First You Gotta Lose the Training Wheels

Posted on 07/05/10 44 Comments

On the blog last week over one hundred of you wrote in that you had difficulties calling your dog away from certain distractions. Thirty of you wrote in that people and dogs where difficult for your dog while more than 60 of you said it was wildlife; kangaroos, squirrels, deer, bunnies, birds etc that where your big issue.

So there where some of you that had a recall issue with people and dogs and did not mention wildlife as a problem. That I get that. If I had a problem recalling my dog away from people or dogs, he wouldn’t be given the opportunity to experience the thrill of chasing wildlife, so I would have no idea if wildlife was a problem.

However, here is where my curisousity is peaked. Many of you that mentioned wildlife as a problem but did not mention other dogs or people as a recall issue for your dogs.

So I am curious, and hoping, that those of you that marked down wildlife as a major problem have a “brilliant” recalls and complete verbal control over your dogs in every other situation in life.

It is kinda like entering a Cycling event at the Olympics without first learning to ride without training wheels on your bike don’t you think?

Check out the video to see what I am talking about.

Can you, with your dog on leash get him to sit, down, stand, hand touch, do tricks, whatever you want where there are a group of noise dogs running about? What about doing the same with him off leash?  If not, how the heck are you going to get him to come when called around those dogs, let alone around wildlife?

You have to walk before you can run!

Today I am grateful to having my eyes opened to how each of us (yes even me) can benefit by improving our dog’s drive to recall.

44 Comments

  1. Jenny Ruth Yasi says:
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 11:11am

    Yes, great clip and great points!I have another question that I imagine you will answer on your new recall video (which is clearly a MUST have! Can’t wait!) is how to fade that restrained part of the recall. I love the restrained recall, I can see that we need more of them! Around more distractions! I can see that will help! And then just physically fade that part of the cue? I can see how to fade it with a helper, but I would love some nice clear without-helper restrained recalls, and how the restrained portion can be faded (as the run-away is faded)! Thanks Susan for your refreshing approach to a challenging training issue!

    Reply

  2. Carol says:
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 2:59pm

    When you put your dogs in the sit and then released them with the Break command, What tells the dog they can keep running away from you instead of running back to you? I would like to know for my own dogs and to better my training.

    thanks!

    Reply

  3. Irene says:
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 9:50am

    We too live in a rural area. My two dogs and I walk everyday. We practice recalls, stays, do tricks, and I have them spend some time on leash heeling during our 2 or three mile walk.
    I work very hard to stay engaged with them while we walk and reinforce their recall which is good under these situations.
    However they completely loose their mind at the sight of a deer or sometimes a horse. How do I prevent them from being reinforced for this?
    I have used citronella remote training collars. For a while the spray provided a split second interruption of their actions and in that split second when they looked back I could push the reward bell on the collar and call again. Often they would choose to return to me for a high value reward.
    After a while this no longer worked as they found they could chase the deer, be gone several minutes, then return to me. There was no reward, but we continue our walk as we are 3 miles out. I put them on leash and make them heel but it is almost like you can see them saying, “We will have to walk on leash if we chase these deer but it is SO worth it.”
    I have no place to control access to the wildlife and I feel strongly that my PyrSheps need to run flat out some time in everyday to be able to be good canine members of our family, to be able to think during agility training.
    Is the only recourse a more aggressive Ecollar?

    Reply

  4. Kari says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 11:56pm

    Tonight, I did just this! Helping out a friend that just had surgery, I went over to run her two BCs. I brought my two with me. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 2 yr old. She has a 3 yr old and a 6 month old. I started the dogs easy on the trail with lots of sits and downs and then let them run. When they were all pretty close with few distractions, they all came back. As they started to really run and play it became more difficult, especially when we hiked past cattle in a pasture and critters in teh bushes. As the distractions cranked up, my 2 yr old would only come part way back. My friends 3 year old and my 2 1/2 year old would come back, but slowly and with reluctancy. However, my friends 6 month old would come back with lightening fast speed to me every single time, no matter what and he was challenged by deer, dogs, bike riders and all sorts of fun things. This dog was truly brilliant — at only 6 months! I am dedicating to working 10 times as hard on my recalls so that my two dogs can be as brilliant as this wonder puppy!

