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Recall advice for a dog who runs a loooong way off...

(8 Posts)
neepsandtatties Mon 22-Apr-13 10:16:12

We have a 1 year old rescue, a small pointer cross originally from Spain, who we have had for about 2 months. His recall is 'reliable', as in when I whistle he always comes back (sprints over, seems to enjoy haring back, and is rewarded with food and a big fuss) but my problem is he strays too far away - he's sometimes two fields away as he sprints off like a mad thing as soon as you release the lead/send him away. He is a canine running machine! I'm very lucky in that we live in the middle of nowhere, where there are no livestock, no roads, no other people/dogs, so it's not as big a problem as it could be, but it's not good that he spends half the walk invisible to me! He will always come back and find me if I don't call him, and as I said, when I call him, he does always come, but obviously it takes him a while as he's so far away. He does a bit of rabbit/bird chasing, but mainly he just seems to enjoy the sensation of travelling at speed!

The obvious solution would be to call him back as soon as he gets to the distance I'm happy with, but if I call him mid sprint, he will ignore me, which I know devalues the 'recall'. All my previous dogs enjoyed being off lead, but pottered fairly close by, but all this dog wants to do is run at full pelt everywhere.

Any ideas?

mrslaughan Mon 22-Apr-13 14:28:51

A whistle ?I know you said you whistle - but not sure if it's one you do yourself ( I whistle - dog comes but mine is pretty feeble and is he was any distance he wouldn't hear) We have a plastic one , which dogs can apparently hear up to 300m away.... Is that far enough?

Perihelion Tue 23-Apr-13 22:20:49

One of my dogs was like that when I lived in the arse end of nowhere. Forestry comission land for miles and wouldn't see another person for months. Dog whistle and frequent recalls are good. I also would make him stay and walk a fair distance away so he would run to me as well as occasionally hiding so he'd have to keep an eye on me. Oh and no collar so he wouldn't get caught in undergrowth.

RedwingWinter Tue 23-Apr-13 23:58:06

Did you see the thread below, 'rescue dog and recall'? There are some great suggestions from Idirdog there to help improve recall. You will be able to work up to recalling him when he is mid-sprint, and it sounds like you already have a great foundation to build on.

EleanorFarjeon Wed 24-Apr-13 00:12:05

I had loads of great advice on here about recall when we got our dog in 2011.

I bought the recommended dog whistle on eBay and haven't looked back.

I did very frequent recalls before he got too far away and mixed up the rewards, ie sometimes it was something amazing like cheese, jerky or hot dog and sometimes just a little dog treat.

We also did lots of games with him, ie we'd split up and call him from one side of a field to the other or hide from him.

I still call him back when he looks like he's taking off - I don't trust him 100% even now, but his recall is brilliant.

neepsandtatties Wed 24-Apr-13 13:14:46

Thanks everyone, some really good tips there. About to take him on his lunchtime walk - he tends to be better and less inclined to run off than on his morning walk, so I will practice with some hot dog sausages...

I've actually just been using my lips whistle (as it's always been loud enough for my other dogs!). Could someone point me towards the recoomended dog whistle on ebay?

idirdog Wed 24-Apr-13 14:36:21

Re the distance just don't let him get too far ahead. All dogs will have a critical distance eg where they can hear and one step further they go deaf smile.

Rather than calling him back keep turning around yourself, so he has to race back to you. He will still get the running but it will be towards you not away from you.

mrslaughan Wed 24-Apr-13 14:52:47

I think it's the acme 2.11
If you put dog whistle into amazon it comes up.
The advantage for us - is its the same call from every member of the family - so the kids are involved in traing the recall as well.
Recommend a lanyard - last night I lost one, not sure how , but think it must have fallen out of my pocket when I got the poo bag out!

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