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Recall Training


Guest mhall
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Guest mhall

We've run into a wall with recall training Jasper. He reliably comes when called inside (and loves working on training inside), but we are having a lot of trouble translating that into coming when he's outside. He fixates on things - understandable, since he's a sighthound - but when he's off leash, EVERY LITTLE THING is of interest. He'll start to come when called, but if the wind changes direction, or a bird chirps in the distance, or if a door opens or a phone rings nearby he'll lose focus on me and go charging towards whatever distracted him.

 

He is uninterested in prey with the exception of rabbits, but has a really strong chase instinct. Motorcycles, bicycles and joggers are of particular interest, and yesterday he charged straight into the fence when he saw a child swinging at the park across the street :(

 

Here's what we're working on:

 

-getting him to reliably "watch me," "leave it" and "come" when we're out on walks. He was a mess walking on leash when we first got him - darting all over the place, trying to run out into traffic, stepping all over me. He's gotten a lot better, but will still freeze or try to turn around if something peaks his interest. He is much more likely to respond to a command while on leash than off.

 

-When he's off leash, trying not to set him up for failure, and taking baby steps. Calling him when he's only a foot away, not calling him when he's really interested in something, giving him plenty of time to sniff around and explore before working on training. We don't ask him to come to us if we need to do something potentially unpleasant, and when it's time to leave we walk to him to leash him up and let him sniff around a bit before leaving. We use special high value treats when working on recall.

 

I think we will start using a clicker when training since he seems so sound oriented. I need to do some reading so I can make sure I'm using it appropriately.

 

This seems so daunting but we will work diligently. Any tips would be much appreciated!

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Guest Drumhellergrey

One thing I found is if mine gets interested in something else and won't come right away, is not to go to him. What I do is go down on one knee and then call him. I don't know why, but it seems to draw his attention back to me.

 

I hope this helps. :)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

My hounds are recall trained on a sports whistle (the kind refs blow at a football game). It is VERY easy to train this type of recall. What you want to do is to get the best treat you can think of, and ONLY use it during recall training, such as hotdog slivers, or bologna strips as examples (I use hotdog slivers). You need two whistles and two people. What you do is to go where there are no distractions, stand at arms length from each other with the hound close by (you can keep a leash on your hound to begin with if you want), one person blows the whistle, AS SOON as the hound looks at the sound, you give the hound a treat (again, VERY high value, and NEVER used for any other purpose). Then have the other person blow the whistle, treat when the hound looks. Repeat a few times, each time take one step apart. Once the hound gets used to the whistle, he/she may start to just run to the opposite person after receiving a treat, dont fall for this. If you get to the point where you are 20 feet away, and the hound just takes off to the other person without a whistle, no treat, plus mix up the order you blow the whistle. Do this EVERY time you go to where your hound is offleash, and do this training first. Of course, you need to have a somewhat reliable recall with the whistle before you go to a park or other offleash area that has a lot of distractions. Once you get a good recall without distractions, add a visual cue to the whistle. The reason for this is your hound may be confused and run to the first human and not to you. By adding the visual que to the sound, your hound knows exactly who to run to, as they are sighthounds, this is a natural progression to the training. Now, once you have the recall and visual que working without distractions, then go to a park where there are distractions and start close (5 feet or so), and work up to large distances. I have two of my three hounds trained to this and they have actually broken pursuit of a rabbit to recall to the whistle. I just adopted my third 3 weeks ago and have started this training in my back yard. Another month and she will be moved up to the dog park for "live" training.

 

Let me know if you have any questions on this method.

 

Chad

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Guest sweetpea

Sweetpea and I went through an obedience class, and she passed with flying colors!

 

When she's on leash, or in the house, she is totally in tune with me. I think Misser Marc

made this analogy once, "she could be on a six inch leash and there'd still be some slack."

She does what I want usually before I know I want it. She even climbs into the tub when I say "In".

(Oh she's not happy about it, but she does it!)

