Would anyone like to share their stories of their dogs recall disappearing to make me feel better please?

(32 Posts)
Scion286 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:31:38

Pup is 10 months old. He had fantastic recall up until about a month ago. He’d turn on a penny at the sound of his whistle. He’s gradually been getting further and further away from us, never disappearing completely, always with an eye on us still but not responding as quickly as he used to.

The last 4 or 5 walks there’s been an ‘incident’ of some kind. We’re very careful about where we walk him (no livestock or roads etc) but things like disappearing into the undergrowth for 5 minutes, squeezing under a fence into the neighbouring field and then not being able to get back. Sunday was the final straw, we were walking through a forest and the little bugger would not come out! It took us 20 minutes, he’d run back to us, get almost close enough for us to grab him then he’d run off again.

So that’s it, he’s back on his lead (see other thread about trying to get him not to pull on countryside walks 🤦🏼‍♀️)

Little shit. Good job he’s cute!

Has anyone got any reassuring tales of their dog getting their recall back? Any tips, training advice? I just think that now he’s had a taste of real freedom why would he ever behave himself again?!

I’ve been trying to follow the sexier than a squirrel training but unless I grow a bushy tail I’m just not ever going to be!

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billybagpuss Tue 30-Jun-20 20:38:03

2 years, still having the same problem 😩

gonewiththerain Tue 30-Jun-20 20:41:00

A tracker is a really good purchase. Ddog 2 is usually very good for months then disgraces himself big time by going missing for ages. The tracker has solved the problem.

Blueuggboots Tue 30-Jun-20 20:45:27

Is he a beagle??! If he is, he'll be like FOREVER. 🤣🤣
I think most dogs go through a testing phase when it's the equivalent of teenage years?

SandysMam Tue 30-Jun-20 20:45:42

Our dog is the same however we have tried to become interesting. So in the field, we will let her race about then hide in the long grass. Or walk towards the gate so she worries where we are going. It does seem to help. I hate the feeling of letting her off though without the confidence of knowing if she’ll come back so watching with interest to see if anyone has a magic answer!

WeAllHaveWings Tue 30-Jun-20 22:28:29

You never stop training recall, you need to keep it exciting for him and everyone who walks him needs to also train and consistantly use the same techniques.

Try the book Total Recall it talks about sustaining recall once established. Dont give him treats everytime he returns, but every now and again produce an unexpected high value jackpot. It encourages them to return, a bit like a gambler, they know they wont win big everytime, but when they do it is amazing! Ddog(7)'s recall isnt 100% anymore but that is because dh/ds(16) walk him more than me now and don't keep it consistent.

WinWinnieTheWay Tue 30-Jun-20 22:31:19

Our dog is part beagle, she will go missing for hours given the chance, so she can't be let off the lead. It's not ideal, but we can't have her off lead if we can't be sure she'll come back.


Lalala205 Wed 01-Jul-20 02:15:41

What breed? I ditto high value reward treats. My staff was a nightmare/highly reactive dog until 3yrs (they push boundaries as teens!). However from going from an onlead/long lead muzzled dog, she's now to a literal nod/word. She hunkers down when another dog approaches, waits at road crossings, and moves to sit on verges whilst cyclists approaches and pass. But she's a complete people pleaser and cares more about being a 'good girl' than anything else. By comparison my yorkie at 8 is a complete shit bag that will never be off long leash 😒. Same household, same training, two very different dogs!

vanillandhoney Wed 01-Jul-20 06:18:02

What breed?

I have a beagle and they're notorious for bad recall but you just need to put the work in. Mine is pretty much always off lead on walks unless we're close to a road - I've whistle trained him and he comes back every time. I can even have him sitting by my side off-lead while other people and dogs walk past us.

He was a bugger as a teenager but that was more to do with his age than his breed. People always tell me I'm brave to have him off the lead but he's honestly been fine and he's never run off on me - he's 2.5 now.

It just requires persistence, tasty treats and lots of practise. Good luck smile

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 01-Jul-20 08:53:17

This is a classic bit of adolescence in dogs - testing boundaries, feeling confident enough to go further from mum & dad, and generally being a bit rebellious.

Probably a good time to go back on the long line, and go back to basics for a while.

I still haven't forgotten the time DDog spotted a fox at dusk from 200 yards away, and fucked off into woodland, as fast as his little legs would carry him. He did come back, eventually, but not before I'd had a heart attack (and ended up in tears...) at the thought of the fox attacking him, or him following the fox underground.

Even as adults, they do all disgrace themselves from time to time. I've just found that the number of times DDog causes public embarrassment per day has gone down a lot over time!

Whoknowswhocares Wed 01-Jul-20 12:29:13

Definitely an adolescent thing, back to a longline and practice,practise practise.
They all do it occasionally though, even as an adult. It’s a dog not a robot. My 7 year old, highly trained (and without bragging I literally mean she came in the top 5 in the UK at Crufts this year for an obedience type competition) pissed off and joined someone’s picnic the other day. Despite NEVER having done so in the past! blush
Perhaps success has gone to her headgrin

pigsDOfly Wed 01-Jul-20 16:43:18

Yes, definitely sounds like adolescence.

