (not dog park) with dogs somewhat far, when I go to a cafe, in the house, around people walking etc... etc....

Over the weekend, I decided to go to a beach here where dogs are allowed off leash. It was full of people, some kids and lots of activities around, DJ, people dancing. People kiting, playing ball etc....Nice place.

There were maybe 7-10 other dogs that all seemed relaxed and comfortable.

Rex had a great time, he ran, swam, chased and played with nice dogs. He was full of joy. However, recall went to close to non existent. So if we wanted to chill a bit for example and I wanted him close before we go at it again and go play it did not work. Playing involved running at the beach, other dogs coming and playing, they go, I tease Rex to go in the water, he follows, I play with him with his toy abit but then he checks out when he wants and just go run with the dogs and sometime play with other people.

So two examples:

when we are playing and other dogs playing, and I wanted him to come to me it was, it is as if I did no exist. He would check on me at times and I was with him as he moved and play. But could not go back to chill a bit unless I got him and leashed him to bring him back,

Then when we are sitting, and say I made him sit with us. 5 minutes later, there would be commotion and he would go, so break the stay and go. I tell him "hey" but he would not listen.

So it was either enforce some obedience, or kind of go along with it and let him have his joyous moments. So I chose the easy going laissez aller attitude and looked away on obedience and enforcing it and letting him enjoy to the max.

Do experiences like this create a retraction of the obedience achieved thus far? I mean he is a one year old male that wanted to obviously have fun which was more interesting of staying put for a 5 minutes.

Are experiences like this detrimental for training achieved? Should they be avoided? Or used to one's advantage, having have his joy and try some obedience and not be too anal about it?

Thank you for your feedback
 

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My 2 cents worth.....I think you have to appreciate the situation and have honest expectations of the dog's adherence to obedience when commanded.



You now know an environment where there is a breakdown in obedience....so I might not be inclined to issue a recall or stay if you couldn't enforce it.....probably best to not even issue the command.


It sounds like your dog had a great time....maybe next time you could do a bit of training up front in that environment....long line recalls....leashed down stays..etc.....and then when Rex does as instructed......you use all the dog romping/swimming/ meeting and greeting as the reward for job well done.


Sounds like you have it figured out.





SuperG
 

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Hello guys,

I know that the title of the post imply mutual exclusivity but that is not what I mean.

Allow me to explain.

So I think I have achieved a good basic obedience level. It worked in most environments for now, at the park (not dog park) with dogs somewhat far, when I go to a cafe, in the house, around people walking etc... etc....

Over the weekend, I decided to go to a beach here where dogs are allowed off leash. It was full of people, some kids and lots of activities around, DJ, people dancing. People kiting, playing ball etc....Nice place.

There were maybe 7-10 other dogs that all seemed relaxed and comfortable.

Rex had a great time, he ran, swam, chased and played with nice dogs. He was full of joy. However, recall went to close to non existent. So if we wanted to chill a bit for example and I wanted him close before we go at it again and go play it did not work. Playing involved running at the beach, other dogs coming and playing, they go, I tease Rex to go in the water, he follows, I play with him with his toy abit but then he checks out when he wants and just go run with the dogs and sometime play with other people.

So two examples:

when we are playing and other dogs playing, and I wanted him to come to me it was, it is as if I did no exist. He would check on me at times and I was with him as he moved and play. But could not go back to chill a bit unless I got him and leashed him to bring him back,

Then when we are sitting, and say I made him sit with us. 5 minutes later, there would be commotion and he would go, so break the stay and go. I tell him "hey" but he would not listen.

So it was either enforce some obedience, or kind of go along with it and let him have his joyous moments. So I chose the easy going laissez aller attitude and looked away on obedience and enforcing it and letting him enjoy to the max.

Do experiences like this create a retraction of the obedience achieved thus far? I mean he is a one year old male that wanted to obviously have fun which was more interesting of staying put for a 5 minutes.

Are experiences like this detrimental for training achieved? Should they be avoided? Or used to one's advantage, having have his joy and try some obedience and not be too anal about it?

Thank you for your feedback

JMO but this very well may not have ended like it did...there have been other threads that did not end so well....I think most members here would agree---strange area--strange people--strange dogs--off leash and no recall can be very bad--Recall is one command that at the right moment could be a life saver for your dog.
 

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Looks like your dog needs to earn the right to run free on the beach. Of course that will take longer now that he's figured out that he can ignore a recall. Better obedience can mean better joy. The more you can trust your dog when you need him to respond the more places he can go and the more freedom he can have. The dog that misbehaves all the time can barely leave home and when they do it is for short walks on tight leashes.