 

Off leash, outside the house, it's a whole 'nother story.

We don't have a yard, so there's no place for us to practise, except for a dog park or enclosed baseball field.

 

She's terrible, she acts like I'm a complete stranger! My Dad, who's seen how she is in the house, was

stunned. He said he's never seen anything like it, she just flips a switch and is the independent sighthound personified.

She's not off chasing anything, she's just patrolling the perimeter, sniffing the flowers, and ignoring the daylights out of me.

 

I've said this before and it's totally true, I could be wearing a bologna and peanut butter overcoat,

and she wouldn't even look in my direction much less come when I call.

 

So yeah, her recall stinks!

 

I don't want to discourage you, recall is important, but you can still have the best dog in the world (as I do)

and the recall issue might just be something you wrastle with for the rest of your days.

 

Good luck!

 

Buzzy

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

As others have mentioned with lack of recall with their greyhounds, you want to be sure to have the whistle recall reliable BEFORE you go out where there are distractions. It is possible, you just have to find what motivates your hound. Luckily for me, my hounds are food driven. Oh, another thing, do this training within a few hours before you feed them, that way they will be hungry and therefor more food motivated. No worries, you can do it, it just takes consistency and persistence, thats all. Any greyhound can be taught a reasonable recall. Reasonable, being the key word.

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Guest lanielovesgreys

Sweetpea and I went through an obedience class, and she passed with flying colors!

 

When she's on leash, or in the house, she is totally in tune with me. I think Misser Marc

made this analogy once, "she could be on a six inch leash and there'd still be some slack."

She does what I want usually before I know I want it. She even climbs into the tub when I say "In".

(Oh she's not happy about it, but she does it!)

 

Off leash, outside the house, it's a whole 'nother story.

We don't have a yard, so there's no place for us to practise, except for a dog park or enclosed baseball field.

 

She's terrible, she acts like I'm a complete stranger! My Dad, who's seen how she is in the house, was

stunned. He said he's never seen anything like it, she just flips a switch and is the independent sighthound personified.

She's not off chasing anything, she's just patrolling the perimeter, sniffing the flowers, and ignoring the daylights out of me.

 

I've said this before and it's totally true, I could be wearing a bologna and peanut butter overcoat,

and she wouldn't even look in my direction much less come when I call.

 

So yeah, her recall stinks!

 

I don't want to discourage you, recall is important, but you can still have the best dog in the world (as I do)

and the recall issue might just be something you wrastle with for the rest of your days.

 

Good luck!

 

Buzzy

 

 

:lol: at your bologna and peanut butter overcoat. Laika is this way too. I went to a greyhound meetup at an indoor dogpark and was so embarrassed chasing her all over the place when it was time to go. She's perfectly behaved at home and then all bets are OFF at the dog park. Not only does she not know me, but she also runs from me.

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Guest greytmiles

My hounds are recall trained on a sports whistle (the kind refs blow at a football game). It is VERY easy to train this type of recall. What you want to do is to get the best treat you can think of, and ONLY use it during recall training, such as hotdog slivers, or bologna strips as examples (I use hotdog slivers). You need two whistles and two people. What you do is to go where there are no distractions, stand at arms length from each other with the hound close by (you can keep a leash on your hound to begin with if you want), one person blows the whistle, AS SOON as the hound looks at the sound, you give the hound a treat (again, VERY high value, and NEVER used for any other purpose). Then have the other person blow the whistle, treat when the hound looks. Repeat a few times, each time take one step apart. Once the hound gets used to the whistle, he/she may start to just run to the opposite person after receiving a treat, dont fall for this. If you get to the point where you are 20 feet away, and the hound just takes off to the other person without a whistle, no treat, plus mix up the order you blow the whistle. Do this EVERY time you go to where your hound is offleash, and do this training first. Of course, you need to have a somewhat reliable recall with the whistle before you go to a park or other offleash area that has a lot of distractions. Once you get a good recall without distractions, add a visual cue to the whistle. The reason for this is your hound may be confused and run to the first human and not to you. By adding the visual que to the sound, your hound knows exactly who to run to, as they are sighthounds, this is a natural progression to the training. Now, once you have the recall and visual que working without distractions, then go to a park where there are distractions and start close (5 feet or so), and work up to large distances. I have two of my three hounds trained to this and they have actually broken pursuit of a rabbit to recall to the whistle. I just adopted my third 3 weeks ago and have started this training in my back yard. Another month and she will be moved up to the dog park for "live" training.