    Reply

  5. Jenny says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 11:51am

    My dog has brilliant recall around people and while playing with other dogs. I do 5-10 recalls every time we go play with dogs (almost daily), and she’s known as the dog with amazing recall. She’ll drag other dogs who are humping her with her to come! She does what I ask (sit, down, stay, whisper, spin left and right, hand touches) on and off leash with other dogs around. But, if there’s a squirrel or mouse around, all bets are off.

    Reply

  6. Michelle says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 10:45am

    I have a dog that is so focused on me that he won’t run away with the other dogs like yours are doing in your video. If I am standing still, he may go off and sniff but if I move at all he is right back at my side…..We regularly frequent a park that is not fenced and he and my other dog are both off leash. Their are squirrels running around and he will chase them if I ignore him but as soon as I start to move in another direction he would rather chase me! So I guess I am saying I haven’t found anything that is more re-inforcing to this particular dog than me 🙂

    Now my other dog would much rather chase squirrels than play with me, so that is probably the dog I need to work on recalls with.

    Reply

  7. Gene says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 10:41am

    My limitation seems to be “first time” or “new experience”. I have a 18 month old Vizsla who is about 75% reliable when I call the first time, about 95% reliable with a second call or by “cheating” and waiting til she is coming towards me, or looking tired or bored before I call. The other 5% requires mulitple calls, or a snatch on the leash after the first call. Most of the “refusals” are in situations where there is a new dog or new person (or she is chasing a bird in an open field). OR she has retrieved game (or sometimes a stick) from water and brings to waters edge then drops it or goes off for another swim (no, it is not possible to have the long cord on her when she is searching for a downed duck in reeds and cover, but YES, I should have a better foundation for the sticks!

    Reply

  8. Pam Coblyn says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 10:03am

    Great series and THANK YOU!!!!

    I had an AHA! moment the other day and wanted to share. I combined the idea of using a clicker for training along with my dog’s love of squeaky toys. I’d saved a squeaker from a toy my BC shredded to bits and decided to use it as a training tool. Wow…what instant and intent FOCUS! It works better than food or the clicker. I’ve used it twice to practice formal obedience and I’ve never gotten such superb, sustained heeling. Somehow, that squeaker “spoke” to Fenway and now he gets it.

    I also wanted to chime in about high value toys—the mere mention of them—being able to stop a high drive dog in his tracks and make the right decision. I can release Fen in a yard filled with cackling crows and bunnies and just saying the words Green Ball will make him stop. On the flip side, we use this beloved toy to proof his stay.

    Of course we have room for improvement and I want to take this to the level where I don’t need to BRIBE my dog into offering the behavior I ask for. But for now, it’s working. Thanks for posting this terrific training series!

    Pam & Fenway

    Reply

  9. Emma says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 6:57am

    A while back when I wanted to improve my dogs recalls. I really wanted her to come asap not when she was done what she was doing. I took the yellow ball = #1 A toy with my on the walks and every time I called her I would throw the ball behind me. This REALLY made her come back much better and she put her fifth gear in when coming back. This was a big step forward for us!
    The difficult thing is not to wear the reinforcements out. I use the yellow ball when we train alot but I don’t want to use it every day on the walks…
    How do you ensure the value of the reinforcement?

    Reply

  10. Debbie says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 6:32am

    Brillant recall – I fear not. In the house 100% of the time – yes. At the training barn around other dogs where I teach dog agility to 4-Hers – 100% of the time. In the front yard – yes, until the motorcycle went by :(. In the back yard I drop dramatically – most days are good days, but then the squirrel or rabbit or deer or … – and off she (my 2 year Sheltie) goes. Have I been a lazy trainer? Probably a fair description. I work outside the home 60+ hours a week, teach two nights a week, care take for my father – lots of excuses. This is a great wake-up call.

