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My biggest issue with Maddie is that she does not come when called. She's a very smart, but stubborn girl who has been to basic and advanced training. Her trainer has told us that she doesnt feel Maddie would do well off leash because of this.
We've tried off leash outside our home, sometimes does really well, other times just walks away, very interested in sniffing things and won't come when called. She gets back to her leash when she does that.

Our problem, though, is not the public outdoors but our fenced in back yard.
When it's time to come in, we stand at the door and say "come, Maddie" with a hand clap or whatever, or lure her in with a treat. Sometimes she waits a moment and then bolts straight in.
MOST of the time she stands there staring. We give her a call, sometimes two, and a clap or treat, and if she doesnt do it, we walk over to her.

Here's where my boyfriend and I differ:

Me: "Stay" -I change the command because she usually ends up bolting. I come over and take her by the collar and lead her in the house.
Him: *gets a really mean tone and almost yells* "Maddie, get inside!" or some variation. Claims this works because she towers and scampers in. Well, if it works, why does she still stand there stubbornly and then bolt around the yard? And his ways seems to just scare her.

My solution:
Go back to step one. Retrain her. Do some "come, Maddie's" and have her come, get a treat.
His argument: "That's just you and me in the yard and Maddie going back and forth"
My resolution: "We either start with that and faze it out by going towards the door, and ending at the door, or just stand at the door and do some exercises, so it's not just us back and forth with her on a long leash."

He got irritated at this suggestion because he thinks "oh, she'll just a treat every time and she'll just learn to expect it" and I said "Yes, because she'll be rewarded, and over time we faze the treats out. That's how dogs work"


So....I'm a bit frustrated at his response. Am I correct in what I want to do? Or should I try a different approach? I hardly think his way is working.
 

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Not coming in from the backyard is a common problem which starts when the Come command turns into......'Fun time is over'.
You might want to try using the Come command but, immediately send her back out to play some more.....that's a huge, huge reward and she learns that Come doesn't always mean playtime will end.

Another twist that you can add is to just call her name and not use the Come command at all.
 

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What breed is she? Some breeds can never, ever be trusted off leash. Generally all hounds (sight hounds, scent hounds, gaze hounds, etc...) fall in this category.
 

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Some breeds can never, ever be trusted off leash? I'd say that depends more upon the dog, it's training level, the owner, what they're doing and what the criteria is. Hounds of all sorts are trusted off leash to hunt with their owners, and plenty of them are also seen going to dog parks, doing Agility, Flyball, Lure Coursing, Rally and Obedience, etc. Here we're only talking about a dog learning to come in it's own fenced backyard. ;)





 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maddie's a lab/pit mix.

Today, I did a bunch of "come" calls and gave her a treat and let her go back out.

Sometimes, it does mean that fun time outside is over for a short while. If she's digging or eating grass, she comes in. This is because it's a rented house-we want it looking decent when we move next month. It's in dog's nature, especially if they're bored, I know.
 

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Variable reinforcement is great. You are conditioning your dog to gamble on coming when cued. Will she get a yummy treat? Rereleased into the yard? A quick game of fetch or tug? An invigorating rub and a delighted "Good girl!"? A chance to offer another behavior for a bigger reward? You need to become so exciting being unpredictable with your reinforcements that your dog will WANT to come when cued.
 

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I don't use the come command to mean coming back in the house. I use "in the house", that way I don't sour the come command. When I tell them "in the house", sometimes they get let right back out to play. Sometimes they get a treat and stay in. Sometimes they get a quick game of fetch/run around crazy with mom in the house.
 

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To me it sounds as if she is confused.

You tell her to STAY and then drag her in. Your boyfriend yells..........

Both of these might be scaring her to stay out of the house! Think about it. When it's time to go in she gets treated very negatively which ultimatly makes her hesitant about entering or makes her want to run around or stay out.

Are you able to leave her outside for a longer period of time? Go to the door, ask her to come in, if she does not, say "too bad" and close the door. When she finally does come in, give her a treat and tell her what a good girl she is.

This is going to work better then anything else you could try. You dragging her or making her come in is only a form of punishment to her. Standing there and calling her is only teaching her she can ignore you. Make it her decision by asking her, if she sits and looks at you, give the "too bad" and close the door. Go back 5-10 minutes later and try again. The first time you do this you will be closing the door ALOT. When she does finally come it will be rewarding(lots of treats and good petting). It is going to be frusterating for the first week until she figures it out, after that it should start to go more smoothly :)

I have had to do this for foster dogs who came from abusive situations and it works wonderfully.

Best of luck.
 

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Some breeds can never, ever be trusted off leash? I'd say that depends more upon the dog, it's training level, the owner, what they're doing and what the criteria is. Hounds of all sorts are trusted off leash to hunt with their owners, and plenty of them are also seen going to dog parks, doing Agility, Flyball, Lure Coursing, Rally and Obedience, etc. Here we're only talking about a dog learning to come in it's own fenced backyard. ;)

I don't know if I'd want a basset participating in agility. I would think the way their body is shaped that it would be extremely hard on the joints.
 

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It can be hard on their joints sometimes especially if they are not well bred, but they were bred to hunt and run in packs and CAN be very agile and surprisingly FAST in their early years. Note the height of the jump itself, it is very low to accomodate his build.

And yes, hounds can be taught recall...it requires a lot of work, finding the right rewards and using the need to sniff and chase as a reward occasionally.

No offense meant to the person who suggested closing the door and leaving the dog outside, but I think that would only work with a dog who is a velcro dog or SA dog who finds the attention and company of the human more rewarding than the freedom, smells and dirt of the backyard.

I agree with Pampered Pups, making the "game" of recall varied and fun (and using the premack principle of letting the dog back out into the yard occasionally) is probably the way to go.

And tell the boyfriend every time he makes coming into the house or to him unpleasant in ANY way he kills the cue. In fact, until the cue is fully trained and proofed you should not even use the word until she is already ON HER WAY to you. Use her name, dance up and down, do the boogaloo whatever, but if you use the cue and it doesn't work you've poisoned it. If it is too late, you may want to change the cue totally to "here" or something of that sort and retrain her with that.
 

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finding the right rewards
A lot of good advice has been offered, but I think this is the single most important piece. In sales seminars, they teach you to "find the customer's value" and highlight that, and you will make your sale. If you can find the dog's value in coming to you and offer that every time, you'll "make the sale".

I take my dogs outside of the backyard every day and when it was time to come in, Mia started straggling behind and not coming back in when I called. I know her value is extreme praise, so when she DID come in, she was the best dog in the world! She got lots of pets and my excited voice telling her how good she is. I mean I made a big deal! Now, she doesn't even wait to be called, she watches me to see when I go in and she's the first one in behind me and she still gets her praise routine some of the time.
 

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I know how you feel my 7 month pointer still will not come when i say come. Only when he wants to. I am getting so frustrated. I go out and grab him by the collar if he won't come. He still doesn't care. Its driving me crazy. Sorry i can't help you. But your not the only one with this problem .
 
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