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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to sound like the simplest of questions, but I'm still a newbie to training.

Our 1 year old pup knows all the basic obedience commands - sit, stay, down, come, shake, etc. However, he does not interpret them as commands but rather as suggestions. When you say "come," he'll look at you and you can see he is thinking about whether to do it or not. It's obviously much worse when he is distracted. It's like he becomes deaf when he goes to the dog park or goes on a hike or sees a cat. Not only is this important in general, and critical for safety, but I'd also like to be able to have him off leash. He is very adventurous and I'd like to trust him to go swim in the lake or do whatever, but I need to know for a fact he will come back when I tell him.

So what is the key to getting from understanding a command to ALWAYS executing it? We've been doing lots of training but it seems to only teach him the meaning of the commands, not that he must always do them.

Thank you!
 

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So what is the key to getting from understanding a command to ALWAYS executing it? We've been doing lots of training but it seems to only teach him the meaning of the commands, not that he must always do them.

Thank you!

To quote a book title, it's a dog, not a toaster. No dog is going to be 100% bombproof in every situation. At a year old, your guy is a teenager, with a teenage brain.

Have you practiced his recall a bajillion times in a low distraction environment? Have you practiced a bajillion times at varying distances and distraction levels? Are you setting him up for success by keeping him on a leash or line while out and about? Or are you taking him to the dog park, where there are other dogs, other people, and other things way more interesting than you, and expecting him to do a perfect back yard recall? "Real world" stuff is way harder than "back yard" stuff.
 

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The key to always getting obedience is having the sense to not trying to recall a 12 month old puppy in a high distraction environment.

Seriously.

Proofing, slowly building duration and distraction are huge - being able to do algebra doesn't mean you can do it well in the middle of an amusement park. Your understanding has to be much higher and it has to be much easier for you, for you to be able to do it there.

But also *not burning your commands* by asking the dog to perform in conditions in which you know they are unlikely to do so, and also not burning them by following up execution with something unpleasant to the dog.

All calling him to leave does is teach the dog that if he comes you're going to leave and the fun stops. Once you hit the point where the recall is valuable to the dog, recall him and then RELEASE HIM BACK TO PLAY MORE. When it's time to leave GO GET HIM, give him a reward via food or some play and THEN leave.

And, for fun (and because some dummy is going to say that's not reasonable and the dog has to know they have no choice but to obey or CONSEQUENCES!!!!)


Recall.

At a dog park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, all, I appreciate the input. I'll do some research on proofing.

Sometimes I feel like in the forums one needs to get a bit defensive, so here's my "defense." I know he is young and I don't expect him to be at 100%. I try not to "burn" my commands, and at the dog park, I only ask him to come when he is not in the middle of playing. In that case, his recall is at least 90%. I also make sure to call him to me and give him lots of treats at the dog park so that he doesn't associate me calling him with the "punishment" of leaving.

But....I HAVE seen other one year old dogs offleash on hikes, in front yards, etc. and I want to understand how people get to that kind of response level! If mine sees another dog, cat, or bird - all bets are off! And especially considering how much he loves swimming, I want to be able to let him off leash with the confidence that if he sees a beaver or a goose, I can still call him back to me.

I guess I have a follow up question. Imagine we are in a training session - we are at a park and he is on a long leash. I say come and he doesn't. What exactly should I do? I know better than to tell him "come" 3 times in a row but do I pull him towards me? Ignore him? How do I communicate that there are consequences to not doing something (or is it just that there are GOOD consequences to doing something right?).

Thanks again for all of your input, I appreciate all the knowledge in the community!
 

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The dog I posted a picture of is one of those things. I can tell you, straight up, that some of that's training/him benefiting from my experience, and some of it's me benefiting from his inherent personality.

In the case of 1/training: By the time he was a year old he has 10 months of consistently, every time, getting something awesome for it. Could be a treat, could be some personal play, could be a toy. Never for stuff he doesn't love, like ending play or getting his nails done or a bath. It literally, to him, just means 'fun is happening!'.

In the case of 2- He's a very biddable and very handler focused dog, with a lot of food and toy drive and not a ton of drive for things in the environment/that I can't control. I mean he had to learn to lure course because originally he'd get 20 feet away from me and go 'too far from mom', whip around and come back. So he'll chase the squirrel or the cat, but really he'd rather be with me and have me throw a ball for him. Chasing the ball or a disc from me, yeah, however far, but it's still engaged with me and engaged with me is a priority.

