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Yesterday we got a surprise snowstorm with over 7 inches of snow, which is pretty much unheard of in Georgia. The last time I saw "real" snow here was when I was 4 years old, if that gives you an idea. It was a pretty cool thing. :rolleyes:

 

So my boyfriend and I were playing with the dogs outside (Aveda on a leash of course) but she somehow slipped her collar while she was playing and immediately bolted for the road. I screamed for her to come back but she knew she was free and didn't care. She darted in front of a car and I honestly have no idea how it didn't hit her. It didn't even slow down (extremely icy condititions, people driving like idiots, welcome to the south) but it barely missed her. I chased her, but lost sight of her for about 15 minutes, before I found her in the yard of a frat house playing with some frat boys about 2 blocks away. When she saw me she bolted again, which of course they all thought was just hilarious until she ran into the road and almost got hit again. We ended up chasing her another block and onto the property of the local high school. She was headed towards a very busy road so we stopped following her and did the Patricia McConnell thing where we faced the other way so she wouldn't think it was a game anymore. This worked to an extent, but anytime she got remotely close she would get distracted by something else and run off again. She wasn't "focused" on use enough for it to work. It took about 10 minutes of crouching down before she ran up to me to do the "drive by" just out of arms reach (anyone who has played this "game" knows what I'm talking about) but I reached out and caught her by the scruff and held her. She squealed and I felt bad, but I figured that was nothing compared to the pain we both would have felt if she ran into the road again.

 

That was probably the most stressed out I have ever been. My boyfriend and I have both had dogs that have done this before, but they always came back and knew to stay away from moving cars. Aveda clearly doesn't, and she's such a friendly dog that I'm sure she would easily take up a life with another family if they were as nice to her as we are. She isn't that familiar with the area anyway, and I live between 3 busy roads and a block from a main highway so I'm afraid she won't be so lucky if this ever happens again.

 

I got her a new collar of course, one that hopefully won't loosen over time and I'll defintely check if often to make sure its tight enough, but what we really need to work on is her recall. I've been starting off by calling her at random times while we're in the house and giving her a treat, and she's really good about stopping what she's doing to come, but when she's outside on the leash where there's something more exciting it's like I don't exist. She knows some commands, but only if I have a treat in my hand. She isn't like "normal" border collies that are just eager to please, and I can't get her to focus on me instead of the food. We've been working on the "watch me" command but I don't think I'm getting through.

 

I really need some advice before something like this happens again. How do I teach a reliable recall to a dog who completely ignores me?

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First of all, never chase the dog! Run the other way and make it sound like THE MOST FUN IN THE WORLD!!!!! But of course that doesn't always work, so, to teach a good recall, here are some pointers.

 

First, whatever word you are using for recall, I would change it. By now, after tons of failed attempts of a recall with the word you use it's been tainted. Start fresh with a new word the dog does not know. I use front, some use hussle, quick, here, hurry, you get the idea...

 

Always make coming to you the most fun in the world. Never call the dog to you and scold it, take it away from fun etc. This will make your recall word fail again. Happy, sing-song voices always help too!

 

Practice with tasty treats on leash in the house in a low distraction area. Say dogs name, when she looks at you, say new recall word and take a step back offering the treat. She should come forward to you to get the treat, use inviting sounds, kissy noises etc. Only say dogs name and recall word one time. Continue on until she starts getting the hang of it. Then move into a more distracting environment, then out side on regular leash and proceed to a long line. Never set the dog up for failure. If you think the area might be too distracting, don't use the new word. Get her attention in some other manner. It doesn't take that long to solidify. I got a good recall in a very short period of time.

 

Some fun games to play teaching recall.

-Have the dog on leash, toss a treat away from you for her to get it. Say her name and recall word (when she looks) and rush back a few steps to make her chase you, give her a treat.

-With two people about 10ft apart (on a long line if you have one) take turns calling the dog with new recall word and rewarding her for coming. Kinda like "Monkey in the middle".

-Hide and seek is also a good recall enforcer. Also need two people with this one unless she has a great stay.

 

I hope this helps, I'm at work so can't elaborate more....

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Our yard is not fenced, so we couldn't work on Fergie's recall there. But we found a middle school baseball field, fenced in, near-by. The school was not using it - so we did. Of course, we brought a scoop and baggies. But we also walked her before heading over, so we never needed them.

