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Thread: Good recall suddenly turned bad

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Good recall suddenly turned bad

    I realise there's another thread exactly like this not two below this one, but this is a slightly different case. Previously Rebel used to be good with recalls, but lately he's just gone completely...'I can do whatever I want'. Which naturally is wrong, since he's a dog and I'm a human, and I own that ungrateful little s**t (I love him :3). Today both were offleash at a park, and he wouldn't come back. People walking along, the dogs had just jumped in belly deep mud, and he was jumping all over this woman, who fortunately likes dogs, but I was pretty goddamn annoyed with him, as both my brother and I called him many times and he just straight out ignored us.

    I saw in the other thread the year old point is the point where they 'learn they can run, and do', and he has just turned 1 in June, so maybe it's that? I don't want him to see someone across the road and run, and get squashed by a car or something, plus disobedience from a dog generally annoys me, since I provide everything for them, they're going to be super obedient as payment. The problem is, my brother isn't strict with dogs, and even though neither of them have ever shown aggression towards us, I don't think they respect him as much as me, because I take less bullcrap from them. It doesn't bother him at all, and when I try and talk about it, he pushes it off impatiently, and I have trouble pursuing confrontations with people since I have social anxiety (only for the past 18 months - won't say why, but it can be pretty prevalent). I've tried going on with the confrontation but it just doesn't work, so that's a dead end. So, he almost always takes the dogs out with me, and when he does, Rebel is more of a d**k.

    When it's just me and Rebel, he's pretty good. Noticeably better than when it's the two of us. My brother won't adhere to any training policies I put down because he doesn't want to take the dogs to the park if Rebel has to be on 'a leash all the time' because it's not fun, and even though I know it's not fun, even if we had to do it for only a month or two, he won't do it. He's like that with all my training techniques as well, so let's work on the fact that he won't adhere to my training policy, because I've tried it on him for months.

    How can I, with this obstacle, train Rebel to have a good recall? Is it just a matter of him growing out of it? I don't want to leave the training too long in case it becomes ingrained, but at the same time, whatever training I have to do, I have to do it alone with him and Bonnie (Bonnie is pretty good - she knows when I 'mean' it). I thought about having him on one of those retracting leads, let it fly loose, then when he doesn't come back snap it back so he gets a nasty shock. Have read that one in a number of training books, and I feel like it might get pretty good results (he hates jerking on leads and stuff - one week of training when he was small and he doesn't pull, at ALL on the lead - it's awesome!), with a treat when he obeys and comes back. Kind of a, 'stick on one end and carrot on the other' scenario. My brother doesn't know anything about training dogs, and when Rebel finally came back today he smacked him on the nose (I have no objection to that, but he did it when he came back, so he was punishing him for coming back..I said that, and it started a fight, etc, etc..)

    My brother is awesome, so no snide comments thanks - he and I just see differently with dog training, probably because I've looked into it a LOT more and for longer than he has, and he isn't bothered with all that obedience stuff.

  2. #2
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    Noone should be smacking the dog at all. Apart from that, from the dogs point of view is they got smacked for coming,,,daft message to give them. The dog is going to be totally confused. They all get teenage years when they test the boundaries, by staying calm you can teach him you are reliable and he will develop respect for your leadership.
    If Rebel doesn't come after a call turn and walk away preferably out of sight. When you do get his attention and he comes make it worth his while.. Give him a treat and a pat even through gritted teeth! This will not happen overnight.
    I went through this with my dog and followed advice here..you can search the threads. Sometimes I was soooo annoyed it was very hard to smile and pat the little wretch after I had spent ten minutes waiting for her that I needed to get ready for work. However she now comes and sits while I put her lead on it does work.
    The other thing I did was play hidey, when she went out of sight I hide and call, when she came and found me she got a treat. That way she didn't get called only at time to go. I still do this very walk to keep her on her toes.

