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yes i used them on my boys when they were younger, if you look at my photos there is one with them wearing the spray collars i think!!! They worked really well on Merlin and Jack, just air did the trick as long as you got the timing right!! When Harry came along and had a recall that was non exsistent despite extensive efforts on our part, I thought i would try one on him...it just didn't work...he just shook his head and carried on regardless...I tried all the sprays...absolutely nothing so I gave up and took all of them off, the two eldest remained good at recall, I'm still waiting for harry to "get it" lol!!
Thank you for your reply! I have had Irish since 1969 and never had a big problem with the recall. Having tried everything I could think of with the last edition (2 years old now) I am nearly ready to throw in the towel. We do Agility, which we both like, but can never do more than maybe 5 obstacles in a row, as there might be something more interesting to check out. So he takes off, checks it out and chases around the ground and I have to go and catch him. Needless to say, we cannot be the most popular in the class. In Obedience, he heels nicely on and off lead, stands, long sits and downs, etc. no problem. Recall: will come but just in front of me, remember that he is 'free' and take off. So I thought I might have one of those collars send out. Our trainer probably thinks that he is just another scatter-brained Irish, but I seem to differ there.....and I really would like to prove her wrong.
hahaah! he/she sounds just like Merlin!! When we did Good Citizen he was the clown of the class and everyone thought "oh another dizzy stter" but on the day....perfect and even went onto to the silver, doing things we hadn't even practised!! He now does agaility and did do all the things you describe, it took him about a year or more to "get it" and now he loves it and in fact we are off to an agility comp this am!! Harry, I don't think will EVER have perfect recall, he is just too friendly and there are always dogs to greet and meet who are far more interesting than me!! I would give a collar a try, the surprise element may just have the desired effect!! Good Luck, let us know how you get on!.
I tried the spray collar on Megan(ok not for recall, but for barking) and she didnt care and emptied every bit of Citronella she could, without a thought;o))))) Clever girl;o) For recall I used a hunting whistle, and works every time, as there is no voice(annoyed, panicked etc.) and the dogs associate the whistle with reward only!! But I must say, most of the time, my lot come when called (although Megan stands and looks at me as if to say "Do you really want me right now"??) Megan is my brilliant agility girl too!!!!
Great, I have one! One of those you barely hear, but the dogs do. Not used in ages, probably 10 years. Will try that one and see what happens. Had forgotten I had it. - For barking we tried a gadget which was supposed to deliver a high pitched noice when he barked. Did not work of course! This is our first 'barking' Irish, we had 'talking' ones before, but that was easier to cope with.
Now I know I going to get some flack for this but I just wanted to tell you about my setter Bronte.
Completely bonkers, we used to walk with my friends and their dogs or should I say I walked, Bronte ran and didn't stay with the pack.
She was a completely horror and just wouldn't come back she would disappear across the horizon chasing a bird in the sky or even a tiny fly !!!
I had tried every trick in the book to get her to listen and come back, make yourself look exciting ?? Rewards she didn't want a reward ?? Whistles of every shape size ?? many a time shouted myself hoarse.
Then when she cam back into sight you still couldn't get her to put her lead on she would run round in circles with her bum in the air thinking it was a game and wanting you to play.
We got to a point that we ended up buying 3 horses lunge lines and tied them together just so she could have free running which is what setters need.
The farmer had got quite nasty and told us that he would shoot any dogs he found on his land, lovely gentleman.
Now where I lived we were very fortunate to have x police dog handler and now an RAF search and rescue dog handling.
He started to hold dog training classes and try any address any problems we might all have so he met with us without the dogs so we could tell him what they were like.
Expecting a unruly setter she behaved impeccably and made me out to be a complete liar.
Still when we walked she would still bugger off so I borrowed a friends collar they brought it sprayed citronella that didn't work.
I then did some more research and brought a shock collar this was the last resort and believe me we had tried everything the stress was getting to me. It had 2 functions shock and beep or beep by itself.
I only had to use the beep and shock setting on 2 walks using the command here at the same time.I now only have to use the beep setting,
I now have a setter who listens to me and our walks are pleasurable now,
I apologise if this has upset some people but after literary being the last resort but it worked and ow we both enjoy our walk's and now I can keep Bronte save. She even waits now and I have to tell her "Off you go then"
I quite understand and knew I would get flack about it and believe me it was not something I took lightly, used very sparingly and used on a very low setting.
At the time even though I was long lining her they had been times when I have fallen over or the long line tape the knots had come loose and she was off completely blinkered to everything around her and would focus only on birds and smells.
I needed something that would work at a long distance and just make her focus on me rather than the countryside around her and to make sure she didn't cross over into the farmers field as he had warned us all and had a reputation of shooting at dogs.
I wasn't suggesting that this is what you needed to do more just my story of recall.
You can get collars that just have a beep maybe this might work and get her to focus her attention back on you.
Good luck with the recall and I hope you don't judge me to harshly because believe me I love my setter and would never want to inflict pain on her,
Tell me what was the better way you mentioned to help with recall.
Cornelia.....perhaps you have never had your 'worst nightmare'.
I was working with a 9 month old Northern Innuit x German Shepherd dog who was causing her owners real problems. This lovely bitch was totally unwilling to respond to most commands. All she wanted was freedom. She regularly escaped over 6ft fencing and bounded off into the horizon. In the home she was sweetheart, affectionate and loving, outdoors a wolf.