So visits to the beach should be when it is calm, with a long line. Yes it is hassle and a long wet sandy leash is no fun for you but you need to be able to reel your young dog in when you call. Take this year to teach recalls must be obeyed. That will also give your dog another year to mature and with practice and that maturity gain more self-control.
 

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You are teaching your dog that if he comes to you, fun and games are over. Stop what you are doing or his recall will get worse.

Next time, call him to you, when he comes praise him, and immediately release him to go back to having fun. Rinse and repeat.

If I were you, I would lose the toy, especially if other loose dogs are around. Toys are a catalyst for dog fights.

If you want him to check on you more often, move around, circle the group he is playing with, don't call him, let him look for you. He will. Shepherds are like that.
 

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What has worked for me, when Red chooses fun over a recall, is the E-Collar reminder; its serves as a refocus tool, that gets his attention back to the obedience command. Even though it rarely gets used when we are out and about, I continue to fit my dog with the device, in a "just in case" basis; mainly for those instances like the one you described, in which the recall gets ignored for the sake of joy and play. This is just what I have found that works for us, in the rare situations in which we need to get him out of a potential developing crisis (other dogs just appearing out of nowhere), or him getting in a situation in which his safety may be in peril (a Snake encounter comes to mind).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the feedback.

I want to clarify a couple of points and some facts I neglected to mention.

We stayed there around 4 hours. I called him twice only. Once in the middle of full play which he did blow off and the other he kind of half responded, came back but not fully. Then I stopped recalling him fully for the reasons mentioned in the replies.

What I did after to have some control if needed, is put on a long leash. Even though I held it half the time, it seemed that when it was on and i let it go , he was more aware of me and I nudged on it a couple of times to test and he came back and then I let him go again.

At times however, I was worried about keeping it when he was running with one dog who he had most fun as I worried that it would entangle. So when that dog cae to play chase with Rex, I took of the leash and let him run. He would eventially find me and then I would put it back on and run with him and then he ran woth me.

Does what I did as described above seems reasonable given the overall situatiion described? I made it a point not to kill his fun by enforcing and giving futher commands. I said "come" twice as above and a couple of "heys"...

Thanks
 

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In my opinion, obedience and joy need not be mutually exclusive.

If you train smart with very high value rewards, including being released to play, you can get a joyful response that is still the response you want even in the face of big distractions.

I do use an E Collar on one of my dogs but I have never needed to use it around dogs. His ball trumps dogs and it's easy to set up to train, especially because I have as many new strange dogs as I want at my disposal daily. I would first train engagement with the ball on a rope on the other side of a fence from strange dogs.

Then I progressed to calling him away from other dogs that he was loose with--dogs I knew would have no interest in his toy or playing with me. Again, I am lucky I can just hand pick dogs that meet whatever criteria I need and use them for whatever training setup. Most people don't have that but you can be creative with outside a dog park, and other ways.

And work up to it. What you described is like university level recall. Did you work the stages of first grade through high school? If not, start there. Your third grader can't take the SATs.

And until you get to that point in training, don't call him at all. Just go get him from whatever he is doing without saying anything, and if it is possible (safe) when he allows you to grab him, reward hugely with a toy or food. You might need to catch him and then invite him to chase you away from the other dogs and reward at a safe distance but if you bridge from a to b the dog will make the connection.

I don't remember how this started but me and my adult male have this thing now at competitions. I stash his ball on a rope somewhere, if it's a big indoor trial I'll stash it at a friend's crate or something. And then when I bring him out of the ring, I take him to where I left it, I let him grab the ball discreetly, I hold the strap, and let him tow me along by the ball out of the building. I'm still holding his leash and he's not out of control at all he just walks right beside me, has the ball and is sort of quietly pulling me along by it. At this point he has a one track mind, he only cares about getting outside somewhere with me where we'll play for a minute and that's his reward for a job well done in the ring. That became his bridge from doing good in the ring to taking me to play so it's all linked together. Because sometimes it's a long way between where we compete and some quiet private place where we can play tug and toss.
 

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Hello guys,

I know that the title of the post imply mutual exclusivity but that is not what I mean.

Allow me to explain.

So I think I have achieved a good basic obedience level. It worked in most environments for now, at the park (not dog park) with dogs somewhat far, when I go to a cafe, in the house, around people walking etc... etc....

Over the weekend, I decided to go to a beach here where dogs are allowed off leash. It was full of people, some kids and lots of activities around, DJ, people dancing. People kiting, playing ball etc....Nice place.

There were maybe 7-10 other dogs that all seemed relaxed and comfortable.

