Experienced Member
Well done you!!!!!! That sounds like you are making great progress, keep working at it and be brave (in dog park/safe situations) as well as continuing to practice with Holly at home and on leash too. Enjoy seeing the fun that she has as well, it is great to see your dog having great fun off lead and it is even better seeing them zoom back to you when you call them!! (y)


Honored Member
I took Holly to the unfenced park today and she decided to invent a new game without warning me :cautious:

Basically the "game" involves running as fast as she can away from me in a straight line :eek: ...until I call "Holly", then she curves around and runs straight back at me at the exact same speed as she was running away from me with a big smile on her face O_o

The first time she decided to play this "game" I felt so sick as she ran as fast as she could away from me in a direction where she would eventually reach the road. She played the "game" about four more times while we were at the park.

What is she doing?
I can see that this "game" could get dangerous if she decides not to curve back to me when I say her name so how do I stop her doing this again?


Honored Member
64, you do a good job of posting what you are looking at.

This one is interesting!!

Maybe a couple of things you could try.
Tx cowgirl taught her dogs to stay within so many feet of her, until she gives 'release' cue, in which case they are free to run around, but, we'll have to drag her over here to explain how she taught that!

RunningDog has trained her dog to run away on cue,
and possibly,
if you did that too, mayyyyybe your dog would only do so when you said so.
(not sure).

My dog sort of naturally stays within a certain distance of me, (UNLESS a bunny goes by, or unless i incite him to run around). I'm not sure i "taught" that or not, i might just be lucky.

Maybe maybe one thing you try, is, giving dog a impression, he has invisible leash, by, whenever he goes so far from you, call him back every time.....
no idea if that would-------
give Holly the idea she needs to stay within so many yards of you or what.

BUT, stand by for better ideas!!



Honored Member
Fantastic on the recall!

My suggestion is that well before Holly gets to a distance that you don't feel comfortable with, don't call her, just start running away from her. If she doesn't notice at first then give a shout (not your recall cue except as a last resort) so she goes "Woah, Mum is abandoning me."

Hopefully this would teach her that it is HER job to keep tabs on you not your job to keep tabs on her and over time it should also teach her what distance she can go before you "abandon" her.


Experienced Member
Congrats on the recall, sounds like you have taught Holly to listen very well! If you are getting the big curve back to you when you call that is great! Don't under estimate your achievement there...(y) What you have to control now is the mad rush to run when she is let off and does the big run away from you. I think running dogs idea is great when you feel that she may not come back just by you calling but, personally I would test this one and when it works I would then save it for times you need it more rather than every go, because you are doing great with the vocal recall. It is great to fall back on if vocal isn't working and she is getting to a point you are not comfortable with. Another one if she is NOT responding to vocal recall is turn your back on her and crouch down and act like you have struck gold... in your most excited voice you can shout 'HOLLY, LOOK, WOW, LOOK AT THIS' etc acting like a blade of grass is the most amazing thing you have ever come across. Dogs at naturally instintive and nosy and this is a good fail safe - even if you do sound a bit silly to other people around - if it gets your dog back then - who cares! While you are having good vocal recall, like it sounds you are, I would work more on the release cue like tigerlily said txcowgirl and runningdog have done, so it is not off lead = run away as fast as possible. She is playing and does see this as a 'freedom' game. It is not a bad thing as long as you are getting response when you call, it is just a matter of controlling the out run and in run. Teach 'this way' and don't be scared to be active and vocal when teaching her the boundaries of her out run.


Honored Member
Thank you everyone,

I think I really do need to teach her to keep watch of me rather than me having to watch her.

She doesn't run off as soon as I let her off the leash. When I let her off she usually stays pretty close to me (sometimes she just sits in front of me waiting for me to tell her to do a trick because our trainer said doing a few commands before the dog goes off to play will prevent "dog park behaviour" where the dog rudely runs straight into the other dogs at the park as soon as its let off the leash) after a while she then slowly starts walking off and running back (before I even call her) so she can get a treat.

