How Long Does It Take? -- Reliable Recall Training.

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by MissyBC, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. running_dog Honored Member

    LOL you should totally have a SECRET recall word that you share only with your most trusted associates.

    Almost all of Gus's recall words are totally useless (wasted by squealing children and people who don't give rewards). He has about 95% recall to "Puppy" and (so far) 100% recall to "Fergus." I hardly ever use Fergus (once a day?) and give him a jackpot for it. But if I'm feeding him something really nice I'll also say "Fergus" as I feed him. I use "Puppy" A LOT but have worn it out a bit maybe I haven't rewarded enough to keep it fresh.

    MissyBC, tigerlily46514 and sara like this.

  2. sara Moderator

    HA HA HA HA I'm so glad I live alone!!! Oliver's recall is crappy (what I'm wondering is how I got a perfect recall with a deaf dog, and my hearing dog has a bad habit of ignoring? LOL) actually, it's not bad considering he's only off leash maybe once a week. He's gotten a TON better though, as I was so afraid to let him off leash on the rarely travelled gravel road, as he would NEVER come back at first, now I trust him to come back if he's not too distracted. and I only ever call him back if I know he will come, and he's always rewarded with his ball or treats, and let run again. He's 3.5 and I still am at the stage most puppies have passed LOL.
  3. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Missy's recall is coming along... as long as I'm careful when there are cars around... (she's not off leash yet, just on her fifty foot leash at the park or empty school yard).

    She still chases cars :eek:, but I'm trying to teach her not to! :)
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  4. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Ripley was 18months when we had her and she knew absolutely nothing, no words or cues and certainly not any recall training - she had never been out of the house she was rescued from, she didn't even know what a tree was...!

    We still work on recall everyday but in the space of almost a year and lots and lots and lots of little baby steps she has a very steady recall even with distractions. We started by whistle conditioning her (to the point where she knows whistle means come as automatically as when you or me see a red light and know subconsciously that it means stop). I cannot enthasise enough how much this took - tiny baby steps inside the house, eventually outside the house, eventually in the park, eventually on the beach etc. at every and any point of the day. It is so much work but it is so worth the work. For us whistle training worked but we still work every day on it and make it exciting and interesting everyday (Ripley loves hide and seek - we put her in a sit or a down stay and both go and hide behid trees or bushes, one will whistle, reward and release and then the other does the same. Just one of the ways we still make it interesting) Distractions just take time and we are still only about 90% first whistle successful on pulling her back when she is playing with another dog/dogs and only about 75% first whistle successful on pulling her back when she is chasing a squirrel:confused:. But just work on it every way at anytime - including still in the house - doing the washing up and she is lying at the front door I whistle just to keep her alert that I may want her to come at any time. The other I would say that if you are at the off leash in the park stage don't let off and the first time the dog returns put the leash back on - they may get leash scared.

    Keep positive - I'm not saying you have to whistle train to get results - that is just what worked for Ripley - I agree if 'come' is not working start over. You will get there!
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  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    LOVE it Ripley, just love it! Love how you taught it, love the whole story. Recall is so so hard for some dogs,
    that it is great and encouraging to hear from ppl who have found success with it, is encouraging, i think, for others to hear a story like yours will press on forward trying.
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  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Missy, just now saw your post, great work on the recall! YAY!!

    btw, the car chasing, not sure, maybe you could post a thread on that, cuz i can certainly certainly 100% understand your concern on chasing cars being a big concern to you.

    Or, not sure, but maybe Runningdog's thread on chasing prey, *might* be helpful, not sure, but, it IS chockful of great, step by step help on getting dogs to stop chasing bunnies.

    not sure if it'd help for cars, (?)but, i really really really think you can help your dog learn to sit calmly to see cars go by. I'd think, you'd need some volunteers, to drive by your house, while you work on helping Missy stay calm, or, heck, you could take her, on leash of course, to some road where an occasional car goes by, and work there, to desensitze Missy to seeing cars,
    help MIssy learn to be calm to see cars.

    Might be worth a thread of it's own, Missy, as i'm sure you are not the only person with that same concern, and someone here might know what to do.
    MissyBC likes this.
  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    The car chasing is really dangerous, my dog Chase manged to get hit by a car and twice by a motorcycle. He know has very little use of the leg that got hit from when he was a pup. I don't have any advice for fixing it, but like tigerlily suggested you should post a thread for it.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  8. 648117 Honored Member

    I spoke to my family about not calling Holly when she isn't going to come to them anyway so hopefully it will be alright.

