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Residential training(9 Posts)
My gorgeous large bouncy lab still has zero recall when I'm in open spaces. He will do it on a long line, but the second we go out, he ignores everything, shout, whistle, treats etc. I'm also struggling with heel and got pulled over last week when he lunged towards another dog. He also had a run-in with a horse that could have ended very badly if it had been a less skilled rider. He needs off lead time as part of his exercise, but without any recall I daren't let him off.
I've been wondering about a residential course to get him back on track but I can't find anything that looks reliable and positive method based. Anyone got any advice?
I'd avoid the residential places, on the grounds that
a) most dog training is about training the owner as much as it is training the dog. If the owner doesn't know what the dog has been taught, they won't be able to reinforce it, so the dog's training will slide backwards
b) you don't know what's going on behind closed doors, and there are few positive reinforcement trainers that offer residential training for the reasons above.
If you have the budget for residential training, is it safe to assume that you have the budget for some 121 sessions with a local trainer? If so, I'd find a local APDT trainer and get some 121s booked in apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers/
While you're working on his recall, have you considered using a secure dog walking field? www.dogwalkingfields.co.uk/
When mine was doing his own thing with recall I dreamt about sending him away but didn't because it's really about how they interact with you.
If you aren't comfortable letting him off could you hire a secure field anywhere? I would as Avocados suggested contact a 1-1 trainer who can help guide you and will be much cheaper than any residential training. How is he in a group of dogs? Mine was better when he went with my dog walker off lead as he tended to keep to the pack, although he did have his moments there until he grew up and recall came back.
Use a local trainer, 121 at first and train the whole family in what to do! Choose someone with a good amount of experience and who knows about the breed (should be ok as a common breed but our first trainer had no idea about my dog!)
Residential training is a waste o money - f
How long are you keeping him on the long line. My dog was on a long line for months when she was an adolescent because her recall needed to be perfect before I'd trust her to come back to me. Now it's perfect.
Your dog should be on a long line outside until you've cracked it.
Some dogs take a long time to learn and unfortunately that means they have to be on a lone line.
As pp have said hiring a field is a good idea and one to one training.
Forget residential training, you need to learn how to train your dog yourself and get your dog to respond to you not some random trainer he's never going to see again after you get him home.
I'll try that again!
Residential training is a waste of money, because proper dog training is about training the owner as well, and you can't do that if you're not around.
Hire a secure field if possible, get tons of treats (I find squeezy primula cheese works) and practise, practise, practise. Let him off to play, shout him back (only once, otherwise if you stand there going dog, dog, dog" and reward him on the 3rd call, he knows he doesn't have to come back right away) and wait. As soon as he comes back, reward. Some people make their dogs sit, I started with getting mine to touch my hand with his nose. As soon as he made contact, I said "yes! good boy!" really excitedly and he got some cheese. Then, off to play again.
Oh yes, forgot to say, when you're training his recall make yourself the most interesting thing imaginable.
High value treat as pp have said, mine loved chicken liver treats that were only used for recall training, and masses of praise; my dog is 7 years old and she still gets an excited reaction from me when we're practicing recall.
And when you recall him, once you've got him coming back, clip his lead on briefly, and then let him off again so he learns that having his lead clipped on doesn't necessarily mean you're going home and the fun's ending.
I wouldn’t touch residential training as the majority of it is usually fear based and not positive reinforcement.
It’s about the bond between you and the dog, lots of info on reward based training. Or find an approved force free trainer locally to work with you maybe?