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Please tell me it will all be worthwhile! Tips and encouragement please for training recall and walking on lead.

(3 Posts)
merrymouse Fri 30-Nov-12 07:19:49

We have a 1 year old rescued springer/collie/undetermined cross. He is very prey driven (has caught a couple of birds) and has very patchy recall. (i.e. he will respond to recall if he is in the right mood). We have therefore only taken him out on a lead (usually a long lead). However, his lead walking is also a little patchy. (Again, he will walk on a loose lead if he is in the right mood e.g. tired, interested in sniffing the ground).

We have had him for 5 months, but we have now decided to go hard core on the training. I am using this book for recall It is a gradual programme, starting with associating whistle with premium treats, and presumably ending with perfect recall.

For lead training I am using method of stopping/changing direction if he pulls. I have been doing this 2 or 3 times a day for about a week (10-20 minute sessions), and he is usually perfect in the garden by the end of the session. However, the furthest I have got without lunging is the side gate.

To exercise him/provide interest, I have been throwing lots of frisbees (which has greatly improved his sit and stay from a distance, if only in the garden when I am holding a frisbee in my hand) and trying to teach other skills e.g. lying down on request. All in all, I am spending about 2 hours a day doing focused work/play with him.

It is very important that he has good recall as we live in an area with loads of horse riders and roaming animals, and a reliable recall will make his life much more fun in the long term. I also think it's potentially unsafe for him to pull on lead because it means I'm only managing him by brute force.

However, for the past week he hasn't really left the garden (which is large enough for him to have a good run, but not as interesting as outside the garden). I feel a bit bad about this.

Please could I have reassurance that this will all be worthwhile, and or tips.
(Would clicker training speed up lead training?)

driventodrink Fri 30-Nov-12 16:06:26

My rescue was awful on the lead, we have been to training classes for the past 4 weeks and although I was using the stop change direction method the trainer picked up that I was too late in changing direction. She said as soon as the lead goes straight, i.e. not pulling but no slack left, to change direction in a quick movement and praise when he is back on the slack lead, with lots of treats. In a week it made all the difference, he now looks like a perfectly trained hound when out grin

merrymouse Fri 30-Nov-12 16:49:55

Wow! - that is encouraging

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