Jump to content
BC Boards

"That'l do" and "Spot, Come!"


Recommended Posts

Dear Doggers,

 

Some prekiminary observations about the recall.

 

Yep. Treats work. More or less. I'm told they are particularly effective getting puppies to come

 

I've never used treats and no, its not because my dogs are rewarded with sheep work. A couple of my Border Collies never worked sheep and by six months or so when the workers start, they already come when called. They come - unless puppily distracted - at eight weeks old. A shout or hand clap breaks their focus and "Puppypuppypuppy" brings them to me for their praise and pat.

 

New older dog or rescue dog: different problem - particularly if the dog is accustomed to running off.

 

"That'll do, here," is a complex command. It means the shared work is completed, break focus. It means return to the handler - close enough so the handler can get a hand on the dog.

 

It is not "Spot! Come!" which is a Dog Fancy obedience command and means, traditionally that the dog returns to the handler’s feet, sits and faces forward. Most pet owners expect a much looser response to the command: dog comes close enough to attach the leash, that’s cool.

 

Many/most Border Collies are unusually focused. They are –among other behaviors – bred for a focus that ignores discomfort, distractions, even danger. Very useful for stockwork or obedience training – not good if the dog’s focus is on chasing cars.

 

And focus can be extraordinarily annoying if owners have allowed the dog to focus on undesirable pursuits: light or shadow chasing, bug catching, bird pursuit, ball commitment etc.

 

I was once at a clinic when an eight year old nationally known OTCH (obedience trial champion) Border Collie was introduced to sheep. Dog dropped tis tail, swept around the sheep in a nice arc and wouldn’t take any of its weeping owner’s commands.

 

Focus is focus.

 

Turn this around a bit and ask: why should your dog come to you? I think that each Border Collie has several reasons.

 

He comes because he always comes. He’s been pattern trained.

 

He comes because coming is always rewarded .

 

He comes because you’re the pack leader and he must obey.

 

He comes because sometimes he gets treats- or their clicker substitute.

 

He comes because the last time he disregarded a recall something unpleasant happened to him.

 

Back to you: How do you call a dog off a bitch in standing heat?

 

If you can, and most sheepdoggers can, its because you, the pack leader have said, “No, that’s my bitch, not yours.” Pattern won’t work, treat anticipation won’t work, dunno if pain aversion would work: haven’t tried it.

 

The classic training story is the “Dog gets loose, sees other dog (bitch in heat, hated enemy) across the street, dog gets hit by car.”

 

The remedy, most trainers tell you is: “a bullet proof recall”. And guess what – whether they’re ecollar or clicker trainers, they can train a “bullet proof recall”.

 

No they can’t. In such a situation, the dog may run right through a shock and a clicker? No chance.

 

I think the best – though not bulletproof - remedy is “break that dog’s focus”, I bellow or make a startle noise, anything that’ll turn the dog’s attention to me – Donald the annoyed pack leader. Then the recall is simple.

 

Donald McCaig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 93
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

If you can, and most sheepdoggers can, its because you, the pack leader have said, "No, that's my bitch, not yours."

And the pre-requisite for that to work is that you have won your dog's respect as the pack leader. I don't know any way to get that using a clicker or shock collar; you have to earn it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Focus is focus.

 

Turn this around a bit and ask: why should your dog come to you? I think that each Border Collie has several reasons.

 

He comes because he always comes. He’s been pattern trained.

 

He comes because coming is always rewarded .

 

He comes because you’re the pack leader and he must obey.

 

He comes because sometimes he gets treats- or their clicker substitute.

 

He comes because the last time he disregarded a recall something unpleasant happened to him.

 

Back to you: How do you call a dog off a bitch in standing heat?

 

If you can, and most sheepdoggers can, its because you, the pack leader have said, “No, that’s my bitch, not yours.” Pattern won’t work, treat anticipation won’t work, dunno if pain aversion would work: haven’t tried it.

 

The classic training story is the “Dog gets loose, sees other dog (bitch in heat, hated enemy) across the street, dog gets hit by car.”

 

The remedy, most trainers tell you is: “a bullet proof recall”. And guess what – whether they’re ecollar or clicker trainers, they can train a “bullet proof recall”.

 

No they can’t. In such a situation, the dog may run right through a shock and a clicker? No chance.