Which feeds back some to one in that's been encouraged, but is a lot just who he is. Dogs with less of that, you're going to have to work harder to build that you're relevant and exciting and fun with.

Blowing recalls? Dog doesn't do it the first time, I make it easier. That means I get closer, sometimes up to about 2 feet away so I KNOW they'll come and basically lure them with a toy or treat. If that doesn't work or I don't think it will work I just walk myself up the line, and then take hold of it close to the collar, walk them back to where I called from and reward.

So basically it's ... 3 factors:
Make doing what you want HIGHLY desirable to the dog - with at least a chance of a good payout (not every time forever; random rewards works well - like a slot machine, sometimes nothing but those jackpots and hope of one keeps you putting quarters in).

Make it easy enough to keep your success rate at 90% or better. Dont' ask for things that are too hard, or you'll turn the words you're using as cues into background noise. What's too hard is going to vary with age, breed, and just plain old individual personality.

Manage well enough that the dog can't just... blow you off and self-reward. Put the dog on a long line or something. If the dog learns that ignoring you means chasing cats before the dog has learned that you have awesome things he wants a lot of, the dog's going to chase the cat. The cat's right there and chasing is fun and he already knows THAT, for sure.
 

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Thank you, all, I appreciate the input. I'll do some research on proofing.

Sometimes I feel like in the forums one needs to get a bit defensive, so here's my "defense." I know he is young and I don't expect him to be at 100%. I try not to "burn" my commands, and at the dog park, I only ask him to come when he is not in the middle of playing. In that case, his recall is at least 90%. I also make sure to call him to me and give him lots of treats at the dog park so that he doesn't associate me calling him with the "punishment" of leaving.

But....I HAVE seen other one year old dogs offleash on hikes, in front yards, etc. and I want to understand how people get to that kind of response level! If mine sees another dog, cat, or bird - all bets are off! And especially considering how much he loves swimming, I want to be able to let him off leash with the confidence that if he sees a beaver or a goose, I can still call him back to me.

I guess I have a follow up question. Imagine we are in a training session - we are at a park and he is on a long leash. I say come and he doesn't. What exactly should I do? I know better than to tell him "come" 3 times in a row but do I pull him towards me? Ignore him? How do I communicate that there are consequences to not doing something (or is it just that there are GOOD consequences to doing something right?).

Thanks again for all of your input, I appreciate all the knowledge in the community!
What others have said...lots of work proofing it.

Dogs are individuals. Some dogs have never failed a recall since puppyhood, and others are never reliable. But the vast majority of the time, one year old dogs really aren't that reliable. And how do you know those dogs are 1 year olds? Were they actually being recalled, or were they just walking? I wouldn't waste time comparing your dog to others. Even if those dogs you see are 1 years olds, their owners probably got a lucky combination of good genetics and proper training!

I always used my recall word once, and if I didn't get a response, I reeled him in and we continued walking. I also made note that I need to do some more work before I call him in that situation. So, I mean, no real consequences, just you're coming, wether you like it or not. But when he did respond, I rewarded heavily with treats and praise and then released him. After lots of practice in different places, it becomes habit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sometimes I think that half of my reason for posting is to get validation that I'm not failing as a dog mom. It's great to have validation that 1: at this age, it's appropriate that his skills aren't honed in, and 2: it depends lots on the dog and their personality. That's not to say I don't have work to do. In fact, I think I have my work cut out for me, but I'm grateful to know that we're not "failing" and that he does have a chance at becoming an offleash dog!

I do wish it were easier at this age though! THIS is the age when he has boundless energy and a desire to play and explore, but it's also an age when "he doesn't know better" and I need him to listen. Oh well, I guess that's just life.
 

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I think the key is realizing that EVERY moment is a learning moment. For example...

You're walking your dog and you see your friend and their dog across the street. You both wave at each other and approach, and both dogs are so happy they pull towards each other and start sniffing and playing. There is nothing WRONG with this picture, but the dogs are learning to pull and become very aroused when seeing another dog. Another example - along your walk someone comments on how cute your dog is and starts petting him. Your dog jumps up in excitement. The stranger is a dog lover so nothing is wrong, but your dog is learning to jump on people.

