How to improve recall?

(12 Posts)
YoureAllABunchOfBastards Wed 26-Dec-18 14:14:37

BastardPup is 8 months old. If we are walking somewhere quiet off lead he is great - stays very close to us and even herds the kids. However, if there are other dogs about he is bloody ridiculous - he thinks everyone is there to play with him and goes totally deaf to shouts and whistles.

What can we do to improve this? Getting tired of being scared to let him off in case he buggers off after a passing spaniel, or jumps up at someone....

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 26-Dec-18 14:19:05

What do you normally do when he comes back to you? Does this vary if he comes quickly or dithers? What do you do if you have to go and retrieve him yourself?

It is, however, worth noting that almost all dogs have relatively crap recall at that age - adolescence is not your friend!

IsletsOfLangerhans Wed 26-Dec-18 14:34:52

I’m keen to get some suggestions too. Islets pup is nearly 6 months - great recall when it’s just us, but goes very deaf if another playful dog is around. I am constantly scanning the horizon when she’s off lead, to try and avoid any problems...

Waddsup12 Wed 26-Dec-18 14:42:27

Think you're expecting a bit much.

Dogs like to play, it's finding a dog (& owner) that doesn't mind a puppy running about. Otherwise, it's a life of social isolation.

I taught mine by using food and lots of it, high value like cheese. Loads easier if you have a friend with a Lab (and the food reward) as come back is basically abstract for a dog, unlike sit or whatever. But if the distraction is better than the treat, they'll always bugger off a bit, esp if they are a prey-driven breed.

I love my dogs but puppies are difficult.

starcrossedseahorse Wed 26-Dec-18 17:50:22

Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson. It is brilliant and has helped me with many a wayward spaniel. She knows her stuff and it works.

CMOTDibbler Wed 26-Dec-18 17:55:26

Yup, Total Recall. Your treats need to be tailored to what makes your dog tick - so mine adore dried liver treats or dried sprats but there is always the possibility that I will pull out cooked cocktail sausages, a dog hot dog (PAH do individually sealed ones) or a Pepperami, so its well worth leaving something they want to do and come back to me.
DDog1 can get a bit overexcited when playing sometimes, so I have his absolute fave toy (rationed strictly at home as it makes a honking noise which drives me nuts) in my bag as he loves it so much and its a treat that he will always leave things for that.

Wolfiefan Wed 26-Dec-18 17:59:14

Total recall is fab!
If your dog is smaller than Wolfiedog then a longline and a harness prevents them being able to bugger off. The issue is every time they ignore you and get to play or bounce over someone they learn it’s fun to ignore you and it reinforces the bad behaviour. At least with a long line you can prevent that.


starcrossedseahorse Wed 26-Dec-18 18:07:49

Yes long lines work very well.

Wolfiefan Wed 26-Dec-18 18:08:23

Not on a wolfhound though! grin

Theoscargoesto Thu 27-Dec-18 14:31:13

I read TOtal Recall and took on board the advice about finding something that's better than the other dog: me being more fun, good treats, and a squeaky toy worked wonders. I can get her away from other dogs.

However.....she (9 month old pup) then discovered the delights of wooded areas. She does always come back, but I've waited 10 minutes at times. I can't compete with the possibility of a bird, or a squirrel. I'm planning to properly implement Total Recall after Christmas!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Wed 02-Jan-19 11:31:08

Well, we have increased his off lead time and found a good walk locally that is used by lots of dogs, so he meets different ones all the time. He is getting better. He also gets a treat when he comes back.

Still work to do, but the improvement is marked already.

OP’s posts: |
SlothMama Thu 03-Jan-19 09:56:34

I have an 8 month old and she's the same she went through a phase of being completely deaf with recall and I was advised to keep her on the lead and just work on the recall. Eventually she was very good at coming back, but if she gets very excited she still won't come back! I've found that a squeaky tennis ball can get her back now however.

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