 

I think the best – though not bulletproof - remedy is “break that dog’s focus”, I bellow or make a startle noise, anything that’ll turn the dog’s attention to me – Donald the annoyed pack leader. Then the recall is simple.

 

Donald McCaig

 

Start with I would like to know about your experience with BCs please.

 

You're article is OK and fairly well written but you don't cover how to break the dogs focus. Just bellowing at a dog is not always enough.

 

I also disagree with your opinion that 100% recall cannot be taught. I have one dog that recalls every time. Not only that she will ignore food, other dogs, people everything except the recall.

 

 

a) He comes because the last time he disregarded a recall something unpleasant happened to him.

 

 

:rolleyes: Pattern won’t work, treat anticipation won’t work, dunno if pain aversion would work: haven’t tried it.

 

IMHO a) Anyone who calls a dog and subjects them to something unpleasant on recall shouldn't have a dog to begin with. Why do you think that so many dogs won't recall? Some idiot has a problem with his dog recalling and when the dog finally comes he gets disciplined. Would you recall? Jin likes to go to the wash. Unacceptable behavior, but when recalled he gets rewarded regardless of where he's been. if done properly and within a reasonable amount of time (he has to cover distance to be recalled).

 

 

:D Pain aversion and E-Collars. I only have one comment on both of those. Anyone who does it should be subject to the same thing set to max. A cat 'o nine tails would work. Then you won't be so willing to try it on a dog. We have a Mastiff in our area who does everything his owners tells him Except his tail is tucked in and he hangs his head low and respond reluctantly. Olaf is a very unhappy dog except when he comes to visit here. That's the result of an E-collarnd pain training. His owner has asked me several times why Olaf listens to me even without treats. Simple, I treat him with love even when he makes a mistake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You CANNOT ask a dog to come if they are blowing you off. You do need them to acknowledge you before you use the "come" command, otherwise it is pointless and you are patterning your dog to brush you off.

 

Case and point... My boy Jack is a rescue. His first home he was beaten and abused and at 4 months was taken from his home by a rescue (I assume an SPCA), ended up in a shelter, adopted out from there by another couple. Lived on a farm with 600 acres, they'd just let him out and he'd come back whenever, they hoped he'd not get hurt, but didn't train him. Moved to a town and then couldn't do that so they did nothing with him - no leash walks, had no clue how to play fetch etc. They sign him over to our rescue, we foster him, and fail at this because he's permanent now LOL. He was 1.5 years old when we got him - he had ALOT of bad patterns that we are still working on to fix. Everything has to be positive for him. He's learned to play fetch and will completely avoid any distractions and come when called if there is a frisbee involved. He's successfully trained in flyball (slow at doing so but we needed to build his confidence and teach him to respect us) which has helped greatly with his recall.

 

One day we were doing a family walk (early on in his training, which in hindsight wasn't smart, but seemed like a great idea at the time), and he was on a 200 foot (yes 200 foot) long line so we could control (or so we thought Ha!) him should something pique his interest. He saw the deer before we did, sadly. The other 4 dogs were called off the deer immediately, no issues, they did down stays for us in the field while Jack is off chasing 4 or 5 deer. We could not see him. No sense in yelling "come" as it was pointless. So what we did was start playing with the other dogs, getting them to bark their happy barks in hopes that this would entice him out. It worked! As soon as I saw he was looking at us, I used the come command and bingo, he starts to run. As much as I wanted to be mad at him for taking off in the first place, I couldn't because he did listen when he was asked to come. He came right to me and we had the biggest game of frisbee and tug (the whole while I'm feeling like I could throw up from him taking off) as his reward for coming. Have we since had him on the long line, nope, not worth the risk.

 

My point is that in order to teach and pattern and ensure that command is going to work most of the time you need to train it properly. Too often a dog in Jack's situation noted above would have been reprimanded for taking off when he did finally come. You really need to be consistent on how you are training it, and you do need to try different methods and different distractions/situations.

 

In fact, now I put him in our fenced in area, while on a long line when I see deer out side and I work with him, it's an ongoing project but it's working for him, do I ever think he'll be 100%, likely not, but I will continue to work with him in all possible ways.

