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Over the last year of having Jolene, we have worked through many issues and I have felt like we've made a lot of progress. In the last few months since she turned one, she has suddenly become more of a trained dog instead of a whacky puppy.


We are still having some problems, some that I know we just need to work on more, and others I'm at a bit of a loss. We go to a local dog park most everyday so we have room to fetch, and she also has made doggy friends and enjoys socializing. One thing that she does pretty often is when two dogs start a nice one on one romping play, she circles them and just barks. And barks. And barks. The dogs rarely seem phased, and when they start running she races with them and stops the barking. But often the owners try to break them up or seem uncomfortable with the barking. Her recall has become very good, except in this case. It's almost useless. I've tried good treats, throwing the ball- she has zero interest. I just have to run around her calling her until there's a break and I can get her attention for a second. Is this a BC behavior I should expect? Does anyone have any unique ways to deal with it? Weve worked on her recall in many situations, and I have felt so good about it, until this happens and it's like we've never done it before.


Her other new issue is a hatred/fear of skateboards. We were at an off leash park in Portland, Or last week and a guy on a skateboard went by and she darted for home, barking like a maniac. The guy was completely freaked out- as I'm sure I would've been too. He then yelled at me for not being able to control my dog. It was completely scary and embarrassing. We had been doing SO great off leash, especially at this park that was off leash, but surrounded by a larger park so no fear of her running into traffic. But now we have something new to worry about- skateboards! We've taught LAT, but since I didn't even know the skateboard would be such an issue and didn't see it coming, it was of no use in this situation. As soon as we got home, I borrowed a skateboard and have been trying to desensitize her to it since. Hopefully we'll have that one under control soon;)


We also just started agility- I'm trying to use LAT for her reactivity to other dogs going over the equipment and the excitement. It's a lot, but I have hope!


Just thought I'd check in and see if anyone had some magic for us;)



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Unfortunately there is no magic, only more training. Her recall is described as very good but then you describe two situations where it is not. So her recall really is not great. It needs to be proofed more. Keep her on leash until you can get her recall proofed better in high distraction situations, such as the park. I doubt it would be a good idea in a dog park to let her drag a long line, but in other situations that you set up with distractions you can have her on a long line and start practicing her recall. This way if she blows you off, you can reinforce it with the line. Work your way up from low distraction to higher ones. Only call her when you know she will listen. The best thing to think of with a recall ..is to make her think it isn't optional. Right now it is to her. She gets to keep barking and annoying the other dog park people while you run around chasing her and calling multiple times. That sounds like fun for her but not for you.


If you can go to the park at a slower time and have nice people willing to work with you, you can let her drag a long line and start calling her to you before she gets to the barking and circling. So call her, right when she is alert to the situation but before she starts barking or running to the other dogs. Long lines in dog parks could be a dangerous thing though.


It's good you recognize her behavior isn't appropriate and are working on it! i wish you luck. :)

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The other thing that will work re: Recall in the park, is just going and getting her if she's distracted and not going to come but you need her. Obviously you want to work on the recall until it's proofed, but until it is don't burn out the command by using it in situations where you're not going to get the response.

The rest re: barking and inappropriate play is just going to take time, training, and a lot of redirections and removal. I have 5 dogs. My BC is one of them. This stalking/circling, biting/barking at other dogs started before she was 10 weeks old. It... went away around 6 months old? The period between was CONSTANT intervention and kind of a pain, but it worked.

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I agree with Waffles. Her recall isn't as great as you think it is. ;)


What's more is that you've probably "tainted the cue," meaning that because she tunes it out when she's overstimulated, she's learning that it's optional, depending on whether she chooses to heed it or not.


So, yeah, add a drag line and start over with re4call training with a different cue; e.g. if you currently use "come" switch to "here" or another cue of your choosing.

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Thanks for the input! yes- her recall is perfect... except when it isn't;)


I had really gotten "here" to be a good one, with a treat every time, but I think I got lax with it and now it has less power. I will plan to be more pro-active at the park and remove her before I see her get over threshold and work on a new cue.


We just got home from our second agility class. This time there were more dogs and more waiting, which was harder for her. Keeping her attention on me for an hour was difficult, and she took to lying on the floor next to the table sometimes, or just getting distracted by other dogs or the instructor. One thing that was frustrating, was if she didn't want to go over the dog walk, her least favorite so far, the instructor would lead her with treats, but then all focus on me was lost for a while. I'm going to work on some CU mat work- see if that helps.


Thanks again for the responses- this is a great resource!

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