Author Topic: Recall- hit and miss!  (Read 146 times)

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Offline Natalielouise56

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Recall- hit and miss!
« on: January 13, 2018, 03:10:03 PM »
I’m sure this has been discussed time and time again but I’m after some advice. So Joey is now 7 months and we have just begun to let him off-lead in fields and woods over the last 4 weeks or so- quiet places that we know and that feel quite safe and enclosed. His recall has been excellent- we use a ‘Joey come’ call paired with a whistle and he has been coming back every time to a high value treat...until now! I’ve read lots of post saying when they hit the teenage phase they can suddenly ignore recall and I fear we’ve hit that stage! So what is the best course of action? Generally, we have been only letting him off-lead where we feel he can’t go too far (ha ha famous last words) and if we see other dogs or people in the  distance we call him back and put him on his long lead- just as he can still be a bit jumpy and excitable and we appreciate not everybody likes this! He has, up until now, been great at this and accepts it and then we let him off again once we are happy he is calm and he either has a little play with the other dog or says hi to the people and off we go on our merry way.
So what do we do when he ignores our recall when he’s off lead?!?  >:(
If we walk off I do think he’ll eventually follow but we don’t really want that to be the only option! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Online bizzylizzy

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Re: Recall- hit and miss!
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 04:03:53 PM »
By „long lead“, do you mean the ca. 10 yard training lead? If so, I think I‘d go back to using that for a bit and carry on practising recall the way you‘ve been doing so far. Walking the other way isn‘t always possible I agree but I think it is actually pretty effective but ofcourse you can only do it if its safe to put the distance between you. Alternatively, if you can find a place where its safe to do so, you could try hiding, - sometimes the shock of having thought they‘ve lost you will jolt them into keeping an eye on where you are.
It is a tricky one, because each situation is different - if Humphrey‘s got his nose on a spot and just won‘t budge when I call then I tend to just walk up without saying anymore, although clearly letting him know I‘m not pleased, put his lead on and carry on walking. We practice recall continually during every walk so that I can recall, treat or play and then be able to send him off again, if you only recall when its necessary and each time it means he‘s got to go back on lead, then he‘s not going to be so keen to come first time. Humphrey‘s two and half now but I think its something that needs continual practice, a lifelong.
I really do think its only Joey‘s age though, you sound as if you‘ve done agreat job so far and he has infact understood the concept, its just a matter of staying consistent now and trying not to let him get away with anything. Be exuberant about every fast recall  :clapdance:, and praise every other recall - however long it takes, never repeat the call and never scold for failure - best of luck!  ;)

Offline Natalielouise56

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Re: Recall- hit and miss!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 04:09:51 PM »
Thanks great advice. Yes the 10m training lead. We usually do lots of recall whilst out walking and always do recall for the sake of practise so he knows it doesn’t always mean ‘back on the lead’ but I have to admit we have been slightly complacent with his recall over the last 10 days or so as my husband twisted his ankle so we haven’t been out ‘off lead’ longer walks as we usually would. We will keep persevering though!!

Offline Barry H

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Re: Recall- hit and miss!
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 10:11:34 AM »
Recall is a tough one.  It takes a LOT of work, consistently, over a long period. Lots of factors can help/hinder, mostly down to the trainer (!).  I confess I haven't been as rigourous as I could have been, but here's how it went with Jack (now 3 yo).  He's not food orientated so that made it harder initially:

Off lead as much as poss as a pupster:  Great!  (Do not be fooled!)
6 months to a year old:  Hopeless.  Forget it.  The world is SUCH an interesting place.  Not much joy even with fresh roast chicken!  Much commitment needed but often sags...  Lots of reading*.  Invested in a long line.
1 year to 18 months: Long line - always.  5m line better than 10m (tends to get snagged on everything).  Some progress.  Lulled into a false sense of security so ocassional AWOL.  Need to keep at it. 
18 months to 2 years: Ditched the long line.  Coming on much better.  Finally begins to click.  Maturity is a bigger help than all the training. 
> 2 years:  Very good now, but not perfect.  Doesn't stray out of sight.  Checks in with me often.  One AWOL so vigilance still a priority.  Training ongoing.  Suspect it will be a lifelong process (as bizzylizzy says above).

Best of luck!

* Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson (a must have book)

* How To Teach A Reliable Recall - Top Barks
http://www.cockersonline.co.uk/discuss/index.php?topic=69512.0

* The never ending trials and tribulations of Henry the Absconder - Many thanks to Londongirl
http://www.cockersonline.co.uk/discuss/index.php?topic=118822.0

Offline Pearly

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Re: Recall- hit and miss!
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 12:14:35 PM »
Barry H note above could pretty much describe Corals progress too!

My advice would be to go back to basics.  Now is the right time to get absolute steadiness in place - walking to heel, sit/stay, stop while on the lead.  Your dog doesn’t need lots of off lead exercise and for the sake of 2-4 months it is well worth having the patience to instill basic obedience before attempting off lead exercise again.  Brain training at this age is more important, it also helps protect joints and growth plates which are still forming and will continue to do so until c14 months.

There is a great saying: a year on the lead = a lifetime off the lead, the reverse is also true!

Your pups hearing is starting to change and will not be fully formed until c 10 months old.  However much you are convinced that your dog has good recall, is steady, will stop when told and not chase as they get more confident and their hearing changes - unless you have a pup from very biddable/steady lines - believe me, 45 minutes absconding is a short time........... this, I’m afraid is sheer disobedience! 

Back to basics, uses this time to form a stong bond with your pup and put obedience in

Good luck with your dog - officially now in the “norty pup” club  :005:

Jayne