    So I will do “the homework” tonight – make my list of treats, toys (not sure any she is that wild about), activities. You have given me a lot to think about – as well as motivation to get started and hope for a better future.

    Reply

  11. Christina says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 4:01am

    My problem is the homework. Food rewards are no problem, but the toys are not generally motivating for my dogs. Do I have to work on that first?

    Reply

  12. veronica says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:57am

    Boy! has this recall stuff got the mind going.What a jolt!
    I thought I had a good recall with my dog and didn’t think it possible to improve so was just maitaining what I had.
    Ok, I admitt my dog does not meet Susan’s criteria.So I am going to try and improve things.
    This time I am going to analyse “my relationship with my dog”and re evaluate and change what I do wth training in order to change the result.( I hope)
    My “to do” list
    1. Identify the behaviour wanted
    In this case the recall
    2. Structure a Training Plan
    ie set time,plan out reinforcements,Set small goals and work in small increments (hence the baby steps)
    Make up games that will tranfer the value form a strong established behaviour in ordre to strengthen the weaker behaviour.
    3. Motivation
    To be inovative and have a truck load of things my dog will go crazy for.These things will comprise of toys, foods,places ( different venues)and games.This is to build value into getting the dog to go my way and not ” the “highway”.
    All these reinforcers will be listed from high to low value.
    As this is where I didn’t get this bit right earlier( still learning..)
    4.Placement of reward and bulding a history of reinforcement.
    Another area I failed in.So this I will fix too.
    5.Focus and Attention
    In order to get my dogs attention I must give her my full attention.

    And finally incoperate all these components of training into everyday lifestyle==== have fun 🙂

    Thankyou Susan……This is what you have taught me so far.

    Regards and LOL from Australia
    Veronica

    Reply

  13. Elena says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:22am

    Hi,
    Sorry for my english..I am italian.
    Wonderfull video, I can do this in comunication classes or whith my own pack….no in wild place.
    I have to work very hard!!!
    Thank you Susan

    Reply

  14. Alice says:
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 5:26pm

    Fair enough, I’m the same with my old boy 🙂 Its just so nice to see the ‘oldie’s’ livin’ it up still!

    Reply

  15. Alice says:
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 4:15pm

    Love this segment Susan! Like all dog training, I think recalls need to be worked on for the dogs whole life otherwise they will deteriorate … like my 12 yr old who had a brilliant recall until I stopped rewarding him and now pee’ing on a tree is more rewarding than coming back to the mama!!

    Out of interest, on the video you ask the girls to “sit” mid-way through burning off and Decaf doesn’t – do you have different criteria for her?

    Reply

    • Susan says:
      Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 4:35pm

      Good eye Alice! No DeCaff should live by the same criteria as all dogs and she usually does! However once my dogs hit double digits the criteria in life starts to slacken off . . not go away entirely, just slacken. For example, they hit 13 years old they no longer have to sit at the door.

      Reply

  16. Clyde says:
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 7:38am

    For me, the key is what is happening at the beginning of each video clip. All the dogs are looking a Susan as if to say “What are we going to do now”. That’s the part I don’t have. My dogs would trot out a few feet, look at me once, and if I didn’t say Go For A Run, they would start self-reinforcing on whatever. Once that happens, I loose my recall. As long as they are under stimulus control, everything is fine.

    Reply

    • Susan says:
      Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 7:56am

      Clyde I have a plan and it will help you!

      Reply

  17. Deanna says:
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 7:32am

    ahh susan.. you got me.
    i was one of those that mentioned wildlife, but didn’t mention that i can’t call her off dog and people.

    NO this is not an excuse but i only let her off leash in my backyard, house and in agility practice.

    Good news is that the rules are changing as of today.

