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My spaniel problems get more surreal by the day...

(3 Posts)
SoupDragon Thu 30-Jun-11 12:58:40

You've all, no doubt, heard me bemoaning DIll, my cocker spniel, and his complete lack of recall. I can not find the treat which will make him reliably come back. Food, squeaky toys, tennis ball, tug-toy... loves them all but none will bering him back.

At night, he will not come back in from his nighttime trek round the garden until I go and fetch him. he actually runs away from me when I call/whistle him in.

Last night I went through the whole call/whistle/mutter obscenities routine. Today, rather than fetch him, I stood st the back door and said, in a normal voice, D-I-L-L and the little bugger came haring down the 150ft garden at top speed. Why? because when I ask the boys to take him for a whizz round the block, I spell his name out and he clearly now recognises what it is and what it means.

So, I now have something powerful enough to bring him back. Unfortunately, the reinforcer is a sodding walk which makes it impractical and, when out on a walk, useless.

How on earth do I train a gifted and talented dog who actively chooses not to come back? And how do I get a more useful reinforcer?

hephaestus Thu 30-Jun-11 13:24:38

Use a long line. Removes any element of choice about it - if he doesn't come when called he's physically reeled in, treat/toy, repeat ad nauseum.

Trying to do stuff off the lead at this stage means that buggering off is always an option and, let's face it, it's always the more appealing option.

Jaynerae Thu 30-Jun-11 13:44:31

Know what gets my Beagle in every time - I shut the patio door and walk away - she comes belting back and paws at door to come in! she hates to think she will miss out on anything going on in house so if I shut door she wants in.

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