So bloody stubborn - recall part 3

(28 Posts)
billybagpuss Mon 15-Apr-19 17:00:26

At what age do they really stop all this rebellion crap?
(please excuse my language I am a little exasperated right now)

We have done so much intensive training, it really has worked on so many levels. Loose lead now almost perfect, reaction to ducks definitely getting better, reaction to cyclists hmmmmm, reaction to rowers no chance they are evil. Recall is still hit and miss.

My neighbour who has a beautiful Collie said the other day that her dog was never as wilful as Billypup at the same age.

Mostly at the moment I take her on a longline on walks as I just can not trust her recall, we've had some lovely walks with them, plenty of on line recall practise 95% success (the other 5% is rower related) Today in our local field we were playing off lead games, perfect focus having a whale of a time, coming back every time. I get the lead to put it on (yes I do do the putting it on and taking it off at different times when we not going home thing) and she legs it, across a brook and starts foraging in some bushes completely ignoring me. Fortunately it was near our house so DD came and caught her unawares and I threw the lead across.

Honestly its not a training thing, we've done so much I was terribly exciting, I promise, so much so I had 5 other dogs around me - just not mineconfused

She is now 14 months, Border/retriever. Please tell me this phase will pass soon, pleasesad

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billybagpuss Mon 15-Apr-19 17:02:15

Oh and I do know the training never really stops, I do loads and intend to continue forever.

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OverFedStanley Mon 15-Apr-19 17:56:19

Some days a really important part of dog training is wine and cake for the owner.

Your dog's combination of breeds is pretty high prey drive (unlike the collie so do not compare and there are always those annoying dog owners who do little training but seem to have the perfect dog - they dont!)

I hate trainers that say you have to be really interesting to have good recall - there is nothing and I mean nothing you can do to be more interesting than a rabbit or a smell if a dog gets a whiff of the scent for some dogs.

I have an obedience champ labrador that I would not let walk off lead at twilight as he turns into master hunter with the rabbits despite all his bloody awards.

Recall for some dogs is hard. You will be given loads of ways to do it and loads of advice on methods that never fail(!oh yes everyone will be an expert!) but I would just remember that your dog will need training to increase distance of recall, different locations, different distractions.

Start with easy on all of the above D's and slowly -very slowly increase them. Do not expect recall in situations you know he can not do be prepared to use the long line in the very hard situations for him.

PS I think you are very interesting - huh mad dog whatever did he see in the bushes to out interest you smile

BiteyShark Mon 15-Apr-19 18:11:06

They like to try your patience don't they smile

Can't remember exactly what age his recall came back (sometime around the age of 1) but it was when he became totally ball obsessed. However, I have seen lots of people say the stubborn stage for them lasted until 2 or beyond.

Lots of winebrewand caketo get you through it.

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 05:01:00

Thank you both, I feel slightly more positive now.

The bushes are one of those areas that loads of school kids walk past and discard their packed lunches before going to McDonald’s so god knows what’s in there. It doesn’t look too littered at the moment but she genuinely wasn’t coming back because she just didn’t want to go home yet.

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BiteyShark Tue 16-Apr-19 05:31:54

I once sat in my car in tears with frustration because BiteyDog refused to come to me after a walk.

It's another really testing time after puppyhood that people just don't tell you about.

One of the things that I found helped was to do something pleasurable with them to help the bonding again. We started with agility and whilst at that time he was starting to get better he really started to focus and listen to me and more importantly I enjoyed doing it with him rather than constantly batting heads with his behaviour.

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 06:10:26

We are due to start agility in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait.

I will admit to getting slightly jealous when friends post pictures of their off lead dogs on sm.

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BiteyShark Tue 16-Apr-19 06:58:17

Good luck at the agility. We have stopped that now as we are doing scentwork instead which appeals more to his hunting nose.

Depending on how you get on at agility that might be something to look into as well.

I do think it makes a difference to how they view you as you work together rather than against.

BiteyShark Tue 16-Apr-19 07:06:18

* I will admit to getting slightly jealous when friends post pictures of their off lead dogs on sm.*

Yes and if they have a dog that's really food orientated or just doesn't run off they won't understand how stressful it can be.

However, you would never know we had major issues with recall for many months when BiteyDog was younger as we look like the perfect dog/owner out on a walk. It really wasn't like that for such a long time.