    Reply

  18. Diane says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:56pm

    Yes! I am working on level 1-2 distractions, BUT what should I do when my dog is off leash for exercise? Go and get him ? Not call him back when history has shown him not to have a reliable recall in that situation? While I am working on low level distractions to strengthen his recall, how do I exercise my adolescent Border Collie?

    Reply

  19. Pat says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 7:57pm

    I can call my dog back if she is running with one other dog but I have no opportunity to let her run with a pack of dogs. I can call her off wildlife in the backyard – she is never off leash anywhere else where I might have to use that recall. My problem is if a small dog runs by her prey drive kicks in and she will go after it – I don’t have a 100% recall in those situations so I don’t allow them to occur.
    If I am playing a game with her (like fetch) she doesn’t even look at other dogs nearby

    Reply

  20. Deb D says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 5:38pm

    Both of my dogs have been in some type of class since babies and we will sometimes walk with friends and their dogs. They are used to working around people and dogs both on and off leash. My baby is more social and likes to “visit” on occasion but he does come back when called. As they are small dogs and most dogs they know are large they don’t really “play” with others. They like other dogs but they’ve both experienced being rolled by an exuberant dog much larger than themselves so they are very cautious.

    Their recall is great around wildlife we’ve had a chance to practice with birds for instance – so perhaps it’s my confidence not their recall. However there has been the odd time when they have not come when called. One rule I have for both is that they are only allowed off leash if they have on their “listening ears” – that means they come first time I call them even in the back yard. When I let them off leash one of the first things I do is release them to run and then call them back . If one (or both) has taken a brain vacation I can usually tell early.

    Reply

  21. LindaB says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 5:06pm

    Thank you Susan! I am watching with great anticipation!! I am presently working on my recall with my 17 month old pup. There are so many situations I wouldn’t dare let him off leash! Even in fenced in areas, I won’t even think of trying our recall word because I know we’re not there yet. I just go and get him because it’s silly and counter-productive to call and call and call- I won’t do it. When I’m pretty darn positive we’re in a situation where he will come, I use our recall word and the whole world lights up when I see his smiling face racing toward me!!!! Baby steps… but at this rate it might take us a decade to be truly brilliant!

    Reply

  22. Tammy Rudd says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 4:47pm

    Susan, when you talk about the recall, do you mean your everyday recall command being 100% reliable anywhere, with any distraction? Or is it ok if you have another recall command that you save for heavy duty, out of this world reinforcement and you keep in your pocket at all times, for that occasion when you really, really need it? Savvy has a very good recall around low level distractions, in which I use just her “Savvy Come” command and reward with various level of reinforcement. But I have her “READDDDDDDDEE” cue that ALWAYS means a rip roaring tug session with butt smacking and fighting for the toy fun, that I use on a lesser scale (but at least a few times a week) that I feel 99.9% certain I could count on in a huge over the top distraction situation.

    Reply

  23. julie says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 4:39pm

    I would certainly be able to call my dogs away from that immediately. Both the one with the brilliant recall, and the one with the not-as-brilliant-as-I-would-like recall, LOL. I can also make them stop while in full speed, though not in sit-position. Either lie down or stand. Sit is a cue I actually barely use with my dogs, they know it, but so so, because it’s not important to me, only the other positions are (again, for me). Some tricks I start teaching from a sit-position, but that’s about it. I’ve never had any dog who ever took that position naturally (so, without me asking for it), and the moment I stopped with obedience, I stopped training on it.

    I actually can’t answer the on leash question. I never ever train on leash, because my dogs are never on leash. Only on very rare occasions and never more than a couple of minutes, and if we meet dogs/people then they aren’t reactive, so I would guess that doing tricks should work as fine as off leash. Will try it one of these days though!

    Reply

  24. Mary M says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 4:26pm

    This topic is Pandora’s box, indeed!!!!!

    Reply

  25. Linda says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 3:43pm

    Well… my 4yo lab will always recall away from other dogs, in fact she isnt really terribly keen on playing with other dogs at all. She will always recall from people (as long as they are not feeding her). She has a great recall when I’m working her, or training her.

