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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?
Hello Neil ..
you have to train Shea in a fenced environment, so you have alway's control over her ..
If that is not possible than hold her for a while on a long strap ..min 5 meter
train with her ..not to long each time , but every walk you make ..
Reward the good things she does ,and never give her a penalty if she's finely goming back. after being disobedient for a while..
The problem is ...she's know's that when she is at a distance, you have none control ..
With Thomas a had the same issue..and I made a string with little bels on it ...
When he did not come when i could ,I threw that string at him ...he startled and returned to me at once..
After a while he knew that i could reach him even when he was at a distance..
It is not something that works in a few day's ,but it pays out at time ..
That's an interesting method throwing bells at the dog, although knowing Shea he would grab the string and run off towards the dogs anyway brandishing his new toy :o)
Neil, I'm so sorry to hear that someone put you trough that. Pitanga used to be like that and getting her back on the lead was hard work. Eventually I started to let her of lead only when dogs with good recall were around - she always came after them. She snapped out of it one day, and has a perfect and safe recall - I can pull her out of chasing a rabbit!
Her daughter learnt by example and has never missed a recall in her life. I find myself in the role of catching someone else's dog for them, or after realizing I have a new dog, turning back and returning it to its owner. I must admit that if we are off running in the fields I'm looking at my girls, not the other dogs, and sometimes it may take as long as a minute or two before I realize someone else is behind me! But I have always got back with them, and if someone asks me to stop I surely will, most dogs are not born knowing their recall, and it takes time and maturity to get a safe recall from them.
My advice to you is treats, lots of praise EVERYTIME Shea comes, even if not right away. Try to make yourself the most interesting thing in the park, even if that means you have to find a friend with a dog that has a good recall, and praising that dog when it comes to you. That way, Shea will have a safe playmate, and will realize that coming to you is a good thing. Also, while rewarding Shea, Try to touch and grab his collar gently, so that grabbing collar does not mean "end of free time"!
I do undrestaind both sides - you and the other owner. I'm usually the other one. I'm the bad one, who won't stop for other to get their dogs. Other peoples dogs go after me and my bitch and if I had to stop every time someone can't call back their dog, well let me tell you I wouldn't come anywhere. Not to worry, these things happen in the woods - no roads, cars or tractors. So sorry, but it is your dog and your responsibility, don't blame others. If you can't recall your dog, put it on leash. You need to be more interesting than the other dogs. I know the frustration all too well - when mine was about 8 or 10 months, she would go out for a walk only to play with other dogs and the recall was a problem. I knew I had to change that behavior, so when we went out, it was our time, our games. I was the one she had to play with. Yes, it sure was hard work, but it was well payed off. She is now 5 and a half and a recall is not a problem at all. She mostly ignores other dogs and payes all attention on me.
There's a great book on playing with your dog:
David Sands: Games to play with your dog, Octopus Publishing group 2009
"If you want to change the world, change yourself" is the saying I love :))
Kristina I'm glad you put that as reading through other comments I thought I was being mean by thinking of a recent incident I had with a black lab. I compleatly understand both sides here as with walking a puppy she is constanly wanting to play with every dog and runner going, that said, she does come back, mainly because I just walk off and leave her and she has my other dogs to play with. However not long ago while walking 3 of mine up in the woods I'd had to stop about 3 times for different sets of dogs that wouldn't return to their owners, being a good person I of course stopped and waited, by the 4th time I was fed up of this and there was a black lab that just would not return to the family walking it so I did just carry on walking and my dogs carried on running around ignoring the lab, I think it went back to its owners eventually as it did stop follwing me, so now, I must admit, it does get on my nerves a bit when people can't get there dogs back.
I'm not saying mine are perfect on recall, the younger lot are better than the older one as like others, I train my pups to come to a whistle when weaning them and playing in the garden, but all of my dogs love me and being out with me that even when I walk 6 together I still get 6 back at the end of the walk, we meet lots of other dogs and walkers/runners and most of the time my dogs just don't care about the other stuff going on, I'm just lucky I guess.
Val, I just had to say, that I'm glad it was bikes that the dog you were training went after, and (as it was a bridleway) not horses as the situation could have been so much worse and much more dangerous, sorry, but I ride and use alot of bridleway's and the amount of times I have had someone's dog come chasing after the horse and scare it silly, I have been lucky really that I have had a serious accident!
Thanks for your replies all. Kristina I blamed the other owner for being rude and spiteful, in no way am trying to blame him for my dog not coming back which I have admitted is our problem. This field we use is not a public right of way, it is a quiet farmers field that we use to run and train Shea and 9 times out of ten we will not encounter any other dog owners thankfully if we are in a public place where allot of dogs are Shea is always on the lead.
I guess training a dog can sometimes be like learning to drive, you will always get the people with short memories and even shorter patience unwilling to make allowances that they themselves enjoyed in the learning stage.
I do think it's easier to get the recall right when you have other dogs, the younger can learn from them and the novelty of dog play is not as prominent. We only have Shea and in all honesty he doesn't often mix with other dogs, this being part of the problem we are looking to remedy that asap.
I agree with your last paragraph Danielle...
The trouble is, most dogs rarely, if ever, encounter horses on a day to day bases.
I do however, put the blame wholly on the owners of any dogs out of control in public places.
There are plenty of training classes around and also people like myself who train on a one to one basis to help with any dog related problems.
Hey Neil, have u tried the long line and whistle training etc? I have a wilful male dog but have to say that the whistle has been my saviour and especiallly useful for distractions like other dogs and small running children. And I had a couple of time periods where I had to put Reuben back on the long line again to reinforce the whistle and also take away any meat foods from his meals and only give to him when he came back to the whistle. (Think that was one of Sue's ideas actually and it did help). Now he is 26 months old and 99% whistle trained, because of course i have the odd time when he just cant resist!
As to the rude encounter Deb had, well what can I say - lots of humans cant control themselves and soon our dogs will have whistles for us, haha
We generally have him on an extender lead whilst walking and use a whistle to get him back even then. Tonight was a good run he came back consistently and even walked to heel without lead when told, so I think he's getting there, think also though he needs to be socialised more with other dogs :o)