  3. #3
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    How can I, with this obstacle, train Rebel to have a good recall? Is it just a matter of him growing out of it? I don't want to leave the training too long in case it becomes ingrained, but at the same time, whatever training I have to do, I have to do it alone with him and Bonnie (Bonnie is pretty good - she knows when I 'mean' it). I thought about having him on one of those retracting leads, let it fly loose, then when he doesn't come back snap it back so he gets a nasty shock. Have read that one in a number of training books, and I feel like it might get pretty good results (he hates jerking on leads and stuff - one week of training when he was small and he doesn't pull, at ALL on the lead - it's awesome!), with a treat when he obeys and comes back.
    Dogs don't grow out of anything. He's an entire male and he's testing boundaries to see what he can get away with, all dogs do it while growing up. Don't let him whack the end of a retractable leash, 1) they snap and break because they're not made for that force and 2) you can injure your dogs neck as the cord absorbs none of the shock.

    Recall is about rewarding the dog for returning and sending him out again, run backwards with treats, call him and when he arrives treat, big pats and 'off you go!' while he's on a long line. You say his name, when he looks then recall command only once, if he doesnt want to pop the lead quickly over and over to niggle at him until he complies then reward. Look up Michael Ellis on youtube he has plenty of videos about engagement.

  4. #4
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    It will be VERY hard to teach him recall, no matter how hard you try, if your brother is going to smack him/punish in anyway when he comes back.

    I would use a long line, rope etc. very easy to catch them if they decide to run off... I don't use retractable leashes, I've had 2 (good quality) break with Meika (shes only 13kg) , thankfully she has very reliable recall and nothing bad happened.

  5. #5
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    If I had a say - I would not let the brother take the dog out if he's going to punish it for coming to him.

    The dog is just going to learn to keep away, especially a BC.

    With my dog - she love the game of chase me-the-dog. I have to be really careful not to play that game as I'm rewarding her for running away from me if I do. If she doesn't come back when called - I walk over to her, or I hide until she comes looking and then I put her on lead and go home and "bang head here". Had a bit of a scary episode yesterday when she insisted on saying hello to a kelpie on the far side of the oval (it looked like one of her friends). The owner had gone to great lengths to be on the opposite side of the oval to us so I knew it wasn't a good candidate.

    She got lucky with her grovel-greeting and all went well as far as that went but when she did come back ... I put her on lead, and on lead she stayed for the rest of the walk. And we have to go back and practice some more. It may be we can do two or three off lead runs and then she kind of loses it or becomes too comfortable or can't resist some good smell... and it would be better if I put her back on lead before she fails to recall.

    Most important thing - is to call only once.

    And remember that dogs can learn different rules apply around different people, the same as kids learn different rules apply when they're with the grand parents than when they're with their parents - or even between Mum's rules and Dad's rules. And they will adapt and take advantage. Your brother does not stuff your recall or training - only his.

  6. #6
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    I don't think it will be hard to teach him recall for me if I use different methods because I already know I get better results, via different training.

    Nekhebt - "Dogs don't grow out of anything. He's an entire male and he's testing boundaries to see what he can get away with, all dogs do it while growing up" - but if they do it only while growing up, then they will grow out of it? *confused*

    I can't 'not let' my brother take the dog out, as they're both of our dogs. Also, he's a fair bit older than me.
    I've already bought a retractable lead (online), so it won't be here for a few days, but when it does I'm going to take Rebel to a dog park or somewhere similarly exciting and use it there. It's limited at 50kg, the next size up, which is more than double Rebel's weight. I've got a few books that recommend putting the dog on a 'long line', calling clearly, then if the dog continues running or won't come back, give a jerk so it shocks them, then reel them in, rinse, repeat. If they come from the first call, tons of treats and pats. I have a feeling this will work for him (i'm not going to yank him so he rears up or anything), but we'll see. It doesn't help that people also pat him for jumping up on them, after racing off...very irritating. Also, sorry for the late replies, been busy.


    RE smacking - it's not hard, and I'm not going to stop doing it because it works. It works a HELL of a lot quicker than just saying 'no' does in my experience. The dogs don't end up frightened or aggressive, it's the technique used on all our past dogs with excellent temperament, and therefore, it's proven itself to be useful. I'm going to repeat that *I* don't smack him for coming back, because yeah that is daft, it's obviously going to send him the wrong message. Even when I do whack him for doing something naughty, it's done in a calm way. He does respect me because he is super quick to obey other commands, especially when at home, so I think it's a mixture of a) teenage years and b) excitement. Well, at least he's living up to his name...hahahaha

  7. #7
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    Why ask questions when you think you know the answer. It's a waste of time. There is no one on this forum that will condone smacking dogs, it is just lazy and unnecessary. The level of expertise on this forum is formidable and you are dismissing it, unfortunately for your dog.

