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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6
    1. #1
      taysel's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2016
      Thanked: 5

      Outside Distractions

      My 4.5 month old and I were in a great routine for our afternoon time together - we'd go outside for a potty after getting out of the crate, come back inside to grab our fetch toys and some kibble, then head back out for some off-leash fun. He had just started to understand fetch and would bring items back to me instead of running all around the yard like a mad man (although I do admit that watching him run in circles all out was way easier than fetch!). Then we'd calm down with a nice leashed lap around our yard (we have a few acres). However, once he started teething really good a few weeks ago, all of this went out the window. I'm not sure what the connection is, but now he has become mischievous.

      While fetching his bumper, he'll get side tracked by something much more prized, such as an acorn, a stick, or the stale bread my husband threw into the old raised garden bed. He'll grab the item and dash off away. If I do mange to catch him, he clamps down hard onto whatever he has and it turns into a waiting game to see who is more stubborn.

      I totally understand his desire to run away - he knows that I'm going to come to him and pull the item out of his mouth. We live in a wooded area with lots of tempting treats all over the place. We have constantly battled with finding things in his mouth and having to fight with him to pull them out. We have practiced leave it and drop it, which he does GREAT with inside the house (to the point that when he sees me reaching into my pocket for a treat he will drop whatever is in his mouth, or after the first request to drop it he won't hold anything in his mouth for more than a few seconds in anticipation of the next treat. I never treat unless I've actually given the command). However when we get outside, kibble and treats just aren't more valuable than whatever he's got in his mouth. We are having similar issues with off-leash recall. He used to come immediately when he saw I had kibble. Now he'd rather run around with his bumper in his mouth all day instead of coming back inside. Again, I understand his logic - he'd rather run around some more and lay down and eat the grass and dirt than come back inside with me. I've even tried the "I'm going inside whether you come with me or not" trick that parents play on kids. Nope! He doesn't care - he'd rather just lay there.

      Everything I've read online suggests trading up and always rewarding dogs with high value treats or toys when they obey. However I'm just not that enthused about having to always carry around hot dogs or whatever else I can find whenever we go outside. Long leads aren't an option either as he picks up as much of it as he can and runs around with it, getting all wrapped up in it to the point that it becomes more dangerous than helpful.

      Do I have any other options here? I want to be able to take my dog out back and fetch with him or at least walk with him until he's ready to pass out for the rest of the evening so he doesn't get into trouble inside with counter surfing and nipping (I love it when he's too tired to misbehave!). I've been told by some to just let the dog eat what he has because dogs will be dogs, which I am NOT okay with as we've already gone through 1 month of diarrhea from something he ate (or a bully stick, who knows). I'm at the end of my rope trying to wear him out while on a leash with him constantly pulling because he has so much energy but I can't let him off leash because he'll snatch and run.


    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Annette47's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Central NJ
      Thanked: 1940
      He has learned that responding to a recall means the fun is over, and that’s what you need to change. First work on the recall by repeatedly calling him, giving him a high value treat and then (this is key) letting him go back to what he is doing. Repeat over and over and over again. Similarly, he does the snatch and run because a) chase is a really fun game and b) he knows you will take away his prize. So don’t put him in a position where he can do it - either keep him on a leash (I know lots of people dislike retractable leashes, but if you learn to use them properly it can be good for this sort of situation - the reason I like them is it prevents them from getting so tangled up) or confine him to a puppy proofed area where this is nothing he can hurt himself with and do not chase him - if he’s got something relatively harmless like a stick or acorn, just ignore him. If it is dangerous, then you have to practice trading up - yes, it may be annoying to have to carry high value treats around, but it will be a good thing in the long run, and it won’t always be necessary.

      You can save yourself a lot of aggravation in the future by putting some more work into it now.

      Mine have never been too bad about grabbing inappropriate things and running off since we NEVER chase them. We practice the treat-release protocol regularly on off-leash romps through the park, and they now “check in” on their own regularly to get a treat. On the rare occurrences when we run into someone or see deer, etc., they come running as soon as they are called because the behavior has become so ingrained for them. Not saying they are 100% - I’m sure there is some distraction out there that we just haven’t found yet that would get them, but they are pretty darn close.

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX3, OM5) 6/7/2009

      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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    3. The Following User Says Thank You to Annette47 For This Useful Post:

      Tanya (12-19-2016)

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Meeps83's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Thanked: 1049

      Outside Distractions

      Bear is about a month older than yours (is it Caleb??) and jumped up and went counter surfing last night. For an 8 inch Santoku knife. From Japan. My sharp, shrill, screechy "no, bad Bear. What are you doing? That's naughty!" Followed by praise and a treat when the knife was given up seemed to do the trick. I don't chase or freak out, but a big knife is risky business. I always keep a treat at the ready and remain calm. Right now for you it isn't serious. Make giving things to you and coming to you fun! I think we have links somewhere on that...

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    5. #4
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Eastern Ontario Canada
      Thanked: 1826
      The hot dogs are not forever. but this is training and you have a baby. You have to make yourself/what you want more interesting. Basically I agree with all the above. you need to work on trades and on recall NOT meaning the end of fun otherwise you are creating the environment were recall will be a very hard battle forever. If he likes toys you can trade for toys but whatever you trade for has to be of high value TO THE DOG. Similarly work on a formal recall where they are rewarded and released back to fun fun fun. or make the recall part of the fun/game.

      You may want to use a long line on the pup so you can reel them in if they are not coming (this way you are not "using the recall word and practicing them ignoring you".)

      Kibble is pretty boring and he's getting more confident as he grows. It's normal for small puppies to come more cuz they are not quite overly confident enough to explore too far and you are still pretty valuable but that won't last long (as you can see).

      ETA: work the brain. do multiple short training sessions during the day. Dog proof the house, use the crate/x-pen so they can't get into things and teach them to relax. Look into puppy play dates with other dogs.

    6. #5
      Best Friend Retriever
      Bernie's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2016
      Thanked: 103
      Many here will tell you about positive reinforcement training using treats and that's fine, if it works for you that's all that counts, but if or when it doesn't, there's also negative reinforcement, both have their place.

    7. #6
      Senior Dog
      Shelley's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      United States
      Thanked: 1507

      Last edited by Shelley; 12-19-2016 at 11:34 PM.

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