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Thread: Dog won't come when playing with other dogs

  1. #1

    Default Dog won't come when playing with other dogs

    Hi all,

    I adopted a rescue JRT cross (that looks nothing like a JRT! We don't even know what she is and no one can tell!) about 5 months ago and she just turned 1 a week ago. She was a massive coward and it took us awhile to build her confidence up but she now LOVES going to the park and playing with other dogs. Problem is she will be trotting alongside us, sees another dog and bolts off across the park and hardly ever comes back when we call her.

    We've taught her come when called and she does it perfectly at home and when we are at the park with no other dogs. That's our only issue with her! Other than that she's perfect. Doesn't bark, hasn't had one accident since being here, doesn't jump on the couch without us giving permission etc..

    But I'm not too sure what to do in this situation? Hope someone could help me here!

  2. #2
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    I await the response, I have exactly the same problem..lol

  3. #3
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    The only way I know is to build up the distractions when you practice recall. Never made all that much sense to me until I tried it with my current rescue and it really worked.

    You'll need high value rewards. Food is usually easiest, but throwing a ball or similar works too.

    You start with giving rewards in easy situations where there are no distractions. Just cue, reward and release. Then start calling her when there is a mild distraction, like when she is sniffing. The higher the distraction, the better the rewards. You can also start phasing out rewards for the easier recalls. But it is good to regularly throw some easy ones in there. The key is to set them up for success so when they hear you call they anticipate good things.

    When you've done this lots of times with no and mild and medium distractions, you can start trying when there's other dogs around. But you have to start with the other dogs being far away at first and after the reward you should allow her to go play with the dogs most of the times. If she doesn't come when you call once or twice, stop calling and calmly walk over and put her on the lead.

    If that doesn't work, you'll have to put her on a long lead so she can't fail. Again it will work fastest if you release her to go play after she comes. You want to give her the idea that coming when called is just a pleasant detour. Of course, in reality there will be times when you can't release her, but just try to keep those at a minimum when you are training.

    Good luck!

  4. #4

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    Another thing you can do to solidify the training in her mind is to call her when she's already running towards you, then praise and treat her as if it was all your idea. This will strengthen the association in her brain between returning to you and your positive reaction.

    Never call her more than about twice in a row, if she isn't coming back then don't keep calling. You don't want your voice to become background noise that she learns to ignore.

    --EDIT-- That's not to say that you should just let her do what she likes after she disobeys, if she doesn't come back you have to go and get her, and put her on a lead.
    Last edited by Mosh; 02-12-2013 at 10:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    Just wanted to add that the easiest way to deal with this is not to see it as doing training sessions. I'm pretty slack with trick training because I just don't manage to make time for the required lessons. But something like recall you just do when you're out and about and doing what you normally do. When I was training Banjo I would call her every 5 mins at least on walks for the first couple of months or more.

    It's also good to use a marker. I used a clicker, but you can just say "Yes!" or whatever. And another useful tip I found was to use the marker when they start running faster towards you and not when they start slowing down when they are closest. They will still come get their treat anyway but you reinforce that you want them to hurry.

    I love talking about our recall training because I did it all wrong with my previous dog. It was very hard work and she still suffered badly from selective hearing. But with Banjo it was a breeze and she is way, way more reliable. Following the advice I now love passing onto other people.

  6. #6

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    that all sounds fantastic! Will definitely give them a shot. We do (shamefully) make the mistake of calling her over and over to get her attention

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Well we had a breakthrough. At obedience training Mags did the course off lead! Came when called and ignored the other dogs, am a happy camper this evening.

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