If you can afford a good behaviours I would go with that. If not the thing I would try is sometimes giving an amazing jackpot treat like a really big piece of roast chicken or whatever she loves best. And absolutely loads of practice and any training you do with her will help too.
That should be behaviourist btw you can contact one via your vet.
Maybe its defeatist, and it might not be the same for your dog, but I've resigned myself to having to live with it and have a system that works well.
Lab is now 5 and well behaved. Good recall most of the time, but if he gets a smell of anything remotely edible he's off and won't come back till he's found and eaten it. No treats, not even a roast chicken could compete with the prospect of a dead rabbit or duck.
We've learnt which places are fine i.e. unlikely to have rotting dead animals lying about, and he gets to run about offlead without any problems.
If we go by the river or in the woods I don't let him wander away and he has a long line, usually trailing on the ground, so I can grab it if he starts sniffing the air etc. I'm good at spotting the signs that he's getting a whiff of something by now .
She's learned to ignore the whistle so you need to reset her recall
We got a bit complacent with ddog a few months back and had a dodgy time with recall in the face of distractions
We still use the whistle but changed the number of pips - started from scratch at home
While he's still got his whistle training wheels on I don't ever whistle unless I'm 100% sure he'll come, so I don't use it if he's on a scent trail or is haring off to investigate a picnic
To get out of potential trouble we use "wossis?" - look up positive interruptor on Kiko pup - and in emergencies a squeaky ball
We've just been on holiday and used "wossis?" a lot and it will get him back in mid-flight. Be aware that there is no magic in the word itself - I see lots of people being completely ignored when they use it in the park as they haven't built up the association with it effectively
And make sure you set him up for success - if you're in a situation where he's going to find it difficult to focus on you then have him on the lead or a long line
Another thing is you have to build up to working with distractions about. First get 100% recall at home, then adding a small distraction and then building up very slowly with more distractions. Another thing is she may have a really good sense of smell and love tracking. You might use this for games and to keep her interest.
Labradors....stomachs on legs. My Lab is only now becoming more reliable on recall at three and a half.
ALWAYS reward a recall, whether she came back in 5 seconds or 5 minutes. Set her up for success and don't attempt to recall her when you know it won't happen.
Long line and a harness is your friend. Also try thr book 'Total Recall' by Pippa Mattinson.
DON'T google for a behaviourist, the industry is totally unregulated and there are some stinkers out there. Try the Pet Professional Guild, Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, Association of Pet Behaviouir Councellors or Centre of Applied Pet Ethology.
No dog is ever 100% on recall....they aren't robots
Mine too Lilcamper! She's 3 and isn't 100% recall although much better than she was. OP the total recall book is a great help - give it a try. Also found the YouTube Kikopup videos useful too. Sounds like your lab is quite normal OP, but I agree it can be frustrating when they won't recall, have you tried (in a safe familiar walk) to just carry on walking? Mine will go deaf, until she realises that I am not waiting for her.....then she comes bounding back. Not any use when you are trying to get your dog back in all situations though I admit. Good luck!
Think yourself lucky - I have two of the buggers. I feel your pain....
Recall great...... unless there are other dogs, rabbits to chase, dead things to roll in, or just a pretty flower to admire.
Older one (18mths) is not too bad, but gets distracted by younger one (10mths).
Luckily, I walk at 5:30 am and know the only other idiots out at that time, and their dogs, so have no problems. Later walk is more of a training walk, we really put some work in, on a track in the middle of nowhere, so no distractions, apart from puddles, fox crap, dead things to roll in.
I take comfort in
desperately hoping believing they will mature.
it seems a long way off <sigh>
The trouble with having great recall despite distractions, is that you have to practice recall through distractions. It's a bugger to start with but it's the only way. If you want a dog to ignore dead birds you have to practice with dead birds. Try and build it up slowly and keep him on a long line so you're still in control. I sympathise, it's so embarrassing when you're stood there like a spare part whilst your dog merrily canters through picnics, small children and furious parents.
'Total Recall' by Pippa Mattinson is great. A gradual programme of conditioning your dog to come back on the whistle. The dog associates the whistle with food so acts almost automatically. Starts off by whistling when you put down your dogs good bowl, and builds up from there. My programme was interrupted by my dog having 3 ops in the last 6 months, but I can't wait to get back to it as was working very well.
Punterlab is 3 and his recall has improved, but I have learnt to anticipate his nose for deer or horse droppings by the sudden stop, sniffing in that direction, got to get his attention immediately with squeaky ball or kiss kiss noise and then produce bit of sausage or ham. It means all my coats smell like someone's freezer has had a power cut whilst on holiday.
Picnics on the grass mean I have to behave like a ninja seeing them before he does. Roll on the winter when only the dog walkers enter the woods!
Join the discussion
Please login first.