Does behaviour deteriorate in the spring?

(9 Posts)
CheesePlanted Thu 11-Apr-19 19:08:35

My 15 mo lab appears to have regressed in the last few weeks and is driving me nuts 😩 His recall wasn’t exactly perfect, I would have to go and get him from playing with other dogs. But now I can’t let him off the lead at all as he is just legging it and not listening at all.
Also commands that he knows perfectly well, he’s just refusing until I get a treat out.
Any advice on why he’s taken a big step back? I wondered if it was anything to do with lots of new smells in the springtime distracting him?

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purpleboy Thu 11-Apr-19 19:15:26

From what I was told at around this age it's quite common for dogs to 'forget' their training!
We and a few others with dogs the same age all literally had to go back to basics, no off lead walking until recall was perfect again, all done with treats. And training on all usual commands sit, stay etc.. all done with treats.
Our behaviourist told us it's very common for that age. It took us about 4 weeks to get him back on track!

CheesePlanted Thu 11-Apr-19 19:46:10

Thank you that’s reassuring. If a little frustrating 😬 . Any tips on practising recall around other dogs? We practise in the house, with a line on if necessary, but I do struggle with other dogs around

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BiteyShark Thu 11-Apr-19 19:47:51

Sounds like he's hit the terrible teens.

Mine went through that stage when he was younger than yours but smaller dogs mature quicker than bigger ones such as a lab.

You sound like you are in the thick of the teenage stroppy deaf period and recall is notorious for 'going'. Be aware it can last many months until they finally grow up. The key is to continue all your basic training to reinforce it even if they 'ignore' you. Eventually they start to listen again but until then have lots of wineand cake

BiteyShark Thu 11-Apr-19 19:54:15

For recall I would use a whistle if you don't already do so. It removes any emotion frustration when you recall with your voice.

Recall and reward lots so it's not just at the end of the walk. Use high value treats and toys on the walk to make yourself exciting. Do things like walk in random directions so you aren't predictable because that gives them even more confidence to run off.

With other dogs I simply avoided them whilst mine was going through this period and when I couldn't avoid them I put him back on a lead before he noticed them whilst we walked past.

CheesePlanted Thu 11-Apr-19 20:05:55

Thanks for your help, I will take all that advice. He’s generally fine on the lead so that will be ok, it’s mainly the legging it off as soon as he gets the chance, full pelt without a backward glance. And yes I am hoarse from shouting frustratedly enthusiastically 😄

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billybagpuss Fri 12-Apr-19 07:36:06

Try and create a calm dog before you let him off, play some focus games with him and continue to play more focus things when he is off.

I’ve just bought this which I can hide easily and whip out when she’s ignoring me. I also bought a long line as she’s fine when playing with other dogs but too many exciting things on a walk I can’t let her off.

Similar age collie it’s bloody annoying as I know she’s just being wilful.


Nesssie Fri 12-Apr-19 10:05:59

As pp have said, that's pretty much the exact age Labradors hit adolescence and regress. So he's right on track with his development!
Long line training to get his recall back.

CheesePlanted Fri 12-Apr-19 21:11:47

Haha, glad to hear he’s on course, it makes me feel much better! Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve just booked him into another block of formal training classes hoping that will give us some more structure to keep working to. Think I might invest in a proper long line. Thank you

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