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Hello all!

I hope it's OK to post this in here, I'm new and didn't really feel that it fitted anywhere else. This isn't really about 'training', but I'll give a bit of background so you've got a better idea.

My Husband and I moved to Dubai in January, we're both from the UK and have always had dogs growing up. About a month after we arrived we both realised that life was just not the same without a dog around, so we did our research, picked a rescue centre and went for a visit. The centre was brilliant, they didn't just let you go and gawk at the dogs, they asked questions about our personal circumstances and picked a few dogs that would suit our lifestyle.

It was love at first sight with Pika and we took her home a week later. She was found roaming in the desert, so no one really knows where she came from but it became immediately apparent that she had never lived with people before. She was skin and bones when we got her home and very quiet and timid for the first few days. We live in an apartment so it was a huge change for her. Our kitchen is mostly closed in but it has an entrance (with no door) and a big 'window' over the breakfast bar, so we bought a baby gate and put that across the entrance, turning the kitchen into her bedroom. We shut her in there at meal times, feeding her at the same time that we eat and don't let her out until we have finished, and she used to sleep in there too. This was fine at first but after a few days when she was more settled she started to be a handful. She would bark continuously whenever we ate or even just when we were cooking, she would whine and whine whenever we shut her in the kitchen and would try and mug us for her food... this is all standard stuff I know, and we worked really hard on training her. Now, three months later - she goes into the kitchen at meal times without being asked, she sits and waits until she is told to go for her food, she lies down on command, does 'paw' and 'high five', understands 'drop it', has her own little 'toilet' on the balcony and is usually really good in the apartment (with the exception of some chewed table legs and cushions).

The issues come when we go for walks. She LOVES other dogs, she wants to be friends with them all and plays really well. But when we're out and about with her it's like she goes deaf, she wont come to us, won't sit, runs off if we let her off the lead, she doesn't even look at me if I call her name. The other day she had been playing with her best friend scruffy (we go for dog walks together) and I did a test - it was safe, there was no one around, and scruffy and her owner started to leave, so I walked in the opposite direction (towards home) whistled her, called her, clapped my hands etc, but she didn't even look at me. She just trotted off the way she wanted to go.

I think this comes down to us not having a good enough 'bond'. It's as though she doesn't see the purpose of me as her companion, protector or friend. I really want to build this bond as it is something I have always had with my family dogs growing up.

Does anyone have any ideas? I would really appreciate any help you can give

I forgot to say - the vet thinks she is about 1 year old, she's a Saluki cross, medium but very slight and incredibly fast!!
 

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She sounds lovely and learning nice house manners in only 3 months is brilliant. My son and family just adopted a dog last night after months without one, he needs a dog in his life too.

Her bond with you is just fine, other dogs are more interesting is all. She's a sighthound which are infamous for lack of good recall due to being bred to hunt independently and able to run the speed of sound, she's an adolescent and adolescent animals are grown up physically but are babies mentally.

Do not let her offleash in an insecure area. Even if the nearest road is a mile away she could easily run off towards it and be there in a flash if something interesting distracted her. You are lucky she hasn't run off because a crow or some other critter hasn't taunted her. She may never be safe off leash, many sighthounds can never be off leash in open areas.

Train her. Carry tiny treats in your pocket that she loves and any time she looks at you call her name and give her one. After she loves that game call her when she is very close to you and give her a treat when she comes. As she gets good at this add distractions, do it outside when you are on a walk, when she sees something new then something she wants to get to then things she wants to chase. Put a long line on her and give her more room to move around and train this. Play recall in the house. Have everybody get a few treats and call her from room to room in turn. The treats depend on her. She might happily take kibble or bits of bread in the house but outside you might have to use freshly cooked meat, cheese or dehydrated liver. If she cannot take the food then the environment is too stimulating for her at the moment so she needs more work at a lower level. If you were trying her on 15' of line and she couldn't recall then go back through all the steps from the beginning in that spot, rewarding first looking at you, then turning her head at your call then coming from a step away and so on. You might get all the way to that 15' recall, you may not. Just come back another day and work on it again.

