Puppy Recall Problems- doesn't want treats!!(32 Posts)
I have a 7 month old miniature poodle pup. She is lovely and bright, and otherwise training well. She has been to socialisation, we are attending training sessions, and I have private trainers in for specifics. But the recall is proving extremely difficult, because she is really not interested in treats (even top treats) or toys when she is outside. She might take a treat if she is in the mood, but it means I often struggle to get her on the lead. She stays in my viscinity, and she knows the command, because she does it in the house and sometimes outside but often chooses to ignore me on a walk. I call her a few times on a walk and reward etc, and don't always put her on the lead each time I call her, as I know she will associate it with a negative.
But A few days ago, she got chased by a playful (but large) young Alsation, and she ran and ran, yelping and yelping, and ran off home. (Fortunately not on the main road- and fairly near).
Yesterday she escaped from the house and bounced all round the street, thinking it was highly hilarious, with 3 of us trying to coax her with treats, which didn't work one bit.
So I am concerned, partly because I can't get her attention when she is out, partly because when I have it, she looks at me and hops away, so I can't reach her. And partly because she obviously is prone to getting scared (only with some dogs) and seems prone to bolting, despite lots of socialisation.
I would appreciate some help :-) It's getting a bit frustrating. I have asked a few people who are more experienced than I, but they are a bit perplexed too.
It sounds like she's too stimulated to accept the treat. Are you using a clicker? They're brilliant.
My dog isn't interested in treats when we are out either.
Sorry, I don't have any helpful advice!
Is she generally motivated by food? That's your starting point - if she's not motivated by food in the house when it's calm, she's not going to be motivated by food when it's exciting out and about.
I think, if you're not already using them, you need to use a long-line and a clicker.
Does she like fuss and cuddles? You could reward with that. So you could really give her a fuss if she comes back.
There will be something that motivates her.
I'm experiencing the same problem too op with my 8 month old pup. On walks I can be shouting his name and he doesn't even give me a backward glance if he's having a good time exploring. I'd appreciate any useful tips too.
I think the clue is in your title- PUPPY!
My lab is VERY food orientated but when he went through his teenager phase he was a FUCKER. He would not come back at all and he found it hilarious that I would chase him. I kept him on a long line until the phase passed and he grew up a bit and he'll come back now whether I have food or not.
My other dog (poodle) isn't fussed about treats at all but still comes back. Again, she went through the fucker phase as well. Stick with it and practise recall at home and when out but I would def put her a long line so she has no choice whether she comes back or not.
What food are you treating with? If it's just her normal food it may not be exciting enough- to train our dog we had to use the food he was mad about (cheese, ham or liver). He wasn't interested in doing stuff for his normal dog biscuits. Maybe you could try different treats?
It's the chasing them that does it. They love it and it teaches them that coming back is optional. Calling their name as they disappear into the distance is teaching them to ignore their name. If you can, turn around and walk the other way. Hopefully they'll follow.
If they're still in that puppy phase of following you everywhere most of the time, do the turn about thing on a regular basis. Walk off with them off lead, wait until they run ahead and then spin round and walk back the other way. When they realise and come running back and come past you, spin back again and carry on back again. They'll come running past again and you repeat it all over again. It's meant to demonstrate to them that they don't know where you might be going so they need to stay close. It does mean you stomping back and forth over the same bit of ground for a while but it does work. Especially if you suddenly do it over a different bit of ground.
Thank you. Some great stuff here. No I haven't used a clicker. How does that work when it comes to recall please?
She isn't massively food orientated; often leaves her meals.But some treats she will respond to in the house- I have a variety in a tin- no biscuits. She's so not interested in them. Likes hot dogs though. But I have to give tiny pieces as she gets full or bored!!
She likes a fuss, but not enough to come back to.
'Yourbubz' you made me laugh!!! I am tempted to keep her on the long line, and hope she grows out of it!!!!
'Adorabelle' yes I have done a bit of that, and she does stay with me, but not near enough to put on the lead :-)
Clickers...you 'charge' the clicker when it's all calm and quiet at home. You can say your dog's name, then as soon as she looks at you, click and treat. It's important that the treat immediately follows the click, so that the dog starts to associate them. Do that several times.
