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I have kept border collies for 40 years, achieved success in obedience competitions but have always had bitches. I now have a georgeous but challenging 2 year old dog who is the most openly defiant and disobedient dog I have ever had. At obedience classes he is fine, at home when training he is fine off and on the lead. However when out for walks if he doesnt want to come - he won't! Consequently if he sees another dog, child, squirrel or anything that moves I have no control whatsoever. Sometimes this is a real problem as he loves children and only wants to play - unfortunately if they don't know him they are obviously frightened by a large dog hurling towards them. I've tried long leads, titbits without success. As soon as he is ready he will do a perfect recall. Help please!


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Boy can I relate to that! Mine is a bc/husky though so I have a pretty good idea where her behavior stems from...HUSKY! It took me 2 years to get a soso recall on her and its still not totally reliable. The best thing I did was take her to a fenced in football field and let her go. I let her get totally ingrossed in something(along the fenceline of course) and then I called her twice. When she didn't respond, I simply left. Well, I left her eyesight anyway. I had freinds there to monitor her to be sure she stayed safe and didn't find a hole in the fence. Once she realized I was gone, she got pretty worried. Worked like a charm, for a while anyway. I've had to reinforce the memory from time to time but when I really need her to come, the best phrase I can use on her is "bye bye Sophie!" :rolleyes: .


I'm sure there are those out there that think this is a bad way to train a recall but besides resorting to a shock collar, which I refused to do (but seriously considered) it was the only thing I found that worked.


So you're a Brummie eh? I'll be visiting your neck of the woods this spring! I've got family in B'ham, small world!

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A few things:


1) Remember that a recall at 20 feet is not the same as a recall at 50-100 feet.

2) A dog may be well trained, but distractions are a different matter. Honestly, the dog responding when he's under little distraction, or distractions he is used to, is much different than when he's under new distractions. It sounds as if your dog has not learned, honestly not been taught, that he has to respond to your recall when he's under the outdoor distractions you have mentioned.


Every time you call him and he doesn't respond, doesn't have to respond, you have set him up for failure. Take him out on a retractable leash of at least 26' to work on his recalls. Give him the line, and then do recalls. When you call him he gets one second to respond, then you reel in the line. Regardless of how he got to you (came on his own or had to be reeled in) he gets a rare yummy treat!!! Make sure the first times are without distractions, then SLOWLY add the distractions ONE AT A TIME! Each time he is called to you, he is on a leash and he gets a treat. He will learn that even though his desire is to go play, he must come to you first.

4a)He gets one recall command with his name before it. ONE command.

b)He is always on a leash so he can't fail when you call him

c)He always gets a treat when he comes to you. Regardless of how much you had to reel him in to you, he gets rewarded for being near you.

d)Add the distractions one at a time. Ask a neighbor to bring their dog out on a leash when you try the exercise. Once that doesn't phase him, ask a neighbor to bring their kid out and play catch or whatever. Work up to kids and dogs running amuck and he will come ON THE 26' LEASH each and every time on ONE command.


This is a condensed version of how to add distractions to your recall. If yo uneed further help or clairfication please let me know.


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Glad to hear I am not the only who wants to teach my dog to respond to saying something ONE time. It makes me CRAZY when people stand around shouting "Sit Fred, sit sit Fred! Sit! sit SIT SIT SIT sit sit sit" or "Fred, come. Fred! Come! COME HERE! FRED! COME HERE RIGHT NOW" at their dogs. I just want to smack them with Tess's frisbee thing. I can imagine how the dog feels and why it is paying no attention. :rolleyes:


Allie & Tess

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I'd put him on a long line, and not let him off until I had an ironclad recall.


And all I would do when we walked, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, would be work on recalls. Ie., we walk around and he can go where he wants for a bit, and then I call him, and if he doesn't come, I pull the leash, and if needed haul him all the way back to me--then I praise and treat and let him go wander around again, and then I call him...


After a while, you can either go to a longer line, or drop the end of the leash and let him get further away but still dragging the long line. I always pick up the end of the long line again before calling him.


The problem is that he has had success ignoring you--you have to teach him that he has to come when you call, every time you call. It'll take a week or two of really concentrated work, but then he should get it.


Cheers, MR

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Ahh the curse of the social butterfly LOL


My pup is 20 weeks and I have developed the same problem. If he was offleash and he saw another dog he just bolts! It doesnt help that every dogs owner he has run to has called "puppy puppy puppy" every bloomin time and fussed and loved him, upon his arrival. (he is adoreable I cant blame them either)


I have never had this before with my previous collies. To start with if I ran the other way he high tailed it with me and I treated and fussed him for following, but now his confidence has developed he doesnt give a fig if I run away. Although If I dont follow he comes back to me eventually and I have to reward him for that (resisting the urge to tell him bad dog LOL).


Anyway I have had him on a line (50m) for a week now, I practise lots of recalls and I am unsure when I will trust him off again..maybe a month and I will try again.


He is rock solid in the house, garden, and the park when there is no dog owner around..but he just adores everyone and every dog, its lovely he is such confident pup (now) but frustrating too.

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Spike started to pull this one on me after my sprained ankle & mouth surgery - this is what worked for me: I call him in a really happy excited voice & duck up & down like a dog play-bowing. When he gets to me we both bounce up & down like lunatics while dodging round each other in circles. It works on the principle of 'I am more fun than anything else in the universe'. I might look a bit of an idiot, but I can call Spike away from strange cats with it now... haven't tested it on squirrels, though...


Liz & Captain 'Lanky' Spike xxx

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Ha Ha - thank god it's not just mine!!! My Border/bearded cross Ralph is brilliant. I live out in Derbyshire and there are times when I'm out walking when he can run around safely and still be around 1/2 a mile away from me - if he's just plodding around exploring one shout of his name has him charging back but if he gets his nose into something that's it - it's like his ears just close up...little devil. This is fine most of the time, if he's enjoying a good sniff I dont want to ruin his fun, but i dont want him to charge up to another dog wanting to play and end up getting bitten, you cant be sure of other dogs personality. One thing I have always done with him is the "drop" command. wherever we are and no matter how far away he is if I shout "down"...he drops straight away. Then he looks round at me waiting for a further command. From here I can get him to return. Sorry it's a bit long winded - hope it helps.

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