Terrible recall-help!(15 Posts)
Ddog is 6 months old. I have had her off lead in the field next door to our house since we first got her and she was always really good to come back... Until 3 weeks ago when we had some really naughty children staying who thought it was funny to hype her up, let her out into the field, and then stand back to watch the entertainment as I tried to catch her.
After they did this for the umpteenth time and my DH spotted one of them pull her tail I took her to stay with my friend until they had gone.
Since then she has still been good to come back as long as we are not at home. In the field next door she has just got worse and worse despite my best efforts. I have a dog trainer coming next week to give me some advice, but would it be best to keep her on a lead til then or has anyone got a better suggestion? TIA
Yes. Keep her on the lead till then, for her own safety as well particularly if there is livestock around. We had to shoot 2 this year already for sheep worrying on the farm I work at and its not nice for anyone involved. Try a retractable lead and praise her if she comes back to you but if you have to go to her punish her by using your firm 'bloody well annoyed voice' so she knows she comes to you when you call and not the other way around. Try introducing recall to whistle maybe too?
Thanks. I was worried I would set her back by putting her on the lead. Not sure why, because my efforts haven't been working. No livestock except my chickens! If I so much as suspect there are sheep near where we are walking I always put her on lead. There is a big hedge with a drop the other side to the next field and she has never gone through there, so I have been more worried about the road.
I'd get a lunge line (very long lead that is used for horse training), and some food that your dog goes nuts for. Lidl chorizo is a favourite here as stinky and luvvverly according to dog. I prefer a whistle to voice as its more repeatable.
Then go out, and practice, practice, practice, making it a wonderful thing if she comes back with lots of praise and food. With the lunge line they can get a good distance away, but you have control
Best to use the line with a harness rather than a collar though. Jerked Angus quite badly when I used a long line with a collar and would now only use it with a harness. (it's collar & lead the rest of the time)
Definitely you need to put her back on a lead in that field as each time she is allowed in their she is getting the opportunity to practice and reinforce that behaviour. You need to break the cycle or it will continue to get work. Long lines are great but only on a harness - they can do terrible damage attached collars.
I'm hoping it's obvious but you really need to make sure your don't allow children (or anyone else) to treat your dog this way. It's very easy to teach undesirable behaviour to a young dog and will take more effort to reverse it now it's learnt.
Sorry, I should have said a harness, I'd never use a long line or extending lead on a collar
Spicy- you are so right- it should be obvious that you need to treat animals properly, but while I was catching the dog the parents were presumably laughing in a boys will be boys way- every time Which is why I had to take my lovely dog to my friends house. Thanks for the harness tip- about to head out with long lead, treats and harness.
Well that worked beautifully - she seems exhausted now after just half an hour and most of a chicken breast. The lead in itself seemed to inhibit her desire to run off- she was quite perplexed by it. She seems to have finally clicked what 'ball' and 'fetch ' mean too. One very happy dog and one very relaxed owner! Thank you so much!
That's great. If you have any set backs don't despair. Back on the line for more practice. You can let it trail once she's coming back reliably.
Great tonight too. In fact came nose to beak with one of the hens through the fence and still came straight back when I called her. Not planning to let go of the leash just yet though and mega treats seem like they will be important for a bit longer too.
Never give up on mega treats, for at least some of the time. You have to make coming back more interesting and worthwhile than the joy of doing zoomies, the thrill of chasing a rabbit, the satisfaction of fox poo etc. You can reduce the routine value in time, or substitute with a toy/praise, but I think its important to have them thinking 'this time, it could be the sausage, best go'
I just want to report back and say thank you to those of you who posted last time.
I am really proud of DDog today.
First walk- we got 20 m away from the car, next to a busy road and the extendable lead snapped. I didn't have time to start to panic. I called come... and she came! Phew.
2nd attempt at a walk. Our favourite place for off-lead. Usually very quiet, but not today. She dealt with: Waiting patiently while I talked to a friend ( would previously have barked until I gave in and carried on walking): Passing multiple bikes, crowds of people and horses simultaneously- didn't turn a hair: Passing pack (10-12) assorted dogs, not under effective control of the owners, off lead, barking and carrying on. I put her on her lead and she walked to heel looking at me and ignored them. I must admit the last lot made me nervous, but she was perfect.
I have had a steep learning curve over the last 6 months as a first time dog owner (and I'm sure there are other challenges to come). The dog trainer has been very helpful too. As well as the more obvious commands he has taught my 9 yr old lots of games and tricks to play with her. Partly as a result, they have a very close bond.
So thanks, all!
PS STILL haven't let her back off lead in the field, but perhaps I'm not far off now
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