The Recall

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Postby Mind_doc » May 12th, 2006, 9:04 am

Liz
You said you have never recalled her w/o giving a treat. The connection will be much stronger if you don't treat her every time. If she knows she is going to get kibble EVERY time, she has the choice to refuse. However, if she dosen't know what or IF she will get when she comes, the EXPECTATION will be a much stronger reinforcer. Its called an intermittent schedule of reinforcement.
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Postby katiek0417 » May 12th, 2006, 10:59 am

Mind_doc wrote:Liz
You said you have never recalled her w/o giving a treat. The connection will be much stronger if you don't treat her every time. If she knows she is going to get kibble EVERY time, she has the choice to refuse. However, if she dosen't know what or IF she will get when she comes, the EXPECTATION will be a much stronger reinforcer. Its called an intermittent schedule of reinforcement.


While you are right, in theory, the "come" can be a lifesaving measure. I want to show the dog that good things happen when you come to me. While you don't need to give treats every time, giving some love, a toy, etc is always needed. My older dog has a 100% reliable come...I still give her a reward EVERY time she comes to me...it's not always food or a toy...in fact, most of the time, it's just a head scratch and a "good hier"....I NEVER want there to be a time when she says "well, I may not get something this time, so why go to her."

And, by the way, I'm a "mind doc" too (in fact, did my MS in learning/memory) :wink:
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Postby Ostara_Kennels » May 13th, 2006, 8:48 pm

Here's how I train the recall...


Get treats.. hot dogs.. cheese.. whatever is special to the dog and will realy get the dog going... go outside either in an inclosed yard or with the 30 ft leash... or you can do it indoors but I find it best if you have room to run... keep your pockets loaded.. have a few peices of the treat in your hand and get the dog excited about it... I'll use my dog "Ella"'s name... "Ella Come!" all happy like and I'll toss the treat to my left just about 5 feet then "Ella come!" and as she reaches me I'll toss another treat to my right about 5 feet.. keep doing this.. they find it to be a great game.. about the 4rth or 5th time you call grab the dogs collar and hold them with you petting them "Gooood come! Good Come" then resume the tossing game....Also try to always have a treat when they come.. IMHO I would rather a dog come thinking it's going to get a treat then to think "Hmm.. maybe maybe not.." and get run over by a car... and NEVER NEVER NEVER tell a dog "Come" and then punish it or do something it doesn't like.. that will teach the dog that "Come" can suck. If "Come" always weilds a happy reward they're going to be 100x's more likely to actually come and see what they're gunna get for it.
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Postby turtle » May 14th, 2006, 11:54 am

pLaurent wrote:Is this a bully thing?

I've had Chloe for 4 years. She is obedience trained and very good with all commands except Come.

She absolutely will not come when called, even though she understands the command very well.

Trying her on a long lead (or any lead) is futile, since she will INSTANTLY come when she knows she's attached. She will also come with the speed of a greyhound if she knows I have a treat for her, and skid to a stop and do a perfect sit in front of me.

Otherwise, she either ignores me totally or looks at me and runs the other way. If I get closer, stamp my feett and pitch a fit, she will come, stopping numerous times to sniff something or roll on the ground.

I feel like beating the daylights out of her. :D


Good thread! I just found it...

And no, PL, I don't think this is a bully thing, my previous pit bulls never acted like this, they all had great recall.

I have the same problem as PL... I've had my dog for 4 years and got her from a shelter when she was about 7 months old. She also knows if I have a treat or when she is on a long line and comes back perfectly until you have no more treats or if she is loose.

She knows what "Come" means but if she is loose in the yard, she will not come. She just stands and looks at me like "F you, why should I?". Usually she does not run away, but occasionally she will get zoomies and then she will run... and run and run and run, all the while happily looking at me but not coming close enough to grab, not that I try to grab her. If I am really annoyed, I just go inside and leave her out. Then she is by the door in a few minutes and will come in.