 

Let me know if you have any questions on this method.

 

Chad

 

This sounds great. I'm going to get some hotdogs and get started tomorrow!! Thanks!

 

I've said this before and it's totally true, I could be wearing a bologna and peanut butter overcoat,

and she wouldn't even look in my direction much less come when I call.

 

LMAO! Now that's some visual. :lol

 

Erin

Edited by greytmiles
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Guest Houndie

My hounds are recall trained on a sports whistle (the kind refs blow at a football game). It is VERY easy to train this type of recall. What you want to do is to get the best treat you can think of, and ONLY use it during recall training, such as hotdog slivers, or bologna strips as examples (I use hotdog slivers). You need two whistles and two people. What you do is to go where there are no distractions, stand at arms length from each other with the hound close by (you can keep a leash on your hound to begin with if you want), one person blows the whistle, AS SOON as the hound looks at the sound, you give the hound a treat (again, VERY high value, and NEVER used for any other purpose). Then have the other person blow the whistle, treat when the hound looks. Repeat a few times, each time take one step apart. Once the hound gets used to the whistle, he/she may start to just run to the opposite person after receiving a treat, dont fall for this. If you get to the point where you are 20 feet away, and the hound just takes off to the other person without a whistle, no treat, plus mix up the order you blow the whistle. Do this EVERY time you go to where your hound is offleash, and do this training first. Of course, you need to have a somewhat reliable recall with the whistle before you go to a park or other offleash area that has a lot of distractions. Once you get a good recall without distractions, add a visual cue to the whistle. The reason for this is your hound may be confused and run to the first human and not to you. By adding the visual que to the sound, your hound knows exactly who to run to, as they are sighthounds, this is a natural progression to the training. Now, once you have the recall and visual que working without distractions, then go to a park where there are distractions and start close (5 feet or so), and work up to large distances. I have two of my three hounds trained to this and they have actually broken pursuit of a rabbit to recall to the whistle. I just adopted my third 3 weeks ago and have started this training in my back yard. Another month and she will be moved up to the dog park for "live" training.

 

Let me know if you have any questions on this method.

 

Chad

 

I think this is an approach that might work for us, too. As I mentioned in another thread, our hound has some fear/aggression issues we are also working on. I know recall is a separate issue, but do you think working on these two things at once is too much with a relatively new dog?

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All Greys are different and many can be quite difficult, but I can happily say they're nowhere near as one-track minded as my Borzois used to be. With Peggy (my current Grey)the food motivation tends to wear off but not if I pretend to eat the cheese tidbit I'm holding out! She must have eyes like a hawk to see that. If she acts disinterested then emergency recall can be activated by throwing 'my' (not hers) orange squeaker ball a little way in front of me and she will dash over to try and get it first. I've learned not to let her get it or it gets taken back about 50 yards away as a game. With my last dog it was going down on one knee, hiding and caling that got her to come back. You just need to use wshat works best for your particular dog.

Edited by JohnF
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Guest awvase

I know with our pup Chili who we have had since 3 months we would never let her off leash. I would love to be able to take her off leash and let her run, but I know she would not come back right away, and when she did she would come back with something she shouldn't have. It hard to break the years of instinct the sight hounds have.

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ahhh...the old "i'm temporarily deaf syndrom!" been there!

 

a good game that you can play, starting in the house and then taking it outside might just help get your pup motivated to COME!