Here's the level of meticulous attention that it might take to get what you are asking about:
-never letting your dog greet another dog without first practicing an appropriate behavior and earning a release cue
-never letting your dog greet another human without first practicing an appropriate behavior and earning a release cue
-telling people to please stop approaching your dog
-playing the Look At That or Engage/Disengage game with every person, dog, biker, car, sound, bird, cat, etc. that you see, to teach your dog that calm is rewarding and 'distractions' are irrelevant
-not 'just letting' your dog go to the dog park
-never letting your dog cross a boundary (on leash to off, in to out, street to dog park, in and out of car, saying hi, etc.) without first practicing an appropriate behavior and earning a release cue.

I think the majority of these things are entirely unnecessary for regular pet owners. I mean, who wants to do the above? When puppies mature they mostly calm down about distractions. And most people like when their dog shows excitement for, say, their friend approaching, and don't mind a bit of pulling or excitement barking here and there.

So I am not at all suggesting that you or anyone else practice this. However, the 'picture' of the dog you are describing... the ones who seem to be so well trained an unfazed by the world from a very young age... It's either genetics, or extreme control of resources like I listed above. I personally did choose to be very meticulous and strict, and my puppy from 8.5 weeks to 1.4 years today has always been 'that' dog. Genetics play a large role, like my dog has always been very focused on me. But he absolutely was (and still is) very motivated by people, other dogs, sniffing, chasing things, etc. He actually is not so laser focused that the world doesn't exist; I am always competing with the environment. So I do see the efforts of my hard work.

Also, worth noting... It's not necessarily about telling your dog what to do. Not about 'commands'. Most of what I talk about, I train so the dog offers it on his own free will. I just happen to be there reinforcing all the amazing choices he makes as he moves through life.
 

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We've been working on excitement reactivity lately, which isn't relevant to you, but my major goal is improving focus on me in distracting/exciting situations and making myself more exciting/valuable, which is! I've noticed my recall is improving as a kind of side-effect of the reactivity training. I think the major reasons behind this are I've been much more consistent about rewarding Sam when he checks in with me, whether it's just glancing over on a walk, or coming all the way back to see me on a long-line. Encouraging him to check in with me on his own accord has lead him to be less prone to totally forgetting I exist in distracting environments, haha.

Recall is hard, and every dog is going to have different challenges with it. When we used to go to dog parks, you'd think Sam had perfect recall because he'd go right to the gate with us with only a single call. In retrospect, I think he mostly found dog parks too overstimulating and was happy to leave, even if it looked like he was having fun (why we don't go anymore). A dog/breed that naturally wants to stick close to their owner is going to be easier to train a recall on, and a dog/breed with high prey or tracking drive are going to be trickier in most outdoor settings. Some of this is predictable by breed (sighthounds are notoriously difficult to train a recall on, as are many scenthounds and livestock guardian breeds, whereas a lot of "velcro" dogs like companion or herding breeds pick it up quickly), but each dog is an individual too. ime, it takes time to figure out what situations are challenging for your particular dog. It can help, I've been told, to make a list of triggers and note roughly how high they are on the distraction scale, so you can have a clearer view of where the line is between your dog responding to recall and not. Then you know where you need to put in more work.

Maturity helps. But it's mostly a lot of work, and kind of boring work at that. And even then, most dogs will someday blow their recall if they, say, find a moose carcass in the woods (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...). But regardless, it's a skill worth the effort.
 

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What Canyx said. I suggest you read "Really Reliable Recall" by Leslie Nelson (I think). This will give you one special word that should get the dog to come to you no matter what. It is a safety recall.

Dogs that generally hang with you at a young age are pre-programmed by genetics.

As to any command there are some things you can do (if you are not already).
1.) Never repeat the command. If the dog does not obey it is for two reasons. Either the dog does not understand (this is common) OR the dog understands completely and is blowing you off. The first requires more training. The second requires a negative marker and enforcement.

2.) One word per command. Typical pet owners have 7 words for recall (as an example).

3.) Never allow the dog to break the command without or before a release word.

Good luck!
 