When her owner contacted me, she said "please help us, our dog nearly got shot today by a person who has horses in a field half a mile up the road from where we live. She was chasing the horses causing them to panic and run into and knock down the fencing around the field"
The owners had previously owned and trained two German Shepherds and thought this dog would be similar to train....how wrong they were!
I suggested to the owners that we should start from scratch with this dogs training as though training a puppy.
Treats and praise (liver cake, chicken, cheese) were of no interest to this dog when she was outside. I bought a couple of toys to use during training sessions only, again she showed no interest even when they were being dragged along or swung around on a rope.
I attached a long line to her and off we went, this dog never looked back to see if we were still there. She completely ignored our friendly recall command. We ran in the opposite direction to her hoping she might follow us. She stopped looked at us for a moment and then carried on walking away in the opposite direction to us.
I put a spray collar on the dog and a long line and off we went into the fields. I thought it was not working as there was no response from the dog when I pressed the button to release the citronella. I checked it and it was working perfectly. I trimmed away some of the fur around her neck (I thought maybe her thick fur might be blocking the spray). Made no difference.
After four weekly, two hour training sessions we were no further forward.
I read up on electric collars and after reading many reviews, spent £185 on what I considered to be the best of the bunch on offer. With sixteen settings and a beeper I thought this must be the answer. I tried the shock at it's lowest level on my wrist and then moved up the levels until I felt a jolt from the electricity, it was on setting no.6.
I planned to use this setting on the dog and increase or decrease as necessary the following week when the next training session was planned.
Three days before the next training session, I received a call from a very distressed owner who went on through her tears to tell me her lovely dog was hit by a car in the pouring rain and died on the side of the road. The dog had escaped through the utility room window and was over the fence before the lady could stop her.
I believe the electric colllar, used correctly, would have saved this dogs life.
In the correct hands these collars are an asset in the wrong hands they are a item of torture.
Would you say 'never' if it was going to save your dogs life?
As my setter has just had pups and we intend to keep a couple as my daughter wants to start showing. I am going to try your methods of training and work hard as I have learnt a thing or two over the last few years.
Hi Cornelia....locked doors, high fences and long lines are sometimes not enough to save a dogs life or the lives of livestock mauled and killed by a dog.
The dog I was talking about was exercised on a long line, she was never allowed to wander freely for obvious reasons.
On the day she died, she had been for her usual two daily walks on the long line.
Her owner shut her in the utility room to dry off after her last walk in the rain. Unfortunately, the dog escaped through a small side window which the owner had opened slightly to let some air in. Somehow, this huge dog had squeezed through the tiny opening and was gone.
I don't believe this dog could have been changed through training alone because in her innate make-up was 'the call of the wild' which was far stronger than any I have ever seen in any dog I have ever worked with. To control this dogs huge urge to be free would have taken far more than treats, lures, long lines and normal training.....
Note I said 'control' this dog and not 'train' her.
Northern Innuits are huge Huskey type dogs and I don't believe they make good pets (unless you are interested in covering miles on a sled everyday).
Unfortunately, because of the public interest in owning 'wolf look-a-likes', the crossing of a large Husky type dog with a GSD is very popular.
Yes your recall signals are a good idea if your dog will take treats when off the lead I tried everything at the time she wasn't interested.
If I didn't know differently the dog Torie is talking about is my dog !! It is no fun wondering whether your dog is either going to get shot from a farmer or knock over by a car causing an accident. I didn't want to do it but when you are desperate I felt was my last resort.
Setters have been bred for, yes, centuries to run ahead of you to search for game birds. It is their nature to travel away for some distance, holding their point on a found bird, waiting for you to walk in reach of shooting (or netting) They can't help the 'out-run', it is as natural as your retriever retrieving or your collie hearding etc.
The thing is to start training when you get your 8 week-old puppy. Establish your 'recall whistle signal - two peeps perhaps (the whistle is always more effective that shouting...) and use it every time you put the puppy's food down (even id he is so 'recalled' he's already sitting at your feet!) When you play in the garden/yard use the recall whistle as a happy part of the games - it doesn't have to be for a reward or to signify the end of play just that responding to it makes you pleased with him.
Then, when you get to the stage of free running outside, make it a confined field if you can to start with (or a friend's bigger unfamiliar garden etc. Let the pup have a good run, play your games, have him come to you for a fuss and let him go again. When 'times up' recall him, fuss him put him on the lead and go quietly home - he'll be tired and I guess quite glad to have a rest.
Carry on like this expanding your horizons....;o]))
Of course you will experience teenage rebellion... do not chase or shout... follow him (you are allowed to curse softly to yourself.)... Most dogs stop to sniff here and there and keep an eye out for you in case you creep up and pounce on him. So when you see him looking at you, shout his name and run away. Few dogs can resist a chase.... let him catch you! and hang on to him with a pleasant happy voice (yes this is the difficult part) and put him on the lead. By this time you're both tired out so go home!
The thing is, coming back to you when recalled is the nicest happiest thing in the world for you both and 'good dogs' might get an occasional treat - but that's not what they come for - it's just the nature of Dog to please.
All the long lines, collars, treats etc are remedies for behaviour already 'allowed' So start very early as you mean to go on in the nicest possible way....
But then there are always naughty dogs with other ideas of their own (sigh) to tax the ingenuity of Humans !!