 

We took balls and a throwing disk (must not use trademarked name). And lots of treats. We'd send her running from home plate way into the outfield, then call her. When she got reliable with that, we started moving around the field and throwing in different directions. When she was reliable with that, we took turns. One would play with her while the other walked elsewhere in the field. Pretty soon, we got her to where she was reliable with most any (never say all, you never know) distractions.

 

Of course, now that she's 13, she can get selectively deaf. As in cannot hear "come" or "leave it" in the neighborhood field but can hear "cocktails" or a plate touch the floor anywhere in the house. And she never runs toward the street. It's into the woods, if anything.

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For the collar, I would suggest a martingale-type collar. Properly sized, she should never be able to slip out of it.

 

You should work on teaching her an emergency recall (Google it), but assume that she can never be let off leash in an area that is not completely safe. I have one dog (Skittles) who is almost always on a leash or a long line because he cannot be trusted, especially if squirrels or other little critters are present. Skittles is not a bc and does not behave like a bc. He is not interested in chasing balls or frisbees or doing any of those types of interactive activities. Though he is a wonderfully loving dog with us, he does not focus his attention on us, nor does he have a desire to engage us like the bcs. Skittles' most favorite thing in the world is to either chase and wrestle with other dogs or chase small critters. No amount of food or any other high-value bribe is more interesting to him. Though we work on his recall constantly, I have learned to accept that he is one that will always need to be managed a little differently from my other dogs. Thankfully, he does not play the "you can't catch me" game, but he will ignore all our attempts to recall him, if he is in pursuit something like a squirrel or a rabbit.

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Thank goodness your story has a happy ending. What a frightening escapade to go through.

 

I'm not aware of Aveda's history, or yours, so I apologize humbly if this is an off-base question. But here goes:

 

Is it possible Aveda is deaf?

 

These darned dogs are so amazingly good at compensating with their other senses, it can be very hard to conclude they really *don't* hear you. Especially if there are other potential reasons for the dog seeming distracted and/or not focusing on you when you ask.

 

Liz S

Gift & Joss

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Thanks for all the advice. DaisyDuke, I know I shouldn't chase her (learned that the hard way with my first "wanderer") but when I lost sight of her, I couldn't just stand there. It's such a feeling of helplessness to watch a car careening towards your dog. :D

Thunderhill, it's not off-base, I've wondered the same thing myself. :D I got her 2 month ago from a high-kill shelter just before she was to be euthanized. She's a year old now, according to her previous owners, but that's all I know about her. I have a feeling she was raised with kids (she loves them) and that she learned this fun game from them. This might have had something to do with why she was abandoned.

I know she isn't deaf because she will respond to sounds when she wants to. When she leaves the room I'm in, I'll usually call her back to me (so she doesn't chew something while I'm not watching) and she almost always runs back up to me expecting a treat or to be petted. I think she's just selective. :rolleyes:

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For the collar, I would suggest a martingale-type collar. Properly sized, she should never be able to slip out of it.

 

I'm not familiar with this collar (heard it mentioned before) but maybe a good solution as well would be a harnass. That way it would never come off accidentally, and her leash would be firmly clipped onto her back.

 

I love Daisy Duke's description of great recall exercises. These are really good ideas and have to be done regularly and consistently for them to work. Starting at home with minimal distractions is really important. And I have found its also critical when practising recall to first call the dog's name and then the recall command. I've heard so many people just yelling their dog's name without the 'come' (or 'hustle' or whatever) part, which only serves to get their attention but doesn't tell them what to do next. Makes sense. Especially with smart dogs.

 

Have you been doing obedience classes with Aveda? I found that when Skye was young, she was also less interested in paying attention to me and more curious about everyone and everything else. So the one-on-one exercises, whether they're done by you guys at home, or in conjunction with an obedience class is helpful for working on the attention-bond between the two of you. It's probably a combination of her young age and her lack of any history involving direct instruction (rather than running, screaming, unfocussed kids) that's making her appear unfocussed.

