What could I have done? (Recall related)

(17 Posts)
billybagpuss Sat 15-Dec-18 10:31:28

I love Billypup with all my heart, she's 10 months old and mostly exceptionally well behaved, excellent recall by and large and mostly very obedient. BUT on the rare occasion when she choses not to be obedient she is so naughty.

Last week, we were having a lovely walk down by the river, beautiful crisp clear day, its a great secure (ish) area where she can run off lead and we've been down there many times with no issues whatsoever.

On this occasion she found an entire sheep skeleton washed up by the river and spent the walk running around with the whole front leg dangling around in her mouth (you have no idea how relieved I was to see the hoof and realised it wasn't human). She was sooooo very very pleased with herself. I knew this was going to be trouble and wanted to try and solve it in a positive way so walked with her while she ran around with it and she was pretty good staying with me, but always just out of reach. She is an energetic border collie so no chance of me physically catching her if she doesn't want to be caught. No opportunity presented itself to get her back on the lead early.

We get to the end of our walk and I have to then try actively get her back on the lead. She never ran off, just always made sure she was just out of reach so I couldn't either leash her or take the bloody thing off her.

I was lucky, in that, at this point a lovely lady with another Border Collie came along and unusually Billypup didn't want to play, but she did get jealous when I gave the other dog some of her treats and came close enough that I was able to grab her. It is a quiet area so I was lucky that someone came along.

I would love for some suggestions if anything like this happens again. There was nothing I could offer her that was more desirable to her than this horrid thing and she absolutely knew she was being naughty.

OP’s posts: |
Ticcinalong Sat 15-Dec-18 10:38:55

I understand your predicament but as testing as they may seem dogs, even adolescences like yours, really aren’t being ‘naughty’ they just don’t have that capacity.

The best recall training I’ve come across was absolutedogs they have a free dvd called leash off game on and you learn to play games with your dog so they think you are the most exciting thing in the world. Have a look at that. Sometimes food alone isn’t tempting enough when they have something really exciting so you need to be the centre of their world and the most fun to them. They formulated the dvd just for dogs like yours who play ‘keep away’! Just out of reach!
Good luck, it’s hard but a reliable recall is so important. 3 out of my 4 are now perfect even with squirrels etc. My 4th is a work in progress currently working through all the games and she’s a breed bred to work with strong drive so it’s ongoing training. I also have special recall food (dogs faves) that I only use for recall that they love! Others in my training club use whistle recall training with good success. If the free dvd doesn’t work maybe seek out a positive training club they often do recall courses and workshops.
10 months is right in teenage phase you will come out the other side!

FFSFFSFFS Sat 15-Dec-18 10:39:55

I'd suggest getting a good drop command embedded in her doggy mind. If you can get it automatic it might help. I got my boy to drop a piece of sausage he picked up in the street the other day!! Don't think he could he did it! And I had to grab it pretty quickly. But because he's so used to drop he mostly does it automatically. The key for drop is to always have a high value treat. It's hard when they have something so appealing though. And it doesn't always work. His ignore command is not as strong because we haven't worked on it as much so the other day he came home covered in horse poop....

Alfie190 Sat 15-Dec-18 10:46:44

Second the above. We have got one of ours really well trained to "drop". Used freshly roasted chicken during his training. smile

Bunnybigears Sat 15-Dec-18 10:50:24

You need to have both the drop and leave commands in you repertoire. That way if you saw the dead sheep before the dog you can use leave it. If you are too late and dog gets it in their mouth you would use the drop command. My nice but dim mutt can manage these so a border collie should pick them up quite quickly.

billybagpuss Sat 15-Dec-18 10:53:41

Her drop (we use stop) is almost there. She was funny though She 'stopped' 'lie down' let me come within 2m then ran off again.

I must have looked a right sight, its quite funny with hindsight but was very frustrating at the time.

Tennis Balls out trump squirrels at the moment (although she is fickle so I'm waiting for that to change) so for the time being I've got that one covered.

Thank you am looking at the LOGO site now, its quoting $8.95 for postage, is it worth it and legit?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 15-Dec-18 11:13:58

To be fair a tasty rotting sheep's leg would be such a high value item that most dogs, let alone a 10 month old, wouldn't want to give up their prize.


pigsDOfly Sat 15-Dec-18 12:24:44

That was my thinking Bitey.

I could have done with that DVD when my dog was going through her awkward 'keeping just out of reach' phase.

I found keeping her on a long trailing training leash helped, and very high value treats kept just for recall.

Perhaps you need to stock up on rotting lambs' legs billy grin

adaline Sat 15-Dec-18 12:31:12

You need to have both the drop and leave commands in you repertoire.

