Labradors Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Me being a bit thick again :oops:
I've come a bit unstuck in how to practice recall with Willoughby as the way I used to do it is not helping with training a more solid stay. I've been told not to call him up from a stay and always return to him for the time being as he was anticipating the recall. I understand this but I'm stuck on the next bit on our list which is recall properly to whistle and hand signal. I train mostly on my own so have no one to leave him with to get any distance away for a decent recall. I tried yesterday with him off lead but without Merlin he tends to stick close to me constantly checking were I am. He trots about quite happily but 10 feet away max. He sees the whistle go to my mouth and comes back without me blowing it which although nice it's not what I'm wanting :D
Should I just forget recall for a while and concentrate on stays? Or do lots of stays returning to him and stick the odd recall in? All suggestions very welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
I walk with the whistle in my mouth when training Roxy because as soon as she sees my hand go for it she anticipates a command and I was struggling to teach her the sit on the whistle without an element of surprise. I'm in the habit now. I keep it tittering on the edge of my teeth and can still talk to her with in in my mouth.

It may be a good thing to find out from your trainer whether he/she uses different commands. I know trainers differ on this, some say a sit in itself is a stay because you haven't told them to do anything else. Others use wait which you can call them in from but stay is always to be returned to. I think you would need to vary your approach slightly depending on what your trainer is teaching. When I taught mine I hadn't started with a trainer so just said sit, wait.... that meant something else was coming so I could sit them in a field and walk away, once away I might tell them to lay down or sit or come they wouldn't always know what was coming. If I told them to stay it meant I would return to them and they shouldn't move until I came back to their side. I never quite managed to stand at their side while they were still sitting though because as soon as I reached them they would jump up and greet me, when I started proper training with Roxy I would have to not look her in the eye on my return and reinforce the sit before I released her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,490 Posts
If he is struggling a wee bit with "stay" and anticipating as you say above, then I'd practice that for now. As you say, just return to him and praise.

Maybe pick your moments to practice recall, so if he is charging back to you with a retrieve, you possibly could do your recall whistle then, cos he's coming back anyway so is learning about a recall whistle while he is recalling anyway.

Does that make sense?

Then once the "stay" is sorted, you can practice recalls from that.

A trainer once told me that it is important only to train one thing at a time, so if you are training "stay" just train that. Then when that is done, move on, but continue to practice the other thing from time to time.

John W wrote a good piece a few days ago on training "stay" (not sure if that is the term he uses but doesn't matter, I will try and find the thread, it probably isn't the issue you are having but it is well worth a look thro).

I test Olly from time to time, by sending him out on a marked retrieve, stopping him by whistle, recalling him, and then sending him back. Or you can sit him up, throw a dummy, recall him, then let him have the retrieve. Then you know it's all working. I don't do this too often tho, as I don't want him thinking he is going to be stopped on every retrieve.

But each individual part has to be in place before attempting the entire routine.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,191 Posts
Are you trying to recall from a static position? I was always taught to have a 'wait' command and a 'stay' command. Stay means the dog doesn't move until you return (theoretically unless you own Cadbury :roll: ). Wait means at some point I will recall the dog. The idea is to bomb proof the stay by never recalling from it, while the wait is more flexible.

For instance I use a wait in agility when I need to stop Merlin from going wrong, or when do a recall from a sit. I was taught it helps to define the stay versus the wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've always just used stay when training. He does stay but looks like he's sat on pins cos he's expecting the next command, normally a recall. Now we have started gun dog training we were told not to recall him from a stay but to return to him until he stops anticipating. It's working ok but the next bit we were told to practise was recall using a whistle and hand signal. I think I will just keep practising the stay part and leave the recall for a couple of weeks, I'm probably rushing it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,497 Posts
I often think that in a lot of cases a dog learns in spite of us rather than because of us! But there are things we can do, particularly in the early stages to make things easier for our dog to understand.

OK, here's a few thoughts for you.

The big secret in training is to make "Similar" exercises as different as possible.

Many people use "Stay" as the command for the stay exercise and "Wait" as the command for the recall.

I also use a different hand signal. With the stay it's the flat of the hand brought down towards the muzzle but in the recall my signal is one finger, across in front of the muzzle.

When I've left my dog, with a stay I always stand side onto my dog with my arms folded where for a recall I'm facing my dog with my hands by my sides.

So many differences that it does not take long for my pups to notice the difference. But later on things start getting "Dirty" and less differentiated. It's not always possible in a working environment to be as precise as when training, but dogs become very forgiving once we start working with them rather than training.

Regards, John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks John. Will give the different hand signals a try. He does pick up on signals quickly. I never thought of altering how I stand, will definitely use that and see how it goes. It's similar to setting off walking with my left leg if I want him to heel and my right if I want him to stay, it's another sign for him to pick up on what he needs to do. Got told that years ago and used it ever since. I really like the idea of making the similar different, thanks.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top