But I also many times feel like beating the crap out of her... I don't of course and I mostly ignore her when she refuses to come when called. She knows what I want her to do, she just refuses!

I like the idea of making a list of what she likes and rating it. That may give me some options to go back to bribing her to come. But what about when she knows I have no treats and she is loose and just will not come?
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Postby Malli » May 14th, 2006, 9:31 pm

perhaps you need to go back and consistently reward her always for her come? That way her body and brain are in the habit of obeying the minute you give her the command, then you could mix in a toy reward every so often and then slowly start weaning her off her rewards over a few months?
Thats what I would do.
I'm sure someone with more training experience will have more ideas as well ;)

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Postby call2arms » May 15th, 2006, 12:50 am

My way of "teaching" recall was with toys. We usually go in fenced enclosures at the park -mainly a shuffleboard court and a soccer field- and whichever one we are in, she knows to come back.

But that's only because she is very toy driven, and she knows I might have a toy on me, and that it's probably worth it ti reel her butt up here!

I do have a toy on me most of the time, but I don,t throw it for her every time she comes. We will walk around the field, she'll be sniffing stuff. I'll call her, throw the toy. She automatically brings it back, I pick it up, keep walking. I call her again, she comes, I give her a pat on the head, tell her she's a good girl, etc. The next time I throw it for her.

We often just walk trough the soccer field like that (and it is quite large) and I notice after that she just pays much more attention to me, in general. But I'm not a training pro, far from there so you'd probably be better off starting with the good advice up there in the thread...lol
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Postby turtle » May 15th, 2006, 5:57 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I've tried several of them... My dog is 4 1/2 yrs old now, and she knows what "Come" means, she just chooses not to do it if she does not feel like it. I play with her in the house a lot and always give her a reward when she comes when called. It's usually a food treat but I also vary the reward with praise and sometimes a toy.

Trouble with toys is that she is not very toy driven. She will not fetch a tennis ball or other toy. She loves squeaky toys until she de-squeaks them. I have used a squeaky to get her to come but then what? I let her squeak it for a few secs and then have her give it to me and give her a food treat for giving it to me. But if she has it too long, she kills the squeak and then she does not care about the silent toy!

I have worked with her on a long line and on a short line but she knows when she is on a line and comes every time. If she is loose, she is stubborn and does not come if she does not want to. I have a fenced yard but still it is annoying to have your dog stand there 30 feet away and look at you with this "Why should I?" look...

By being a stubborn witch, she loses out on some fun times since I will not let her off leash unless she is in a good fence. I know she is not reliable to come when called.
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Postby rockermom » May 15th, 2006, 6:15 pm

I know what you mean. Rocky will come quickly if he knows I have treat. In the yard sometimes he will look at me and keep eating the poison ivy(the whole house is gonna get it) and leaves off trees. I have to get the treat container and shake it. He likes beggin strips comes runing like a crazy when I show him I have beggin. Toys forget it could care less. He is so bull headed when off and busy. I was already told once before on this forum to use NILIF outdoors. Not let him be free only leash walk until he has solid recall. I'll admit Im lazy as hell at 7am.
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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 15th, 2006, 10:14 pm

I used tug a LOT with Tallulah the bull terrier. Taught her that mom is fun. Not treats, not toys, not bribes, but mom herself can be a lot of fun. Even a leash can be a tug toy. She has the best recall I have ever seen in a bull terrier.

You have to be more interesting than what the dog might want to go do. THAT can be one tall order. I also use a Zena yell with her, and boy does that get her moving.

I used to have someone hold her, and run away screaming LALALALALA! like zena the warrior princess. She would come streaking like a little rocket! I still use that in flyball.
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Postby call2arms » May 15th, 2006, 11:02 pm

I don,t know, the few times where we were in unfenced areas (at my mom's, she used to live in the woods next to a lake...) Jessie would sometimes refuse to some, but walking away worked and she ended up following.
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