I doubt they would have worked in this situation - this isn't an adult dog, it's a 10 month old puppy with a highly valuable bone. I really don't think any amount of training would have made her drop it at that age!

LittleLongDog Sat 15-Dec-18 12:46:28

I think you just have to hope you don’t come across any more sheep legs and wait for the teenage phase to pass. (As you’ve already said you’re working on her commands.) I agree with PP that you’re going to be hard pushed to find a treat better than that!

billybagpuss Sat 15-Dec-18 13:26:19

I love you lot, thank you for making me chuckle and feel a bit better that I'm heading in the right direction. We won't be going back down to the river for a while.

OP’s posts: |
Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 15-Dec-18 16:48:56

You did totally the right thing in letting her keep hold of "her leg". She needs to know that you do care for the bones. Also collies hate it when you are not interested in them so I would have actually have sent her away from me. Drives most collies crazy and they come nearer to you!

Did you have to put the lead on or could you have asked her to jump into the car with the leg - that would have been my first choice

If I had to put the lead on I would have asked for a down stay and put it on but would not take away the leg. It is no prize if noone else wants it - let her keep it, eventually swop with a great treat or a game of ball.

If she did drop the leg remember where it is because next time you walk there she will find it grin

Theoscargoesto Sat 15-Dec-18 18:04:03

Sorry, am I missing the point? Billy I thought it was the just out of reach issue that you were asking about?

I have had recall issues with Oscar dog (they are improving, used to be impossible to call away from other dogs and she's pretty good now, though we have a different issue: if there is a wood with squirrels and birds, she is deaf to my commands). Anyway, I took a trainer out with us to help and one thing she suggested, because my dog was coming back, but not close enough to touch, was treating her for coming back, making sure I grabbed her collar or harness or whatever, and then letting her go again, to reinforce that coming back within reach doesn't mean the end of a walk.

billybagpuss Sat 15-Dec-18 19:48:23

Unfortunately @Vallhala she knew we were getting close to the car so there was no way she was leaving that field as she was possessive over her find. so she kept avoiding me and making sure I was between her and the gate.

@Theo I think there were many issues, definitely the just out of reach thing was a problem and has been once before, also when guarding a possession. TBH anything that would help in this scenario would be useful. Its always useful to hear other peoples perspective and techniques.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Sat 15-Dec-18 20:00:48

I tried to do the grabbing the collar, putting on the lead and then letting the dog go again thing Theoscar. The only problem with that is actually managing to get hold of the dog in the first place, which is where I found the long trailing line so helpful.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sun 16-Dec-18 12:43:29

In the situation you were in there was little you could do tbh.

You have three areas to work on in training - recall, swopping items, collar grab

Work on rewarding recall between your legs eg throw the treat through your legs behind you - DO NOT do the grabbing a collar and releasing she will not come near you!

Create a magic circle so if she is close to you she gets a treat - I do this with the heel position if he dog touches my leg with there shoulder they get rewarded - they will offer this behaviour just when they want attention smile

Also teach a nose touch - reward her touching your hand with her nose. Dogs love this and it can be used in an emergency recall as the dog sees it as a game and not a recall put your hand out ask for touch voila dog next to you.

Swapping toys for other toys is vital with collies as they can easily get herdy etc over toys and food. So have a pile of toys and play with one toy with your dog - tuggy's are good for this- the drop this toy and encourage play with another toy. This can be extremely hard work for you and some dogs will resist playing with the new toy, but be amazingly exciting and after a while (it will seem like ages) the dog will swop to the new toy.

This teaches the dog a lot - one you are more exciting than a dead toy, so the dog will prefer to be around you than run off with a dead toy, toys are not what bring the fun it is you. Work on this a lot - it has hundreds of benefits.

Collar grabs do need to be trained but not with recall. Hold the collar treat the dog, do this with the dog close to you so there is not big lunging movement to start with then you can very very slowly increase the distance and speed you do the grab. Remember never train this with recall ever.

A gate your secret weaponsmile if safe to do so I would have gone through the gate to the car, probably got in the car and shut the door and left her - within minutes she would have been hopping around behind the gate wanting to join you -when you approached she would have run off again but if you waited this out she would come through with her find - you may doubt me and it may have taken a while but....

geekone Sun 16-Dec-18 14:07:34

You need to teach drop. Our trainer had us play tug for a couple of minutes then stand still and say drop very strongly until they drop them praise/treat etc. Ahe also said to give the lead a tug of drop isn’t enough until it eventually gets in their brain and they literally spit out what they have. Our pup is 10 months too, he drops 50% of the time so a work in progress. Ours is also going through the “teenage” phase so recall which was 99% perfect is now more challenging should we say grin. Good luck.

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