 

Respecting their handler/owner is also key in this, they have to be able to trust you to come to you. Otherwise all the training in the world is not going to likely help you in teaching the "come" command.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DR,

Just a couple of things, as I'm quite sure Donald can answer for himself.

 

1. He's quite well-known in the working border collie community and equally well-known as an author (Nop's Trials, Nop's Hope, Imminent Dogs, Dangerous Men, The Dog Wars, An American Homeplace, Rhett Butler's People, and more...).

 

2. Donald didn't say that the dog was punished for coming back to the owner, but rather that the dog experienced something unpleasant for *not* recalling (i.e., the human probably walked the dog--who was too busy doing something else to pay attention to the owner--down and got its attention).

 

3. Re: your "just bellowing at a dog is not enough" is not correct. If my pup, who certainly knows a recall, is blowing me off because what he's sniffing is more interesting at that moment, all I have to do is say "Hey!" or "Do you hear me?" and it breaks his focus on what he's doing and he acknowledges my presence and then I call him and he responds.

 

ETA: Here's a link to a page on the USBCC (the host of this forum) website with some of Donald's writings.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One small point here (and I know Donald is quite capable of defending himself), is that Jon Katz is also an author.... I would focus on the earlier reference (well known to the working border collie community). Clearly men WORLDS apart. One is a person who walks the walk, and another, one who talks the talk.

 

No paper has ever refused ink. Word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Start with I would like to know about your experience with BCs please.

:rolleyes::D :D :D :D DR: Thanks for the morning laugh!

A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my pup out back a couple months ago. He would have been around 9 mos old or so. I was working putting some fencing up and he was with me. A rabbit jumped up right underneath us and Crue immediately was on top of it running towards the woods. I kinda made a ahhgghh sound and then that'll do and he immediately stopped chasing the rabbit and came back. He's never been formally trained in any way. He hasn't even had the opportunity to see sheep yet. But he respects me as the leader and when I said stop chasing that rabbit and come to me, he did. When he was younger I'd call the other dogs and he would just follow, so he learned that way to come to me when called. If he disregarded my that'll do, I'd go to him and give him what for. Not physically abusive, but definitely a negative. Now I can just whistle and he comes running no matter what he's doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have a good point, Julie; I simply included Don's books because some folks who are not involved in sheepdogs, sheep, and trialing might still be familiar with Don through his writing. And I don't think anyone who has read McCaig vs. Katz would ever come to the conclusion that the two are even remotely alike.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now. It was an honest question. And if you don't read border collie books or been around the hard core working dog people you might not know his name.

TC,

You're right it probably was an honest question. Maybe it was the delivery that set some of us off, or the fact that DR has said he's been in border collies for years....

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, Donald, is that a typo? Prekiminary? I am assuming so since I cannot find a definition for it and my browser keeps arguing with me about finding the word spelled that way. I at first figured its a word I'm not familiar with, but now I'm thinking you must have made a typo?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, yes we must all behave now :rolleyes:

 

I just responded to the recall thread not knowing about this post. I train for competitive obedience and sheep work so I train the two recalls differently and they mean different things to the dogs. I us the "come" command for obedience and a "that'll do, here" for the "everyday" application and for stock work obviously.

 

I train the "come command" using mostly positive only techniques, it is a "game". And it is trained that way.

 

I put more "umph" into teaching my "that'll do, here" command, it is non-negotiable. My dog obeying it could save his or my life/well being. It's easy to see in real-life applications (dog heading towards road, working stock in certain situations) why this is a command that should be taken seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jan, it is a good topic, but I suspect it will simply devolve into another one of those c/t vs. stockdog training threads that we can't seem to get enough of these days....

 

ETA: I think the key point Donald is making is that if your dog is not listening, you need to break its focus on whatever it's latched on to, and once you have the dog's attention/focus, then ask for the recall. Calling and calling, as he and others have pointed out, just sounds like nagging and teaches the dog to ignore you. Breaking the focus can be a sharp tone; clapping; a sharp, loud whistle; or similar.

 

For rescues or similar, I would use a drag line so I could use that to stop the dog or break the dog's focus at the start, as Amanda suggested. I've even done this with a flexi-leash if it's a dog in for training and I want to make sure it will respond to me before allowing it the freedom to run with my pack on walks, etc. The line would be light enough to not impede the dog and probably as the recall or willingness to focus on me got better, I'd shorten it some.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...