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Canyx and IPO.... hit very important issues. Working with extreme high drive, excitable and independent dogs especially if you did not get the opportunity to have them from pups is very challenging. I find commands as close to single words or very run together words work the best. You have to be extremely consistent. Always looking for the dog to make his own “correct” choice and rewarding it. As the dog gets more proficient to the point of perfection you can increase difficulty and distractions. It takes time and effor to get there but, is it a joy when you can recall your dog on a 100 foot line and she automatically unwinds herself from being tangled in the brush and literally explodes to get to you sliding to a stop in front. I wish I had a video of this as I didn’t expect this to happen. Watching her reverse course and go around a bush and tree unwrapping the lead and shaking it out from between her legs. The really nice thing is that no force or e collar was used to create this.

Our basic commands are all one word, with a few German commands. One command only. Recal uses voice, whistle, hand signal and flashlight. Some commands I’ve modified like walk very slow. She picks this up from my movement reinforced by command. Up and down steps can be “goeasy” or “ govery easy” if I’m in pain or carrying a package. Again she does this by watching me reinforced by command.

Some dogs can work with variable commands like this but most are better with separate and different commands. The dog’s name is a marker. I doubt if the dog knows “name” as we do. Using the name with a comman in IPO and SCH is considered a double command and faulty. I use it as an attention getter. It means something else follows. You could say I’m using a crutch and you are right, I should just stick to single word, but it does work for me and my dog.
 

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My first reply was truncated (I am at work.. Shhhh... ).

Bentwings brought up a VERY important aspect. Reward.

Here is what one trainer asked me way back when my dog would not recall. "Why should the dog come and 'because I said so' is not an answer." IOW's in the dog's world, what is the motivator to recall? I start with food. Not Kibble. I use something better. Much better. Cheese. Roast Beef. chicken. And have it on you all the time for awhile. Then sometimes. IOW's make it in the dog's best interest to come to you.

In our group we have a few dogs with low pack drive. These dogs can work really well, but you are always making a "deal" with them. these dogs are taught using the "You get what you want when I get what I want." So, the dog that loves to bite the sleeve on the helper that also does not like to heel will be told to heel and when he heels correctly will be released to bite the sleeve. Another dog may work better for food or a ball. For each of these rewards the dog is in different drive mode. This is why food is used to teach the dog how to do something (and we use positive markers such as a clicker or and enthusiastic "YES!!") and the ball or the sleeve is used to increase speed and power.

A dog with low pack drive may never simply hang with you without rewards on you when you go on a hike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE. A few specific responses:

CptJack: Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. It's good to know what he do if he does blow off the command.

Lillith: thanks for the input!

Canys: So so helpful. I think this gives me perspective. If I want a dog who is 100% responsive all the time, I need to be 100% exact in my response and coaching through situations. I'm not there, and I'm not sure I'll ever be, so maybe I need to give my dog a break. I think what I'm realizing is maybe I'm just more of a nervous Nellie than the average person. Maybe others feel comfortable letting their dog offleash when the recall is 90%, but I just don't. I'm always worrying about that other 10% and how much I'd hate myself if anything every happened to him.
DaySleeper: Thanks. Somehow I find comfort in that most dogs would blow a recall if they found a moose carcass in the woods. But then how does anyone have the confidence to let their dogs off leash? What if the moose carcass is on the other side of a cliff and they're too focused on it to notice? Just makes me so nervous. And I also try to reward heavily whenever he checks in with me.

Bentwings: Thanks for sharing your experience, amazing how your dog has progressed! What is IPO and SCH?

3GSD4IPO: I appreciate the book recommendation. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get it, but any chance you remember how to teach the one special safety recall word? And ideally, shouldn't "come" always work? I mean, are you diluting "come" but saying that word is option, versus the special safety word that is mandatory? And yes, I ALWAYS have extremely tasty treats on me, like chicken skin or wet food roll pieces. He knows that if he comes, he usually gets rewarded. Even so, there's nothing that motivates him 100%, not food or toys or affection. I actually think my dog has a pretty high pack drive; he likes to keep an eye on me at the dog park, and typically doesn't stray too far. But there's a difference between "he usually likes to stay close" and "he just saw an elk and will jump off a cliff to get it." I'm ok with recall at a dog park being 75%, but if he's crossing a street or in the forest, it needs to be 100%! And when you say " negative marker and enforcement" - can you give me an example? PS Aren't we all at work when we're on here? ;-)
 

