teaching recall

Please discuss Obedience Training for Competition here.....

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Postby Catharina » Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:12 am

Hey that would be a vast improvement on my "jackpots" -- they have simply been a whole handful of mixed treats dumped on the ground for Kibo all at once. He finds those impressive, and they've helped us a lot, I think. But I can just imagine how much more impressed he'd be if I suddenly had a piece of cow on me that "the nose" didn't know about!

I wonder if I can duplicate that with a really well sealed container of meat hidden on me somehow... hmmm.... giving me lots of interesting ideas!

For anyone wanting to read more: Jean Dondaldson has a really nice piece on using variable rewards for recall training in her book "Dogs are from Neptune". And Pam Dennison has some good suggestions for varying the rewards by including things other than food in "How to Right a Dog gone Wrong".

As far as I can tell, those variations really work, it just takes some forethought and a good instinct for when to splurge, when to be stingy, and when to seize the opportunity to reward with something else altogether. But the "Hamburger Coup" definitely sounds like it should impress just about every dog! Thanks for sharing!
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Postby adele » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:01 am

Lisa H wrote:My friends all have dogs who can run loose and I would love to let annie go with them but the fact is she wouldn't care what the other dogs were doing, she just wants to find birds!! :roll: I can't seem to explain enough how much she likes to "hunt".
With Lola I don't think its about hunting. I think its about the joy of moving fast and free. She's not smelling the ground and I've never seen her stop running to point. She points all the time when we're out walking. Still, like Annie, when we're out with friends dogs Lola doesn't think twice about leaving the group in her dust.

Catharina wrote:But yesterday was one of those days when I'd swear we are getting somewhere: Kibo "re-materialized" in under thirty seconds after my whistling, six out of six times.
Wow! That is really really great! Maybe one of my problems is that I don't try hard enough. I've kinda come to accept that Lola won't come when she's 300 yards away so I don't ask her to anymore. I'll try a burger jackpot or two. It certainly can't hurt. Truth is, when Lola is running I can't get her interested in treats. She'll zoom past me with her tongue hanging out and a big grin on her face even when there is liver, or peanut butter, or cheese on offer. "Running now, eat later."

So, you guys have convinced me to redouble my efforts on the recall training. I have a whistle, we'll start in the backyard and I'll try treats like burgers and steak and lobster.
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Postby Kathy » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:13 am

we'll start in the backyard and I'll try treats like burgers and steak and lobster.


:lol: I'm coming! I'm coming! :lol:

-Kathy
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Postby Lisa H » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:16 pm

Another idea for jackpots or just a reward for coming back is canned cat food. I put a few spoonfuls into a container to carry with me and let her lick some every time she comes back. That reminds me, I haven't let her have a good off leash run in a couple of weeks. Ofcourse, she spends alot of time running in the backyard, biking with me and doing agility!
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Postby Natalie » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:34 am

I've tried to take jackpot foods with me, but then Trip knows I have something and stays glued to me. That's nice, but its hard to train him to come to me when he won't go away from me. And then when I don't take something (food) for him....he doesn't stay near as close. So my basic reward is that when he comes to me - I never put the leash on, he gets a really good neck rub and then he gets to go play some more. If I have to go get him, playtime is over - leash goes back on and we go inside.
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Postby Catharina » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:55 am

Natalie wrote:I've tried to take jackpot foods with me, but then Trip knows I have something and stays glued to me. That's nice, but its hard to train him to come to me when he won't go away from me.

:lol: That is so funny! My friend's dog is the exact same way, and I swear she has spent years trying to figure out what kind of treat would be the "perfect distance food" -- keeping him close but not "glued". No luck so far!
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Postby adele » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:31 pm

I've been thinking about what reward would encourage Lola to return when called even when she's running. I came up with this idea that the food Lola really gets excited about is food I'm eating. So, I think I'm going to start bringing treats for me, calling her and sitting down. If she bothers to look she'll see I'm eating something, if she comes over, we can share it. I dunno if its going to work but I'm going to give it a try.
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Postby Catharina » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:39 pm

Adele, you probably are doing most or all of this already, but just in case:

First, since you are letting her off only in a very safe area, can you just let her run for twenty minutes or longer and only start your recall training after she has calmed down a lot? I'm just saying this because I noticed that Kibo (when he was Lola's age and in his run-run-run stage) would be ever so much better on walk number two, on those magic days when I managed to get out for an off-leash walk twice in a single day. The idea here is to "lower the bar" for her as much as possible, at least until she has the "stop running now and come" down pat, do everything you can running isn't quite so attractive at the moment you call. For a while, I swore I would only do recall training with Kibo after making him run by the bike for at least a few miles :roll: . I never made good on that threat, though.

