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Puppy Recall(15 Posts)
After some advice/tips. I have a 7 month old schnauzer puppy. We are practicing recall. He’s ok if there is no one else about but if there is another dog he ignores you. He just gets so excited and loves playing with other dogs. I’m thinking perhaps I shouldn’t let him off the lead because he’s not 100% reliable? He had a 45 minute walk yesterday and when it was time to go he just sat down and gave me his stubborn face and wouldn’t budge. It reminded me when my children were small and didn’t want to leave a soft play area. Most people/dogs are fine but I’m sure one day he will do this to a dog who doesn’t like it. I tried walking in the opposite direction and he did follow me eventually.
When my puppy lost recall I used to walk him in places and at times when we were unlikely to meet other dogs and people. And if we did I had enough warning that I saw them before he did and could get him back on the lead or walk in a different direction. This allowed me to concentrate on recall without worrying about him running up to other dogs but I realise I am fortunate to have miles and miles of countryside near me to do that.
This is typical adolescent regression. Overall you want to create conditions for success rather than repeat the problem so it might be best to walk him in isolated areas for a while or long line him.
How do you practice recall? Is he food oriented? Make sure you have the best ever treats reserved for recal, e.g, liver, cheese. Practice recall even if he’s on the lead, e.g. if another dog is around, get his attention before he notices the other dog, walk backward a couple of steps, call reward, repeat and keep him recalling as the other dog is walking past. Always make sure you put two fingers under the collar when he comes back as you give the treat to ensure control.
Thank you. Yes, recall is with food because he is obsessed with food.
What’s long line?
Also when he’s on a lead in the street he barks at other dogs because he wants to say hello. How do I deal with this?
A long line is a technique for dogs that have recall issues. You attach the lead as normal but you also attach a long, light weight line. You release the lead and let the dog run off to play. When you recall, if the dog doesn’t return you step on the long line, walk on the line all the way to the dog, take the dog by the collar, reverse to where you originally called the dog, click and treat. The long line should be light enough so that dog doesn’t feel it trailing so they forget it’s there, then when you stop them from running away they thing you magically have control of them even when they are loose,
Distraction might work well with this one. Keep a very nice treat in your hand and use it to distract the dog as other dogs approach. Get him to do sits or downs as the dog goes past. If he won’t concentrate on you try backing away to increase the distance between you and the other dog until he is able to concentrate.
The reason he prefers other dogs to you and won’t come back is because you haven’t taught him recall yet. Just calling him back to you when there’s no distractions is the easy bit! You need to proof it. Try the long line method with other people, dogs etc present but build up to it slowly. Do you have a friend with a reliable dog that could help you? Then it’s practice, practice, practice in every situation until he’s used to lots of distractions. You also have to make yourself much more exciting. Up the treats, dance around like a loon and get his attention. Do you practice the ‘watch me’ command? Keep his attention focussed on you. Your dog trainer should be covering this really, what do they say?
Thanks Ms I think I might look into a 1 to 1 trainer. What’s the watch me command?
It doesn’t sound like you need to spend money on a one to one trainer, these are he sorts of things that are covered in beginner training classes.
Call the dog’s name, as he looks at you click and treat. Eventually you increase the waiting period before you click and the dog keeps watching you. It’s a good technique for getting the dog to focus on you. Like everything you need to practice it a lot, start in a quiet, calm environment then add distractions and build up to the biggest distractions.
Has your trainer covered recall practice? If you have two people put yourselves a couple of meters away from the puppy and take it in turns to call, fingers under collar, click and treat. If you are on your own, go back a couple of paces, call, collar, click and treat, go back again and repeat.
Hand targeting is also helpful for recall, have you done any of that?
Recall around other dogs is really hard, because they see them as being far more exciting than you are! Also around the teenage months is when all recall and obedience go out of the window!
Oh I’ve just realised he is going through adolescence and so he may regress ☹️ He did puppy classes when he was younger I think I’m going to start them up again.
We've just finished a block of really good classes specifically for adolescent dogs through The Dog Trust, focused on recall quite a lot. DDog is a lot better, except for the time he saw a fox and all bets were off.
Yes we have lots of foxes near us too 😀
Booboostwo has explained the watch me command very well. I would just add that you could progress to rewarding him when he looks at you of his own accord rather than you just rewarding his reaction to you, because that will help him work it out for himself rather than waiting for you to call him. He will watch you more often if he thinks there might be a reward in it. Just make sure you give the command and the reward at the same time so he knows what he’s getting it for.
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