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Old 06-23-2006, 08:05 PM
Rayna 3 Rayna 3 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 64
Arrow Running away....

Hello again guys, ok I have a new problem. My dogs are now over 7 months old. Both male and super dogs. I've managed to train them on several commands: come, sit, down, outside, even stay (but this one is still in progress) among others.

My problem is that at the first available moment they run off. They're not afraid or anything, but they refuse to come when called and I don't understand.

I have not given them much opportunity to do this, but that occassional moment will inevitably come up and off they go.

What can I do to fix this? Or what am I doing wrong? This is getting frustrating and I'm afraid one of them could get hurt. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 06-23-2006, 08:30 PM
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jess2416 jess2416 is offline
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What do you do when they run off??
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:37 PM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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A few questions first: What breed are they, are they neutered and what do you do when they don't come to you?

Are you absolutely sure they hear you when you call? Dogs are moment to moment creatures, and when something really gets their attention without having a stupendously solid recall drilled into them, most dogs will keep right on running.
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:46 PM
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Roxy's CD Roxy's CD is offline
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I think some obedience should be in store for these pups... I've never had trouble with my dogs running away, no matter what age. They know to stay within a certain vicinity of me and when they are called they come.

You stated "come" as a command they know, well if they don't "come" when you call them they obviously don't know come!

A lot of dogs who are never let off leash will take off at any chance they get. You need to practice having them off leash somewhere safe. A conservation park is a good place to start. Than when you are somewhere like a large park (no other animals around) you CAN let them off leash and they can run around while staying close to you. Once they get used to the routine of being let off leash and NOT running away they won't always be looking for the oppurtunity to take off.

If that makes any sense whatsoever.... Both of my guys have gone on off leash walks since they were only a few months old. They go to the bathroom in a yard that's not fenced and do not take off. This was all done before they took formal training lessons. If a dog is ALLOWED to run off leash I believe they're less likely to take off at just any given time.
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:58 PM
Rayna 3 Rayna 3 is offline
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Ok, let's see -- they are a black lab/jack russell mix. They are currently not neutered, but will be within the next month or so.

Everything I read/heard said to train them on-leash so that's what I've done. Only recently have I begun to take them off and let them roam in the house. So far they've done great INDOORS.

To answer some questions: 1) I have no idea what to do when they don't come to me, so I haven't done anything. Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. 2) Zoom, you have a point about them hearing me -- I think they get very focused on the 'new' territory and don't pay any attention to me at all. Also, it seems they understand the 'come' command inside and obey every time, but once outside I'm non-existant.....
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:52 PM
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Roxy's CD Roxy's CD is offline
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Well, training them on leash is a very good thing.

As my coach always says, you know how you can be talking to someone (they're doing something like reading the paper) and it's not like their not even listening???? And you get so annoyed and so angry and you just keep yelling their name and they don't respond?

It's the same thing with dogs. They are SO into whatever their smelling or that squirrel that they just don't hear you.

If they don't come to you, walk up to them, grab their collar, say "gotcha" (happy fun so they don't learn to hate you touching their collar) and bring them right back to where you called them from.

As I said above though, dogs that are let off leash more, behave when their not off leash better. It's just logical. The more their off leash the better they will behave. Now you have to find somewhere safe to do that... Practicing comes in your backyard is a good idea, seeing as they've mastered it inside.

Is there anywhere safe that you can let them run off leash? Like a baseball field that's fenced in? If so, take them there late at night. Let them loose. Let them run around like wild men. If you call them to come and they don't RUN! When they catch up to say "GOOD COME!". Anytime they look like they're not paying attention to where YOU ARE run. They will almost 100% follow. This will teach them that they always have to have an eye on you.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:20 PM
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poodlesmom poodlesmom is offline
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In my opinion what you are experiencing is typical. Most dogs will become very reliable on commands at home without all the distractions that are outside. When I have transitioned to working outside with the distractions, even though they are great at home off lead, I always revert back to on lead training. Once they are responding well on a regular lead I then switch to a long (20-30') training lead. When that becomes reliable I will then work in a safe area off lead. If I give a come command and the dog doesn't come then I don't give another command. If possible I go to the dog, clip on a lead, and walking backwards say come. Repeat a couple of times, then retry off lead from a sit/stay at a shorter distance.

Each time, especially during training, that the dog comes on command when the exercise is over I throw a big party with lots of praise. I always concentrate on making come have a great reward with praise or with some dogs a favorite toy just to implant in their brain that their response to the command is well worth always listening to.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:22 AM
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are they into balls/squeaky toys?

I ALWAYS take a ball on EVERY walk with me, just as a back up, and I keep it, not Bodhi. She knows I am the toy and treat keeper

Make EVERYTIME they return to you worth while.

Keep them on a long training lead if you are worried that they won't return for now.

Do not set them up to fail! If you THINK they will NOT respond, do NOT give the command. Repeating a command and them ignoring it, just reinforces that it's OK to ignore you.

If they are not listening - try RUNNING in the opposite direction. Most dogs cannot resist running up to you! OR trying sitting down, making noise - look interesting. If they come REWARD!!!

