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    1. #1
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Is it fetch or chase?

      When Rocco decides to play "his" game it goes like this;
      We'll be playing fetch in the yard and with the ball he'll go running
      a 1/2 mile down the road to the neighbors to visit his dog friends,
      will not listen to recall command (other times he will).
      Here's what I figured out so far:
      1.He knows I'll come to get him, so he's not worried.
      2. He believes (right or wrong) that he needs this additional exercise.
      3. We have other balls at home.
      Although we have low car traffic here I have different concerns with this
      behavior continuing, any training ideas besides continuing to reinforce recall?
      Am not interested in underground fence or electronic collars, etc., at this time.

    2. #2
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      Teaching recall is one of the hardest things to teach, in my experience. And I will admit up front that we have an electric fence at home.

      He's pretty much learned that he can ignore your command if it suits his purposes. You would need to start over with teaching the command to come back to you so he learns it's not optional. You should keep him on a long line so that you can reinforce the command to come back until he understands he can't do something else. And if you have been using a specific term for it, like "Come, Rocco!", since he's learned it's optional, you should select another command, such as, "Here!" or "Return!" or some new command that he needs to learn cold. Put him on a long line that he can drag around, you don't have to hold the end all the time but you should be able to grab or step on it before he gets away from you. Practice in an area of low distraction from longer and longer distances. If he doesn't respond immediately, you would use the long line to guide him in. Once he does it and understands you will tolerate no other response in low distraction areas, you practice it in areas with more distraction and increasing levels of distraction, still with the long line on him, until he understands that under all circumstances he needs to come back when you call him. It's tough and takes time and commitment not to let him get away with ignoring the command. I had to retrain my older dog like this. My younger dog isn't as good about it but when we're in our yard, since we have the fence, I can go get her if she ignores me and remind her that Come means Come.

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    4. #3
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      There is a tried and true process, but it requires a check cord.

      If you aren't familiar with a check cord; it is essentially a long leash about 15 to 30 feet. So with fetching I would throw the ball or training dummy far enough that i still was able to hold on to the check cord. I would then give the "come" command after they got the ball. If they didn't come directly to me i would use the check cord to real them in like a fish. Later on I introduced the e-collar when they were 99% on recall with the check cord for field work and to reinforce the come command with no leash or check cord. I used a setting that was not painful but one felt like a bug was biting (nicking) them. Initially use the check cord and the e-collar at the same time so they realize that the nicking would go away if they started to come towards me. I would say with Aowyn I never had a problem after that and i had to increase the intensity only whne she was so stubborn or so distracted. some may say the e-collar is mean but she recognized it and she knew that if we put it on her that we are going to the park or to the field for some fun.
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    5. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by smartrock View Post
      Teaching recall is one of the hardest things to teach, in my experience. And I will admit up front that we have an electric fence at home.

      He's pretty much learned that he can ignore your command if it suits his purposes. You would need to start over with teaching the command to come back to you so he learns it's not optional. You should keep him on a long line so that you can reinforce the command to come back until he understands he can't do something else. And if you have been using a specific term for it, like "Come, Rocco!", since he's learned it's optional, you should select another command, such as, "Here!" or "Return!" or some new command that he needs to learn cold. Put him on a long line that he can drag around, you don't have to hold the end all the time but you should be able to grab or step on it before he gets away from you. Practice in an area of low distraction from longer and longer distances. If he doesn't respond immediately, you would use the long line to guide him in. Once he does it and understands you will tolerate no other response in low distraction areas, you practice it in areas with more distraction and increasing levels of distraction, still with the long line on him, until he understands that under all circumstances he needs to come back when you call him. It's tough and takes time and commitment not to let him get away with ignoring the command. I had to retrain my older dog like this. My younger dog isn't as good about it but when we're in our yard, since we have the fence, I can go get her if she ignores me and remind her that Come means Come.
      Let me start by saying I appreciate your input;
      I have three books on recall and one DVD so…..
      I'm familiar with everything you mentioned.
      Maybe if I tried to be explicit with what's going on,
      Imagine your dog doing zoomies in a 20-30' circle
      and then continuing to run out of the yard to wherever.
      I really believe if you were in front of Rocco you'd see
      him laughing, it's a continuation of the game. Since he's
      done it many times and there's no penalty attached,
      what the heck?
      When I pick him up and he comes to me, everybody says
      that's not the right time to reprimand.
      Perhaps I've contributed some here as we go across
      and down the road on daily walks. (100 vacant acres)
      He found the neighbor on his own though, and the good news
      is he's cool with me driving in and out to get my dog.
      I'm not going to give up.
      see my next post.