Rex had a great time, he ran, swam, chased and played with nice dogs. He was full of joy. However, recall went to close to non existent. So if we wanted to chill a bit for example and I wanted him close before we go at it again and go play it did not work. Playing involved running at the beach, other dogs coming and playing, they go, I tease Rex to go in the water, he follows, I play with him with his toy abit but then he checks out when he wants and just go run with the dogs and sometime play with other people.

So two examples:

when we are playing and other dogs playing, and I wanted him to come to me it was, it is as if I did no exist. He would check on me at times and I was with him as he moved and play. But could not go back to chill a bit unless I got him and leashed him to bring him back,

Then when we are sitting, and say I made him sit with us. 5 minutes later, there would be commotion and he would go, so break the stay and go. I tell him "hey" but he would not listen.

So it was either enforce some obedience, or kind of go along with it and let him have his joyous moments. So I chose the easy going laissez aller attitude and looked away on obedience and enforcing it and letting him enjoy to the max.

Do experiences like this create a retraction of the obedience achieved thus far? I mean he is a one year old male that wanted to obviously have fun which was more interesting of staying put for a 5 minutes.

Are experiences like this detrimental for training achieved? Should they be avoided? Or used to one's advantage, having have his joy and try some obedience and not be too anal about it?

Thank you for your feedback
pup comes back to you always a treat=food.
 

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I said "come" twice as above and a couple of "heys"...
I would not use your official recall word in those circumstances since you're not able to reinforce it. To me, "come!" means to stop what you're doing immediately, run to me, and sit in front with eye contact. I only say that word when I know I can get that response. Otherwise, that cue will eventually become meaningless because it will no longer be associated with that criteria.

I like to have more relaxed, informal cues with lower criteria in addition to more formal commands. Around the house I'll use things like "c'mon" and "let's go", or "c'mere". They don't necessarily need to stop on a dime and sprint towards me and they don't need to sit, they just need to come towards me or walk with me wherever. If I use "come" to sometimes mean one thing and other times to mean something else, it's confusing to the dog and will degrade the command.
 

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Always follow through if you give a command. So if you are not willing to follow through, don't give a command. COME is not a question. It is a COMMAND.

Never, EVER berated a dog when he comes to you. Not for any reason. Never call your dog to you to chastise or punish him. Don't give a command that you cannot enforce. And always, ALWAYS follow through.

If you give your dog the idea that things are optional, then whenever anything is more exciting than you are in the moment, he will make the decision to do what he wants to do, and he will come back to you when it is reasonable to him. If you have a bird dog or a lap dog, you might be able to get away with this as far as other folks and dogs go. But they might get run over, or slaughtered by a coyote. But our dogs, formidable dog breeds, well we don't have the luxury of having a dog out and about, not under control. We don't get the benefit of the doubt, EVER. And, even other shepherd owners should be totally pissed off with you if your dog lands into one of those situations, whether the altercation was his fault or not, we ALL suffer when people let formidable dogs run amok.

Does this mean your dog will NEVER be able to run about on the beach with other dogs? No. It means you tried to do too much, with too many distractions too soon. You have to build up to the scene you described. It is like lifting weights, you aren't going to go from benching 60 pounds with a spotter, to benching 400 pounds with no spotter in a week. You build up to it. You have to build up to the distractions with your dog too. And now that you have taught him he doesn't have to listen, you have to go back to a place you thought was down cold, and spend more time, and you have to follow the basic rules.

WE learn obedience. WE learn not to repeat commands, to watch our body language, to follow through, to not give a command the dog is unlikely to comply with. When our obedience is good, our dogs see us as consistent and understand the rules, they understand consistency. It is communication, and they can be on top of squirrel or a rabbit, and a word from us will bring them to heel. Training is communication, it is bonding, but it is the other side of the leash that we need to work on, and the other side of the leash then falls into step.

It is funny that the more experience we humans have, the fewer corrections we need to deliver to the dog. That is because we are becoming more consistent. Being consistent is the opposite of being crazy in the dog's eyes. Dogs don't like crazy. It makes them reactive and on edge. They are not sure if we are going to blow our top or start hugging them. You can't have good communication with crazy. Consistency makes a dog relaxed, because they know what to expect, they know what response they need to give for whatever the command.

I know, kind of going off on a tangent. It's late.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the further feedback.

I have one question please:

"Don't give a command that you cannot enforce." or "Don't give a command that you cannot follow through. So in the case of come, how do you enforce it or follow through?

I am going to focus on environments with less distractions, but in the case that he does actually blow of a command, how do I enforce it or follow through?

Thanks!
 