    Otherwise it might have to be the "secret cue" which could be funny, it would be like me and Holly's secret password, lol.

    Oddly we never called Holly "puppy" or anything like that, I know a lot of people do call "puppy" or click their fingers or something but I think thats odd because if they always get called that then when they are no longer a puppy they wont know their name.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. johnny1609 Active Member

    im struggling to understand this thread as ive never taught recall as a trick as such but just developed a good bond with the dog and then they will come when called, tbh i dont even use the same recall word or cue. i whistle, use there name, nicknames, click here, come but never had any problem
  10. running_dog Honored Member

    LOL I meet lots of dog owners who wouldn't understand this thread so I guess you are not alone Johnny1609 :ROFLMAO: a month ago, I, like you would have thought secret recall words to be unnecessarily melodramatic :rolleyes:.

    However the reason so many of do understand the problems described on this thread is not necessarily because we don't have a bond with our dogs...

    • There are different ideas of "reliable recall" - some people like me reckon only first time of calling is reliable, others reckon a couple of shouts is fine as long as the dog turns up fairly soon.
    • Many of the people on here have experience training rescue dogs with a lot of baggage. Their new owners have not been able to control the dog's past experiences so that the dogs have a knowledge of freedom BEYOND the limits of their recall level.
    • Family dogs find it much harder to learn recall as they are not bonded with one person - Zac recalls to a wide range of recall cues but he is my dog, he ignores most other people :rolleyes: . Gus has specific well protected words because he is NOT my dog, I have no desire to bond with him and I have no control over how the children (NOT mine either :ROFLMAO:) relate to him, Gus is likely to be returned to my sister - having a recall on the basis of a close bond with him would be stupid.
    • Frankly some dogs don't really want a bond with their owner they'd sooner bond with the dog next door, many working dogs don't have this issue because they are rewarded with the ultimate rewards, for example in the simplest terms a working lurcher learns that listening to it's owner is ultimately rewarded by chasing rabbits.
    • To some extent it depends on the dog's psyche. Some dogs do learn to recall without any hassle - I have 100% recall of three dogs I walk for friends (the owners have 90% recall), but maybe only 95% recall of my own dog. It isn't a difference in the training it is because the dogs think differently.
    And beyond that... well... I'm impressed that you have been able to build up such a bond with all the dogs you've ever owned/worked with (y).
  11. sara Moderator

    All dogs are different, you've lucked out.

    I have a terrier mix who is deaf, who has 100% recall. she never ignores a hand signal, and is always looking just incase I might call her back! I have another terrier mix who can hear, who is aggressive and was a street dog, who does NOT have a reliable recall, he's too busy hunting. I have spent alot of time teaching him recall, making it a game, and making it more fun than hunting, he is getting better, BUT he's not perfect, and if he ever saw another dog, there's no way I could call him back. That being said, he never goes more than 50 feet from me... he has to protect me too dontcha know!
    running_dog likes this.
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //" but just developed a good bond with the dog and then they will come when called"//

    Johnny, i'm so so so glad that you have had such great luck or success with this. I'm only jumping in here, to help disspell the myth that a dog comes due to a strong bond, well, let me explain this a lil better, i have recently got another one of my neighbors to join DTA here.:D:D:D
    Her dog will NOT come when she calls it, and she felt sad, as she thought it had to do with her dog did not like her, wasn't bonded to her, and it made her kinda sad. I have told, that is not so, at all.

    Her dog LOVES her to pieces, just adores her to bits, but, has no idea what recall is, and also lives with children;) who may be misusing and weakening the recall word, etc etc.

    If she should spot this thread, i don't want her to think, "Ah ha, i was right, my dog isn't as emotionally attached to me as he should be, or else he WOULD come when i call him.":( cuz it just isn't true. Her dog adores her,
    but just hasn't had the opportunity yet to learn how to do recall yet. Still, her dog DOES love her to pieces, and does respect her, and IS an obedient dog otherwise, ----it's just her dog has a habit of running free and has not yet been trained to focus on her, even when there are awesome scents luring him this way and that way, etc etc etc.