 

start INSIDE and always have EXCELLENT TREATS....say her name, really happy and animated. when she comes, hold the collar and reward and verbally praise.

repeat this inside so she "gets it"

then start hiding in different rooms, upstairs, downstairs and have numerous people do the same call- just the name and always hold the collar.

 

transfer activity to outside(in the yard), also have a friend or family member working at a different spot doing the same activity and super reward.

let her be outside, you inside and repeat again. also while you now walk your dog outside, randomly call her name and either back up or change directions so she comes up to you- and treat when she does it. you have transfered the come activity to daily life.

 

by now she should be "getting" the concept of name-returning-food/praise

practice this a lot- until you are really bored w/ it, but do it often and at unexpected times. you should have lots of hot dog chunks or deyhdrated liver in your pockets by now.

 

at a dog park or fenced in area(field, tennis/basketball court) with a friend try the same exercise WITH OUT other dogs around, so she can focus.with all of this practice- a couple of weeks at least-she should respond to her name and treats.

 

if she spaces out and suddenly turns a deaf ear.... slowly walk over, try her name again, reward if she comes, (the distance might be too great too soon) and leash her up, always be happy and cheerful and reward her. if she plays a game darting all over the place, don't get frustrated, gently sit down and have your treats and wait. she will come. too soon, too early, more conditioning is needed, possibly w/ distractions of other dogs in a traditional obedience class with an experience trainer who has lots of tricks.

 

I DO LIKE THE USE OF A WHISTLE AND THINK THAT ONCE SHE REALLY "GETS IT" INSIDE AND IN A CONTAINED AREA THE WHISTLE SHOULD BE INTRODUCED. BUT MAKE SURE THERE IS A CONNECTION TO YOU!!! THAT IS STEP ONE. REMEMBER YOU HAVE A SIGHT HOUND,NOT A TERRIER OR WORKING DOG.

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I think we will start using a clicker when training since he seems so sound oriented. I need to do some reading so I can make sure I'm using it appropriately.

 

This seems so daunting but we will work diligently. Any tips would be much appreciated!

 

It's a little daunting, because these dogs aren't labs :P but with many greyhounds it can be done! It just takes longer and takes more consistent training, I think. We're using a clicker and it does seem to be something he snaps his head round to. Sid is a work in progress, but he's doing quite well - outside, with no distraction, he'll come when called. :thumbs-up

 

I like what Chad wrote, too, about using a whistle etc. Maybe the whistle might be better for outdoors where there is a lot of other noise - it might carry better than a click?

 

Good idea to train before feeding, so he's more motivated re food, and another tip for when you get to the 'let's try this in a field' stage, take him for a walk in the area first so he's tired and not all raring to go and explore. Maybe even walk him around the perimeter of the field first too, so that he gets the chance to check it out before you ask him to concentrate.

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

 

I think we will start using a clicker when training since he seems so sound oriented. I need to do some reading so I can make sure I'm using it appropriately.

 

This seems so daunting but we will work diligently. Any tips would be much appreciated!

 

It's a little daunting, because these dogs aren't labs :P but with many greyhounds it can be done! It just takes longer and takes more consistent training, I think. We're using a clicker and it does seem to be something he snaps his head round to. Sid is a work in progress, but he's doing quite well - outside, with no distraction, he'll come when called. :thumbs-up

 

I like what Chad wrote, too, about using a whistle etc. Maybe the whistle might be better for outdoors where there is a lot of other noise - it might carry better than a click?

 

This is EXACTLY the reason I use a sports whistle, the distractions and a whistle carries farther. I do use clicker training inside my house. My hounds are clicker-trained as well as hand signals, but outside since they can be so far away so quickly, I didnt think a clicker would be very useful, that is why I thought of something that is loud and will be easily heard over wind noise and other sounds, as well as being a very specific sound that a hound wouldnt regularly hear in everyday life. Unless of course you live by a park where they use the whistle all the time.

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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What you want to do is to get the best treat you can think of, and ONLY use it during recall training, such as hotdog slivers, or bologna strips as examples

 

Also, use very small pieces so your dog will keep wanting more.