 

Glad she's ok and that you've survived this trauma :rolleyes:

Ailsa

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I've taught all my dogs to come when I blow a whistle. Jill is very impulsive so I've tried to produce a conditioned response in her. I took her to the park on the longe-line. We played the "chase me" game, and every time I'd quickly change directions and run in an opposite direction she would chase me, and I'd blow the whistle, let her catch me, give her a super yummy treat (she's very food motivated) and lots of praise. She loves the whistle game. It came in very handy when she jumped the fence at my neighbor's house last week when she was staying there while the roofers were working on my house. My neighbor phoned me to say she was gone and I dashed home from my office, grabbed my whistle, and as soon as I blew it, she appeared out of nowhere.

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1. Martingale collar, definitely. SoftSlip collar by White Pine Outfitters is the one I use and love.

 

2. Better treats and more of them. Dispense at random moments. Cut out her meals and feed all her calories this way if necessary. Make it so she never knows when you might be the bearer of really good things - this should up her interest in keeping track of where you are (rather than the opposite). If she has indeed learned "selective hearing", it must have worked for her, because dogs do what works. For instance, if a dog only gets treats following a recall, the dog may learn to run away first to start the "run off - hear recall - run back -get a treat" sequence. If the treats are predictably ho-hum, the dog may learn to ignore you unless all the alternative entertainment is even less interesting. Random dispensing of really good treats, and not just a few at a time, gets the dog really interested in you - give it a try.

 

3. Buy this DVD and follow the instructions: Really Reliable Recall

 

4. Put up a fence. This one is cheap and works: Best Friend Fence

 

5. Remember that two months is a really short time in terms of your developing relationship with your new dog. It takes a lot longer than that to develop a deep bond where you each trust each other. Don't expect overnight results. or continuous progress without setbacks for that matter.

 

Good luck. Cars are scary, I know.

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I'll second Alaska's comment about developing a relationship. I adopted my dog at two years old, and I know that after two months home his recall was nowhere near what it is now. I probably couldn't have called him away from distractions very well at that point. I think the relationship between an owner and dog is one of the strongest factors influencing a dog's recall, and that relationship takes time to build. It sounds like you are very involved with your dogs, so that part should come naturally, and in the mean time, just continue to work on training. Remember that outside is WAY more distracting than inside, not just a little. If I were you, I would try to find the least distracting outside environment possible, e.g., a very small fenced area with no other dogs or people around and try to work with her there first before increasing the distraction level any further.

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When we took house manners class, the instructor had us get jars or baby food for practicing the really reliable recall. it can be reclosed, stored in the fridge for the next time, the dog has to lick it so getting too much isn't a problem, and usually you can get a flavor the dog reallly thinks is fantastic. Chicken and veggies, stage 2 or so worked pretty good. The thing with practicing it is we were supposed to yell her name, then now, and then the come command (or "here" which is what I chose to use) and keep the verbal encouragement coming so she could find me, for instance if I were in back of the shed and she couldn't see me, she would hear me and keep trying to find me. Then we allowed her to lick her baby food stuff out of the jar for 30 seconds and then gave her a that'll do and put the lid on for the next surprise practice session.

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The Best Friend Fence looks neat, but it sure wouldn't work in my yard. We have an acre. But it's all trees. I'd have to take some down to be able to fence - or get very creative. Then, what if you have a digger dog?

 

If you can't find a big fenced area such as we used, search on Bill's "Hope on a Rope" information.

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The Best Friend Fence looks neat, but it sure wouldn't work in my yard. We have an acre. But it's all trees. I'd have to take some down to be able to fence - or get very creative. Then, what if you have a digger dog?

I'm not trying to sell this fence, but both these situations claim to be addressed by Best Friends. Trees are good, BF encourages you to use them as fenceposts. There is no reason the fence has to be straight. Regarding digger dogs, the fence is pretty securely staked to the ground at regular intervals.

 

If you have a dog that is going to spend all day trying to break out of a fence, maybe you need to go with a concrete yard and chain link all around, including overhead, but the OP was not talking about leaving a dog unattended in a yard. She just wanted a way to make sure the dog didn't suddenly bolt into the street when they were outside together.

 

Hope on a Rope is meant to associate an aversive experience with a specific trigger (e.g. livestock to chase). I don't think that's applicable here.