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I used a series of long lines. Initially we worked on a 8 foot leash. As that got to the 100% level even out in the field, I made a 20 foot lead. I started with maybe 10 feet then extended to 15 and 20 feet. I used this for quite a while in the brush and field weeds. You learn how to handle the longer line. Nobody taught me. I keep coiling it up in my left hand. I make a slip loop in the handle so it is very hard to get off my hand. I reinforce this by always wearing a glove, usually leather or combination. I have lots of spare right hand gloves.LOL In order to keep her out of the Woods I I use a conversational command “not in the woods” more or less run together, but with my dog voice. Along the way I introduced “ go around” again run together. I helped her quite a bit. The one day she did it perfect without help I gave her about half the treats I had and lots of hugs and praise. From here on she goes around by herself or with a slight directional tug on the harness lead. It’s pretty much automatic now, she is able to feel and turn around. Again praise and reward. It’s said that reward needs to comes 3-5 seconds after the event or it is not recognized by the dog. Here I think you need to know your dog. It’s difficult to describe a test for this but a repeat of the situation with success will give you an idea of how quickly the treat needs to arrive.

I talk to my dog all the time. Most people think I have some mental problem I think.

In just obedience training I added a “backup” and “side step” commands. We practice these in classes. When we are out for walks I use directional commands “this way”, “ that way”. The initial purpose was for herding but I can’t get to herding classes anymore. So it was relatively easy to incorporate all these into work on the longer lines. Go slowly and step by step. The dog has a lot to learn and lots of distractions in the field. It’s taken quite a while but I haven’t been able to spend more than a few minutes several times a day in the fields. We do more street training at home on the 8 foot leash and tab collar. There are lots of dogs in our appt and none are even basic trained. I have to say all are reactive to other dogs, most to people. It difficult to train under these circumstances.

As for IPO and SCH dog sports your best bet is to do internet search. They are similar with each havin tracking,obedience and protection tests as well as BH. which is a basic temperament and skill test required. Both are extremely time consuming and certainly not cheap. They require top quality dogs most often GSD and Mals. Others can be trained but will have much more difficulty passing the tests. The IPO 3 and SCH 3 clubs are for those who have trained their own dogs from a pup to the 3rd level. It’s an extremely difficult regimen. It’s internationally recognized and each level and trial are scored by set standards. You must score minimum 70 on tracking and obedience and 80 on protection at each level at the same trial to earn the title. Simply said, it’s a way of life that will leave you very little time for anything else.
 

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I forgot to add this picture. This shows how I cut up hotdogs for treats. Treats don’t have to be meal, it’s like us popping a mini jelly bean or M&M. I just use a nail pouch from Home Depot. They have two pockets so you can store hotdogs in one and pieces of MilkBone in the other. Or what ever you like. I occasionally use boiled ad dried liver for extreme value treats but mostly hotdogs. Yeah there are lots of fats and grease in them but dogs can handle this a lot better than we can. Besides sometimes I carry a piece of hotdog in my mouth and I hate liver.LOL. I Usually wash these once a week and when they get worn just get a new one. I think they are a dollar.
 

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DaySleeper: Thanks. Somehow I find comfort in that most dogs would blow a recall if they found a moose carcass in the woods. But then how does anyone have the confidence to let their dogs off leash? What if the moose carcass is on the other side of a cliff and they're too focused on it to notice? Just makes me so nervous. And I also try to reward heavily whenever he checks in with me.
Know your dog, and know the area. There is always an inherent risk in letting your dog off-leash in an unfenced area, no matter how good their recall is, so sometimes you have to do some legwork to really weigh the risks vs. the benefits.

For example, the moose carcass incident happened on the wooded trails by my in-laws' house. This is the place I feel safest letting Sam off-leash because it's extremely quiet (the community has legit less than 50 people), my wife grew up hiking and riding horses there, and my father-in-law (and sometimes brother-in-law) hunt there every year, sometimes with tracking dogs. Of course, most people don't have access to an area they know quite THAT well, but checking out trail maps beforehand and noting any, say, cliffs or dangerous spots you may want to leash up around is good general practice. Essentially, I can be very confident in the lay of the land and that we know when there's potentially risky geography. We also keep tabs on, for example, what time of year the adders are most active (not super venomous, but for a dog Sam's size they could prove deadly) and when there's the highest concentration of baby animals. It's actually illegal here to have your dog off-leash during baby critter season, and even if it's not where you are, if you have a high prey-drive dog and are walking in wilderness areas, it might be wise to switch to a long line during that time of year.