Long line, keep training and reinforcing recall, also tracker sounds like a good idea, just in case.

Mine also played the 'here I am, there I go' game; so frustrating.

Once he gets through the rebellious stage and calms down his recall will hopefully return.

I resorted to making myself look a complete loon in the park in order to try to make myself more interesting and exciting; not sure how well it worked at the time, but it must have helped as her recall is fine now,

Keep working on the bushy tail though.

Wolfiefan Wed 01-Jul-20 16:45:26

I agree adolescence. Total Recall is a great book. I’m wrestling with an 8 month old on the lead. I’ll get there!

Scion286 Wed 01-Jul-20 17:01:03

Thanks everyone. Funnily enough I ordered Total recall last night. I’m on a mission to sort out his pulling on the lead and do my best at least to get his recall back.

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Scion286 Wed 01-Jul-20 17:01:30

He’s a spaniel terrier cross for those who asked.

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79andnotout Wed 01-Jul-20 18:59:56

My (new) greyhound was pretty good until he realised it was really good fun to go squirrel hunting in our local woods. Now if I let him off he just disappears to the woods for half an hour and pops his head back up when I've pretty much given up looking for him. It's very annoying and now I have to do all walks on lead which means he is never tired out. High value treats have no value to chasing squirrels it seems. I can't wait until my dog trainer starts working again! Although he might be too far gone even for her. My other greyhound has very good recall even though she also likes squirrels, she's intelligent to know she wont catch them and hot dogs taste better.

StillMedusa Wed 01-Jul-20 19:47:09

Mine did it tonight!
Usually she's out with me, and has a Tractive Tracker on her harness as her previously good recall went a bit dodgy at about 8 months of age (now 13m).
Today I was knackered from work and my DD2 and her fiancee decided to go explore the countryside with her... no tracker...

She saw a hare while off lead in the fields and was GONE.

They haven't told me how long she took to come back (it was not one of our usual off lead places) but I suspect it may have been long enough to be worrying!
I'm going to put the tracker app on DD2's phone!!

However USUALLY she is not bad.. she does disappear a bit to hunt but a couple of whistles (my preferred recall ) and she reappears after a minute or two so in our usual far-away-from-roads haunts so I don't use a long line (til her next season)

I have the Total Recall book and also reccommend the 'pigs might fly' book (for training breeds who are, um less inclined to want to just please you) It's very well written and funny and gentle but effective!

Wolfiefan Wed 01-Jul-20 19:49:13

I also use a dogmatic or K9 bridle on the giant beasts.
Perfect fit harness is supposed to be good.

StillMedusa Wed 01-Jul-20 19:49:31

And I gave up on the 'sexier than a squirrel' training because they irritated me so much with their patter.

Plus... no matter what I do I am NEVER going to be sexier than a squirrel.. I could be wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress and my dog would still go after the squirrel grin

Scion286 Wed 01-Jul-20 19:54:53

🤣 Lady Gaga’s meat dress 🤣

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PenelopePitstop49 Wed 01-Jul-20 19:55:47

Mine (working cocker) was an angel until around 9 months.

Then he appeared to go deaf overnight, and nearly ran across a busy main road chasing a pheasant across 3 fields.

At which point, the little bastard went back onto a long training line and stopped on it until he was around 18 months and had learned to listen. It was horrific - every single walk was a training exercise but he did learn. And he still wears some hawk bells on his collar just in case, so if he does disappear into undergrowth, I can hear him! He's 7 hmm

It's just puppy adolescence. You will beat it - with boring repetition, rewarding the good and ignoring the bad.

BiteyShark Wed 01-Jul-20 19:59:35

My working cocker was awful during his teens. Fortunately he developed a ball obsession and now won't leave my side if I have a ball 🎾 grin

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 01-Jul-20 20:06:50

Ours now knows that her name means 'time to go back on the lead', so we had to reprogramme her and she now responds to 'Cheese'.

Dreamersandwishers Wed 01-Jul-20 20:09:10

Full moon is Saturday. It’s only going to get worse...
My 9 year old did this the other day, - my own fault, I had bragged to DH that he never left my side... There was a horse, fresh poo. Apparently that’s sexier than me or a thousand squirrels.

Scion286 Wed 01-Jul-20 20:36:10

Well you’re all making me feel much better about things-thankyou, so good to know that it’s ‘normal’.

Should you give up on off lead walks or carry on (where it’s safe to do so) and just face the embarrassment? I’m not so worried about him disappearing into the undergrowth and we don’t go anywhere with cars near by but I’m worried he might not recall from a dog on a lead or someone who doesn’t like dogs although the off lead walks are ‘off lead walking places’ where I don’t think you’d go if you didn’t like dogs or had a dog who didn’t like dogs but that’s not really the point is it.

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