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Hi, I'm Thom and I have a BC.

Clyde recently turned 2. I got him when he 6 months. He's smart, often trying to train me, instead of the other way around. He can sit, down, stay very well. Recall outside, he's getting better, inside not a problem. He _LOVES_ frisbee, he gets to play with the flying disc _everyday_. Rain, heat, cold, thunderstorms, doesn't matter. One disc is all he will play with, I can throw 3 matching frisbees, he will bring back the 1 we started with, totally ignoring the other 2.

I live in an urban area, but I'm blessed with a 1/2 acre empty lot across the street. Every day, me and Clyde are out there.

It's taken a year and a half, but he has started to bring the frisbee back to me. When we 1st started, he would play keep away, finally drop it about 20 feet from and make me go it. Next throw, 20 feet from where I would throw it. We would circle the field twice, then he would start to bring it closer. Much improvement. :rolleyes: Recall out in the field is still a challenge. I have/can get him to come to me, but it takes a little time. He is 'intact', and any time he picks up a scent, he has 'mark his spot.' _NOTHING_ I do, means anything to him until he is done. Any help there?

I have recently ordered "Control Unleashed", it's back ordered... :D Picked up "How to Speak Dog" from the library today.

Since he has turned 2, he seems much more ready to learn. With his eagerness to learn, I have been inspired. I have always seen his potential, just don't yet how to extract it. I am very willing learn, the reason I joined this board, ordered the book, went to the library.

I have been lurking for a couple days, and can see this this is going to be a site where I can learn learn a lot.

I look forward to turning Clyde, a good dog, into the best dog he can be.

Looking forward to being a member of this board.



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Hi Thom, Welcome to the boards. Sounds like you have a smart little cookie there, or just a BC :rolleyes: Your marking problems most likely come from him being intact. When males get neutered around six months they have a lot less chance of marking. Having him neutered would also cut down the chances of him getting cancer. I have a male BC that I adopted at around one year old. He was neutered when I got him but he still marks. But has never marked in the house. If he goes to mark but I don't want him to I just say "ehhh" and he'll stop. If you really want him to stop take a pop can with little rock in it. If he goes to mark just shake the can and say "no mark". It should help with the marking. But unless he's neutered he won't stop.

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And, even if he is neutered, he might not stop marking (I have a bitch neutered at five months of age who is my biggest sniffer and marker) - but, it should reduce (and possibly eliminate) marking, should reduce his being distracted by scents and other dogs, might reduce any potential male aggression, and can provide some health benefits (no testicular cancer if there are no testicles).


If you are having recall problems, you may want to go back to square one. Practice the recall in an enclosed area where you can correct and go get him if he doesn't respond to your command. If you are not in an enclosed area where you can reinforce your command, then put him on a long line (a clothesline can be good) with a small snap at his collar.


In either case, when you call him, use his name and a definite and distinct command (come, here, whatever you like that doesn't sound like any other command) just once. If he doesn't respond, make sure you have eye contact (I realize he may still be looking elsewhere but you need to be looking at him). Give a verbal correction (like "hey!" or "aghh" or "listen!") and repeat your command just once. If he doesn't respond, give the long line a tug and keep up a gentle but nagging tug-tug-tug until you get a response. If that doesn't work, reel him in or walk out to him and bring him back to where you were calling him. The long line enables you to follow up your command with action and he can't continue to ignore you or evade you. When he does respond right (more about that shortly), make sure to praise with your voice, a pat, and a treat (if you don't object to treats as a lure or reward, which you will reduce and eventually eliminate as his response improves).


If he really knows what the recall means, then only a correct response (coming right to you or passing up some really big temptations) merits a reward of praise, etc. If he isn't sure about it, then "a step in the right direction" merits some praise. Whatever you do, never punish or scold a dog when he does come to you - the reprimand is for him not coming and never when he does come.


If he were a pup, I would use more encouraging (exciting voice, clapping, crouching down, treats, being silly) actions but, since he is adult and presumably knows what you want and is just practicing "selective hearing", I would be pretty business-like about it and insist consistently on his responding properly and promptly.


Best wishes!

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Hi Thom. I agree with SueR on the recall bit. Being in an enclosed area and using a long lead or line will help. Have you ever thought of obedience classes to help with his recal issues??


If you want to try and extract his potential, try clicker training! I don't use it for everything, but I started using one with tricks and it worked amazingly! We are now using one in her "reactive" doggie class and it's working there as well. There are tons of sites on the web with info and books available and I think even some clickers come with cue cards with little tricks.


I have read "How to Speak Dog" It's a pretty good book for learning how dogs communicate and what their different expressions mean, but not really for training. Patricia O'Connell has some good booklets on training that you can find on amazon.com and her book, "The other end of the leash" is really good too and since the booklets are cheap, you may as well buy that one to get free shipping!


good luck!


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My dog, Petey was neutered at 6 months and it definitely didn't reduce his sniffing and marking. So you may not have any change there, but you can do something like WyoBC mentioned and you can try to control it.


You sound like a great owner and by doing all this research you're going to have a lovely dog and friend. Good luck and I hope you continue to see improvements!

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In an enclosed area, Clyde does extremely well with recall. We have done obedience classes and he did rather well. The biggest problem is when we are out in field with the frisbee. He gets wound up. His one focus is the frisbee, nothing else matters. He is not food driven, praise driven, just intense focus on the frisbee. I can give the "home" command and he does listen to that. He will go run the front door, frisbee in mouth and wait for me. So I do believe it is selective listening. I have tried sending him home for not coming back to me, taken the frisbee away for a couple of minutes. That really doesn't work either... I do have the "Control Unleashed" book on order and have started reading "How to Speak Dog."

I will keep working with him, he does seem to be improving. :rolleyes: I believe the CU uses clickers.

Clyde was a "semi" rescue. A local breeder's dog had a litter of 12. She was able to sell the 6 females and 3 of the males. She was having a hard time finding homes for the last 3 males. She was considering a resue organization from what I understand. (he was supposed to have been fixed when I got him BTW) I get emails from a girl that is forever trying to find homes for animals, and that is how I got Clyde. I wish I could of taken all 3, but...Right now I have my hands full with one. :D

My next door neighbor has an 8 y/o BC. We keep the gate open so the 2 of them can play. Clyde doesn't believe in the gate and will clear the fence in a single bound, yet he stays in the yard and has not tried to jump ant other part of the fence. He just goes next door to visit his "auntie." :D

I do appreciate the words of wisdom from everybody. I do think I have found a great board and will learn a lot.

Thank you,


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