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I had a foster dog, a Border Collie, who was probably raised with a lot of benign neglect. She had never learned that good things come from people. She hadn't learned that bad things come from people, either -- as far as she was concerned, people were just a part of the environment, like trees, or rocks, and not particularly interesting. Unlike normal Border Collies, she was basically indifferent to people in all but one way: she had an anti-recall. She had learned that being called meant "the fun is over" and would immediately run in the opposite direction. She was also very difficult to work with because the one thing that she found consistently rewarding was change of context. Whatever was newest in the environment was what she was interested in -- leaves blowing, another dog walking by, someone eating a hot dog, a squirrel, could all capture her interest in quick succession. I speculate that she was isolated during her puppyhood and learned to amuse herself, which is probably what happens to psychologically normal dogs who are raised like veals. (Dogs that are not normal to start with, like Solo, become completely scrambled by the experience.)

 

I had this foster, Lacey, for three weeks, and knew that I had to deal with her indifference to make her adoptable, because who the heck wants an indifferent Border Collie? So I got all Susan Garrett on her ass. She was crated at all times that she was not directly interacting with me. I fed her every morsel of every meal directly from my hand, and she had to work for every single piece. I rewarded her for eye contact because I wanted to install a "look to me" reaction in her. Once she got the idea that looking at me yielded rewards, I started saying "here" and rewarding her the second she looked to me; eventually, she would run to me when I said "here" because she expected a reward. I did not use her name, in case her new owner changed it (and I thought I might keep her, and I didn't like the name Lacey).

 

When we were outside, Lacey dragged a long line. I did not call her at all for a while, and would only reel her in without saying anything when it was time to go because I did not want her to practice playing keep-away. Sometimes I would reel her in to give her a treat and then let her go again. Once her recall got pretty good indoors then I started working on it outside, but only in situations when I knew it was likely to work (i.e., no other dogs or people around, etc.). If she didn't listen to me, I said nothing but merely reeled her in with the long line. I would say that by the time she left me she had an approximately 60% recall, which was pretty good considering that three weeks before, her recall was 0%.

 

After three weeks she began a campaign of terror against Solo, so I could no longer foster her. I wanted her to find a nice home, but I wasn't going to keep working with her at the expense of Solo's peace of mind. He had a hard enough time as it was. Also, I knew that I would not be adopting her.

 

I had a Papillon who would sometimes play keep-away. It is difficult to explain, but it was clear that he knew he was supposed to come, and decided not to (I do think it is possible for dogs to make such decisions), so instead of turning it into a "let's chase Melanie" game, I walked him down. I think walkdowns have been described on the Boards a number of times, but basically what you do is slowly and inexorably keep following the dog (do NOT chase) remaining completely expressionless until the dog gives up. You then leash the dog. Do NOT punish the dog, do not give him treats, just leash him up and leave. This is not something that you should try with a dog that might really run for it, and it's best done in an area that is relatively safe and/or fenced (so you are not panicking while you do it) but for some dogs it works very well.

 

I installed Jett's (my pup's) recall by calling her by name often and rewarding her every time she complied. Puppies want to come to you and respond naturally to things like high pitched voices and clapping. Usually I would call her, treat her, and then release her, which she found extra rewarding. Even now, she is 16 months old and this is our pattern out on walks -- I call her often and then say "OK, GO!" and she tears off happily. But Jett's been really, really easy to train and highly motivated to work with me.

 

Hope this helps.

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If you can't fence your yard or whatever, seriously think about a long line while you are teaching the recall. I have a 50' one and it's perfect in the park. Daisy does have a great recall, but she is afraid of kids and other dogs, so when in public, it's wonderful!

As Melanie said it is extremely useful to call the dog and then release it back to go play. You will be instilling in her brain that coming is good and you aren't taking her away from fun every time you call her.

If you haven't taken a group class with her, this also might be helpful as others have said. It will help you build a bond and she will become more eager to please.

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I've been using the same thing Melanie did with Jett with now 5 month old Rory, with great success - so far at least. It helps of course that he has a 7 year old sister, who has been heavily rewarded and then released most of the time. (In fact, since I reward for voluntary check-ins with her, I sometimes find myself telling her "off you go" more often than calling her :rolleyes: . My dogs also have a "leash time" cue, and get rewarded for that every time. On a couple of our regular off leash walks, they'll often start facing me and walking backwards where we usually leash up - quite cute.

 

I'd definitely be using a long line (and I do use a Martingale - actually it's a limited slip fabric collar, but same principle.).

