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Our 5.5 month cavalier is usually really good with basic commands and recall has been fantastic.... Until today! We went to the park this evening and he just took off playing with another little dog and just would not listen, I just could not get his attention. It was really embarrassing, although the other dog wasn't listening to his owner either. Eventually I got him to come and it was probably only a few minutes but felt a lot longer. Could this be the start of doggy adolescence do you think?
Mine started to lose his recall and other training around the age of 6 months of age.
However, it peaked around 8-9 months of age and lasted until he was around the age of 1 when he started to remember all those things I had trained him to do
Thanks Biteyshark. I remember our previous dog (same breed, but female ) had her first season at 6 months. He is generally such a good boy so it really took me by surprise today. I will make sure I have really good treats with me and his favourite ball from now on. I remember with our previous dog, we had to hide and she would come looking for us. Chasing after her and calling just made her run more, like it was a big game.
Totally normal! He just wanted to play with his new friend!
Chasing after her and calling just made her run more, like it was a big game. - Yep, you were then joining in the game!
If your dog is ignoring, its best not to keep recalling as you don't want them to tune it out. If the situation is safe (ie just playing in a field) then call out one more time (or even a special word like 'dinner' or 'sausages') then run away. Dogs love to chase and he should run after you.
Time to get a long training line (or go back to it) and give a treat EVERY times the dog comes back to you. I've just taken on a six month old pup, was told his recall was rubbish, so long line that I can stomp on if I need to, but he's very very food focussed, so happy to come back for a treat. Today he took off to play with another dog because I didn't distract him soon enough. Luckily the other dog was a rescue who had just come off a period on a long line so the owners knew what to do. So many people grab the line because they think I've dropped the lead by accident.
Call the dog back for no reason at all apart from to give a treat. Just build up that positive association. I remember the shock I had when my devoted boy, many years ago, went from being glued to my side to sprinting off with an"fuck you" look when he hit adolescence. 🤨
Mine was a nightmare between about six and eleven months for poor obedience and lack of recall.
I'm pleased to say that at 18 months he's fine!