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Discussion Starter #1
Not really sure where to start but i'm wondering if anyone has any bright ideas as to why my darling coal is becoming a right pain the backside!

his recall, even as a pup, was excellent. he was fab, 3 pips on the whistle or call his name and he'd come running. about a month or 2 ago i noticed that whilst finn would come running, coal would finish sniffing the bush, grass etc first and then come. once or twice he even completely ignored me! 8O
So i took him out on his own and had him on a long line, few sessions like this and he's alot better.

Today however has awful :( we'd gone out, walked the field, doing some heelwork and some recalls along the way, all good. He got yelled at when he nearly rolled in fox poop but thats not an unusual thing :roll: get back to the field gate, i call him... he carries on ambling and sniffing, i repeat the call but in a sharper tone, nothing, so go towards him to put him on lead.,.... he runs off, i ignore him and walk away, everytime i turn round he bum tucks off, it took me 10 minutues to get him to come and sit and let me put the lead on. was nearly in tears by the end :cry: he hasn't behaved like that since he was about 6 months old (the defiant bum tuck stuff) and has certainly never done that when we've been out :cry:

His retrieing has also gone to pot and i have no idea why, we worked long and hard to get him to bring the dummy back. we did some training yesterday where we did heelwork, then some steadiness and then a retrieve, he ran off round the field with it. this isn;t the first time he's done this in recent weeks :( :? Today i put him on the lead, did some heelwork and then a small retrieve on the lead, called him in to me, praise lots and took dummy. then gave him back the dummy and heeled him so he paraded his 'prize'. made the lead longer and did another one and he came back with it and then heeled with it. Am i doing right here?
And why oh why has he started running off with it??? i'm sure its all down to the failing recall, which i have no idea why thats sudden;y gone :cry:

so disheartened :cry:
 

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Sam i'm not sure of the reasons why but I can share 2 tips I have been given for similar situations.

Not bringing the dummy in, Basil did this a few times following his very hyped KSS training day, basically he started lengthening his own retrieves going the longest route back to me. I was gutted.
I stopped training and when I saw a 1-2-1 she said that my pressure was making things worse and that I was literally staring at him and willing him in. She told me to look less angry with him ( :lol: ), to smile, turn my body to one side and not look at him until he was right at my feet. It worked first time and within a few sessions we were back to normal and i don;t have to fake smile!
I wonder if the failed recall is making you worried about a return?

With the recall, luckily we dont have that yet! But the same trainer told another owner to walk away (as you did), say nothing and don't look. When Coal gets to you turn and walk the other way, when he gets to you again turn and change direction again. Do this untl such a point you have a dog that is itching to get your attention and screaming 'i'm here' under your feet or heeling at your side.
It seemed to work for the man but his dog was only about 18 months.

I hope Coalie is back to himself soon for you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the tips sarah. i just wish i knew where it went wrong..... :?
 

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Hi Sam

I don;t really think it has gone "wrong" as such - the training is there, it just needs a bit of reinforcing at the moment...

Could this be something as simple as trying to get your attention? he has been used to ahving you all to himself and now he has to share your attention with Finn - but I bet he gets your undivided attention when he runs off or won;t recall - so in a way that may be the reward for his bad behaviour and the motivation to continue...

I'm having a bit of this myself currently - yesterday we were out walking and I saw a family (sans dog) up ahead so I called both dogs in - Bramble on lead and Neo in a close heel position but still off lead. All went well until I began to relax - then Neo took off, introduced himself to every member of the family and totally ignored my calls - he also found their dog the one I'd failed to spot!

When I finally got him back - and the performance you would not ahve believed - he slunk back, tried to hide behind various members of this very nice family and made like he was going to be beaten within an inch of his life - I put him in a sit, turned my back on him and asked these people to ignore him, whilst we all made a fuss of Bramble and Kai (their dog).

Today Neos recall has been absolutely spot on....but I don;t kid myself that the problem is resolved - Neo is very much an ongoing work!!!

Hope he settles soon



Eve Neo and Bramble
 

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Hmm, interesting about the 'pressure' thing. Body language can be so key to our dogs reactions. I know that when I had no confidence in Cadbury's recall I would get very tense and nervous when he was off-lead and this was noticable in my body posture and my tone of voice.

I worked on his recall on a long line, but we still had troubles until I changed my body language. Until basically I gave the impression that I was calm and in control even though Cadbury was tearing off in a direction I didn't want and I was freaking inside. Amazingly it worked!

