One month to train an untrainable dog

(13 Posts)
Buddahstack Fri 24-Apr-20 10:55:26

8 year old PITA Jack Russell. Doesn’t take a blind bit of notice of anyone.

If I can only teach him one thing it will be to come to a whistle. He’s highly motivated by balls/treats but the most stubborn dog I’ve ever met.

I’ve started v v small and rewarding when he comes back over the smallest distance.

How would you do it?

OP’s posts: |
jinxpixie Fri 24-Apr-20 11:00:22

Blow whistle everytime he is fed and standing and right by his food bowl.

Do this for several days
Blow whistle put food bowl down.

After a couple of days have dog at one end of room (maybe someone holding him by his collar) blow whistle put food bowl on the floor - dog charges to food bowl.

Gradually over time increase the distance, between you and the dog
Then increase to blowing whistle and giving the best treat in the world.

You have a month this will be sorted in 2 weeks! grin

jinxpixie Fri 24-Apr-20 11:02:40

Disclaimer it may take a while before you can call him off rabbits and other dogs etc out and about but just slowly and consistently up the criteria,distance,duration and distraction.

Barryisland Fri 24-Apr-20 11:05:01

Join the ABSOLUTE DOGS TRAINING. Brilliant. Training is on line. Using games. Google it and watch on you tube etc. Good luck!

Elieza Fri 24-Apr-20 11:05:11

I taught my bf’s dog to run to me by giving her treats and whistling an unusual whistle. Within about twenty times she could do it off lead and would come running. So it defo works.
If the dog is full though it may take longer, eg don’t feed a large meal and expect the dog to come to you for treats right away. If it’s not hungry then it won’t. However the dogs I know are greedy and will eat even when full!

FiresideTreats Fri 24-Apr-20 11:06:06

What Jinx said. You want him to turn on a sixpence when he hears the whistle as he's conditioned to respond immediately and return.

I followed these instructions: it breaks each step of the whistle recall down. Dead simple.

I know you've not got a cocker but I didn't want to copy and paste someone else's work!

BadgertheBodger Fri 24-Apr-20 11:16:38

JRTs can be arseholes though. Ours certainly was, even for the best treat in the world he only came about 6 times out of 10. He had a really suspicious look on him like hmmm if I come to you are you going to stop my fun. He got better with a LOT of consistency and ignoring all the grumbling and grouching about. Good luck! We adopted ours at 9 and he had a great 4 years with us smile


vanillandhoney Fri 24-Apr-20 11:48:28

You have a JRT - a dog bred to chase small things. They're not the best when it comes to recall at the best of times.

I agree with the above about whistle training, but you have to consider the kind of dog you have. Terriers and scent/sight dogs are not designed to come back when you call them grin

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Apr-20 20:29:48

Very interested in this, I have a 2.5 year old show cocker whose recall is dreadful (yes my fault).
Reading jinxpixie posts and FiresideTreats link and wondering about doing a kind of combination.

BUT I don't want to use a whistle, I have one but if I whistle train him it means I have to have it easily accessible at any point that I want him to recall?

I think using COME might present a problem as he has already learned to ignore it.

I could of course use any word, if I can get him trained he will just associate it with returning to me.

I did think about using RECALL, but I doing think it's a natural command to use.

I have recently been using BACK to get him to come away from the door and sit just behind me while I open it, or come and sit just behind/beside me when I throw him a ball rather than already being out waiting for it.

So while BACK has developed a slightly different connotation, it is quite similar in that it is beside me. And it is a reasonable sounding recall command (as in come BACK).

What do people this about using COME which he already ignores versus a new word, BACK in this case?

jinxpixie Fri 24-Apr-20 21:35:54

You can use whatever word you like.

You can retrain come or may be easier to use a new word.

Whats this

You can also teach a behaviour eg go in between your legs -middle.
If you train this enough you can yell middle and they will come to the position so also works as a recall.

Another easy one is to touch your hand with their nose - train this close to you then you can just ask for a touch and they will come from a distance to touch your hand -again works as a recall.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 24-Apr-20 22:01:36

Thanks, I know I can use any word, it was more whether it would be easier to use a new word or to try and retrain COME.

Ideally I'd prefer to retrain COME, then I can continue to use BACK for the specific purpose of going back from the door, back behind me when I am throwing a ball etc.

Maybe I need to pick another recall word, looking at your list HERE would probably work.

Thanks 🙂

Chasingsquirrels Sat 25-Apr-20 08:52:48

Right, I have decided on HERE as my recall command.

I'm not going to do the bowl of food method because although he is excited to be fed, he then often just smells it and goes away to come back and eat it a couple of minutes later.

So instead I'm going to put his food portion into his bowl on the countertop where he came reach it, then hand feed it to him using the HERE command, and the steps in the link posted.

Although he is excited about his food he doesn't want to eat the first piece, then once I've tempted him with that he does want the rest.

As he is usually just bowl fed, when there is just a small amount of food left I'm then going to give him his bowl, so he knows he's been fed and isn't then asking for it.

I did this last night, with him standing next to me and holding his collar at first and saying HERE as I have him each piece, then just a step away and already coming towards me when I say HERE and then giving the piece as he gets to me.

I've then repeated it this morning.

I usually feed twice a day, but think I'll split into three and do it morning, mud afternoon and early evening so we are getting 3 reinforcements a day.

Hopefully we can progress past the "next to me" recall and onto being further away, next room, garden on long line, playing etc then I'm going to use his days food throughout the training, maybe doing a bit in the morning and evening as close recall to keep the daily feeding regime.

I'm so glad I've seen this thread at just the right point to give me the push I needed, and grateful to the posters I mentioned in a previous post for their input.

Chasingsquirrels Wed 29-Apr-20 18:21:47

Have you made a start Buddahstack?

I've been going since Friday evening with the close recall.
I mix between feeding a few pieces of food stood next to him and repeating HERE, and taking a step or two away (having commanded him to wait with a hand signal) and then calling HERE.
Yesterday and today I've also done it from a little further in the same room and a few times from a different room (having verbally commanded him to wait), I am still mixing this with the very close recall and feeding next to me.

Seems to be going well so far, I want to rush on ahead and try next steps, but am restraining myself and sticking with this for a couple of weeks for the reinforcement before I move onto the next steps which will be on our enclosed patio, and then in the garden on a long line.

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