When she is playing with her friend do the same. Reward her when she looks and comes to you and call her to you randomly for treats as well then allow her to return to her game. She needs to learn that coming to you isn't the end of the game. Right now I suspect she does. Even though she is going to play with him again soon she hasn't the experience to remember that.
 

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Good advice. I was going to present about the same thing. I don't think your bond is complete yet. Work very hard at making being close to you very rewarding. Good things always happen close to you. As Cathyy noted small pea size treats are good. Try to find something your dog absolutely loves. Liver and chicken pieces generally are very good and nutritious. Work with the long line. Once the dog knows the " come" to you command you can gently enforce it when he breaks it. Be careful to reward the instant you get a look from the dog.

My dog has an explosive recall in class but gets distracted outside as yours does. I carry high value and super high value treats outside. I've gone to walking up the long line to about 6-8 feet then give the recall command. If she turns and acknowledges me I present a super treat. She must come to me to get it. I don't care about correct sit in front or any of that, just come to get the treat and lots of praise. Then I release her with her release command. Only use the recall command one time. Then when the dog gets the treat you can praise with "good come" or what ever your recal is.

I only do this about ten times in one session then we take a break and go back to the truck for water break. Last night we did three sessions each about 20 minutes long. By the end of the third session Sam was was up to a high speed check me out recall from twenty feet with rabbit and ground squirrel distraction. I'm using a harness and flat collar for this now. When we get to thirty feet and high speed recall I'll switch to the harness and prong with a hundred foot line. The prong is only a reminder at this point as she will know the drill. I expect it will go pretty quickly as this is how we did it indoors and at classes. Indoors recalls are done off leash with up to 20 dogs present and various stationary distractions.....toys, chair, stroller with doll, coat tree with coats, etc.
 

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I second what the others said.
If I were you, I would take things a step back, just for like few times, before getting her to meet her best friend again.
Go around with treats, and reinforce when she's looking at you. It seems a bit a lot, but it's really useful. I reward when he looks at me, and randomly reward when he's in the range that I like him to be when he's on leash.

Have you reinforced her name and recall a lot? I do this on a leash and at the park, although Jago already knows his name, this helps him remind that even if he's sniffing around when I call his name he should look at me, as a treat will likely follow. Same thing with recall, if you can find a fenced area to leave him off-leash, practice recall a lot.

Once he's fine with the name and the recall, give her a play session with her friend and practice recall when she's playing. In my experience, it is useless to try if she is far off playing very intensely. Start with the dogs close, and give her treat when she comes back to you. Also, do leave her go back to the play session once she's come and got the treat. This way, going back to the play session eventually becomes the reward for his recall. 'Jackpot' treats also work great, and in general, increasing treat value with distraction worked for me: when she's doing some intense playing and comes when called, pop something like ten or more treats in her mouth, in a row.
She basically got to understand that coming to you can be as rewarding as the play sessions, and that she will be allowed to go back play once she's come to you.

Hope this helps!
 

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Another thing I do.....I force my self as I'm a quiet person....is talk to my dog. Women have a much easier time with this than guys. I like to use a friendly voice like I might use with very young kids. Baby talk if you will. The dogs don't understand this but the gentle voice causes them to look at you which produces treats and rewards. On long walks I sometimes explain some enginering problem or how much fun it is to go cruising in the streetrod. My dog does go with me many times. Sometimes I just tell her how she needs to deal with "black dog" or "white dog". We have names for our neighbor dogs generally by description. I think it eases the dog and makes them more comfortable with you and your commands. I asked her what she though of Obama and she barked sharply, I followed with how about Hillary, she barked twice and laid her ears back! It only took one time. Haha

Speaking of commands. I make a list of commands that we need for day to day travel and for play, retrieves, jumps, get in the big truck, go to big truck, etc. I like single word commands or run together word commands. Some have different inflections. "Stand" for example is stern to gruff. This means stop right now, don't move. She may sit, down or stand, I don't care, but don't move. I use this for emergency stop, dangerous situations, all crossing paths and roads. I always do this on a loose lead so I can correct if necessary. "Leave it " is another gruff absolute command. I bait this occasionally to proof it.

Most of the other commands are softer. Sit, down, up (stand), stay, sniff and go out are silent with finger and hand motion.
 
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