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Discussion Starter #1
I've seriously had it with his stubbornness. I don't think that I'm a bad dog owner. I've tried my best at teaching my dogs the basics so that they will behave themselves. I think that I've done a fairly good job for the most part, considering that I've taught them solely myself and with no formalized classes as there aren't any available in my area...the downfall of living in a very small town.

The issue with Uallis is his recall. At times he will be reliable. He'll go for weeks reliably coming when he's called...then suddenly (and it does seem sudden) he'll just...stop. It's like he just decides that its not worth it anymore and he'll refuse to do it. So we'd go back and kept working on it...he'll get to where he's pretty reliable again...and we are just stuck in a vicious circle.

Yesterday, I let him out. Of course, knowing that he isn't the best at reliably staying in the yard, someone is always outside with him. He's NEVER outside alone...ever. So I was out with him, following him around. He was sniffing around, doing his business. Then he starts wandering down the driveway...and just keeps going. By the time I caught up to him, he was at the bottom of the driveway and the ONLY reason I caught up to him was because he stopped to munch on some grass. I was annoyed but tried to not show it and just brought him back to the house. He was fine for the rest of the day during the numerous other times he went out so I just sort of let it go.

Today...haha (that is a very sarcastic laugh)...I let him out again...he did the same thing. This time though, I'm SERIOUSLY ticked off. Not only did he go down the driveway and refused to even ACKNOWLEDGE the sound of my voice (not even an ear twitch seriously) when I called him...when I caught up to him, he RAN from me back toward the house and THEN...(this is where I got mad) veered off to the woods down to the creek and refused to answer my calls for 20 minutes...20 MINUTES!!! That is absolutely unacceptable!

It's not like I've never worked with him on recall...we have worked on it for 2 years...If I have his attention, he'll come 9 times out of 10. The issue we have is when he decides that I'm not worth it and will just flat out ignore me, not an ear twitch, not a tail wag, won't even LOOK in my direction. It's like I don't exist to him during that time. I've done everything I can think to do. The tastiest treats I can think off, tried to make myself so interesting he'd have no choice but to come and investigate, like waving my arms, yelling happy noises like I've lost my mind, dropping to the ground, sitting on the ground...everything. I've done everything I can think of and it works for awhile and then...pfffttt...he's done.

What had me even more angry is that Eddie needed to go outside to potty today during Uallis's...adventures. I knew that he needed to pee. But also knowing how Uallis is I don't let them out together because if Uallis decides to go somewhere...like the woods...Eddie will follow. Eddie follows Uallis everywhere...so instead of one dog that is gone, I'll have 2. So they go outside to potty separately. I don't even like them going outside to play together anymore. So I have Eddie barking, needing to be let out and Uallis is in the woods refusing to come back. It wasn't fair to Eddie. Not to mention what that is teaching Eddie; he barks to be let out and no one lets him out for 20-30 minutes?!? I've just had it...

Uallis is being tied out when he goes out to the bathroom from now on. He won't react kindly to it as he's never been tied on a tie out before in his life...but I'm done with him at this point and he better get used to it fast because its the way its going to be. I can't have my dog running outside refusing to even look in my direction when he's called. He's not a stupid dog and he's not a dog that hasn't been worked with...he KNOWS that when his name is called, he is to return...he KNOWS that...the problem is that Uallis doesn't want to so he just gets it in his mind that he doesn't have to. I've taken into consideration NUMEROUS times that he is a Mastiff and they aren't the most obedient of dogs, they aren't as easily trained as a Lab...but GAWD this is just ridiculous. During these times, its like there is a wall between him and me and its like he can't HEAR me because it is seriously like he can't hear me...that is how he acts. It's like he has a one track mind and when he's focused on something...anything other than me...I cease to exist.

Ok, I feel a little better now...so I'll just end my rant here...lol...at least I can look at him now without muttering obscenities in his direction...;)
 

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I don't think that tying him out is unreasonable at ALL, and I think it's by far preferrable to allowin ghim to continue to ignore you when he feels like it. I would recommend finding a positive trainer in your area who understands the correct way to use an E-collar- this is the kind of situation where they can be used humanely and effectively to teach the dog that a behavior is NOT optional.
 

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Is he sniffing stuff when this happens? When does are focusing on using other senses (like sniffing for example) their hearing does actually kinda shut off. Kind of like if you have ever been so into a book or so focused on something you didn't hear someone walk into a room. The reason I thought of this is because you said his ear doesn't even twitch when you call for him.

Have you tried reading the book When Pigs Fly, Training Success With Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion? That book is really good, has lots of good ideas. She competes with Bull Terriers, successfully:)

Have you considered using a remote citronella collar? If this happens mostly when he is sniffing on a trail or something these can be helpful as it interrupts their sniffing and "opens up" their other senses again.
 

