Recall training

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5 years 4 months ago #40202 by BethC
BethC created the topic: Recall training
In an effort to keep my motivation going, and keep a sense of humour I'm going to start this thread as the story of Yalla's recall training! Our ups and downs might interest some of you who have equally independent minded DHs who may not be particularly well trained themselves, but seem to have had no problem in training their humans... ;)

My local dog trainer is a bit of a star, and as well as doing "normal" dog training classes in quite controlled situations (on the outfield of a local cricket pitch, so more realistic than a church hall) she offers monthly real life dog walk/training in popular dog walking locations to see how us owners and our dogs get on with the rest of the human/dog/ice cream van/kids on bikes/joggers/squirrels/deer (!)/picnic eating - race. So, I've booked for Yalla and I to go on a 2 hour walk with 3 other dogs around Virginia Water on the last Sunday in each of the next 3 months. Yalla is oblivious, but I'm already a bit (i.e. a lot) nervous! He'll be on his long training lead and I'll have pockets stuffed with cheese. He's just (in the last 8 weeks really) started to understand playing with a tennis ball, so I've got a special, squeaky Yalla-only & walk-only ball to see if that can attract his attention away from fast running Border Collies who are very owner focussed and just don't seem to hear a 2 year old, 50kg DH running at them at 30mph! They also don't seem to like it when the DH stops running and starts to dance around bellowing at them and occasionally doing big puppy bows in an attempt to get a DH-game going! You can probably tell this was quite a recent experience....it ended with me putting Yalla on the lead and stalking off while the Collie owner was shouting expletives about my dog trying to kill his dog. I tried to explain that Yalla wasn't trying to attack anyone, but had to admit (to myself as I wasn't going to give sweary-man the satisfaction) that I need to try something else that might at least break his stride enough for me to catch up with him, or (this would be beyond my wildest dreams) to stop or even decide to come back before checking the other dog out.

Our first walk is this Sunday so I'll let you know how we get on!

By the way....does anyone know what happened to lovely Aslan and his behaviourist?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Robb

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5 years 4 months ago #40209 by Lurch8252
Lurch8252 replied the topic: Recall training
Ah Beth, I sympathise with you, had that situation many a time, even when mine was 5 months old and I am saying "he's only a puppy"!! They just want to play a game of chase, let us know how you get on.

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5 years 4 months ago #40211 by BethC
BethC replied the topic: Recall training
Well, Yalla and I survived his first recall lesson/walk....almost without a hitch. The class met in the car park and my other half walked off, waving cheerily with our gundog in tow. Yalla looked at him, looked at me and decided there had been a terrible mix up....normally he goes off for a walk around the lake while Shankly has to go to school for 2 hours. Yalla picked up his long line lead and started to trot off in the direction they went off in. You can imagine the look of indignation he gave me when I stepped on his lead and brought him back to his new class-mates!

It was only a small group....a Foxhound/Bloodhound mix called Henry and a very excitable Golden Retriever called Cato. Already, I was glad I had my Yalla and neither of the other dogs (apart from the fact they weren't DHs!). At least with a sighthound you've got a sporting chance of averting disaster if you can see the thing before he does, but listening to Henry's owner made me realise how much more difficult it would be if your scenthound suddenly picked up a smell and was off over hill and dale. It turns out that Cato's owners had never had dogs before, the wife didn't even like dogs and they have a 6mth old baby....Cato must have been 6mths old when the baby was born. His owners were mystified over Cato's "bad behaviour" because they thought all GRetrievers were well behaved. I'm afraid I didn't spend much time talking to Mr and Mrs Cato because they annoyed me too much (and as Yalla's nose was at perfect elbow level, Mrs Cato screamed everytime Yalla's nose touched her...gggrrr :angry:

Typically Yalla was on his best behaviour so I think everyone else was wondering what my problem was. However, at one point the other two dogs started to run about with each other and Yalla made as if to run 50 mtrs to join in. Standing on the long line and telling him to "wait" saved the day so he could trot/walk up to the others rather than running into them and sending them over like skittles. Our homework this month is to get Yalla to "touch" my open palm before he gets any treats. I'm starting off just around the house and garden. I've to get his attention and wave one hand around in a gently closed fist as if it holds something very interesting. As soon as Yalla is within touching distance I'm to open my palm and when he touches his nose on my hand he immediately gets a really high value treat as I say "touch". At first I have to put my palm on his nose. I've tried it this morning with bits of brie (Yalla approved) and after about two attempts he did start to move his head to touch my palm. We only did about 5 reps today, but some more later!

The theory is that eventually Yalla will come back to our side to "touch" so we have him at our side. This will give him a bit more freedom on walks rather than only letting him go as far as the trailing long line. if this doesn't work, next month we'll try clicker training and/or whistle training.

Let's see if touch training starts to work...if it doesn't it will be down to "user error" as I need to be quicker with my treats so there is no doubt in Yalla's mind that the treat is for the touch, not for standing around looking hopeful! That's all for now!

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