NEVER shout at your dog (or look intimidating) when they EVENTUALLY return - even if you feel embarrased/frustrated/angry - when they eventually come back - WOOOO GOOD DOG!!

Practice makes perfect.. As does patience! Take them out INDIVIDUALLY if at all possible to practice recall.

When you are out and about - make them SIT and STAY when you take their lead off, until YOU give the command to go.

Make sure you practice SITS and DOWNS etc while you are out and they are off lead too - so they KNOW that just becasue they are outside, still means they have to listen..

MAYBE try pavlovs dog?? Just a thought, but relate a particular sound (whistle or bell) to food. Everytime you feed them, ring the bell, and give the food. Same with every treat and meal. Then take the bell when they are outdoors - ring the bell - they SHOULD think FOOOOOOD!!! And come - then ask to sit - and treat!

Just a few jumbled ideas off the top of my head!!!
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They do not know jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing wasn't boring, it was peace."

Bodhi is the opposite of ignorance, the insight into reality which destroys mental afflictions and brings peace.

Owned by Bodhi Booglaoo and Fredington Holbein

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Old 06-24-2006, 12:55 PM
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How have you taught your recall command?

Have you tried the recall game? I'll attach it to this post. If you have not done this sort of motivational training for the recall, I urge you to try it. Once the puppies are coming reliably (and they will need to be trained separately) in a distraction free area, then training must continue in other less familiar areas with gradually increasing distractions.

All the while you must be able to control the response of the dog, so using a retractible lead or longline is very helpful.

Use HIGH VALUE treats when you move up to more distraction and less familiar areas. Let the dog know when you go out that you have really delicious yummies. Then let the dog get distracted and move towards the end of the lead. When they are sniffing or looking at something else, call them. Reward with the high value yummy treats.

Keep doing this and raising the level of distractions, and going to more unfamiliar areas.

A good solid recall takes time for the behavior to become ingrained. 7 month old puppies really should not have to be responsible for not running away if something cool interests them, so I would strongly advise you to keep them safely fenced or on leash when you have them out.

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Old 06-24-2006, 12:57 PM
Posts: n/a

The Recall Game

Having a dog who will reliably come when called is one of the best
things in life. This means FREEDOM for your dog. Here is how to teach
your dog to RUN to you each time you call it.

1) NEVER call your dog unless you are CERTAIN you can enforce
the command. Each time you call your dog and he does not immediately
come to you to receive a food reward, you take a step backwards in
his learning to come when you call. It is important not to make
mistakes when teaching the recall. DO NOT CALL YOUR DOG if there is
ANY chance you cannot enforce the command. EVER.
2) NEVER call your dog to you for anything unpleasant. If you
need to interrupt a play session, or you are going to trim nails, or
if you are about to do anything to your dog that he does not enjoy,
GO GET THE DOG. Do not call him to you.
3) FOOD REWARD every single recall. EVERY SINGLE ONE. This
means keeping treats in your pockets at all times.
4) Smiles are required equipment when calling your dog. NEVER
EVER call your dog in anything but a praise tone of voice. Correction
will NEVER help a recall. Your dog must WANT to come when you call.

To play the game you need at least 2 people, and several is great.
Each person is given a handful of very small soft treats. I prefer
tiny pieces of hotdogs or string cheese. Pieces should be VERY small,
even for a larger dog or puppy. I slice a hotdog in half and cut the
pieces the size of a nickle. Once people have their treats, they
should take a seat around the room with as much room between them as
the room will allow.

One person takes the puppy or dog and points him towards the person
who is going to begin the game. This person may do anything to get
the puppy to come towards him except say the word COME. Clap hands,
smile, laugh, show the treat, call PUPPPY PUPPPPY PUPPPPY, or the
dog's name. When it is CLEAR that the pup is committed to going to
the person, and ONLY THEN, say the pup's name, and come. For example,
Bailey, COME! It does not matter if the puppy is almost to you, as
long as the pup hears his name and the word COME while he is going
TOWARDS the person calling.

Hold the hand with the food right up next to your body so that the
puppy has to come all the way up to you and touch you to get the
treat. Do not feed the treat until you are holding the puppy's
collar. This prevents the "snatch and run" game. Praise and pet the
puppy cheerfully while he is getting his treat. Once the pup has had
his little tiny treat, it's time to point him towards another person
who does the same thing.

It is extremely important that the participants understand they are
NOT to say the word COME unless the puppy is already doing just that.

Play as long as the pup is interested. Main rules, Do not say COME
unless the puppy IS coming, hold the treat up CLOSE to your body, and
you must be holding the collar to feed the treat.

This simple game does more to build a reliable recall than any other
training you can do. Your pup will quickly learn that his name and
the word come means TREAT. Each time you call the pup and reward him
for coming quickly to you, you build a more ingrained and reliable
response. If you are consistent and train this game at least 2 to 3
times per week, you will have a dog who will ALWAYS come when you
call it. Most owners list this as a top priority for their dogs. Here
is a fun and simple way to attain this goal.

Practice often! Your pup will love this game, and so will your friends.
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