    We struggle when walking and she finds a rabbit den, or similar. We live out in the country and don’t have leash parks here. If I catch when she first raisies a scent she will recall, but once she is chasing she goes deaf. I’d swear she doesnt even “hear” me (or at least my voice or whistle dont register) she often looks astonished to see me when I catch up to her and touch her.

    I’d love to be able to fix this aspect of our recall.

    Loving the blog and vids by the way… thanks a lot!

    Reply

  26. Susan R says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:21pm

    Another scenario where I could really use help with improving recalls has me a bit baffled about what to do.
    My Manchester Terrier can be a bit skittish, cautious, suspicious, etc. If I call her and she suspects that she will have to engage in some activity that she would rather not participate/cooperate in, she will either turn, stop and look at me from where she is or come within about 8 – 10 feet, but no closer. If I were to guess what she is thinking at these moments it would be something like: “What’s in it for me? I need to know what I’m getting up front. And I need to figure out if it’s worth it!”
    If I need to do something I know she might consider less than pleasant (nails, bath, etc.) I don’t call, just go get her.
    She’s a very quick learner (one event is all it takes for her to form an opinion!) and I think this is part of the pb.
    I believe this is what many people call “stubborn”. Altho I have a pb. with the way this word is usually used, most often blaming the animal for not cooperating, without looking at what part they might be responsible for or what else might be going on (fear, etc.?).
    Am looking for useful suggestions for improving this recall pb.!

    Reply

  27. curlygirl says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:14pm

    Funny thing…

    My dog is better at sit, down, stand, hand touch, tricks, whatever Iwant where there are a group of noise dogs running about OFF LEASH. On leash (whether gentle leader or a flat collar) is more likely to resist and try to get to the end of the leash before listening. Off leash, he stays right by my side and does what I ask.

    Probably something to do with how I am and my level of confidence when my dog is on or off leash, but I haven’t pinpointed that yet…

    Reply

  28. Susan R says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:00pm

    Just found this discussion, but need it much. I’ve always had very independent dogs, i.e. didn’t esp. seek out human interaction except on their terms. Actually I think I can emphathize as it reminds me of when I used to go to the zoo w/ my family. They didn’t care as much about staying at one exhibit for nearly as long as I, and so I often got “lost” as they would flit on from one exhibit to the next, me not being satisfied so lingering until they were long out of sight.
    Since scenting seems to be SO important to my Manchester Terrier, she reminds me of me at the zoo. I think I can relate !!! “Just a minute, I’m not done here yet”.

    Reply

  29. Sharon Stevens says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 1:34pm

    This whole discussion is very timely for me. I spend summer in Montana. Lots of opportunity for hiking and off leash exercise. I find that my cocker spaniel has a decent recall at the early part of our walks and when she is close to me. The longer we walk and the more freedom and sniffing she experiences, she begins to loose her hearing. LOL Once she really gets sniffing, she is so into it that she enters her own world. I notice she does keep track of me and where I am but it looses its importance because of her love of “tracking those smells.
    I have left her in an enclosed area for over 45 minutes to see how long it would take her to even look for me. This is a dog that howls if she doesn’t know where I am at an agility trial. I use a long line much of the time for my own comfort and safety. I would love to have the confidence to let her explore and know she would always come back. I am staying tuned!

    Reply

  30. Jodie says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 1:29pm

    Just got a new puppy after loosing my first agility dog who was almost 15 last week. It has been a sad time in our house. Now I need to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get to work with this puppy so she has the best recal ever. The other dogs could use it too;) Pointers are coming????