Same applies with Cadbury's retrieves. He is at a very early stage with this and was allowed to run off with the toy as a pup (not me I might add), so can consider retrieving and running off with the toy a game. So again I changed my attitude, I throw the toy and ask him to 'bring it' once. If he runs off with it I turn my back, ignore him, maybe even start walking towards the house. And every time I suddenly have a puppy that is battering my leg with his toy because he doesn't want me to leave the game. So I turn back, repeat the command and after that we generally have no problems.

He is still learning though because he was allowed to learn a few bad habits, but we are getting there!

Good luck with Coal.
 

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Another thought on the retrieve and i'm not entirely sure I agree with the suggestion - but it did work for us.

The trainer I saw also pointed out that I was not stretching Basil enough with his retrieves and so they weren't 'fun' ie I was making him do short distance marks, normally ideal for a beginner but possibly not for a bright older dog.
She told me to stop doing short marks completely and give him some longer memory retrieves. The difference in focus I got was again almost instant. Then after a few weeks I went back to the odd short marked and now (touch wood) we seem okay.

I also found it was the 2nd retrieve he'd mess around on, because he figured he often only got 2 anyway and the last was usually the end ofthe session so I had to start mixing it up a bit more (yes my dog is smarter than me :oops: )

I have to say Sam it did all stop as fast as it started, once I learned to relax about it all and set him up to succeed.
 

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You don't think that Coal was just having a 'daft-head' day and that, because it matters so much to you, you are over-analysing it maybe?
I just think we all get days when life just seems a blast and we just want to act like plonkers and just don't want to be bossed about!

I know nowt about gundog training, but if it were one of mine, I think I'd be inclined to forget about the actual training element of it all for a few days, and just concentrate on going out and playing your socks off with Coal in the hope that he realises that he can have as much fun with you as he can plonkering about on his own. Then maybe you can craftily sneak in a bit of training, once he's more carefree about it all.

(I think the other suggestions you've been given are good too, infact loads better than mine on reflection!!!!)

Becs and The Gang
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Becs... you might have a point that i need to chill out and have some fun with him. its not just today tho... i've noticed a few things here and there over the past weeks and i obviously didn't head them on the head soon enough.

Sarah.... you might have a valid point about the longer retrieves to use his brain a bit and get him into it a bit more and make it more fun for him. on the same count, if i do that and he still runs amok with it, i'll have even less chance to controlling him :roll:
might have to go out with 2 toys and just have a fun game and see what happens.

thanks for everyones suggestions, i feel alot better now :)
 

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I agree with Sarah, mixing things up is very important especially with things that he's gotten good at.

For instance, Cadbury is really really bored with 'sit, down, stand' at the moment, so I've added some doggy dancing to the mix and now his attention is back.

Every now and then we learn a new trick and it really helps to keep Cadbury's attention. The first time I taught him to high five, he wouldn't stop and his attention never left me.

But I do know how disheartening it is when they suddenly seem to forget everything and I've had serious ups and downs with Cadbury's recall :roll:
 

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if i do that and he still runs amok with it, i'll have even less chance to controlling him
That was exactly my worry - especially as this advice came at the same time as not looking directly at him, I was worried I wouldn't even see him running amok :lol:
But somehow the extra stimulation of using his memory and the fulfilment he got from the longer run did the trick.
I was told if it went belly up to just turn and walk and he would eventually come in and then I could heel him and remove the dummy and reward the heel, but thankfully we didnt get to the point of needing that bit.

Defininitely try to ditch the dummies and take a toy for a session as you won't worry about damaging your training further with a toy.
I swop to a toy, ditch the slip lead, whistle etc for most new bits I don't want to mess up, then when I've got it (be it a 'hold'. shake while holding, or a proper return to hand from water etc) then I bring the dummy back in.

I really think the source of it might be your loss of faith in Coal and therefore enjoyment of the sessions though....take a break for a few days and don't train until you are in a really positive mood with him?
 

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Right missus worry pot :lol:

No wonderful words of wisdom from me except take a chill pill and as Becs says go have some fun with him or come down on him like a ton of bricks (see further down re the bricks) :? :lol:
Have already said this to you but i'll now say to the world hee hee................when Coalie came to stay and was out with all mine he was a superstar re-call was fab,he listened to everything he was asked to do and did it (not saying this to make you feel bad as you know i wouldn't do that) that boy of yours is wonderful and you should be so proud of how far you've come with him.
Think you're having an off day love as you've told me enough in the past :lol:
Also have just thought of something look how he acted when he came and you were here when you left he stopped when you came to collect him he started again hmm me thinks the boy knows what buttons to push :lol:

Just some rambling thoughts will go back to my little corner now and see you in the morning :wink:

No help i know .....sorry :oops: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
marie.... he knows exactly what buttons to press! little tyke! and u are probably right (u know me too well love!) :wink:
 
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