Jump to content
BC Boards

Recall


Recommended Posts

Dear Doggers,

 

These thoughts were inspired by the thread Adopting/Inherited (?) a 6 yo female Border Collie but swiftly moved to a not-quite related theme. Ms. Festerling is unimpressed with (some) dogs with formal obedience training and notes: “However, I know of plenty dogs that simply by living with people are perfectly fine companions without any formal obedience training.”

 

She is correct on both counts but probably not with a dog who “He would let her out his back door to romp the forest for hours . . .”

 

If the dog doesn’t have a solid recall, the dog should get to an obedience class without delay. A sensible orderly home does not teach the recall and if the dog is used to ignoring the recall, training it is a job for an expert.

 

What brought this home for me today was Sadie, a sheep guarding dog mix, who – because of a cruciate operation has been on light duty in the house for 3 months. Like our other guard dogs Sadie will come when called unless she is onto something interesting which has meant walking Sadie on leash every time she goes out the door.

 

Ugh. Anne – who had Sadie-care – while I was in Canada said, “I will be very glad when she’s gone.”

 

Me too.

 

I have friends whose dogs don’t have a solid recall and run off if they get a chance; friends whose dogs are always on lead. Ugh. One dog on a lead takes the same attention as five off lead and all my friends’ leash-only dogs have sometimes slipped away producing very real worry and could have been worse.

 

Ugh. I hate leashes. Some places you’ll get ticketed off lead but absent lurking policemen and/or officious busybodies I take my chances.

 

All dog ownership is a mix of household expectations, training and management. I knew a Border Collie couple whose dog wouldn’t allow visitors (he bit them) and wouldn’t let them leave (he tore up the house) and couldn’t go anywhere (he tore up the car). But they really, really loved that dog! And no, they wouldn’t take him to a trainer. “Trainers are cruel” they said. Crates were cruel too.

 

I think they were cruel to that dog. No dog prefers a madhouse.

 

Yes, you can more-or-less manage without a solid recall. Lots of people do. But if you give it half a chance, dog training is INTERESTING. It does require stepping out of your comfort zone and admitting that someone else may know more about your dog (and your dog attitudes and responses) than you do.

 

Go brave.

 

Donald McCaig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had a number of dogs that didn't have any particular "formal obedience training" but who were trained by me, in day-to-day living situations, and who were mannerly at home, on the farm, on hikes, in the car, at the vet, on visits, etc. But they were "trained". Nothing formal, nothing structured, nothing but what I grew up understanding from parents and from friends and from observing dogs. A lot of it wasn't "done right" but it worked well enough.

 

Letting a dog out to roam in the woods? Makes me shudder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a dog when I was a kid that would run away from home anytime the opportunity presented itself. We could take her somewhere (the lake, hiking) and have her off leash and she'd stay close by, but at home, she liked to roam. She didn't usually go too far and always came home so we didn't worry too much. Then one day when we got a phone call from someone who found her at a gas station on the busy 4-lane highway about 3 miles away. Fortunately she was safe and wearing her tags. We suspect she took off when dad left for work a few hours earlier.

 

We were more careful after that but she'd still manage to take off every once in a while. You could whistle and holler and call her all you wanted, but she'd just ignore you. I discovered that if I shut my mouth and just started walking down the road in the opposite direction from where she was headed, she'd come running to me thinking we were going somewhere. She would have likely benefited from formal training in more ways than one. I think she took her jaunts because she was bored. A training class would have helped with the recall and also gave her (and me) something to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dogs all were ranch dogs. A recall was not an option but a must. Never paid a cent for training. Just to make sure that is understood.

I was referring to formal ob. Not the good old what I call utility as in survive on the ranch, handle. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

These thoughts were inspired by the thread Adopting/Inherited (?) a 6 yo female Border Collie but swiftly moved to a not-quite related theme. Ms. Festerling is unimpressed with (some) dogs with formal obedience training and notes: “However, I know of plenty dogs that simply by living with people are perfectly fine companions without any formal obedience training.”

 

She is correct on both counts but probably not with a dog who “He would let her out his back door to romp the forest for hours . . .”

 

Especially if it is part spaniel.

 

Yes, you can more-or-less manage without a solid recall. Lots of people do. But if you give it half a chance, dog training is INTERESTING. It does require stepping out of your comfort zone and admitting that someone else may know more about your dog (and your dog attitudes and responses) than you do.

 

I totally agree.

 

I have adopted dogs with zero recall, and I have adopted dogs with a great recall from day 1, but the one that taught me most was my first of this dog owning period of my life - not because he was the first, but because he gave signs of having led the sort of "do as you please" life that the dog in the thread you refer to has led which made everything such hard work, especially in the recall department.

 

He was a lurcher - not known for their recall anyway - and it took a year before he had an acceptable recall because of his extremely strong prey drive that he had honed to perfection, three years before he would retrieve properly, but we got there in the end and every success was all the sweeter for being hard won.

 

I have no doubt that it wouldn't have taken nearly so long if I was presented with the same dog now, but he was so different from anything I had had to deal with before and it was a steep learning curve for me. A semi feral lurcher was a completely different matter from the poodles, groenendaels, wsd and gsd x lab cross I had trained before.

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...