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She won't come when called.

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  • She won't come when called.

    I have a lovely rottweiller, we have had 2 in the past, so familiar with the breed.

    Ava is just over a year old, I go her through a want ad on the Canadian equivalent of Craigslist. I have had her for almost 3 months. She has been spayed.

    She is a wonderful dog in everyway. Very loving, not at all aggressive, if anthing, maybe a bit timid about new things.

    My only problem is that she doesn't always come when called. Most of the time she comes but takes her sweet time, other times, she completely ignores and continues on her merry way, and occassionally she actually comes right away.

    She is not overly food driven, or I haven't found the right treats.

    Any suggestions on establishing a better response from her. I am looking at getting her into obedience classes but I am not finding anything offered locally.

  • #2
    I am surprised a rottie is not more attentive and ready to come when you call.

    People that come to our dog classes are wanting first, that the dog comes when called, then that it doesn't jump on them and others.
    Can you see the connection there?
    The rest are problems they may have that are much less important.

    First, I would not put here where she can ignore you, keep her on a leash or confined.
    Every time you call her and she is not responding immediately with a polite if not energetic "yes, what do you want, sure, I am game" you need to be where you can reinforce that she needs to listen to you.

    Work on attention first, not recall.

    Keep her contained, randomly get her attention and praise, good treats help, but are not necessary.
    Then let her go about her business, but still confined.
    You want to establish that when you speak, she listens.

    Then you build from that to getting her attention and making some request, coming to you is just one of those and part of whatever else you then want her to do.

    I hope you can find some good obedience classes near you, as that makes this so much easier, following a program and instruction.

    To work on some basics with any dog at least for a few weeks when we first get it will pay in many years of a dog that knows what we want.

    Comment


    • #3
      The coolest things a trainer ever told me about dogs coming when called.

      1. Don't call the dog unless you can enforce the come (like he's on a leash).

      2. Don't repeat commands.

      3. Do you ever have a come-when-called issue at feeding time? No. It's the perfect time to reinforce "come" since training is just repetition.

      4. Proof recall by randomly calling them, rewarding the come, and then releasing them.

      I've had sight hounds so I appreciate how difficult recall can be. All my ridgies had excellent recall.

      Paula
      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a great thread... I've been wondering the same thing. Dixie's recall is 50/50 and the advice is great!

        My problem is that when she gets focused on something, it's impossible to get her attention back. It's like she goes deaf and blind to anything, until I can break her concentration.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the #1 most important thing for solid recalls is #1 on Paula's list--don't EVER call the dog unless you know it's going to come or you can MAKE it come. That means a lot of leash and long line work.

          When I start teaching off leash recalls, I do it in an area that's small enough where I can physically go get the dog. If the dog doesn't come, I go get it and march it back to where I was with no emotion, then praise lightly after for asking for something easy like a sit. Wash, lather, rinse, repeat.

          Asking once is also important, and having The Voice of Death is really handy. You know, that voice that your mom used when you were IN BIG TROUBLE MISTER. VOD only comes out when things are serious and you can back it up.

          Even when you're not expressly trying to teach your dog, they're learning. Always think about what, exactly, they're learning in any experience

          Superminion, I'd use a whistle or perhaps a vibrating collar for a dog that checks out. Train it in an easy environment when the dog is not distracted, and award the dog for checking in with you there, then make the question harder until you have a reliable "check in with me" button.

          Comment


          • #6
            Recall is The Most Important thing.

            Dog stays on leash and long training line (40') til confirmed. It can mean the difference between life and death.

            Miles popped up a fox going to help me bring the horses in. Hot on it's tail, they were both heading right for the freeway fence, at the only place that had a hole they could just get through, at a dead run. They'd been doing construction on the freeway, said they'd fix it when they finished.

            I called to Miles. Twice. Nothing. The third time, I screamed with every "oh my God I'm about to watch my dog get run over by a semi" I had in my voice, and hit my knees. Miles turned his head when I screamed , and as he did, he saw me drop to my knees.

            He left his chase and ran his little butt back as quick as he could. Obviously, something was wrong with Mom. He had no idea why I was crying, just got up on my lap and licked the tears away.

            It's not annoying when they don't come, it's unsafe. On the one time you need it, if you don't have it, it will be a tragedy.
            Last edited by 2ndyrgal; Jul. 20, 2012, 06:41 PM. Reason: Miles had a wonderful recall, but we had just moved to the farm, and a fox right in front of his nose was too hard to resist.

            Comment


            • #7
              Always on long leash for training-never ever ask if dog has option of ignoring off leash-

              And sliced up hotdogs in a baggy in your pocket for rewards. .