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Definitely agree that a tie-out is the best thing here. You don't want him to suddenly bolt, even if you don't think he'd ever do it it CAN happen.

Have you tried jackpotting him for coming, instead of just one treat? I've found it did help with Marge, though her nose does gets going sometimes so the only time she's ever offleash is at agility.
 

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Using a tie-out is not unreasonable by any means!

I've already reasoned with myself that if and when I ever get a yard, even if it is fenced in, Donatello's going to have a fancy dog-run, (not the fenced kind), but the ones that link with trees?

Donatello used to be really good about coming to me whenever I made the slightest inclination that I was calling for him... Now I'm lucky if he'll even turn his head... Stubborn lil' turd! He can get away with it at my father's house, which I think is the problem, but I won't tolerate in my own home... (Too harsh?) lol!

I'm not sure where to begin with Donatello, we're working on "come" but the more I work the father it seems to be pushing him away...
 

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I'll gladly trade you a basset hound. Not only will he not come he also won't sit and won't do pretty much anything else I'm wanting him to do.

I do have a somewhat similar problem with Zero. He will come, but only if there's not a dog, cat, squirrel or something of that nature around. You should try jackpotting him every time or at least frequently. What motivates him? Playtime, Food, affection??
 

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I totally feel your frustration! Chloe has no recall at all. She is 1 1/2 and I have worked on it with her since she has been here (at 16 weeks!). I know for a fact she will bolt the second she gets a chance. I can never have her off leash unless we are in a fenced yard.

I don't have a fenced in yard so it made training recall very hard. I read three training books, was on DF for hours a day and used every trick and treat I could find. Just didn't work for her.

The saving grace is she is very well behaved and very well trained in every other area.

Sorry you are dealing with this, I can relate!
 

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I totally feel your frustration! Chloe has no recall at all. She is 1 1/2 and I have worked on it with her since she has been here (at 16 weeks!). I know for a fact she will bolt the second she gets a chance. I can never have her off leash unless we are in a fenced yard.

I don't have a fenced in yard so it made training recall very hard. I read three training books, was on DF for hours a day and used every trick and treat I could find. Just didn't work for her.

The saving grace is she is very well behaved and very well trained in every other area.

Sorry you are dealing with this, I can relate!
Do you have a 20 ft training lead you can use? Those are great for recall training when you don't have a yard and they're usually only around $10 at Wal-mart.
 

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Gir is very stubborn too. I'm working with her more on all the commands, but she doesn't always listen. Come is proving to be the hardest command to teach her.
 

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Owning a couple of Beagle/Lab mixes, i know exactly how you feel, they only come to you when it suits them, i have had my share of marathon chases when my more beagle dominant dog has escaped out the door.

My dog Sam who is having the intestinal problems has much better recall (still not nearly enough) and will normally follow me back inside after i walk away from her and tell her "over here".
 

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does Uallis still have his couch?

because if he did, I know what I'd try.

i'd teach him a cue to get on his couch.

then i'd work on distance with that cue...and then work on it on a training lead...outside. Telling him to go inside and get on his couch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I've tried the jackpot...Uallis doesn't care. Uallis wants to do what he wants to do. What he wants to do is always more interesting or more important than whatever treats I have.

Uallis is very well behaved for the most part. He just has this one thing that he's incredibly stubborn about. When he's outside, off leash...we just have that "barrier" between us that I can't get around, it seems. Part of it is just personality, breed difference or whatever but with Eddie, he always wants to be with us outside. He wants to play with us, interested in what we are doing, etc. Uallis on the other hand is different. He isn't terribly interested in playing with us and he could care less what we are doing. So he is much harder in gaining and keeping his attention in terms of training than Eddie is. I understand that. I knew that Mastiff's were a stubborn breed when I decided to get one. I've worked around it and adapted to it for the most part...but this is something that we have had an enormous amount of trouble with.

I already have a tie out stake and I had the cable...but seemed to have misplaced it. I even had a replacement cable still in the packaging...but have misplaced it as well...lol...figures. So I have to go get another one. So for the rest of today, he'll be leashed when he goes out. I really don't like doing it because I do have a very large yard and property for the dogs for run on. They have more than enough space to run and play; probably enough space for 10 or more dogs to run and play on. It just sucks that Uallis lost the privilege to enjoy it. What I would like to do is fence in a portion of my yard just off the side of my house. That way I could just open the door and the dogs could just come and go out as they pleased during the warmer months. I could swing it financially if I wiped out most of my savings...lol...I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and save up for it a little at a time every month. We've talked about doing it before...sometimes even seriously talked about it...but have never done it for one reason or another. The reasons to do though just keep mounting up. *sigh*

