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Can anyone help me with recall please

(11 Posts)
systemusername Tue 20-Oct-15 09:41:53

Whippet 1 year old.
No distractions comes right away. Knows sit, stay, leave, lie down etc.
I can be on my own on the field and she is straight back.

As soon as there are distractions it goes out of the window. I rarely let her off unless on deserted field at back of our house. If she sees a squirrel or the very rare occassion another dog comes she is off. She doesnt care how tasty the treat i have is. So ive reached a point i keep her on. My Dad however goes against my wishes and lets her off if he has her. I am terrified that shes going to chase and get kicked by a horse or another dog will go for her or simply get lost. She needs a good run but shes not safe to.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 20-Oct-15 10:26:57

What treats are you using? I use a whistle for recall as it is a consistent sound (unlike my voice which changes when I have spotted the as yet unseen by them deer/squirrel etc). I had to go back to a long line with our dog when recall was not going well.

moosemama Tue 20-Oct-15 10:58:38

I'd highly recommend getting hold of a copy of Total Recall and going back to basics, whistle training.

I have two Lurchers and both have a good recall using the method outlined in the book.

Essentially you need to make sure you fully condition her response to the sound of the whistle, then distraction-proof the response at every level, not moving on until you're sure of a reliable response in the lower distraction level area. That way, her decision isn't dependent on her deciding if it's worth it, she's already shooting back to you before her brain has had time to kick in and think about it.

However, being fully aware of the instincts of sighthounds I still don't let my two off anywhere near traffic, as if they ever do decide to ignore the whistle they would be on the road before they'd even hear my attempts to stop them.

Perhaps the compromise for your dad would be to use a longline until you've been able to distraction-proof her recall? Tell him about my younger Lurcher, who has an excellent recall and has had since he was very young, but was spooked by another dog chasing him when he was a pup and bolted full pelt towards a road. I dread to think what might have happened if our other dog hadn't headed him off, it was horrible. I no longer let him off in that particular park, even though under normal circumstances his recall is usually bang-on. We have a selection of walks where I know we're well away from traffic and there's really nowhere for them to run to if their recall does ever go awry and everywhere else they stay on the lead. With the speed sighthounds can disappear over the horizon, I just won't risk it.

systemusername Tue 20-Oct-15 12:55:44

Thanks. I have bought a long line. How do you stop daft dog getting tangled up in it though confused
Will hunt out that book thank you.
Ive tried everything from bought treats to chicken and ham which she loves. In fairness to my Dad he is letting her off on a country park away from traffic but i just wouldn't. Twice he has persuaded me to let her off. The first time she ploughed into the middle of a group of friendly dogs we know but ended up injured. Second time she ran off and ran round a spaniel on a lead trying to play with it but wouldn't back off so i am not at all happy and she wont be coming off until i am happy!

SweetLathyrus Tue 20-Oct-15 13:00:59

I used Total Recall with my Working Cocker Spaniel, and would also recommend it. He is now 9 months old and is getting a bit hormonal and stroppy, so I am going back over the stages with him. The author, Pippa Mattinson also puts lots of training advice on Totally Gundogs

Good luck with it.

peasareevilcreatures Thu 22-Oct-15 11:53:48

I would reinforce "wait" with her. My 18 month old dog will stop still in her tracks as soon as I say it.
I first taught it to her when she was tiny, just telling her to wait and moving gradually further away from her and then calling her to me for a treat.

TwllBach Thu 22-Oct-15 11:58:47

I also use 'wait' with my temperamental collie. She has good recall 90% of the time but it is the 10% when she has spotted something and just lies down in her stalky pose where 'wait' really works.

moosemama Thu 22-Oct-15 13:41:57

Wait's a good one, very useful. The one I used with my old dog, who was <<ahem>> rather independent when it came to recall blush was the instant down. I use the word 'flat' to distinguish it and both her and my older Lurcher would drop like a stone if I shouted it, even mid-flight. Saved my blushes on several occasions that one.

OP, This is a good introduction to using a longline and this is a good one for understanding positive use of a longline with a highly active, non food motivated dog.

Shriek Thu 22-Oct-15 16:11:16

its hard to pick up good training from just the written word, especially just a few words! - some great recommendations here.

Firstly, if your command is no longer working you will have to change the command, or switch to a whistle.

Start this in a distraction-free zone, most likely when its quiet at home.

Find the thing that your dog is most responsive to, whether its a very smelly treat (you might have to offer special beef pieces, liver, cheese, or your best excited praise when they feel the centre of your world and the bestest doggie in the world!).

Do it close to them and the moment they look and you see their attention on you coming to you then treat. Reinforce it at various times when your chances of success are high.

slowly move that into garden, and more challenging situations, and keep going back to the basics indoors again to consolidate it (doubling reinforcement and strength of association, so that they simply react without any independent thought).

systemusername Thu 22-Oct-15 16:41:59

Thank you! In the house and in my parents garden she comes straight away. It is as soon as we are out and it is more exciting. Will definitely try wait as she's fairly solid normally on that.

Shriek Thu 22-Oct-15 17:15:54

then i would start to ask someone to create those distractions whilst you are at home before risking it outside, whichever command you decide to use.

Good luck and lots of patience smile

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