              Comment


              • #8
                I like the idea of a whistle or vibrating collar for certain breeds. Hounds on the scent/sight are entranced. You have to break the spell. When I was an animal caretaker I had to do that a couple of times with hounds (and with mine) and I could clap -one loud CLAP. I swear they'd go, "Wha..huh? Sorry, what?"

                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Get an electric collar! There numerous types/brands... I have an Dogtra - 1 mile/water proof.. I have used a 1/4 mile Dogtra but it was not long enough distance, for my treeing walker coonhound when she was younger. At 8.5 yrs, she is pretty good at coming-hates the electric collar.

                  My current disobedient hound is a bassett, I call her and she does not respond or she looks at me, then gives the bassett middle toe(finger) in the air and does her sniffing thing, eventually meanders her way back--in no big hurry.....
                  So she lives with the electric collar when I need her to be more responsive other than "breakfast and nightime Greenie" --the particular "food focused items".
                  I think if I put the collar in off mode she be would be fine--but i would rather not take the chance.
                  I call their name, blow the sports whistle, then hit the remote the electric collar. Repeat as needed....Eventually they learn name,whistle, bite on the neck-stronger pulse on neck--better come when called. Bassetts are more stubborn than Treeing Walker Coonhounds-maybe I got a good treeing walker coonhound.
                  this bassett did come with a bunch of baggage, getting better-slowly

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sport View Post
                    She is a wonderful dog in everyway. Very loving, not at all aggressive, if anthing, maybe a bit timid about new things.
                    if she is timid AT ALL, any use of punishment is contraindicated. Instead, practice in the house, using hot dogs, chicken and/or beef. And play tug.

                    in addition, condition a great, hard tug game. Playing .with. your dog when she comes back will make coming back even more desirable.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdYjsdOXgMM

                    My only problem is that she doesn't always come when called. Most of the time she comes but takes her sweet time, other times, she completely ignores and continues on her merry way, and occassionally she actually comes right away.
                    what do you do to make it worth her while to come back?

                    play tug?

                    Any suggestions on establishing a better response from her. I am looking at getting her into obedience classes but I am not finding anything offered locally.
                    play tug?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jcotton View Post
                      Get an electric collar! There numerous types/brands... I have an Dogtra - 1 mile/water proof.. I have used a 1/4 mile Dogtra but it was not long enough distance, for my treeing walker coonhound when she was younger. At 8.5 yrs, she is pretty good at coming-hates the electric collar.

                      My current disobedient hound is a bassett, I call her and she does not respond or she looks at me, then gives the bassett middle toe(finger) in the air and does her sniffing thing, eventually meanders her way back--in no big hurry.....
                      So she lives with the electric collar when I need her to be more responsive other than "breakfast and nightime Greenie" --the particular "food focused items".
                      I think if I put the collar in off mode she be would be fine--but i would rather not take the chance.
                      I call their name, blow the sports whistle, then hit the remote the electric collar. Repeat as needed....Eventually they learn name,whistle, bite on the neck-stronger pulse on neck--better come when called. Bassetts are more stubborn than Treeing Walker Coonhounds-maybe I got a good treeing walker coonhound.
                      this bassett did come with a bunch of baggage, getting better-slowly
                      Electric collars shouldn't be used to try to teach a behavior, but only for reinforcing one they know. If your dog doesn't know to come when you call, and only RARELY doesn't, then an elec collar isn't appropriate. JMO.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                        I like the idea of a whistle or vibrating collar for certain breeds. Hounds on the scent/sight are entranced. You have to break the spell. When I was an animal caretaker I had to do that a couple of times with hounds (and with mine) and I could clap -one loud CLAP. I swear they'd go, "Wha..huh? Sorry, what?"

                        Paula
                        My beagle mix was super easy to put a recall on, but once he got "in the zone" on the scent of something, forget it. He was more than happy to come at ANY other time, but once he caught a smell... he was gone. He was no longer mentally on this earth. I got a vibration/shock collar to remind him that hey, you DO have to listen! and it has made a world of difference. Now when we go outside with the collar on, he knows he has to 'check in' with me from time to time and he always has one ear on me, even when he's sniffing out bunnies!
                        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                        PONY'TUDE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by caradino View Post
                          My beagle mix was super easy to put a recall on, but once he got "in the zone" on the scent of something, forget it. He was more than happy to come at ANY other time, but once he caught a smell... he was gone. He was no longer mentally on this earth. I got a vibration/shock collar to remind him that hey, you DO have to listen! and it has made a world of difference. Now when we go outside with the collar on, he knows he has to 'check in' with me from time to time and he always has one ear on me, even when he's sniffing out bunnies!
                          This sounds exactly like my girl, and I have no idea why a vibrating collar never occured to me. We have a whistle, but after the first week with it, she just ignored that too. She is a JRT cross (Corgi...Bassett...Your guess is as good as mine) and all the breed combos that people suggest are known to be stubborn. Maybe something with a little more 'oomph' is in order.