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:22:18

Oh @Bitey you've been so helpful over my recall or lack thereof threads and really do give me hope - thank you flowers

I did wonder about scent work too, I just really enjoy doing courses and things with her and she is so good. Its like @overfed was saying that his 'obedience champion' still has no recall when rabbits are around. In a controlled environment she is awesome and often (in my biased eyes) outshines the rest on the course. But then its like she knows the difference between formal course and a walk when she perceives she doesn't have to be on her best behaviour.

We stopped with the standard 'doggy training' as it was the same stuff week in week out and there was never going to be anything in that room more exciting than a constant flow of treats.

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SockEater Tue 16-Apr-19 07:31:55


* Loose lead now almost perfect*

How long did it take to achieve that almighty feat and what method did you use?

squee123 Tue 16-Apr-19 07:32:12

I imagine the agility will help. As a mix of two highly intelligent working breeds your DDog will likely benefit from burning off mental as well as physical energy.

In the meantine it might be worth checking out Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson. I know lots of people that have had great success with it including a few people with adult rescues that were total nightmares offlead beforehand.

BiteyShark Tue 16-Apr-19 07:32:59

I have emergency balls in the car and in my pocket etc for recall. If I don't have a ball he isn't interested so god help me if I ever forget one shock.

The thing is you may never have total recall and I don't think anyone can ever say they have it as it's fine until it isn't iykwim, but they do calm down and you will get better at foreseeing when they might be starting to look a bit ropey.

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:40:13

@sock note the use of the word 'almost'.

We've done a lot of calming circles, so not just turning around and walking the other way but literally up and down for about 15 paces for 20 mins/half an hour at a time. She's now actually really good unless she gets really excited (when she knows she's going somewhere she loves and can't wait to get there) when she pulls again and I stop dead and she actually reverses by scuttling backwards, its hilarious to watch and if I don't start moving straight away she reverses some more.

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billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:44:24

I also would question my standards, we are a long way off smug pooch trotting 2 inches from owners heal grin my idea is in control, not pulling at all and coming to heal if something is coming the other way.

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billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:45:10

I do of course mean heelgrin

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SockEater Tue 16-Apr-19 07:48:12

Thanks for that, good to know.

Was the 20 mins once a day or 3 times or something?

Many many weeks or months did it take?

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:57:13

Actually not long at all, you do it until they detach from the environment and focus on you, so the first day it was about 25 mins until she'd sniffed everything she possibly could sniff and then look at you with that 'ffs are we actually going to go anywhere look' the next day it took about 10 mins now I start to do it and she is there.

It didn't work when we went to the beach though as the environment was just too dynamic and changeable.

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billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 07:57:49

just at the beginning of each walk.

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stucknoue Tue 16-Apr-19 08:06:37

Never compare to a collie, I have one and they are amazing but very unique. A doddle to train yet mines an independent chap who quite frankly is sexist and whilst he comes when called he actually just likes doing his own thing and 6 foot fences don't contain him

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 08:18:36

lol @stuck, her dad was border collie I think it is the golden retriever of her mum that is causing the stubbornness and yes will agree with sexistgrin

But I do love her spirit and I guess that I have to pay the price of exasperating times like yesterday for that.

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OverFedStanley Tue 16-Apr-19 08:55:12

Oh I thought she was a mix of border terrier and retriever - I was imagining a unusual mix smile

You have hope then, a lot of hope now the terrier is out of the equation!

Yes to agility - is her recall ok on this?
Yes to scentwork Look at the Scentwork Uk site to find local trainers
Will she play with a tuggy? Work on this and your recall will be much easier if she will play with toys

billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 09:24:11

lol at the terrier comment smile

I think her recall will be mostly fine at agility as it is a controlled more formal environment and there's a lot of interaction so in theory she should be focused.
I have been taking a rabbit tuggy out with me recently but yesterday she knew it was for control rather than play so she ignored me. I've always refused to get a cat that was more intelligent than me but now I have a dog that isgrin

I've also got a rabbit attachment to the lunge line thing which probably would have worked yesterday but its such a faff to take out. I going to need a complete toy box at this rate.

Usually I have balls in my pocket too as she is very ball motivated but we've been using the gun dog dummies recently I take two one of which I fear will never be seen again.

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billybagpuss Tue 16-Apr-19 09:26:21

Here she is - please let me know if you can spot the golden retriever grin

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BiteyShark Tue 16-Apr-19 09:26:32

* Usually I have balls in my pocket too as she is very ball motivated but we've been using the gun dog dummies recently I take two one of which I fear will never be seen again.*

That mad me laugh. BiteyDog has lost a few balls when poking his head down rabbit holes for a sniff which is a pain as we use the expensive hard chuckit ones angry

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