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Shea is 19 months now and recall is the main prob we have with him, apart from that he's generally a well behaved dog. Recall works if he's alone on a field but if another dog comes on that's it he wants to play and will follow the owner and their dog to who knows where. He's not aggressive or jumping, just running round and being friendly but we have an issue with one particular dog owner who uses the same farmers field as us, he will appear out of nowhere with his three dogs and meek wife trailing behind him and will walk with his head down not acknowledging us. Shea of course runs up to say hello and play with his dogs and he will continue walking. We have to ask this man to stop so we can retrieve Shea several times with no response. Yesterday my partner was on the field and the same thing happened, this man was utterly obnoxious to her, she gave it back ten-fold but the idiot basically enquired whether it was her time of the month and laughed in her face whilst continuing walking giving the obligatory ' you want to get that dog under control', fair comment if not said in such a snide non-constructive way. Shea stopped eventually as there were tractors on the next field which threw him, but Deb was extremely upset and angry.
Thing is we know that our dog isn't the best at recall and we are trying to address this, but people such as mentioned really are bloody minded and utterly unhelpful and it's so frustrating that there's nothing we can do about it as this man doesn't see reason. Has anybody else experienced this with other dog owners?
Fortunately we haven't been in that position having said that we have one very naughty boy who has a habit of coming back in his time. Now aged 7 he is at obedience classes not just for him but for me also, Micawber aged 2 years has been at obedience and agility classes for 3 months and loves it his recall is excellent and he really is progressing through the various classes very well. It's great fun and I can recommend it if you can find a good trainer with ours it's all done with food rewards
I could write a book on the incidents I have had while training other peoples dogs.
I was in the field at the back of my house with a client and their young Border terrier, we were teaching the dog recall on a long line and as she was responding well, I decided to remove the long line. We were getting along just fine, when, from nowhere, appeared two people on bikes who were riding along on a bridleway next to the field where we were. The Terrier spotted them and before I could attach her lead, she was off like a rocket after them! I called out to them "will you stop please" and they just looked at me carried on going. The dog's owner was almost hysterical and I had to keep calm and in control (which was not easy!!) Finally, we caught up with them at a bridge across a bypass where they got off their bikes to walk across.
The Terrier came running back to us when the excitement of the chase was over.
I went up to them and said " do you know something, you could have caused a really nasty accident,. Why didn't you stop when I asked you to"? The reply was "it's not our problem if you can't control your dog"!
Needless to say.. the terrier underwent a lot more recall training using distractions, especially bikes!!
Yes we've experienced this unhelpful attitude...we all know that generalising the good recall into different situations can be difficult, but it is made much harder by unthinking or sometimes deliberately awkward people.
We are always very aware of when we can help by stopping, calling our dogs in, and/or ignoring another dog so that he will find us less interesting than his owner. How I wish others did the same for us....our youngster Steo is currently testing us out and is in danger of winning!!!
Reading your comments I am counting my blessings here .... not only my 3 boys are always running free even in the streets, they never go out of sight when on the beach or in the wood, and they do wait for me. Recall is absolutely not a problem. I would love to argue that I am mastering dog psychology but it is not the case :-( I guess I was simply lucky with the first one, who in turn taught the second one, etc. Now speaking of Mac my latest 3.5 month addition, Jeremy Bott had the wonderful idea to whistle when calling all the puppies for meal time, and the whistle continue to do magic!!!!
If I remember well, when problem with the recall, we should always give them a treat even when we want to strangle them for letting us wait a long time or even worse, running away when we approach them.... and this treat reward should be applied for a couple of months :-)
Something I have noticed though, we always go to obedience class when they are young, taking the older one at the same time and letting him participate (with the agreement of the trainer). It seems that my older dog is so proud of being a good boy and receiving all the attention, he then takes the young one in charge and make sure that he will obey. If we are not always successful, our dogs are!!!!! May be the solution is to work with an older dog? a well trained that is :-)
Good luck everyone :-) and plenty of cuddles to your beautiful dogs.
I must be lucky in that all the dog walkers will wait while I collect Arthur.He is very like Shea in that he sees another dog and of course that dog must be played with. However he is learning and ,for some strange reason, if I can encourage him into the river he always comes out straight back to me.I don't understand either!
Yesterday a man was walking his Westie and Fred was going crazy to get at her,you have guessed it,she was in season.There was no way he was going to come back to me so I asked the bitch's owner to grab his collar .That was the end of off lead walking for the day as Fred would just folllow the trail of the bitch.As yet Arthur doesn't seem to know what it's all about..
Fred will go round me in small circles when I call him back but will tire of the game and stands still for me to get him.I once left him standing and walked from the field calling him.He didn't move an inch.I had to go back to get him.I wonder who has trained who?
Ellie will always come back,in fact perfect recall.One out of three isn't bad.
I have to agree with Jeremy Bott ;o]) We always started our puppies with a recall whistle while putting their food down - even when they were sitting at our feet at the time. We played the "Recall Whistle" game on a regular basis in the garden incorporating it into ball ganes and I chase you - you chase me games... making coming to hand just the nicest place for a dog to be - treats, strokes cuddles etc.
When old enough to go out into the fields pups were always on a line at first with the same old games and rewards for returning. The big day comes when you let them off! Most remember the drill - can't say all are perfect tho'!
Tip: if your dog does not heed you, call it and walk in the oposite direction, like you don't care whether he comes or not.... he thinks you mean it Oh! No!
If you chase him he'll keep running - the trick is to turn round and make him chase you - let him catch you - and nab him! Give him a hug and a smile (while you grind your teeth and mutter unseemly remarks under your breath)
I always found the whistle to be the most effective way to recall. If you shout and holler it's just noise... akin to barking and merely excites the already excited, bolshi dog.
I used to do whistle training and at times when it worked Errol really impressed other dog walkers with his repsonse. However, I lost the whistle some time ago and as it wasn't a specific dog whistle but just an odd one with a distinct sound which I can no longer get hold of I was wondering whether any odd whistle will do? And if I go for the bog standard dog whistle will he just respond to and follow others whistling for their dogs?
That said Errol's recall is so much better these days (albeit thanks to more drastic spray collar training) but if Mother Nature calls I dare say any dog owner will have a battle of wills on their hands...
Thanks Sue. Maybe I should ebay or wholesale whistles... I don't even loose them when I'm out and about but usually in the house. Maybe Errol hides them on purpose.
I noticed that flayling my arms and making silly noises while running away is also irresistable to my boy. :)
We do try whistle training with him but have had a nightmare few months personally and so it got put on the back burner really, but he will usually come back to the whistle unless there is another dog in the equation, then he goes deaf and play is the priority. Shea is treat orientated too but again a dog will override that.
KC understand completely. I believe in dog etiquette and have had lots of dogs off lead running up to us to say hello, it's fine and as long as they're not aggressive we don't mind and we will always stop if the owner needs to retrieve their dog. It has to be expected that dogs in training will do things they shouldn't and other dog owners should be aware of this more than anyone else which makes these situations even more infuriating especially when the other dog owner seems to walk on out of pure spite and nastiness. Yes in a perfect world we would all have dogs that never run off but it happens and consideration as you say goes a long way. As I see it if a person is asked several times by you to stop and they carry on knowing your dog will follow them then it's not that far of dog-napping aside from being bloody ignorant.