Also, perhaps schedule the walk right before dinner, so she's really hungry?

And finally, have you trained a "wait" or "whoa" with her yet? I can't remember whether you did or not. If you haven't, maybe try that first, to break down the "stop running and come now" event into smaller bits, i.e. you first train the "stop running", and then add the "and come to me now" thing later, after she has learned not to keep zooming. The nice thing about the "wait" is that you can train it on a long leash or dragline (much better chance of success for her and for you!). I think doing lots of "wait" work with Kibo on leash has improved his focus on me a lot (or at least made it occur to him that he could be thinking about me while more than a couple of feet away from me in the ever-so-interesting woods :roll: )...
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Postby adele » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:20 pm

Catharina wrote:can you just let her run for twenty minutes or longer and only start your recall training

I've been doing it randomly throughout the whole period, I usually wait until she's passing by me anyway, when I think I'm likely to get success. There's no point in calling her when she's miles away - she'll just learn she doesn't have to obey. Your point is a good one and I'll try to remember to let her calm down first.

Kibo when he was in his run-run-run stage
You mean this is just a stage! Really! This will end BEFORE she's eight or nine? That's the best news ever.

She only gets to run free on weekend mornings and afternoons. The afternoon walk is always right before dinner. I could concentrate the lessons in the afternoon.

Lola has a darn good 'wait'. I use it at every door, intersection, and whenever I need to, like if I drop her leash or something. However, when we get to the quarry and I mess with her collar (put her bell and tab on, take off her leash) I can feel her quivering. She knows she is about to be let loose and I don't think "wait" is going to work once she's up to speed. I haven't tried it, I'd hate for her to learn that she can ignore "wait". Maybe I also need to find a new place to practice. That will be tougher than anything.
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Recall training treats

Postby Liz H » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:03 pm

I use those string cheese sticks..the low fat works best. They keep in your pocket, and you can squeeze just a little bit out each time. Sure beats washing a load of clothes with a bunch of pasty dog kibble treats in your pockets. (Another plus- YOU can share in the treat as well..lol)

I use the string cheese for Max in agility and obedience; Tyler works better in agility if the 'treat' is his half-dead red tennis ball.
Liz,Max CD,RN APDT RL1 CL, RL2, CGC;Tyler CD, CGC; and at the Rainbow Bridge - Connie RCP (Retired Couch Potato)
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Postby Lisa » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:21 pm

You mean this is just a stage! Really! This will end BEFORE she's eight or nine? That's the best news ever.


LOL! Buster will be two in another two weeks....just in the past month or so, I've noticed that he's really calmed down and matured. He's still a big dork, and probably always will be, but he's a lot more interested in listening to me and checking in with me. I'm thinking our agility work has helped some, and his maturing has helped some.
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Postby Catharina » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:45 am

adele wrote: You mean this is just a stage! Really! This will end BEFORE she's eight or nine?
I really think so. She will probably always enjoy running, but I think you will become more and more important to her, and running will become just a little less overwhelmingly exciting. Kibo still isn't allowed off leash anywhere withing "teleporting distance" of a road (and, recently, of strange people), but he now is able to come from a mid-run a lot of the time.

adele wrote: She only gets to run free on weekend mornings and afternoons. The afternoon walk is always right before dinner. I could concentrate the lessons in the afternoon.
That sounds like an excellent plan! 8)
adele wrote: Lola has a darn good 'wait'. I use it at every door, intersection, and whenever I need to, like if I drop her leash or something. However, when we get to the quarry and I mess with her collar (put her bell and tab on, take off her leash) I can feel her quivering. She knows she is about to be let loose and I don't think "wait" is going to work once she's up to speed.

Maybe you can take "wait" out to the quarry in a slow step-by-step program that makes it as easy as possible? First practice only at the end of the afternoon walks -- after she's had her second good run that day, just stay a little bit longer and put a long leash on her. Ask her to "wait" first as she's just a few feet ahead, then progressively let her do it when she is further and further away (up to whatever long leash length you have -- my favorite one is 35 feet). Once she's good at the longest distance, then think about doing those exercises at the end of walk 1, then graduate to the beginning of walk 2, then finally beginning of walk 1.
If you keep the long leash on her, you can probably also try out some of the woodland paths that you talked about in an earlier post -- you wouldn't have to worry about her scurrying off to scare horses, and you'd get to practice with a bran-new set of distractions.
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