    6. #5
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Quote Originally Posted by ZZSW7Y View Post
      There is a tried and true process, but it requires a check cord.

      If you aren't familiar with a check cord; it is essentially a long leash about 15 to 30 feet. So with fetching I would throw the ball or training dummy far enough that i still was able to hold on to the check cord. I would then give the "come" command after they got the ball. If they didn't come directly to me i would use the check cord to real them in like a fish. Later on I introduced the e-collar when they were 99% on recall with the check cord for field work and to reinforce the come command with no leash or check cord. I used a setting that was not painful but one felt like a bug was biting (nicking) them. Initially use the check cord and the e-collar at the same time so they realize that the nicking would go away if they started to come towards me. I would say with Aowyn I never had a problem after that and i had to increase the intensity only whne she was so stubborn or so distracted. some may say the e-collar is mean but she recognized it and she knew that if we put it on her that we are going to the park or to the field for some fun.
      Am familiar with a check cord and use one all the time, the problem here is when he takes off he's way out of range of that cord, many times he just takes the cord with him. I may have to consider an e-collar to help, I've talked to a trainer on the phone that's sells them and will show me the proper way to use.
      thanks,

    7. #6
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      OK, well, I guess all I'd add is that if you decide to use a new command to get him to come back to you, don't use it unless you have some way to reinforce it- a long line or check cord, a fence or an e-collar to which he's been conditioned. If you don't have a way to reinforce the command, it will become as optional as the current command.

    8. #7
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      Curious, but how old is he now? Mine don't get to go on our off lead walks (pretty safe area w/ orchard on one side, canal on the other) until they have a VERY solid recall and almost all have been collar conditioned to "here" by then. I consider a solid recall to be one of the most important things you can have since you likely won't always be in your neighborhood when he's offlead.

      Has he been to any classes? I only ask since dogs really don't generalize well. So what they may know at home, doesn't necessarily follow at other locations. Anne
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    9. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
      Since he's
      done it many times and there's no penalty attached,
      what the heck?
      Um ... you’ve answered your own question right there. There needs to be a penalty attached to him blowing off a recall command (I’m assuming you’ve tried giving one). Why on earth wouldn’t he go running down the road looking for fun if there’s no consequence for not doing that? That’s going to be one of those things that is self-reinforcing.

      The way we teach it is with the long line, etc., but then once they’ve proven they understand the concept, if they don’t come when called and I have to go get them, they get dragged back by the collar to wherever I called them from while being scolded “NO ... I said COME, I said COME, I said COME” and changing it to “GOOD COME” once we get there - the idea is anywhere but where they were supposed to be is a bad place - the only “safe” place is where they should have gone in the first place. Then they get put back on a lead and after a few minutes they get another COME. If they obey, then I might let them off lead again, if it’s in a safe area.

      Incidentally, when I teach recalls, I make a point of letting them play off lead, calling them over, rewarding with a yummy treat and letting them play again so they don’t think that come always means fun’s over, and coming to me (since it has no downside) becomes much more rewarding than ignoring me which gets them scolded and ends the fun for a bit.
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    11. #9
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Quote Originally Posted by Annette47 View Post

      The way we teach it is with the long line, etc., but then once they’ve proven they understand the concept, if they don’t come when called and I have to go get them, they get dragged back by the collar to wherever I called them from while being scolded “NO ... I said COME, I said COME, I said COME” and changing it to “GOOD COME” once we get there.
      I believe the only thing I'll accomplish by dragging my dog by the collar a half mile is to get very tired.

    12. #10
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Rather then just quote one reply;
      Here's this afternoons walk, rainy day, know the boy needs to get out some, he has a 30' training lead on, thru the vacant farm, wheat field, down the road, back thru the woods, during this walk he gets 6-7 recalls, "ROCCO HERE" (it is the only time "here" is ever used), ranging in distance from 30 to 70', every time he turns and comes running at top speed, gets a treat, I say "good boy", then tell him to go play.

      Anne- realizing you never get done training and has to be reinforced over and over, wouldn't you call that a good start for solid recall?

      smartrock- optional? At first I struggled if that fit what's happening, but after looking up the official definition I'll go along there.

      I'm considering have a trainer come to the house but what's the likelihood he'll play his game then?

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