 

Another thing you might like to do is to teach her the collar grab/gotcha game - get the dog to find collar/neck grabs really fun and rewarding - start gentle and progress to harder grabs - using high value rewards and lots of excitement for the game. It worked really well with my previouus boy who was very reactive to people reaching for or exerting pressure on his collar - he got to like it so much that when I would say "Gotcha" he would run and push his collar into my hands.

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Since I live in an apartment a fence isn't exactly an option, but I do try to bring her to the park to run as often as I can (in addition to daily walks). Unfortunately we're still trying to get over the flea allergies (she's on two different products, plus I've done several other things but can't get rid of the few stragglers that are driving her crazy) and every time we go she just picks up more fleas. I'll definitely get a long line for outside once she's more reliable indoors. I do have a nice big courtyard that we can work in that isn't too close to the road though.

 

Solo, Lacey sounds exactly like Aveda. When I first met her I got the impression that she was an outside dog. She seemed incredibly confused when I brought her in the house for the first time, acting a lot like this husky I fostered that had been kept as an "outside" dog for 5 years. I think she's learning to be more receptive, but I can tell she definitely doesn't understand discipline. She and my doxie Petrie are exact opposites in that way, where Petrie will get all bugged-eyed go all rigor mortis if you say her name too sternly. She actually has an excellent recall, especially for a dachshund. Maybe Aveda could learn something from her. :rolleyes: It did take a solid 6 months, but I have better voice control over her than almost any other dog I've trained.

 

Thank you so much for all the advice. I'm going to try the baby food thing, and keeping treats on me at all times. I tried it with some cheese while we were watching a movie tonight (bf wasn't too thrilled) and she came cheerfully every time. I also changed the command from "come" to "here" so hopefully she'll have a better outlook. I think I need to do the same with "sit", since her previous owners taught that to her before and she doesn't seem too happy about it.

 

Will let you know how it goes! :D

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Oh, my. I am glad Aveda is safe. Scariest thing in the world...I know, this sounds like Kip!

 

We rescued Kip from a pound (not the humane society---dog jail) where he had been picked up an untagged, unneutered stray. He has been with us a year.

 

Our second night home, he had been out for his walk, was upstairs hanging out with me when DH opened the front door to take our other dog out. He must have heard the door, bolted downstairs and leaped over the back of the other dog to shoot out the partially ajar front door as my DH was leaving.

 

We live in the city---our front yard is postage stamp sized, and our road is 30 mph (means people drive 45 mph). A short block away is a 6 way type intersection, one of the busiest on our side of town...4 lanes across. You get the drift. Since Kip did not know his name was Kip, necessarily, (shelter name and it stuck), recall was not an option, really, although we tried. The two of us, with treats, and the help of some total strangers finally caught him after probably 30-45 min of terrifying moments watching him skip in/out of city traffic. We tried "lie down", we tried everything. What finally caught him that time was three of us (me, DH and kind stranger) had him cornered a bit, and a nice lady walking a Lab came along. She heard us shout to her to grab him if she could, and when Kip came close enough to sniff her Lab, she grabbed his collar.

 

Kip has had three repeat performances---once DH accidentally dropped the leash in our (partially fenced) back yard that runs down to woods...and Kip showed that clearing 4-5 foot fences, even dragging a leash was no big thing for him. Once, our front door blew open in a windstorm gust, and BOTH dogs went out, but of course, the other dog stops at the neighbor's yard. That time, I caught Kip by grabbing a handful of collie a--, tail and all, football tackle-style, as he stopped to take a dump in front of a neighbor dog who was tied by a dog house.

 

Since then, Kip has become much more reliable in recall and shown less interest in open doors, more bonded to us, esp more to DH.

 

Then, about a week ago, my darling 5 yr old daughter did pull the front door shut tight (our front door is an 85 year old liability!) and out he went. (But of course, by the time we noticed, it had probably been standing wide open for 30 mins or more, as I was upstairs working from home.) This time, I had hot dogs in the fridge, and he did not take off like a shot as he had in the past. He was skipping thru the neighbors' front yards, on his way to see the pack of beagles who are invisible fenced at the end of the block. I brought our other dog, on leash, as bait, and a package of hot dogs. I tried very hard not to chase, but instead, just called his name, like "Oh, Kip, what are YOU doing out here?!" and threw an entire/whole hot dog underhand, so he could see it coming. It takes long enough to eat a whole hot dog to give even slow humans a chance to catch you!

