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Train to not run away from us...

2073 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  WiscTiger
So when we are outside in our yard, we basically play tag. I'll find a toy or he will. Whoever has the toy has to run away. This is my favorite game because it gets him so exhausted for the rest of the night. I'm chasing him at full speed and vice versa.

But now I can see that this game is making it hard for him to listen during certain situtations.

I.E. in the house when he grabs something he knows he shouldn't have, he runs away from us. Doesn't chew it, eat it, just holds it and runs because he thinks its game time again. I can tell him to come and he does. Sit and he does. But as soon as I go to grab it, he runs again.

Do I just need to train harder on a recall or what? I don't want to give up this kind of game because it's a huge savior when we can't get out for a nice walk.
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He should be chasing YOU, not you him. You are training him to "keep away".

Indoors, ignore him if he grabs something. He will come to you to see what's up.

If I do ignore him, he will stop and decide to finally chew whatever he has, which isn't good.

I agree with you but I've grown up with two dogs(one GSD) that we always did this with and we never had that problem. But we didn't have them until after a year or so(k9 trained) so I'm sure I can still play this game while maintaining a healthly recall where he knows when it's a game and when it's not a game.
*laughs* I was thinking about posting the same thing. BF and his cousin started this game with Dieter a little while ago, and now it's he** trying to get him back in the house when he's outside, because he'll grab a stick and off he goes!

I've told BF and cousin "no more 'im gonna getcha'" games, and now we're working on re-call activities again. He was great on our hike though, so there is a glimmer of hope! lol
In that case trade whatever he has for a higher value item. And hope he grows out of it.

I'm gonna getcha is so fun! All I have to do is shuffle my feet and he runs around in circles for a good minute. Best way to tire him out!

I'll make him chase me more but when I dodge and weave out of the way he jumps and tries to bite. Hmm...I'll have to see.
Have you tried to teach your pup the "leave it" command? We use that one on Rocky if he has something he shouldn't or is thinking about doing something he shouldn't. Works great especially if he sees a squirrel or wants to smell every mail box we pass LOL

Or can you possibly teach him two different commands for dropping things, one for outside and one for inside?

You have stumbled onto something here while playing with him... conditioned behavior is what I call it. If you play a certain way with your dog repetitively, if the dog sees a "picture" similar to when you play he will revert to the behavior out of habit. I don't know if that makes sense, but let me give you an example, you shuffle your feet or come towards him while he has a toy even if you're not playing "keep away" he is conditioned to run due to playing that way. He may not have a reason to keep away from you other than he is compelled to do so from all the playing in this manner. Fun, huh? I like to use this to my advantage. At the end of every training session (outside of structured club training) I pull out a ball launcher and get a ball out there a good 30+ yards. Once they get to it and pick it up I give my come command and then run in the opposite way. Last minute I stop, and set up in my "come body position" (arms tight at my sides, knees slightly bent) and then pay them once they get there with either a long bite on a tug or ball (whatever is their thing). Eventually, I stop running the other way and just set up into position and call them. This is a great way to wear out that energy that needs to be burned off and to condition them to FLY to you when called. Over and over hundreds of times I do this. Soon when you give the command they are just physically compelled to run to you just like now he's compelled to keep AWAY from you! Switch it up and see what happens.
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John, I do like the way you think. You take something that is fun for the dog and turn it into a training tool. I used that technique with one of my females, she didn't want to play the traditional game of ball, but loved the keep away game. So we played some of that along with recall, sitz and platz. She caught on to those commands well because it was fun and to her part of the game.
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