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Howdy all! Im new to the site and have a particular issue that perhaps someone here can give a little insight on. I have a 2 3/4 year old Akbash/St Bernard that has decided that the fence at the park is no longer a barrier. This is not good. Oddly enough, we have been going to this park for the entire time I have had her (since she was 7 months) and never has she jumped. But I recently was out of town and she was staying with some people that she knows and likes and A LOT and decided to Steve McQueen the fence. Apparently her prey drive won over listening to anyone or anything.

Some Background: She was a rescue, from what I can tell she had a fair amount of basic training but, coming from a working farm, she was left to do what she is bred for: a bit of roaming, barking, and bonding with her charges. She was left to hunt her own food and I don't think that recall was a big part of her early years. I got her as she did not bond with the animals she was supposed to guard. And the farm has a "no pets only workers" thing. I get the feeling she was in danger of getting "disappeared" if I had not picked her up. I have worked very hard with her. She was MASSIVELY aggressive, once she calmed down from the change of the country to a slightly more "urban" setting. She had major trust problems (with men i.e. Me) that we have worked thru. At this point, we are doing pretty good. She loves most other pups and people, works well in the house and is very good on our walks and when visiting friends homes. Two hours of running the park (or on leash now that shes jumping all over the place) and two to three hours in the evenings. So getting out and about is not the issue. We play hunting games and I do a lot of scent games in the house and have a few treat puzzles laying around, so I am thinking she is getting some mental stimulation as well as physical. So this leads me to...

The Problem: Zero recall when "on duty". How the heck does one break the Akbash Stare and get them to friggin LISTEN? I have not ever seen a dog so amazingly intense in its focus that nothing short of a gun shot could break it. Combine that with the typical Akbash independence and selective hearing and you can see what I am up against. I need to teach her that she has to respect the fence/my call to "back off" but I am REALLY hesitant to go the shock collar/pain/fear route. And the thought of adding more trauma to a pretty rough start just makes me cringe. And no dog should spend it's entire life on the end of a leash. IMO.

So, lovers of the Akbash and owners of amazingly stubborn dogs, what do you think a good course of action would be? I have a few ideas already, but I thought I would cast a wider net and see what wisdom is out there. I can share more details....but I thought I would keep it short for a first post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's a 15 acre city park with 4 1/2 foot chain link. I have 7 footers at home, but at only 1/2 acre, it pales in comparison. :)
 

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THis to me sounds like you are not rewarding enough. You need to be more rewarding than whatever it is he sees the other side of the fence. This starts at home by reinforcing his name so that whenever you call him he instantly looks at you and getrs a reward.

And I mean reinforce it. So reinforced so that if he is eating a juicy meaty bone, he drops it when you call him and comes to you. Then take him outside in the yard and start again. He MUST come back every time you call his name, but every time he comes back, he must get a decent reward. A pat on the head or piece of kibble will not cut it. You need roasts - beef, lamb, chicken cut into pieces about the size of your finger nail. Occasional jackpots when he does good will help.

Every time you move to a new environment, start at the begging again and work up to him responding every time you call him.

If he is that stubborn, it may take some time, but eventually, done thoroughly, you will get an instant recall no matter the distraction.
 
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