    Reply

  31. Michelle says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 1:20pm

    Wanda I would hesitate to say that most of us are lazy trainers. You cant live in Ottawa where there are many high level diligent trainers. There probably is something that every dog may not come to their owner for. The smart thing to do is learning when not to abuse a recall when you cant reinforce it. Prevention in situations where possibilities of incidence could occur make the most sense. When you can throw caution to the wind I think its nice to give dogs their freedom, then leave the “recall” alone, use another word, run the other way until your recall is as close to bullet proof as you can get. What Susan Garrett said about does your dog do this that and the other thing on leash are common sense to me. Now can they do this that and the other thing on leash in a stimulating environment. Only then can you test the waters in an unstimulating environment off leash. Its more impatience in training than it is lazy. Just my two cents worth.

    Reply

  32. Marty says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 11:05am

    The only time I’ve had a good recall on my two rescued-when-they-were-1+yrs-old dogs was when I anticipated a vacation at a beach with noisy surf where I didn’t think they could hear me1/2 mile down the sand. I “loaded” a herding whistle (like loading the clicker, I think) with treats and practiced for several days until they associated that whistle with treats. It worked great at the beach, but of course I didn’t keep it up once we got home.

    Reply

  33. Clyde says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:50am

    <>

    Yes.

    <>

    Yes.

    As long as we are “game on”, I have her. As long as we are working and playing or playing and working I have strong behavior. The problem comes when there is no game, when I just want her to be with me and hang around me. If I’m not doing something with her, she will check out. Once she is “dug into” what ever she has left me for, she is deaf to any sort of recall. Also, in obedience class, when it is not our turn and when I am not doodling with her, I have problems with her trying to visit other dogs, sniffing the floor, etc. I feel as though I have to constantly entertain her to keep her in my world.

    Reply

    • Elaine says:
      Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 5:39am

      Clyde – Thank you! So I’m not the only one with that issue! My 20-month-old Border Collie is just the same – loves working, working and working. To her being given a job to do (even if it is to lie down and stay) makes her day! She is perfect as long as I entertain her by giving her jobs to do (hide and seek, ready steady go, A recalls ….) but stop playing and she dashes off into the woods! She never goes missing for more than a minute and mostly less than that (it just seems longer!), but I would prefer her to stay in view. I never recall her then, I do not want to give her a “radar”, as experience has shown me that a dog that can hear their owner doesn’t need to come back to check. Instead I hide behind a tree and wait. This is the way I have changed a 5 minute absence in the woods to a 1 minute one!
      Her recal is brilliant among other dogs and people and she will leave any wildlife as long as I get my command in quickly …… !

      Reply

  34. MicheleA says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:44am

    I also can call my dog away from playing with a pack of dogs, she will come running everytime, outside the agility ring waiting for our turn she will play with me, do her “tricks” and stay totally focused, but I would bet my last dollar on it if you had a strange cat walk by she would leave me in a heartbeat.

    Reply

  35. Lora says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:28am

    I can answer how I know wildlife is a problem even if my dogs are not allowed off leash where wild life is a problem. When you live in a rural area, there are always plenty of squirrels and things just on the other side of the fence or in my trees. At off leash parks, yes, my dog (one of them, the other one doesn’t get let off leash) has a brilliant recall off other dogs and people. When there is no one at the park and the little critters come out to play, I cannot let her off, but with other people and dogs there, I can because all the little furries stay hidden.

    Reply

  36. Trudie says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:21am

    We don’t got trainer wheels yet, we’re back to the tricycle ! (and my dog is 4 already!)
    Working well: the skill focus being my 2 weeks program of I call your name, you come to me and we got good roast beef (breakfast, dinner) and lovin’ for 30 seconds, at different times of the day
    We have lots of physical activity, play, and walks (but only on a drag line with reward for check-ins)
    Our first distraction is people at the gate, this is good today we had the meter reader as well as some regular friends drop in… I want to make it clear to my dog what behavior I expect: after the first barks to let me know someone is there, I call him to me and he comes quietly. When they leave he must come to me when called. If he chooses to barge out barking he gets time out in crate.
    Sunday we took our tricycle to the village to a flea market with lots of other people and 2 other dogs- what behavior do I expect? he must keep his eye on me and not decide to wander or forge ahead when I drop the leash (because I might turn around and hide), sit when I say sit, he can look at other dogs and look back at me…