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"Don't give a command that you cannot enforce." or "Don't give a command that you cannot follow through. So in the case of come, how do you enforce it or follow through?
The short answer is you can use a long line. If the dog tries to run off they will reach the end of the line. It is likely at that point that they will look back to you. At the point make yourself more interesting and if required you can tug on the line. Note you don't want to yell NO! and yank on the line. That makes you a negative. If the dog is bolting away from you hold the line firm and when they hit the end it is the act of running away they will associate with that consequence, not an angry version of you.

Here's an explanation with a dog that already has a good recall:


And here's one with a puppy. I like this video better but it is a golden puppy not an adult GSD so I wanted to link both.

 

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Yes obedience and joy are linked together it’s actually why I train so I can have fun with my dogs off leash and they have to listen. Some dogs can be more challenging then others and age , maturity and things becoming habitual all come to play. The beach is one of my favorite place to go and and loaded with distractions people, kids ,dogs, deer , seagulls , seals, making sure max does not drowned searching for his ball in the waves relentlessly etc . I like Susan Garett’s recallers videos and as mentioned ecollar is a great tool when used right to proof these. I had an instructor show me how to use one and with time I became comfortable using it.
 

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Three easy rules to creating a reliable recall.
1) Never call the dog unless you can enforce it.
2) Never call the dog to punish it.
3) Never call the dog away from fun.

Obedience can be fun. It should be fun. The dog should choose you over everything else because you are more fun than anything else.
 

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Thank you for the further feedback.

I have one question please:

"Don't give a command that you cannot enforce." or "Don't give a command that you cannot follow through. So in the case of come, how do you enforce it or follow through?

I am going to focus on environments with less distractions, but in the case that he does actually blow of a command, how do I enforce it or follow through?

Thanks!
In the case of COME, first of all you do COME on line. You do not try to go off line and use that command until it is ROCK SOLID without and with distractions.

Then you try it off line in an enclosed area. If he does not come, stop everything, and go and get your dog and bring your dog to the place where you were, Good Come, sit, good sit. Put a line on him, and do not use Come again off line for even longer. Usually this isn't hard because we make COME ALWAYS a great thing.

What folks do, is they go catch the dog, and berate it back to where they were, and make it sit, and continue to berate the dog. Errrrrrgh! Nope. If the dog does not come, then you did too much too soon -- your fault. Go catch the dog, and bring him where you were originally, Say "Good Come." Then release or put on lead to work with the dog. That is following through. You do not call the dog multiple times, you do not beg and plead. You do not make this the game of tag either. Outwit your dog. Catch the dog and bring it where it should be. That is following through.

When the dog DOES come to you, even if not asked to come, you can say "Good girl, Good Come." She doesn't know you didn't ask her to come. And you can give her a treat. Coming to you is better than chopped liver. Give her praise too. Make him/her LOVE to come to you.

Set your dog up to succeed and praise your dog for succeeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great, all is fitting together and I am on the right track.

Question for off leash walking.

He is very good in that around the house. We have a park (not dog park) where it is frequented by few people and sometimes dogs. So we walk there off leash. He is always within 6 feet of me.

However, when he sees another dog that appears too close, he kind of sets his direction to it but not bolt by any means, I say "hey hey" and he falls in line. Your thoughts on this process?

It is a bit more tricky with people crossing us. Most of the time, we just walks through but sometimes he veers towards the person and I say "hey hey" and he falls, if I feel he is not I grab the collar and guide him through. Thoughts on this as well please.

Thank you
 

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Great, all is fitting together and I am on the right track.

Question for off leash walking.

He is very good in that around the house. We have a park (not dog park) where it is frequented by few people and sometimes dogs. So we walk there off leash. He is always within 6 feet of me.

However, when he sees another dog that appears too close, he kind of sets his direction to it but not bolt by any means, I say "hey hey" and he falls in line. Your thoughts on this process?

It is a bit more tricky with people crossing us. Most of the time, we just walks through but sometimes he veers towards the person and I say "hey hey" and he falls, if I feel he is not I grab the collar and guide him through. Thoughts on this as well please.

Thank you
How old is your dog and how long have you had him?

There is absolutely NO reason to go off-lead in a public place with your dog. It can be a disaster. I mean, he can stay with you, and stay with you, and then one day he trots out to meet another dog, and that dog is not safe, and takes a chunk out of your dog, and your dog wheels, teeth bared, and sinks them into the leg of the other dog's owner by accident. He lets go right away, but the damage is done. And guess what, that dog was on lead, so not only do you have a major vet bill, but you also have to pay for her hospital charges. Your homeowner's insurance will take a hit if she decides to sue you. And this is even worse than that: if she calls the police or animal control, they can seize your dog, and the court can even euthanize your dog.

