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I need to revisit recall urgently - can I have some tips

(19 Posts)
LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Sep-17 09:09:10

Dogs has turned twatty. At the beginning of the summer holidays would trot along beside us in the park and be pretty excited when she saw other dogs off lead. But would come reluctantly when we walked away. Treats had a slight effect.

Now treats have no effect and she takes ages to come back. After 15 minutes of being cheerful with her, offering treats and strokes in a happy voice and trying to make her want to come to me - she wouldn't. She knew I wanted to take her out the park we were in. I had to actually use a firm voice to put her on the lead - which is literally the opposite of what I know I'm supposed to do.

She is predictably a terrier. And obviously stubborn with loads of personality. She was spayed last week so on very restricted walks until next week when I was to start doing proper recall.

Help me please. Here's a picture to soften you up. She's a fucker grin

heidiwine Thu 21-Sep-17 10:49:13

Beautiful dog.
I had a scary experience with my dog when he ran out of a park.
I bought a book called Total Recall and have (broadly) used it.
What I did was:
Blow a whistle in the house when the dog was close to me and give him a really special treat (frankfurter).
I repeated this several times a day making it really easy at first: same room, then adjacent room, then anywhere in the house. I gradually faded the treats but occasionally gave him his favourite frankfurter.
Then I repeated this outside the house - starting with the garden, then the park always making it super easy to start and gradually increasing the 'challenge'.
I haven't started reducing treats outside yet (but I'm close to starting that).
The important things are:
- never repeat the whistle blow (I use three short pips) otherwise he learns it's ok to ignore it first time
- if he doesn't come back go back to something easier
- avoid making it tom difficult (e.g. When dog is in hot pursuit of a squirrel)

This worked for me. It's taken about 6 weeks but he comes back pretty reliably now BUT I still have to be vigilant as once he's really running he won't respond but he is a sighthound...

heidiwine Thu 21-Sep-17 10:50:40

Also - he gets a little bit of frankfurter every time he comes back. He never gets frankfurter for anything else and he LOVES it.
I think that treat quality matters.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Sep-17 11:01:31

Right, I will get some sausage and see if treat quality improves this. I've tried cheese and no difference. Since being spayed she's refused all kibble food and will only eat raw hmm. In general she's because so much less food focused.

takesnoprisoners Thu 21-Sep-17 11:06:07

Get the book : Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson. Mine turned Twatty times 10 when he hit the teen phase. He also refused to come back for treats: Cheese, sausages and everything under the sun. He was a deaf fucker when he wanted to do as he pleased. I followed the book, did not feed him for 24 hours and took hot roasted chicken to the park and did recall training. He has been golden since then.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Sep-17 11:08:02

Fuck that's hardcore grin

I do think part of the problem is that she's not hungry, I feed her at 7 am and we generally go out for long walks about 11.

Oops4 Thu 21-Sep-17 11:08:33

Ah terrier recall, its such fun! My border's recall is excellent. We work on it repeatedly throughout our entire walk, even when not needed. As soon as I click he immediately returns, sits and gets a bit of chicken. He is so responsive. Until he's not.

We can have had a perfect walk and then his little terrier nose gets a sniff, his little terrier ears go up, his terrier eyes stare ahead, his front terrier paw goes up and I'd be as well not to be there. For the right treat he can do every trick in the book. If he decides he's not fussed he looks at me mockingly like he has no idea what "sit" means.

Needless to say my little treasure spends most of his time on his long lead, good recalls not good unless it's consistent so I won't risk it.

Let me know if you find the key to overriding the "terrier" bit, I've never been able to!

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Sep-17 12:08:22

Oh bloody hell Oops grin your description of your terrier sounds exactly like what mine does, the wee bugger seems to be laughing at me sometimes

I will download total recall and start implementing

heidiwine Thu 21-Sep-17 12:12:34

Total Recall worked for us. Took a lot of time and consistency though.
Also - you could reduce morning meal and make it up with good treat...

BiteyShark Thu 21-Sep-17 12:15:27

My dog lost recall from about 6 months of age and it was awful. I used to find a big open space where I could keep walking in the opposite direction to him so he had to keep more of an eye on me because if I stood still calling him he would be quite happy to wander off further and not come back.

I would like to say I did X to solve it but to be honest it really only got better again after he got over his teenage rebellion and now he sticks by my side.

fourpawswhite Fri 22-Sep-17 07:34:10

Oops that made me smile. Three terriers here. Oh the joys. The little one is two, she did the paw thing the other night. We are rural so they are generally off lead and very good. Not all three at once, two is enough. The little one also does agility at a decent level so is in fairness better trained than the other two. Came home Wednesday, lifted her out car, walked across yard to house, head up, paw up, gone. I might as well have never existed for the amount of good it did me. And jeez she can shift.

Total recall ordered. Back to basics with that wee madam.

SleightOfMind Fri 22-Sep-17 10:04:14

Another one for Total Recall here!
I have ex racing greyhounds and they are able to go offlead thanks to this.
Boring & prescriptive but it works and I only really needed to do half of it before they were rock solid.
Download the book on your phone and you can follow the daily instructions easily.

allfurcoatnoknickers Fri 22-Sep-17 16:51:11

I have two terriers. Their hobby is fucking with me angry. Their recall is good, but GirlDog likes to come close enough that I know she came back, but not close enough for me to grab her or get a lead on her.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Sep-17 16:53:10

I'm so buying that book. Wolfie pup had just turned one and has never been off lead in public. blush

heidiwine Fri 22-Sep-17 17:30:45

@Wolfiefan do it you won't regret it - but it takes the same patience / determination / consistency as the don't let your dog cry in its crate school of crate training that I think you did. Mine is a sighthound too. He's quick super quick and I think there's nothing better for him than a good run off lead. I don't believe that recall can ever be 100% perfect (but this book will get you to 99%). Ours has gone from cloth ears to rushing back when he hears me whistle. Whistle is also good cause everyone in the family can use it...

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Sep-17 18:25:05

Heidi. Yep. We did the don't leave her to cry. TBH I'm not sure I would ever 100% trust her. Wolfhounds are renowned for poor recall! Also a little spaniel or terrier whizzing about is less likely to be a hazard than my 50kg hound!
It's probably similar to what I'm doing now. I do have a whistle. I do blow it when she's out of sight and she comes charging. My two BIG worries are seeing a dog she wants to play with or being spooked and bolting (she has form for that. Broke a lead and flew home. Completely deaf.)

slinkysaluki Sat 23-Sep-17 07:03:44

Try using a ball or toy if your dog is not food oriented.

Mum2OneTeen Sat 23-Sep-17 07:24:55

OP, your little dog is so cute! Not a fucker at all...

No suggestions, my twatty border collie's recall very much depends on whether he wants to hear me. So, in other words not good. And he's not food motivated either so perhaps a clicker will help.

Anyway, we need to revisit recall too. I'll be checking out the Total Recall book that has been mentioned too, thanks to all who've suggested it.

Mum2OneTeen Sat 23-Sep-17 09:05:28

Well, just got back from a walk in the paddocks with twatty border collie who decided to break free (complete with lead) as we were crossing a cattle grid in order to chase a mob of kangaroos in the paddock for about half a mile toward the busy highway ignoring all attempt at recall by my DP.

The last I saw, DDog had given up the chase and was heading into the filthy dam dragging his lead behind him still ignoring recalls from my DP who always maintains the ddog has good recall.

He is also a fucker, now filthy and we obviously both need to read and put into practise the suggestions in the book. blush

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