  8. #8
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    Lmfao I'm not dismissing it, I'm taking note and adding what I think will work to my current technique. That's how advice works - I'm not going to immediately adopt all your policies, if that's what you're hoping for. Already I've gained some insight, but to blindly accept without questioning leads to bad things. Take religion, for example.

    farrview - If you look back, I never asked anyone's opinion on my negative reinforcement technique. I don't care if nobody on this forum condones the way I use negative reinforcements on my dogs - it's a small whack on the nose, it works, and has always worked without negative effects - everyone has their own way of training. It's not like I only negatively reinforce, I give them loads of treats when they've done well - and they don't get the nose whack for making a mistake, it's when they actively disobey and they know it (Bonnie knows the ropes and is perfectly behaved, 100% of the time, with no repercussions - so she never gets whacked). It's about hard enough to just knock over an empty coke bottle. So get off your high horse.

    I know there is a 'formidable level of expertise' on this forum - hence why I'm taking note of things I think will work, and things I think will not. In fact, the only 'expertise' I dismissed in any way was your opinion, that no-one should be smacking dogs. I'd hardly call that formidable expertise. There is no single answer to how to train a dog to have a good recall - therefore, by asking a question, I'm adding different methods to my knowledge. I didn't think I had to explain that one.

    Hyacinth and Nekhbet - Thanks guys, you've both been very helpful, and I will definitely be including your advice into my training. I'll try and keep this thread updated on his progress, though I can't make any promises - it's the busiest term this year, sadly

  9. #9
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    Nekhebt - "Dogs don't grow out of anything. He's an entire male and he's testing boundaries to see what he can get away with, all dogs do it while growing up" - but if they do it only while growing up, then they will grow out of it? *confused*
    Because they go through a phase of testing, it comes at points of maturity. They try behaviors, if they are not rectified or the dog finds them rewarding they continue - so no they don't grow out of it. It's part of normal dog development, it's the age they would be challenging other members of the pack, trying new behaviors that now cross into adulthood. It usually means giving the owner the finger and developing selective deafness.

    As for smacking your dog, there is no need. You are also teaching your dog to chastise physically, and one day your dog may decide to do the same to you. I have trained protection and behavioral for 10 years, the only times I've given the dogs a tap is if it's something dangerous or if they've decided to lay teeth on me. Even then you weigh up wether it's actually useful or just going to solve this moments situation. Dogs do not speak english, No doesnt work because you havnt conditioned the dog to know what you mean when you say it - thats a you problem not a dog problem. Of course every dog understands a smack, but like I said, you're not teaching much but breaking trust or risk getting nailed one day.

  10. #10

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    OK 'Striker' - here are some links for you – just a few ‘Mr Google’ searches - which I would suggest very strongly that you read and take note of:

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=s...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=s...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=smacking+a+dog&oq=smacking+a+&aqs=chrome. 0.59j57j61j0l2j62.6680j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#sclient=psy-ab&q=can+smacking+a+dog+be+used+as+a+training+tool &oq=can+smacking+a+dog+be+used+as+a+training+tool& gs_l=serp.3...24370.39806.0.41165.31.31.0.0.0.0.27 1.6424.0j7j24.31.0...0.0.0..1c.1.17.psy-ab.05CP238mw8g&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.4870 5608,d.aGc&fp=4700427ed485b490&biw=1280&bih=909

    I would also add that everything ‘farrview’ has posted in this thread is totally correct.

    Did you miss the fact that ‘farrview’ has a BC ?

    So why are you dismissing the comments made by ‘farrview’ ?

    I really feel that being a member of a dog forum – means that all of us learn something new and useful – otherwise - if we know everything – why are we members here ?

    So a question for you:

    Do you smack your parents/brother/friends/people in the street when they won't/don't do what you want ?

    Maybe - there are some things that you need to think/rethink about !

    Happy reading !
    Last edited by RileyJ; 07-09-2013 at 06:57 PM.

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