    also, her dog is part greyhound, and finds GREAT JOY in running, and, imo, many of the sighthound breeds can sometimes be a lil harder to get to recall, they've been bred for 1,000s of years to chase prey independently, and, sometimes, some of the sighthounds might be harder to teach recall to.
  13. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    • Many of the people on here have experience training rescue dogs with a lot of baggage. Their new owners have not been able to control the dog's past experiences so that the dogs have a knowledge of freedom BEYOND the limits of their recall level.
    • many working dogs don't have this issue because they are rewarded with the ultimate rewards, for example in the simplest terms a working lurcher learns that listening to it's owner is ultimately rewarded by chasing rabbits.
    All the points running_dog has made here are brilliant points. From my experiences Ripley is my first 'rescue dog with lots of baggage' she was quite a challenge due to what she had been through in her early life. I previously have grown up with working sheepdogs in a farm environment and the bond the worker makes with their dog from so early on in training make recall easy (in the working situation) because these dogs have the mindset of what their life have been set out for (i.e. rounding sheep etc). And then border collies that I have brought up as working dogs to an extent by using agility and flyball to keep them in a working dog frame of mind. Gaining recall from a 'pet' dog is a different situation and it, in the most part, does take a remarkable amount of effort from the owner. I have also found an extreme difference with Ripley as I have not had her from a pup, that is not under estimating the effort needed with recall with a puppy but an adult/adolescent dog with prior issues is a different challenge in itself. My post previously on this thread was trying to encourage anyone with any dog to keep at it and persevere with recall training but I would definately also take my hat off to anyone else now that has taken on a rescue dog as now I have experienced this I can appreciate just how big the task can be with taking on one of these dogs and more so just how uttering overwhelming and gratifying it is when you see the change and shear love and devotion of a rescue, who has been through so much, when they begin to trust and see you as their lifetime companion and top dog of their new, safe pack!
  14. johnny1609 Active Member

    ive just reread what i wrote and i sound quite snobby but didnt mean it to be like that, all the lads i hunt with and thats probably 20 different lads have all had perfect recall barring one but he was (insert any swear word here). they like me have all had recall the same way just by always being out with the dog, up the field and things like that
  15. johnny1609 Active Member

    the dogs that dont want a bond id just teach forced recall which i have had to do with a dog for a mate
  16. sara Moderator

    We dont do forced training here. No one on this forum wants to hear about force training. Forcing a dog is not the way we want to train our dogs.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  17. running_dog Honored Member

    LOL I'm glad you didn't mean your other post quite how it sounded. I was almost ashamed to own a lurcher and live in England :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:.

    I think I (and Ripleygirl) covered the main reason for working dogs apparently finding recall a lot easier to master. We've all seen working dogs that seem to learn recall with no apparent effort (and few rewards) from the owner.

    It's best not to assume that force training recall (using a long line to drag the dog back?) would work for most dogs (assuming they have more than two brain cells to rub together). Zac is perfectly capable of telling whether I am in a position to get him back or not. The only effective way to recall him is by him wanting to return to me, believe me I know, I've tried almost every other way. The only times I began to see real progress was when I moved to 100% positive (non force) recall training.

    The only times a long line is really useful in recall training is as a safety line securing the dog to an inanimate object while the owner works on recall within the radius of the line but not touching it at all.

    Also... for fun I also experimented shouting random words to my dog... he recalls to pretty much anything including "salamander" and "leprechaun" :rolleyes:, idiot hound :ROFLMAO:.
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  18. johnny1609 Active Member

    whats wrong with using force training? its not always possible to use positive only training
  19. johnny1609 Active Member

    the thing is and again this may upset some people but im just being truthful, most people that keep proper working dogs have them for that and that only so if the dogs isnt upto scratch they will just get rid and tbh im that way inclined. my puppy for example i will train it, work and enter to the best i can but if the dog hasnt got it then it hasnt got it and it will go.

    and ive seen longline work for alot of people and if the dog wouldntrecall id use that, there are other methods but i dont think many people on here would use them or even could.
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    Okay so just to clarify... if your dog is actually chasing a rabbit or deer can you recall it using your voice/whistle only?

    If not there are plenty of people on here who already have the same level of recall as you with their PET dogs using positives only and we are trying to work beyond that using positives only. Your "bond" is possibly not a bond with the dog but the dog recognising that obeying you results in more hunting. If you can't attain a recall/bond easily the dog is basically dumped and people like those asking/answering questions on this thread maybe try to give it a home and try to TRAIN it to recall.

    I think what I'm saying is please don't be superior about the methods you have used and if you waste the dogs that you can't train using those methods...
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