                          Sorry if I highjacked!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use

                            I use a referree whistle. I started out giving treats when they responded to it. I rarely need it now but it still works great. You can use the whistle and reinforce with voice.
                            Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Some great ideas here. Thanks everyone so much.

                              Crockpot, so far I haven't found any treats she likes, but she does love hot dogs. I never thought of using those as rewards.

                              threedogpack, I like the idea of the playing tug with her. I will watch the video later.

                              My neighbours laugh as I can't get the dog to come right away but my cats come when called. How ironic is that. :-)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I've always played the chase game to get a good recall on my dogs. Whatever they are doing, I call and then run in the opposite direction. They always come running after me. After a while, it becomes a conditioned response.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You've gotten some good advice. Here's mine:

                                  ALWAYS have a lead on-in house one can be 4', outside up to 50', during training process. If you don't, you cant correct.

                                  ONLY use your command to come (COME or HERE) when you mean for her to come right to you, and NEVER USE IT IF YOURE NOT PREPARED TO BACK IT UP - no using "come" to stop her from digging, jumping, etc. unless you're willing and ready to make her finish the recall to your specifications.

                                  POP her on the collar (whatever collar you use - buckle is fine) right on the word COME, as in, "Lucy, Come(pop simultaneous) !" This is to teach immediate attention to the word. She may look at you like or or even - s'OK, because at that moment when her eyes meet yours, START RUNNING AWAY. Turn your back to her and RUUUN. Timing is important here. Pop simultaneous with command word, eyes meet AND RUN.

                                  Let her catch you. If necessary, drop to the ground and let her snuffle you. Lots of praise. Treats are great here.

                                  REPEAT AD INFINITUM. Repeat until you've established a fast response.

                                  DONT DROP THE POP. You can test her response by omitting it, but not until she's almost beating you to it. If when you test her and she's less than perfect, go back IMMEDIATELY to the pop, and repeat 3 TIMES IN A ROW before you test again.

                                  COMMIT TO FINISHING WHAT YOU START-NO EXCEPTIONS. Show her that this is a sacred command to you-if it takes 10 minutes to get 1 recall, SO BE IT.

                                  MOTION IS KEY. Transition from running from her to trotting backwards facing her. If at any time she slows her recall, RUN FORREST RUN.

                                  KEEP LEAD LOOSE-NO PULLING HER IN. If she quits or loses attention, POP the collar and SAY "NO", then start trotting backwards again. Treat and praise when she gets there.

                                  I train other people's dogs to come offlead every day, and my method works. There's more to it, but this is the foundation.

                                  Good luck!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It depends. I have a dog who used to play the "can't catch me" game. If you called him, he'd come close and then run off. This was irritating and, at times, dangerous.

                                    ONE shock with an electric collar and he was sitting in front of me asking me what I wanted him to do next.

                                    He doesn't need it any more but it was a godsend when I first started using it.

                                    Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                    Electric collars shouldn't be used to try to teach a behavior, but only for reinforcing one they know. If your dog doesn't know to come when you call, and only RARELY doesn't, then an elec collar isn't appropriate. JMO.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Bogie, the continuation of my method includes steps for just exactly what you describe. So many dogs do the "Tag! You're it!" game. They key is never to move towards or even reach toward them. Just keep going backwards, with pops to re-direct. It takes as long as it takes, until they reach the promised land at your feet.

                                      The pattern of NEVER walking towards the dog-dog ALWAYS comes to you, is one I establish with every dog immediately, in the house in everyday life. Refined, it ends up being a tap on my thigh and maybe a half-step back, and the dog must come and stomp my feet, every time. Works like a charm. Transitioning to outside and distractions is simple and straightforward, and doggie wears or drags a lead of appropriate length until he's proven to me that I can trust him.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I vote e-collar, but only if its one that has also a beep only setting besides the vibration or shock.

                                        Taught both my hunting beagles when they were 3 mths old that the "beep" & their name meant they were going to get a delightful treat and much love & enthusiasm. Of course, beagles are food driven most of the time, so it was pretty easy teaching. They would freeze mid stride when they heard the beep of their collars to spin around to me & collect their reward. It wasn't always a food treat once they learned what the beep meant, just lots of loving & praise.

                                        I will say that now that they are full grown and actively hunting, on occasion I have had to give them a slight tingle to bring them back to reality when its time to "leave it" & go. I would never take them out without their collars. They know "beep" means come NOW!
                                        Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

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