If it was a dog park, it might not come to that, with the same scenario. But parks, human parks have leash laws all over.

I understand it. I really do. The two bitches I would let off lead and take with off lead anywhere, were the two I had CDs on: Arwen and Babsy. When you can take them into a show with a thousand dogs and almost as many people, or more, and can work them on lead, off lead, without other dogs in the ring, and with other dogs in the ring, then and only then should you decide whether or not you should be letting your dog off lead in a park.

It really only takes a second. I remember on one of the forums, a young person was playing ball or frisbee with their dog, and for some reason the dog darted across the street, and was struck and killed by a car. Some stuff you just can't take back. Devastating and tragic.

Babsy or Arwen I could call off a rabbit or squirrel if full flight. I could walk them through a crowd of drunk people off-lead. I often worked Babs at work, where we cleared the parking lot of people who had no business being there, downtown Cleveland without a lead. I could put them on a down-stay and jump over them, run away from them, walk up to them with another dog, leave them there and go and pet a dog they did not know. They would not move.

And even with them, if I was at a park with any of my dogs, even Babsy and the girls, the moment another car or someone walked in, I tethered Babs to me. Not because of what they might do, but because the park had a leash law, and I didn't want to be the reason other folks felt they could come and leave their dogs off-lead there. Their park was in the city, so it was rare not to have people there, except in the winter.

There is just no hurry to get to that point with your dog. You have a dog with a questionable recall, and you are letting it run off-lead in a park, it is like playing Russian Roulette. Please reconsider this behavior.
 

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How old is your dog and how long have you had him?

There is absolutely NO reason to go off-lead in a public place with your dog. It can be a disaster. I mean, he can stay with you, and stay with you, and then one day he trots out to meet another dog, and that dog is not safe, and takes a chunk out of your dog, and your dog wheels, teeth bared, and sinks them into the leg of the other dog's owner by accident. He lets go right away, but the damage is done. And guess what, that dog was on lead, so not only do you have a major vet bill, but you also have to pay for her hospital charges. Your homeowner's insurance will take a hit if she decides to sue you. And this is even worse than that: if she calls the police or animal control, they can seize your dog, and the court can even euthanize your dog.

If it was a dog park, it might not come to that, with the same scenario. But parks, human parks have leash laws all over.

I understand it. I really do. The two bitches I would let off lead and take with off lead anywhere, were the two I had CDs on: Arwen and Babsy. When you can take them into a show with a thousand dogs and almost as many people, or more, and can work them on lead, off lead, without other dogs in the ring, and with other dogs in the ring, then and only then should you decide whether or not you should be letting your dog off lead in a park.

It really only takes a second. I remember on one of the forums, a young person was playing ball or frisbee with their dog, and for some reason the dog darted across the street, and was struck and killed by a car. Some stuff you just can't take back. Devastating and tragic.

Babsy or Arwen I could call off a rabbit or squirrel if full flight. I could walk them through a crowd of drunk people off-lead. I often worked Babs at work, where we cleared the parking lot of people who had no business being there, downtown Cleveland without a lead. I could put them on a down-stay and jump over them, run away from them, walk up to them with another dog, leave them there and go and pet a dog they did not know. They would not move.

And even with them, if I was at a park with any of my dogs, even Babsy and the girls, the moment another car or someone walked in, I tethered Babs to me. Not because of what they might do, but because the park had a leash law, and I didn't want to be the reason other folks felt they could come and leave their dogs off-lead there. Their park was in the city, so it was rare not to have people there, except in the winter.

There is just no hurry to get to that point with your dog. You have a dog with a questionable recall, and you are letting it run off-lead in a park, it is like playing Russian Roulette. Please reconsider this behavior.
Hi Selzer,

Thank you for the feedback.

Rex is 13 months now. I have had him since he was 8 months so 5 months.

The park I am referring to above is not a public park like the ones in London and New York.

The community I live in has clusters and next to each cluster there is an area called "park". Early morning or late evening, it is just big space. So it could be me and Rex and someone else with another dog maybe 75 feet away. When Rex sees the dog, he looks and sometimes veers away from the direction we are walking. I am talking about instead of being 4-5 feet away, he will veer to about 6-7 feet. He does not trot, I say, "hey, leave it" and he goes back on track and we pass them from far. If a dog is getting close, i can see as it is open, I leash him direct.

For people, the veering happens much less and there are maybe 2-3 people in that "park" at anyone time.

Hope this clarifies.

Cheers
 
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