 

A friend has given us an invisible fence thing that does not have to have wired buried, it sets out a radius from a transmitter you set up inside. I have thought about installing it as an insurance policy, so to speak, but haven't yet. It is something that one could use in an apartment setting too, I think.

 

Otherwise, our methods are recall, backed up by other dog as bait, and really high value treats. I'd love to say I am secure enough in my dog's recall abilities to bet on it in an urban neighborhood filled with unleashed dogs, cats, squirrels and speeding traffic, but it ain't so, although Kip does well at the dog park.

 

Of course, Kip is microchipped and tagged, but, neither would help him dodge traffic, which is the greatest risk.

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For the collar, I would suggest a martingale-type collar. Properly sized, she should never be able to slip out of it.

I use a Martingale collar with Annie, and swear by it. Another option is the Check-Choke collar; it is almost identical to the Martingale, but uses a chain loop (instead of a cloth loop) for closure.

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I use a Martingale collar with Annie, and swear by it. Another option is the Check-Choke collar; it is almost identical to the Martingale, but uses a chain loop (instead of a cloth loop) for closure.

Which is exactly why I would only use it while my pup was very well supervised!

Barb S

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Perhaps I should explain a little more clearly, lest someone think that I am abusing my dog. A Martingale collar and a Check-Choke collar are virtually identical in construction. The main component, the long section, is fabric on both. The difference lies only in the loop, the small section that draws the two ends of the main collar together; the Martingale is made of fabric, while the Check-Choke is made of chain. When the leash is pulled and the two ends of the main collar are drawn together, the loop does not touch the dog in either case; the objective for both collars is to constrict only to the point that a tight collar (NOT a choke collar) results when the two ends of the main fabric collar meet. Despite its similarity in name, a Check-Choke is NOT a choke chain.

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I think that too often, we (humans) tend to over-complicate matters. Your dog will do whatever has the highest reward for it. Dogs that are very keen to please or have been with their people for a while, know that it is in their best interest to do what you want. A new dog has to learn that. I live in the city and because you never know when your dog might get loose, I am a huge fan of having an off-leashed trained dog. I started with Orbit at 3 months by taking him to safe places when no one else was there; on a long line and just running, calling him, rewarding him and releasing him to go back to what he was doing. Sometimes he got a treat, other times a toy. But what i had was always better than what he was doing. Once I introduced distractions (people, other dogs) my reward had to be better. My ultimate weapon is a squeaky toy. One squeak and he is done for. I also made sure not to call him in situations when he was not going to come, ie wrestling with another dog.

 

I say that you figure out what he loves, take him safe places , put him on a long line and just practice every day for a few weeks and you should see some results. At this point i don't think it matters whether he comes to you or the treat, so long as he comes. I strongly believe that most dogs (not dogs like Skittles perhaps) need to learn to be off-leash in that they need to understand that it is a part of their life and it will happen again. Then they are more likely to come back. Good luck.

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I find one of the main solutions to keep a dog from bolting is to train them off lead from day one. Walk them out and around the property boundary. Don't let them cross it and when they do bring them back gently. Teach them a general No command. I use the words Nyahh and Nay. Nyahh having a greater sence of urgency.

 

Teach them to wait whenver you open a door. Not so bad at home but in the car who wants 50+lbs of dog sto0mping over your lap. Again the wait command is handy for the car. When the door is open and it's safe to let your dogs go then release them with a out and wait or out and sit commands or a specific command like bolt car. Which means go to the car and wait. the scenario works like this with a trained dog. Door opens the dog goes outside and sits or goes to the car and sits. It's s tough thing to teach but it does work. I just hope I explained it well enough.

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desertranger - That is easy to do when you start with a puppy, but I am assuming you have never rescued an older dog. Taz was determined to run off from the time we brought her home. I did finally install an invisible fence, since she would literally run someone over as soon as the door was opened and off she would go. The way I taught her a solid recall was with chicken. I would call her to me and give her chicken, over and over and over again. Eventually, she came to me every time. It did take time, though. She had to learn to trust us and that this was her home. She was never without a line unless in the yard.

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