    Reply

  37. Wanda says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:21am

    I think that most of us are lazy trainers. My older dog has a brilliant reacall and my younger dog is somewhere in the middle. One area where my baby dog has been taught self contol is around water. Both of my dogs are water retrievers and they have been taught from a very young age that you better not even think about getting in the water without being released to it. This had to be trained and reinforced so they would not get eaten by an alligator. While chasing squirrels is cute, it is generally not dangerous. We teach our dogs not to jump up on the stove, because the really good smelling stuff will burn them. We as trainers also learn when that self control and reliability can be counted on and we never set the dog up for failure or put in a situation where they could get killed or injured.

    Reply

  38. barrie says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 9:34am

    True confession time: Last week I left my jack and two malinois daily walk dogs on a sit stay on the mals’ front porch while I walked toward the street to make sure there were no cars coming before I would release them to run across the street to the empty field where we play ball. We practice sit/down/stay pretty much daily in this type of situation and I have done the exact same thing with these dogs repeatedly but out of the blue, all three dogs broke their stays and bolted across to the field 🙁

    I didn’t try a recall because once they were in the road I didn’t want them to stay in it any longer than they were going to be in it anyway but I very much doubt any of the three (who all have decent recalls) would have screeched to a halt for me. Is this a recall issue, impulse control issue or a stay issue?

    Reply

  39. Clyde says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 8:48am

    Homework Assignment
    List of Reinforcers

    1) Food

    A Level

    i) A whole chicken wing or carcass
    ii) A raw beef knuckle bone
    iii) Linda giving kibble treats from the cookie jar on the shelf

    B Level

    i) String cheese
    ii) Pork tenderloin
    iii) Chicken breast bits
    iv) Kibble
    C Level

    i) A piece of raw food

    2) Toys

    A Level

    i) Large squishy ball we swim with
    ii) Large walley ball we swim with
    iii) Bird bumpers we swim with

    B Level

    i) Moo tube
    ii) Fleece bunge with tennis ball
    iii) Sheepskin double handle toy
    iv) Holy roller with tennis ball
    v) One of Mom’s socks
    vi) One of Dad’s socks
    C Level

    2) Activity
    A) Use in Training

    A Level

    i) Swimming at Katie’s pool with another dog
    ii) Swimming at Katie’s pool alone
    B Level

    i) Swimming at my house with another dog
    ii) Swimming at my house alone
    iii) Go for a run with another dog
    iv) Go for a run alone
    v) Go in the yard at WWCDTC from inside the building with another dog already out in the yard.
    vi) Go in the yard at WWCDTC from inside the building without another dog
    C Level

    B) Self-reinforcing (naughty behaviors)
    A level
    i) Chasing wildlife of any kind
    B Level
    ii) Lunging at small dogs in obedience class
    iii) Jumping on people/children
    iv) Chewing socks
    v) Chewing sandals
    C Level

    Reply

  40. denise says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 8:45am

    While wildlife is a problem for me and my dog, I can confidently say that I can recall my dog off other dogs and people under any circumstance……I often practice this…. including when my dog is running full on with a pack of other dogs away from me towards something interesting – I call her and she turns and races straight back to me.

    I’ve been thinking about this recall issue quite a bit and I’ve realised that I have greater success calling my girl off wildlife when it is just her and I out walking. However, If I’m out with all my dogs and they start chasing something she hesitates when I call and then ends up racing off anyway in pursuit of the other dogs. Because of this I’ve stopped walking her with the other dogs in certain areas, I don’t want her learning that it’s ok to ignore my recalls because generally she is very, very reliable.

    Reply

  41. Tracy Sklenar says:
    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 7:49am

    Ha ha, was watching the video and Tater comes running over when she hears me (and the other voices she knows) and stands on my leg to watch the rest of the video. Too funny!

    Reply

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