Then, you can start calling her to you in your lounge. As soon as she comes, click and treat.
Then increasing the distance. In your garden. Then on a long line, then off-lead.
Never click if she hasn't done it. Only click when she does what you want her to do.
Is she not interested in toys? a ball? a tug game etc?
With our 8 month old he doesn't care about food when out but if we have a toy he is so intent on it he ignores everything else, other dogs can come up and sniff him and he'll just watch the frisbee/ball.
We usually have two toys so he'll drop one toy for the other and so it goes on.
I haven't read the full thread so apologies if it's been suggested already.
Not sure I've said what I meant to above but basically we use the toy as a training treat instead of food so when he recalls he gets to play with the toy, when he stays, when he sits or leaves something etc etc.
I tried everything with my Westie. He's another one who rates running over food or any other reward. I could have offered anything, from fillet steak to chocolate buttons and still have been ignored!
So for a long time he wasn't off lead. He calmed down a lot as he grew up and I play to his strengths now, so he gots off lead in safe areas, eg fenced areas with no exit to traffic. Most of the time he will come back when called, but if he refuses I get him to sit and stay and then put him back on the lead.
I'm surprised no one has picked up on your puppy being a poodle. My (sadly late) poodle cross was never interested in food much either - poodles are highly intelligent and independent and often think they are human, so my trainer said you have to make yourself the best and most exciting thing in the world to your dog so he will always come to you. Anyway, that never worked I'm afraid, we didn't crack it and I wish we had persevered. DDog was very very nervous and hated training classes but I think if we could have stuck with it, that would have helped - I notice you have done all that though and had a trainer in too?
So what does motivate your dog? As I say I know its tough I was there and gave up !!
Have you tried putting her on the lead for a bit and letting her off again, then putting her on, letting her off again, etc. so she doesn't associate the lead with a negative?
My dog is not food motivated and his actual recall is dubious , he seems to think that coming when called goes against his independent terrier instincts . What we did was taught an absolutely solid 'down' and 'wait' so if I want him to stop ,or want him back I just 'down and wait' and go to him . Not perfect but it works for us ( he's 5 now) .Im also not absolutely sure he knows his name as he has 3 official names and various extra ones that the dc call him and I always call him baby boy at home - so we may have confused him somewhat !
thanks to you all. yes i think the poodle issue is possibly relevant. i gather they are Ã law into themselves. i might get Ã clicker today and also teaching the solid Sit and stay is good advice too.
We play a lot of hide and seek with my pup, behind trees etc....I whisper his name and he bolts to find me. I also treat him for staying/coming close. Practiced a solid wait with the long line. Treats were never enough to entice my dog back, he's fickle and gets bored with toys, food, attention....but the hide and seek I feel, taught him to never let me out of his sight! Persevere as my dog approached 9 months it all started falling into place.
I have a 7 month old puppy. His recall is pretty good, but I take a squeaky ball and if he is really distracted by something and runs off, he's much more likely to come back to a squeak of the ball than to my voice. It helps if I don't let him play with the ball too much on the walk (only throw it a few times) so that he can't get enough of it.
We had the same problem. A squeaky ball really helps but mainly they just get better as they get older. In the meantime the most important is not to let on you want her back. My Ddogs recall is fine while we're wandering but she has a sixth sense about time to go and is suddenly impossible then. The trick is to get her before she thinks it's time to go - have to be cleverer than her.
I would try not to call her when she's very obviously distracted. Either let her play and call her only when there's a break in play/a break from the distracting thing. Or if it's ongoing and you don't want it to be, go and get her.
My trainer told me to only call when I absolutely wanted my dog back. So don't overuse it. And make a gigantic fuss when she comes back.
It has worked for us.
I have a poodle cross who is coming up to 11 months and I've foun that whistle training him has worked wonders. I think he could hear impatience/stress/whatever in my voice when I called him because I needed him to come back and he's so much better with the whistle. Even when we are right outside the house and he's refusing to come in, blowing the whistle always works.
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