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Thor is 13mths old now , still entire as I'm not sure if we should castrate or not and very very sociable so sociable in fact that he'll cross hell and high water just to go and say hello to anyone or anything.

However I just cannot get him to come back, his head perks up and off he bounds, yesterday he crossed three strips of land and swum through two ditches to say hello to a couple who were walking over yonder, it took me pretty much 5 mins to run around the track ( as I was not going to swim through ditches !) cringing as he was black from the dirty water, to the people he was with and thankfully they thought he was lovely and kept him entertained until I got there, he doesn't jump up he just wants a cuddle and to leg weave ( while covered in mud 8O) !!

I blame myself as we walk with a lot of other dogs and I'm sure he has mixed signals now with why can I play with these people and dogs but not the ones over yonder..

I could have a t-bone steak in my pocket and I don't think it would make a difference , he just goes deaf and buggers off..

When walking alone I have treats and practice recall and he's brilliant which of course stands to reason as there are no distractions, I know he can do it because I get glimpses of hope every now and then, two days ago he was running off to another dog with a stick I called him and he came back which shocked me so he got lots of fuss for that.

I have bought a long line ( not the scary automatic rolling up thing) today and plan to walk him on that this week, I'm not sure what else to do I've loaded my pockets with hotdogs, chicken bits, ham you name it and he doesn't really seem to be interested, when he wants to go he goes..

For the rest he's such a happy chappy, we have our routines together, he comes out with me when I do my chores around the village, he has all but stopped lead pulling and heels very nicely the majority of the time, we go to school together for my daughter and he's been in her class a few times to say hello to the kids and while I do an impromptu English lesson. Nothing really phases him, very laid back dog, healthy and happy I feel very blessed..

Advice more than welcome thank you ..

Groetjes
Emma
 

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Treats &/or Fear of abandonment may help.

Treats - Maybe using a line &/or or a helper......With you and helper either end call him and treat an alleyway free from distractions may be a good pace for this.

Fear - You need to make him watch for you more.Go somewhere relatively free of distractions and without risk of him wandering off totally.... Wait until he is distracted & hide from his obvious sight view. Wait & you will see him looking for you. Initial seeking will lead to slight anxiety at being abandoned/separated/lost from you. This may be slightly distressing to see but look at it as character building and importantly developmental of your recall relationship................ I have jumped in ditches through hedges, behind fences and buildings before. If mine doesn't find me I may present myself, verbally or whistle recall him. This always works but causing the initial fear is what is key to this.


This reminds me I haven't done this visually comedic routine for a while - needless to say it needs reinforcing and building upon.

There is a book on the subject called "total recall" - I have only seen good things written about it.
 

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I would agree with COASTER. You need to make yourself more interesting than the dogs over the other fields. That means playing, hiding etc to keep him interested in you. I would use the long line for a bit to re-train him around distractions.

If he is ball orientated try a squeaky ball to get him watching out for when the ball is in play.


Hope this helps

Chloe
 

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Hey. +1 on the recommendation for Total Recall I have a copy myself and it's available as a kindle version too for convenience.
It's an easy read don't be put off by the idea of a whole book on just one subject. It enforces some really important principles and in your case, it would basically presume your existing recall is missing the mark and advise to start a clean sheet with a whistle or new command using the techniques it provides. In my own limited experience, running off from time to time is a given, it's getting them back that counts :)

No offense intended if you know this stuff already. But there are a few golden rules. They've worked great with my 5 month old pup so far. Roughly these are :

Never give chase after calling them, if anything, do the opposite like Coaster says. Sure you can chase the training line to wind them back in, but don't ask for a recall first just run and grab it :)

Never chastise when the dog returns after a failed or poor recall - no. 1 reason why some dogs ignore their owner calling them back because they think "hey you're only going to b'lock me, don't think I'll bother". A have a friend with a GSD who has done exactly this and now he's lost his recall completely and can't let him off-lead except in secure areas.

Always be thrilled and welcoming when your dog does return to you no matter how annoyed you are deep down :D Throw away all shame and act like a total loon. I do a little victory jump :oops:

Be unpredictable about what the reward is for returning. I rotate between a piece of sausage, a big fuss, and a secret recall toy that the dog only ever sees upon a successful recall. Sometimes 2 of the 3! It helps the idea of the dog thinking "ooh what am I going to get? let's go find out!". It's all part of making you more interesting than the alternative. And a reward lottery makes you very interesting! Although I haven't done yet, the theory is also to introduce a surprise jackpot treat to mix in too, maybe 1 in 5 or 1 in 10, something like that. I've got some tins of fishy cat food that I keep forgetting to take out with me!

Regarding "I'm sure he has mixed signals now with why can I play with these people and dogs but not the ones over yonder.." Do you use a release command at all? I say "get on" which means hey, knock yourself out it's your time now :) I started using that as a heel release but I also use it at puppy class now when it's play time or in the park if we meet a playful dog.

Lot more tips in the book :) I'm a total beginner with my pup and don't get me wrong there are FAR wiser and more experienced people on this forum than me, but starting with those basics in mind we've being doing really well so far, fingers crossed for the future.
 
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