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    1. #1
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      Maintating training through the teenage phase

      Archie is at that stage of 8.5 months where his once reliable recall is not so much anymore. He's significantly more distracted. He ignores me most of the time when I call him. And if he senses an animal around then forget it! The other day we were in the yard (I have over an acre to roam) and he caught onto a sent. There was no way to stop him. It's as if he was hypnotized. I had to run after him and literally carry him back. We have all kinds of animals in the yard so who knows what he was onto. The question is, what do I do to bring back my obedient puppy from the "i wanna do what i wanna do" stage? Do I just practice this daily and don't quit? Does this pass? How do I hold onto his skills during this time? TIA

    2. #2
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      Well... there are so many approaches to this. Right?

      What you taught Archie was what "here" meant. That doesn't mean you taught a recall because he doesn't seem to get that when you say "here"... he must HERE.

      So one school of thought says that any time you give a command, and he blows you off... you've taught him that he gets to decide what to do, follow your "suggestion" to HERE/COME, or to just follow his whimsy. For that reason, stop giving commands you cannot enforce. You're basically teaching him to ignore you.

      One thing you can do is let him out but have him drag a long line. You say HERE... he doesn't do it... you pick up the line and pull him to you while telling him what a swell dog he is and so forth.

      I'm sure there are lots of approaches. But find something that works before giving him reasons to turn a deaf ear to you.

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Well... there are so many approaches to this. Right?

      What you taught Archie was what "here" meant. That doesn't mean you taught a recall because he doesn't seem to get that when you say "here"... he must HERE.

      So one school of thought says that any time you give a command, and he blows you off... you've taught him that he gets to decide what to do, follow your "suggestion" to HERE/COME, or to just follow his whimsy. For that reason, stop giving commands you cannot enforce. You're basically teaching him to ignore you.

      One thing you can do is let him out but have him drag a long line. You say HERE... he doesn't do it... you pick up the line and pull him to you while telling him what a swell dog he is and so forth.

      I'm sure there are lots of approaches. But find something that works before giving him reasons to turn a deaf ear to you.
      Yeah... So the last day or two I've been finding ways to get him over without saying"come" and reward with chicken. So then he knows I have chicken. So then next time i say come he actually does it. It seems to be getting his attention, at least for now.


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    5. #4
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      it's a tough age. I'd honestly go back to training the recall from scratch starting with low-no distractions. HIGHLY reward with HIGH VALU reward (whatever is high valu). Then work up from there using a lone line as you add any distraction or new space.. for the yard i'd seriously consider using a long line so I can just pull him in :P

    6. #5
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      When Brooks hit that phase he lived with a 15 foot check cord on him when we were outside in the yard. Me: "BROOKS HERE". Brooks: Ignore. Me: (YANK CHECK CORD) "I SAID HERE!". It took a couple months, but he got through it. He's e-collar conditioned now, and we use it when field training, but general recall is now pretty solid. He'll be 17 months old tomorrow.

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    8. #6
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      Yeah...i had a 25 ft lead on Jules. Perhaps I'll give that a go with Archie. He's much softer than Jules was though. Don't wanna have to drag him by it.


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    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      Yeah...i had a 25 ft lead on Jules. Perhaps I'll give that a go with Archie. He's much softer than Jules was though. Don't wanna have to drag him by it.


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      the goal is NOT to drag the dog. but to gently tug (and stop) to coax them. Then highly reward when they get to you. It just ensures they cannot practice ignoring you.

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    11. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      the goal is NOT to drag the dog. but to gently tug (and stop) to coax them. Then highly reward when they get to you. It just ensures they cannot practice ignoring you.
      Yeah, it doesn't have to be one or the other. The cord, when you pick it up and put any traction on it (a pop, a little tug, whatever) just says "No, you don't have a choice. You will COME." Then you can give all the treats and rewards you want from favorite treats/food/chicken to happy talk to pats and "atta-boys" or all of the above. THEN... after a while and at a certain point, depending upon the dog, you may find yourself using Barry's approach. From what he has told us about Mr. Brooks... well, I totally get why he used some stern methods.

      And consistency! Any time you give a command and don't make certain the dog obeys, you've just gone backwards, teaching him that compliance is optional. You're seriously confusing the poor guy, right? Better to say nothing.

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    13. #9
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      What's worked for me with my dogs is never giving them the option to not come when called. If they were distracted, I'd go and get them. If the area was not safe, they would not be there or they would be there on a long line only. The only option was success and they never, ever, ever learned it was optional. I also heavily reward them much of the time. The recall is very important to me and I want my dogs to value coming back to me when called, not do it because they might get in trouble if they do not. Now they come because that is all they know and because I've conditioned a positive emotional response with food, pets, playing, etc. The more I do this, the better and more consistent my dogs' recalls have gotten compared to past dogs. They are so consistent that if my dogs did not meet my criteria just one time, which is spinning around and running back like their tails are on fire immediately upon hearing their names, we'd be going back to the basics right at that moment.

      Also, you're at a tough age -- adolescence. I'd suggest taking a step back in your training for awhile until you get through it. It's normal, but you have to realize that right now they are not the same dog as they were or they are going to be. It's like dealing with a middle schooler sometimes, unfortunately. You could also go through a Recallers course (Susan Garrett). I've heard a lot of great things about it.

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    15. #10
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      I've been told be some people I really trust and respect that I'm way to soft on Brooks. I've taken their advice to heart, and I've been much more demanding with immediate and correct compliance with commands. Maintain your standards. Sit means sit, stay means stay, here means here. Every. Single. Time. IRISHWHISTLER pointed out these things to me, at one point telling me Brooks was blowing me off, and I was doing nothing about it. Sad part, I knew he was 100% correct in his assessment.

      Brooks is a high drive dog, and he tests me constantly. Anne (windycanyon) told me that he would the day I picked him up from her house when he was 8 weeks old. And she was spot on, as she truly knows her lines. Many months later she told me, don't worry about being tough on him, that I wasn't going to break him. I can attest to the fact that Brooks immediately bounces back, no matter how harshly I correct him. I'm not talking about any type of abuse or extreme physical corrections, but a very stern verbal correction, a leash pop, a nick with the e-collar. He has no adverse reactions, just compliance, then fully ready to move on.

      Tumicks is 100% correct in her statement regarding consistency. Compliance with a command is not an option, you may have to make the same correction 5000 times before the dog will be 100% compliant. But let it go with correction just one time, and you're back to square one.

      I mean no offence to the OP with what I'm about to say. Your dog is pushing you around because he knows he can. No amount of you being nice and offering treats will fix your issues. Setting standards, and enforcing those standards will. A long time ago someone here made a statement that I will never forget. Don't issue a command that you can't immediately enforce. I wish I could so I could give proper credit, but it was the best piece of advice I've ever heard.

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