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My 2 1/2 year old usually comes to me very well. But tonight he took off, and was walking down the street, vigorously sniffing the ground, always staying 10 steps ahead of me. He usually always responds to my whistling or "here" command. Tonight there was zero response. I'm frustrated and want to know how to change the behavior.
I'm doing positive training so I understand to reward the good behavior, but is there any consequence to being naughty? Tonight, I took him straight home & have been ignoring him. Thanks for any advice.
 

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If the negative consequence is not immediate, it won't do any good so ignoring him for a long time might not connect in his brain to what he's done. A key thing with recall is you should NEVER form a pattern of calling him, then doing something he doesn't like. Perhaps "here" has meant "playtime's over" a few too many times. If it only means end of fun 80% of the time, he might have just had more distraction than he has been prepared to ignore. I made the mistake of calling Hope for things she didn't like and her recall went to poo. I solved this by changing the cue. Instead of saying "come" I'd clap my hands and she learned to come to this reliably and I made sure not to poison it the way I had with "come."
 

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oh thats good advice. I've had problems with my recall lately. Maybe my recall word has been poisoned.
i find if i always use Jessie come she wont come but if i say Jessie here she comes right away maybe try varying it or using a different term for it? also found a happy excitied voice with a smile always helps her come to me willingly and very happily
 

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Yeah, sometimes they do that. Once Ralphie escaped through the door and did not respond to his normal recall. When he's has an acute case of selective hearing I typically jump around and wave treats in the air, and that usually does the trick to at least stop him from wandering further. Then I start running away from him and he runs to me, but he is also a Aussie/Collie mix so they are velcro dogs in general.
 

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It could be something simple, like you trained with some distractions, but didn't include enticing prey and female smells as part of those distractions ... So, just like you can fine-tune a Sit response to be faster or straighter, you might improve the Come response, increasing scent distractions ???
 

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oh thats good advice. I've had problems with my recall lately. Maybe my recall word has been poisoned.
This is very common. Just get into the habit a few times a day of calling your dog to you when you don't want anything and then give him a treat or play with him or pet him.
 
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