My now 9mo rescue dog Banjo has been absolutely amazing. I could walk her off the lead from day one - away from roads obvioiusly. She'd always stay close, would come and check with me very regularly, would not run up to dogs unless they approached us, and would abandon her play with other dogs to follow me when I walked off. And she has generally been very responsive to training all those little things you want your dog to know, like wait before jumping out of the car when the door is opened, not pulling the lead, etc.
I knew I still had a tough job ahead with the recall training, because I want to be able to trust her near roads as well. But it did give me a false sense of security.
So yesterday I got very frustrated when:
- she jumped out of the car before I told her to and hurt herself because she was still attached to the car harness
- she bolted straight away to go run around like a lunatic with a little white pomeranian. Repeated this a couple of times with other dogs, even one on the lead - something she'd NEVER done before.
- ran way further from me than she'd ever done before
- ignored me completely when I called her name or walked off in the other direction
Obviously she had no idea she was being naughty because her training has barely started. But it was so incredibly frustrating! And kind of ironic, because that's how I had expected her to behave when I got her as it's just normal behaviour for an untrained dog.
We had to 'catch' her a few times and put her on the lead for a while. I got some comfort out of a very cute BC/Heeler cross deciding to join us for a play and ignoring his owner - who saw the humour in that - and it was good to talk to someone who understood.
This morning Banjo was back to normal - which is in fact really quite abnormal! - and she was so very good on our walk. Even only had to call her name once to get her to follow me when she was playing with her favourite doggy playmate friend (kelpie x) that we met at the end of our walk.
It was good that yesterday happened though and that I got reminded just how important it is to get this recall thing down pat. So I'm going to have a good think about how I'm going to tackle this, draw up a "plan" and stick to it religiously.
Any tips on recall training more than welcome too! I made a zillion mistakes with my old dog with that. She got it eventually too, but it took me years! I want to do better this time.