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Old 10-17-2012, 05:35 PM
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Default Best recall training techniques?

Baloo's recall has lately been getting worse and worse.

So, in your experience, what is the best way to train recall? I've never had to do this before, I've always had dogs that did this on their own. Lol.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:51 PM
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I started Lucy on a long line, running away from her. She'd start to follow, and I'd call her and reward her for coming. I never called her when she was distracted by something else (I wanted to set her up for success).

Every evening we'd practice in the hallway of our apartment--me at one end, hubby at the other, calling her back and forth and rewarding her for coming.

Eventually I was able to ditch the long line in boring outside situations (like a fenced, empty tennis court, or an empty dog park). Still called and rewarded every time. Now I can take her into the woods, but my pockets are still stuffed with cheese when we go, so I can reward recalls in a much more difficult situation (with squirrels and smells and room to run, the temptation to bolt is much higher). I don't think I will ever attempt to have her off leash without my pockets full of treats--just not worth the risk IMO.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I started Lucy on a long line, running away from her. She'd start to follow, and I'd call her and reward her for coming. I never called her when she was distracted by something else (I wanted to set her up for success).

Every evening we'd practice in the hallway of our apartment--me at one end, hubby at the other, calling her back and forth and rewarding her for coming.

Eventually I was able to ditch the long line in boring outside situations (like a fenced, empty tennis court, or an empty dog park). Still called and rewarded every time. Now I can take her into the woods, but my pockets are still stuffed with cheese when we go, so I can reward recalls in a much more difficult situation (with squirrels and smells and room to run, the temptation to bolt is much higher). I don't think I will ever attempt to have her off leash without my pockets full of treats--just not worth the risk IMO.
This is basically me with Jackson. He gets the ultimate high reward for coming when called (also cheese, lol). And we did a lot of work on a long line first, and then did it many different places (beaches, fields, sports fields, etc).

I wish I would have started a proper recall on him from a young age, he used to just follow our older dog again, or me, when he was younger but once she died and he got a bit older, the non-listening thing started. He was not very trustworthy from about age 1-2, but between 2 and now (4) he's 1000x better. I still wouldn't trust him in certain places or situations but I really don't worry about him running away.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:30 PM
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Baloo stays close. He doesn't take off, but when I go to grab him, he dodges me. So it's not quite so bad. He won't go anywhere, but he won't come to me or go where he doesn't want to.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:36 PM
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I made coming back AWESOME. Juno used to have a really horrible recall... but I was rewarding her with food, which seemed like a fine idea because she LIKES food. But getting a piece of steak was not worth it to her. Not worth leaving the interesting smell she was sniffing, or the dog she was playing with. So I started rewarding her with play. If she came, we'd have a good tug session or rough house. That made her WAAYYY more excited to come to me, and even now when I call her, she comes barreling in at full speed and basically body slams me. I'm okay if our recalls result in me getting a little bruised lol.

Plus I liked that she sees ME as the reward. It doesn't matter if I have food or not. I can be the reward myself by wrestling with her a bit. Or I can use her leash for tugging. We are at a point though where she just comes and that's that, no reward required.

It's gonna be a little different with every dog, but you definitely give yourself an advantage if you can pick out that perfect reward that will make them excited to come.

And then practice practice practice.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:49 PM
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I approached recall a little different this time around with Didgie than I did with Traveler and so far it's worked really really well for me. One of my biggest issues with a recall is I used it too much without a defined criteria and I got comfortable too fast and stopped rewarding as often as I should have. Because of that I would sometimes call them and want them to sit, make eye contact, stay with me, check in etc. They never knew what it meant and it became more of a check in than an actual come to me.

This go around with Didgie I did a hand target. She needs to come to the word "touch" and touch my hand. That gave both of us some really strict guidelines and she only got rewarded by touching. Then, because it's an easy trick to use in training or everyday life she gets a refresher course in it often. I do it during play, I do it when we're training, I do it just because. I also make a big deal about it all the time.

The touch itself has become very fun and rewarding to her because she pairs it with awesome things. So now when I ask her to touch she gets amped up and focused on me.

I would also add in a lot of calling the dog back from fun things and rewarding then with those fun things, it helps a ton I think.

I've also been doing a lot of drive building with Didgie and using 'touch' while doing that. Because of that she's used to obeying even when she's amped up and in drive. So when she's focused on other people and dogs and I say touch she tends to come at me full blast. That's when I try to have a tug on me to show her I'm just as much fun.

So just some food for thought!
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:14 PM
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Another thing to practice besides recalls (which everyone has outlined REALLY well) is to work on collar grabs/grabbing to put his leash on. Reward HEAVILY for that every time for a long while, eventually bringing it outside in to more and more distracting environments like you would when introducing any command. Then you can also start to introduce it as a part of recall in certain places. My guys pretty much put their heads in my hands when I go to put collars on/attach leashes now, even when leaving awesome places like dog parks.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:39 PM
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With Maddie, I did the long line way, too. We also played recall games in the house when I was younger I would hide with treats and yell "Maddie, come!" and she would come find me, then my brother would hide, my Mom would play sitting on the couch (not hiding) hahaha. Then we'd play in the woods on a hike or something. Maddie's always been pretty good about it.

Bailey's, however, is much more reliable and consistent in form. I pretty much just taught her come front with the clicker. So she comes and sits right in front of me, so if I need to grab her or leash her, or just have her check in that's fine. I would go into detail, but I pretty much started that the way Linds is describing. While I can call both of them off of a chase, whether it be a cat or a squirrel or something, Bailey's is much faster she turns instantly and I honestly think its the technique in which I taught her that makes the difference.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
Another thing to practice besides recalls (which everyone has outlined REALLY well) is to work on collar grabs/grabbing to put his leash on. Reward HEAVILY for that every time for a long while, eventually bringing it outside in to more and more distracting environments like you would when introducing any command. Then you can also start to introduce it as a part of recall in certain places. My guys pretty much put their heads in my hands when I go to put collars on/attach leashes now, even when leaving awesome places like dog parks.
2nd the collar grabs
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
Another thing to practice besides recalls (which everyone has outlined REALLY well) is to work on collar grabs/grabbing to put his leash on. Reward HEAVILY for that every time for a long while, eventually bringing it outside in to more and more distracting environments like you would when introducing any command. Then you can also start to introduce it as a part of recall in certain places. My guys pretty much put their heads in my hands when I go to put collars on/attach leashes now, even when leaving awesome places like dog parks.
I <s>second</s> third the collar grabs and long line suggestions. I keep the dogs guessing when is time to go by calling them back, grabbing collars, and then releasing to "go play". A lot of times you see dogs that come back, get a treat, and then dart/zoomie around while you're trying to leash them up, which in some instances can be very dangerous.
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