Zim...interesting idea. :) That is Uallis's most favorite possession...even though I hate the blasted thing. lol
 

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With my background I'm not going to get into the training end of it. I would definitely not give him a chance to get loose again as that can be very self rewarding, habit forming, etc which I'm sure you know. Don't you dare feel guilty for using a tie-down as his life may depend on it. (accident etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Don't you dare feel guilty for using a tie-down as his life may depend on it. (accident etc)
Don't worry. :) I don't really feel guilty about it. I just think it sucks...for him. I can't risk him running down the driveway to the road and getting hit or crossing the property line and getting shot by someone who is scared of the way he looks...so no, I don't feel guilty. His safety is the real issue here.
 

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MDawn, we had the EXACT same problem with Libby. I know exactly what you mean when you say there is a wall between you and him, as I would have described it the same way.

I tried everything: I read all the books, I tried all the techniques, I trained a Reallly Reliable Recall... we even started over with a new cue word. Nothing worked.

We did eventually get an e-collar, though we didn't want to. We did a TON of research first, and spoke to a LOT of people (professionals included). I have to say, it was the best thing we ever did. Libby's recall is PERFECT now... if I say "here", she hauls ass. We still put the collar on her, but we haven't turned it on in almost a month.

Don't worry about the tie-out, though. We use one too, and it isn't a big deal.
 

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I second the vote for an e-collar. Make sure it is a quality one (about $200) and make sure you condition the dog properly to its use. Absolutely humane.

The first time you call 'Urallis Come' and he ignores you, and you push the little button and Urallis gives his head a little shake and comes immediately trotting back to you ..... you will look at the gadget in your hand and say 'Yeah, baby!'.
 

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i feel your pain.
i have 2 huskies that...have hardly any re-call, and i've worked with them since they were 6 weeks old.
the best thing i have found that worked for my akita, is getting a long lead and just always keeping that on them, and then call them, and when they dont come, tug a little and when they turn to look at you praise them ( or use a clicker, thats what i use for all my training)

now this has worked better for my second husky than my first, but keno is still only 5 months old, so i dont hold out a lot of hope for him!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is the problem with the e-collar...

I would recommend finding a positive trainer in your area who understands the correct way to use an E-collar...
I live in a very small area. I couldn't even find a reputable puppy class or later on an obedience class to enroll Uallis in. I know I won't be able to find someone reputable to teach me how to correctly use one. Otherwise, I could just read up on it...but then reading materials are subject to interpretation...and I could easily get it wrong and cause more harm than good. If I had someone in my area that was reputable and had experience teaching owners the correct way to use e-collars then it would be something worth looking into.

The closest obedience class I found when I was looking when both of my dogs were younger was about 40ish minutes away. And the reason I didn't enroll them in that is because after talking with others who had taken the classes...it wasn't a very good program. I could look into surrounding areas to see if there is someone...Its just something I have to check into, although I don't hold out hopes. The closest bigger city I live close to is Columbus and its over 2 hours away...SE Ohio is basically small, rural farm towns. But I will look into it and see what I find. :)
 

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Using the e-collar is not complicated. You do NOT want to just buy one and use it without knowing how, you will get it wrong. However, you can learn all you need by reading up on them; a personal trainer is even better but not critical if not available.

I suggest you do some research and educate yourself on the use of the collar. If you feel comfortable about it at that point, go for it. If not, then forget it.

There are internet sites, youtube videos, books, etc. Two sites with some e-collar info are:

http://www.loucastle.com/articles.htm
http://www.dobbsdogs.com/library/obedience/index.html

Basically you first teach the dog, using very low intensities, that he can switch the buzzing off by following your command. You do this by buzzing him and then giving the command (commands he already knows); you stop buzzing when he begins to obey the command. He later learns that he can avoid the buzzing altogether by obeying your command promptly. You repeat the conditioning for each different command you want to use the e-collar for. The beauty of the e-collar is that it is impersonal, allows for perfect timing and operates at a distance.

Note that you can set the intensity at any level you want. During the conditioning of the dog to the collar you use very low intensities, just enough so the "shock" is a nuisance that the dog wants to turn off. If he feels pain, yelps etc you have turned the intensity way too high. Keep the intensity low and there is nothing to be afraid of.

Good luck.
 

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Fencing really isn't all that expensive if you buy the lumber yourself and put it up. It is very backbreaking work though or at least it can be. Personally, I'd mark off where you want the posts and hire someone to dig the holes for you or rent a power post hole digger. Digging the post holes is the worst part of it. Hanging the rails and the rest is more tedious than anything. Anyone with half a brain and a level can get everything level though.
 
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