Where To Start?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by MissyBC, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Hi there everyone!

    Just wondering... as you all know Missy can be crazy! in my backyard on her 30' long line - she's pretty good on her 6' leash, but that's about it. I plan to start teaching her to behave in the backyard, but don't really know where to start?

    Just pretend she's a complete puppy and give me all your ideas -- games to help me gain her complete focus would be helpful as well. This is specifically for the back yard, but I may also use your ideas for the park too!

    At the moment: Missy does NOT go off leash anywhere.
    My goal: I want Missy to be able to run around off leash without leaving my backyard. I'm not worried about how long it takes, just as long as I see some progress.

    Please any help would be appreciated. :)

    As some of you may know, my backyard isn't fenced in. That may help you, help me.

    Thanks so much!



  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I noticed that Missy has her Canine Good Citizen, so you must have done quite a bit of work with her already on things like sit, down, stay. What are you really looking for, to be able to leave her alone in an unfenced yard, or just to come back to you when you call her?
  3. MissyBC Experienced Member

    All the work I've done with her is mostly at my local unfenced park -- she's not off leash there yet either... but she's getting better! I've worked with her at the park from 4 months - 3 years -- just turned 3 on Friday - and she's not "crazy" at the park like she is in my backyard -- believe me, she used to be crazy at the park too, but I figured if I went every day (which I did) she would settle down!!

    Things I want to work on in my backyard are:
    1. Door Manners out the back door -- she still tries to pull me off the veranda when I release her from her "sit" and "wait"
    2. Focus, focus, focus!
    3. Not to take off to the end of her long line and run back and forth "out of control" -- she will "lie down" and "wait" when I tell her to, but that's about it.

    My Ultimate Goal:
    To be able to have her off leash in the yard, with supervision; never without supervision.

    I'm looking for pretty much anything that anyone would find useful and fun for Missy to learn; not tricks, but zeroing in on Obedience in the backyard -- especially "come when called."

    I will for sure check out Kikopup's videos on Youtube -- I haven't watched her videos in a few months.
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I just signed up for an online class with Susan Garrett at Say Yes. It's called Recallers, and it is all about the exact things you are talking about. It hasn't started yet, but I don't think they are taking any more students for this session. I will let you know what sorts of games we do, but I won't be able to post videos.
  5. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Thanks brodys_mom! I plan to start barrier training with Missy tomorrow -- using Kikopup's videos. I just needed something to get me off on the right paw again. :) The games that you post will come in handy as well I'm sure! I will be using them too when you let me know what sorts of games they are.
  6. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Chloe doesn't do great in the backyard off leash either, but we just take advantage of her lie down/stay. Whenever I'm not interacting with her, even if it's just for a minute, I put her down in a stay until I'm ready to interact with her again. Obviously not the greatest method, but it's something you can use just to get through until she's better trained. One thing, make sure to treat her when you realease her from the stay too, that way when you release her she comes rocketing towards you, not her thinking "I'm free!!!" when you release her from a stay. Otherwise she might just take off when you release her.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  7. Mutt Experienced Member

    What is the reason why she is never off leash in the park?'
    Does she hunt, just wander off?
    The reason changes the approach.

    things for off leash walking:
    - let her work for her food (only from your hand not out of a bowl)
    - learn a command so she will make eye contact
    - invisible barriers
    - if a 'come here' is hard try a waite/stay (so she freezes were she is instead of wandering off) or a down.
  8. MissyBC Experienced Member

    The reason she isn't off leash at the park yet is that she chases cars, which I'm working hard on using "leave it" and "come" -- which is working! If she's not chasing cars, she's either engaged with me -- 97% of the time -- or her nose gets the best of her.

    Also, the park isn't fenced in.

    In my backyard is a different story! -- if she's on her 30' long line she lies down when I tell her to, I release her and she runs, runs, and runs -- which is fine with me, then I ask her for a "wait" and she does. If she got loose from her long line though -- she has in the past and I've caught her -- she would be gone out of my backyard in a flash (or running laps around the yard -- not sure which -- she's done both, so my confidence is quite dashed with off leash obedience -- even in a fenced in neighbour's yard or dog park... I will let her drag her lead, but won't take her long line or leash off completely.

    She knows look at me, wait, down, and come at the park so that's not a problem. :)

    She knows down and wait in the backyard.

    Thanks for your ideas, Mutt! I'll give them a try! :)

    So, are you saying, she shouldn't have a specific "dinner time" anymore? I feed her 1 cup of food per day -- 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening, plus treats on top of that. So she's still being fed from my hand... just not her kibble.
  9. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I figure as long as I can get her to something in the backyard which will mean "freeze wherever you are and I will come and get you" (ex. down which she knows and does in the backyard) or if she learns "come" or something to that effect, I would be safe to let her off, also my confidence needs to heal, but all in all I know there is a lot of training cut out for me to do with her in my backyard. Don't worry I am never giving up on the idea of "off leash". It's still my ultimate goal and it's staying that way. Determination -- I've got lots of it -- goes a long way!

    Thanks for your ideas, kassidybc!
  10. Mutt Experienced Member

    She would get the cups (which are normally in her bowl) from you while training. So if she gives your eye contact: food, calm behavior in the yard: food, staying with you: food, coming when called: food. So she gets the same amount of food as before, but no longer from a bowl but by working for it. Do you get what I mean?

    I'm getting the impression the crazyness may be because she can't really get rid of all here energy? When Boef had her operation we had to walk her very shortly on leash (many times a day but still it was nothing). When we started to slowly extend the during of the walks and after that with short off leash walks she would also run as crazy.
    If she hasn't walked enough (which happens rarely ;)) than she also won't listen as well as she normally would.

    I don't have shepherd (herding breeds) but I have understood from BC owners that 'bending' the chasing behavior towards cars (or kids or something else) to chasing a ball really helps.

    Isn't there a place were you can walk her off leash with no road (cars) in the neighbourhood (like the Woods or something)? I would train off leash walking there (also making sure she can get rid of her energy).
  11. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I figured hand feeding only is what you meant. Just wanted to be sure I read your response correctly. :) I can walk her off leash in a school yard, and do let her 45' lead drag (30 and 15' long lines put together). She would probably be too quick of a runner to walk off leash in the woods as we have deer and I wouldn't want her catching up to them.
  12. ackerleynelson Well-Known Member

    If you are too worried to get a start then may look for a video as there are number of videos available on youtube..also you may take help from http://www.boomtowne.com/

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