We also take a few precautions just in case something goes wrong. Sam's microchipped, but he also now wears at least one ID tag with our phone number(s) on it. His outdoor gear has either reflective parts or obnoxious colors (and sometimes both), so if (god forbid) he becomes injured or trapped out of our sight, he'll be easier to pick out from the natural foresty colors. We would NOT let him off if he were prone to peacing out and sprinting off or following his nose into the wilderness; my BiL's dachshund doesn't get off-leash privileges for precisely this reason. We learned by having him out there on a long-line that he generally prefers to stick to the trails, and likes to be able to see us, and again we reinforce any checking in with us like crazy to encourage that, so we could be reasonably confident he'd stick nearby off-leash as well.
 

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Really Reliable Recall is a very very short book you can get on line.

The special word is not created as mandatory by you.. it is created in the dog's mind (if that makes sense). It is a different word from "come" and if RRR is done correctly most dogs will come to you. It is for exactly the emergency you discuss.

When teaching anything there is first "how to" and then with that getting the dog to "want to" and.. quite awhile after that if the dog blows you off it is "have to." You still use "want to" as much as possible but both you and the dog know that "have to" is in your tool box. The issue with "have to" is most owners invoke it far too soon before the dog truly understands WHAT you want and how to reproduce it over and over the same way and WANTS to do that most of the time.
 

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I just ordered the book based on IPO... suggestion. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. The concept of “want to” is intriguing.
I’m very anti off leash for the reason that most people/dogs do not have even a basic non distraction recall. When less than 5% of the 90+ million dogs in the USA have any training at all you can be pretty assured that a loose dog is not in owner control. In 8 years in my appt I’ve still yet to see anyone besides me do any kind of training. Little dogs either get picked up OR simply dragged along. Bigger dogs get pulled this way and that barking and yanking madly on leashes. Three have gotten away from owners and come after us dragging stupid flex leashes. Two learned the hard way not to do this the third got punched hard but I got a painful vacation in the ICU. I see no reason the let a dog off leash be it in the city or in the country. We have some really nasty snakes even up here in the north plus some very nasty woods animals like badgers, skunks, feral dogs, coyotes, bears and a few wolfs that can make a mess out of the toughest dog. Most land owners don’t hesitate to shoot any predator including stray dogs. I ask this question, many people have show and working horses as well as other livestock, what if your dog gets into the pasture as stampedes these and one get hurt. Are you able to cover the cost of just one of these animals?

It’s hard to believe how much ground a dog can cover in a few minutes. It’s an awful lot more than you can chasing them through the woods. A year ago my own dog escaped from the harness and linked collar after getting tangled in some bushes while is was attempting to free the long line. She ran off about 3/4 mile to the neighbors horse ranch. I was scared that she might chase the horses as she sees them everyday. I couldn’t even begin the plow through the woods so I called by boss on the phone who drove over to the neighbors. By the time he got there Sam had rounded up the six show horses and was calmly just sitting watching them and they were watching her. Fortunately Sam has had some herding training but not with horses. I called her and she came running and jumped through the electric fence without touching it. But she had blown off my earlier recall. So hopefully I can learn the final step with this book.

While I have a reliable recall in even a large enclosed area, out in the woods it’s not perfect. We are working on it and improving but she will never be off leash. I’ve added and reinforced a stand command at any time, but still the recall is more important. The stand works better when tangleged. We practice this daily with simulated tangles and she gets heavily rewarded. I carry a few of her maximum value treats everywhere we go for that perfect response and it does wonders.

Back when I was really active in dog sports We didn’t have a lot of problems teaching reliable recalls. We often worked the SCH dogs in open fields and with livestock around. Dogs were often worked and taught together to save training time. They just didn’t interfere with each other at all.

I think today’s messed up backyard breeding and other poor breeding is creating more messed up dogs. I had imported dogs and European bred dogs so maybe I didn’t see the USA. Mess until recently. Reactive dogs were new to me when I got Sam. I’m still learning but taking a harder line every time I run into problems. I see these in our ongoing classes and equally poor training by owners. People Attitudes even seem different and I see “ my dog doesn’t need ”training” frequently.

So I praise those who come here for advice for at least recognizing a problem before it gets out of hand. I learn all the time and certainly make mistakes and occasionally someone will admonish me but I take in stride. It’s the result that counts if is good. I’m not opposed to eating my words.

Byron
 
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