But when she does do the run off thing she doesn't look back at all. One time she was really into sniffing some grass so I walked away from her, she didn't notice and then when I called her she ran in the direction I had been in when she first started sniffing until she realised that I had moved.

I do wonder if she invented the "game" as a way to get more treats because I have to call her back and when she comes she gets a treat (and with the "game" I only have to call her once and its not even her proper recall cue; "Holly, come" is her cue) so I don't think it's the running away that's rewarding, it's the coming back :sneaky:
Also, there were no other dogs on the soccer field where she invented the "game", she wasn't running towards anything.


Honored Member
I do wonder if she invented the "game" as a way to get more treats because I have to call her back and when she comes she gets a treat
Zac does the "Look I'm running after something you can't see, I'm really really chasing... you've GOT to CALL me... Ha Ha fooled you... gimme TREATS! TREATS! TREATS!"

I changed direction a lot and even hid in bushes as well as running away to get Zac to check in, sometimes I'd even walk off slowly and leave him playing with another dog. I don't tell Zac I'm going (unless he's hunting:rolleyes:) so he has to check in or be left behind. If I want to "lose" him now I usually only have 20 seconds to hide (unless there are rabbits around).


Honored Member
I can find that thread where RunningDog is sharing info on how to help dogs learn to recall, even if there is prey,
if you want me to. Her advice makes good sense, and it is helping Buddy.
I would like to know about that thread too. I think that Ra Kismet may have hound in him, because he will recall well BUT if he gets onto an interesting scent, develops a 'hearing' problem. As such I ONLY trust him in certain places, never woods or anywhere like that.


Honored Member
Here is the thread for tips for dogs who chase prey.
My dog has razor sharp recall, cuz we practice it most every day of his life,
but, i can't call him off of chasing bunnies.

This thread
is about desensitizing a dog to bunnies.

If your dog isn't coming, but is NOT currently chasing a bunny,
your dog might just need general recall training, or sharpening his recall.

Sadly, i have HAD to RE-TEACH recall alllllllll over again,
from scratch (goes much faster the second time around though:D )
when i realized, my dog's recall had gotten sloppy.:( He was having that intermittant deafness, but it had nothing to do with chasing prey<---which is whole other deal.

See, i had *thought* that once i teach recall, it's a done deal, we are done, and now, forever after, my dog will always come from now on---when i say "Buddy COME!":D
BUT, i was wrong.:oops:
*MY* dog needs frequent practice, to keep that cue razor sharp.

I "lied" to my dog, i told him the name for cheese, is "come". What dog doesn't come for if you say cheese? :ROFLMAO: rofl.

Lots and lots of ways to teach recall, but what i did is on page one of this thread.
SEE REPLY #4 ON PAGE ONE OF THIS THREAD, it worked great for *my* dog anyway. Also, don't use your dogs NAME for his recall word, he hears THAT word alllllllll day long.:rolleyes:

I also still, to this day, randomly reward Buddy arriving when i say "Buddy, COME!" so my dog never knows if he might get a prize for showing up. Of course, when in training,
or in RE-training, you treat each time he shows up.


Honored Member
Again thank you:) I don't feel so bad now, cuz when I started training Ra Kismet he did recall like an angel. As Zeus didn't seem to need training, recall appeared to already be 'hard wired' into his mind (also his late sister) they both just 'did' it without any fuss and never changed, I felt I was doing it all wrong. Now I realize dog's can get sloppy and need re-training to keep them razor sharp. Ra's 'naughtiness' started in adolescence (which I sometimes think he's still going through :giggle:) Ra Kismet can be 'slow' to respond even when right in front of me close to the door for example - he looks around as if to say 'any thing more interesting around' once he's decided there isn't then he bounces in. Will work on recall too, separately from trick training, and also when partner's not around - his idea of 'training' is to yell, louder and louder - sooooooooooooooooo frustrating and not good for the dogs( or me instant headache time). You can train a dog but found out the human male is definitely untrainable:D