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Recall - any ideas?

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OK, I'm looking for some new ideas to try for my recall. Web sites, suggestions, books, anything. My girl sits when I leave her in the ring, but when my back is turned lifts her bum, then sits back down again. Comes beautifully when called, but just got 0/30 and fails to have a qualifying run. It's become a very longterm issue. Seems to have more to do with the ring and training environment than anything, but I'm not entirely sure what causes it. I can leave her in a stay outside the shopping centre and she doesn't budge and seems quite happy. I can put her in a stay in a leash free area with mad untrained dogs running everywhere and she stays put. But get out in that trial ring and whammo, disaster.

Any ideas? Oh, and please remember that I live in a very dog unfriendly country in terms of laws, and risk a $120 on the spot fine for not having her on a leash in public. This can quite limit options.



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I'm a bit confused, but....not surprising. I assume you're talking about obedience trials. What, exactly, are the rules? (Heck, I don't know the rules in the US, let alone down under!) I take it you MUST turn your back, eh? Here, "recall" means to "come." How is sitting, lifting her bum, then sitting back down again the problem? Sorry, I must be dense. So, maybe this will help; maybe not!


I recently attended a clinic, where the instructor suggested the following for a dog that broke the start line. HOWEVER: This was for the agility ring, where standing up and sitting down again is NOT a fault; but if the dog walks forward, or creeps forward, the dog may cross the start line, starting the clock, and the handler may not realize it (until too late!).


What was suggested is this: handler tells dog to sit; handler turns back and walks away; if dog gets up and walks or creeps forward, aother person from the sideline comes up to the dog (obviously, this would best be someone that knows the dog AND on a dog has no aggressive tendencies!), grabs it by the cheeks (sides of neck/jaw area), and talks excitedly and happily to it: "You wanna go see Sharon? OK! Let's go see Sharon!!" all the while walking the dog on its back legs toward the handler, that is, into the ring.


The dog is mightly confused, but not being scolded. Yet the lift onto two feet is obviously not a "good dog" signal.


I was pretty skeptical, and it seemed a bit harsh....but with overly enthusiastic dogs, I saw it work several times with amazing results.


Don't know if you can set it up enough like a real trial for it to work....and I don't know what obedience rules are. I'm guessing this couldn't be done in a real trial. Do you have "fun matches" where things are set up much like a real trial, only it doesn't count? That might be the type of situation you have to "set up" for the dog to do its evil deed.


Good luck!



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If nerves are the problem (and assuming you don't want to get drunk before a trial ) have you tried to produce the pheremones you give off when nervous. Dr. Ian dunbar suggests clinching your fists rapidly and hyperventilating ( Not til you pass out). I had a student who would get so nervous on scent articles we had to train her lab to think that these signals were the norm.



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Actually, nerves don't appear to be the problem (at least not on my part). She's been working really well on all other aspects. I've not been able to tie down exactly what her issue is, but think maybe she just gets a bit anxious at being left, lifts her bum, then thinks oops no I'm supposed to stay here, and sits back down again. We have a VERY strong bond.


Yes, I am talking obedience ring. You walk forward, stop and your dog sits. You say "stay" then leave the dog without turning around until you have walked a fair distance and the judge says about face and halt. When the judge says call your dog, you call her in and at that point she comes to you and sits at your feet in front of you. The judge then says finish and you finish her into heel position. The whole exercise is worth 30 of your 200 points. You need 170 minimum to qualify and 3 qualifying runs to get your title. If you get a non qualifying mark (less than half points) in any one exercise you don't qualify regardless of the number of points. If your dog happens to lift her bum off the ground when you leave her for her recall, it's 0/30 and wham bam it's all over ma'am. I always think this is a bit harsh when the bulk of the exercise is done so well, but them's the rules and them's the breaks.


I have tried the grab by the face and discipline strategy for breaking stays in the past. It didn't work well with my girl, she got stressed and would break the stay as I was returning to her for fear that she'd done something wrong. I've also seen it work very well for some dogs, but not for us.


I have a feeling if I can work out why she lifts her bum in the first place, that this is the key to solving my problem. Any ideas gratefully received.



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When I encounter a serious problem I usually go and reteach it using a whole new command. You might try this and try rewarding the dog for staying gradually building up the lenght of time. also, make a game out of the moving sit, where she is running and playing and you get her to sit and she must hold that sit regardless of what you are doing--make it fun.



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