 

Jenn

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Guest mhall

Thanks for all the suggestions! The whistle training sounds like a really good idea.

 

Part of the problem is that we don't have a fenced backyard, so we have to practice in a ball field where there can be lots of distractions. Going from the house to an outside area with tons of stimuli is a big jump. We'll try to start going to the field early on Sunday mornings when it's quieter.

 

I certainly don't expect lab-like obedience from Jasper, but I think making an attempt to instill recall is important in case of an emergency. Our last greyhound initially had a really high prey drive, but also a very nervous dog who didn't like us to be out of sight - especially outside. We had to work a lot on recall with him to get it to stick, but a year or so in he would always come when called, even if he was chasing prey. I don't see that ever happening with Jasper, who sounds a lot like Buzzy's dog. Jasper is very in tune with me inside, and is normal very food driven, but outside nothing I can provide is more interesting than whatever he's watching/sniffing.

 

Thanks again! We'll go pick up a whistle, and start working!

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

I have had Borzoi, Salukis, and Whippets. I found all three breeds extremely easy to off leash train. Minimal to no effort. Greyhounds have been harder, probably because they have such regulated lives on the track. That said, Monet is one that is natural good off leash. I have a hard time getting her to run and play in the woods because she won't leave my side. My Golden mix is the worst- he's friendly and distracted by everything he sees. I only let him off in the woods. He's not a hunter and won't chase anything too far. Plus, he's only been with me for a week (plus a month or so of fostering when he was a baby) since my BIL, his adopter, passed away. We ran in the woods today on the way to Jacksonville for NOTRA.

 

I train with a whistle, too. A lot of people tell me that one or two corrections with a shock collar (on the lowest setting) will handle it for life, but I haven't ever found the need to resort to that, and I would NEVER do it with a spooky or nervous dog. I really have no experience there- just know a lot of dogs that it worked incredibly well for when combined with rewards and lots of positive training.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I have had Borzoi, Salukis, and Whippets. I found all three breeds extremely easy to off leash train. Minimal to no effort. Greyhounds have been harder, probably because they have such regulated lives on the track. That said, Monet is one that is natural good off leash. I have a hard time getting her to run and play in the woods because she won't leave my side. My Golden mix is the worst- he's friendly and distracted by everything he sees. I only let him off in the woods. He's not a hunter and won't chase anything too far. Plus, he's only been with me for a week (plus a month or so of fostering when he was a baby) since my BIL, his adopter, passed away. We ran in the woods today on the way to Jacksonville for NOTRA.

 

I train with a whistle, too. A lot of people tell me that one or two corrections with a shock collar (on the lowest setting) will handle it for life, but I haven't ever found the need to resort to that, and I would NEVER do it with a spooky or nervous dog. I really have no experience there- just know a lot of dogs that it worked incredibly well for when combined with rewards and lots of positive training.

 

 

You put a shock collar on a greyhound?

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Ease up there, I asked a simple question. You have a run-on sentence there that combines two thoughts, thats why I asked the question.

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Guest Giselle

Just want to clarify...

 

The whistle is not synonymous to the clicker in this situation. The clicker is a "bridge", a distinct sound that tells the dog 1) yes, you performed the right behavior at this exact moment 2) you will be receiving a treat. It's useful because it tells the dog *exactly* what she did right and so allows you to shape complex behaviors from seemingly mundane, normal behaviors. It also buys you a little time. Instead of fumbling for treats in your pocket as you hurriedly try to reward at the exact right moment, you get a couple extra seconds of leeway. The clicker is a MARKER. It tells the dog, "YES!". In fact, a verbal "Yes!" works exactly the same way, but the clicker is especially popular because it is so consistent and easy to use.

 

The whistle, however, is the cue itself. It does not "mark" a behavior. The whistle is akin to a verbal cue (i.e. "Sit"). It's telling the dog to do something - not that the dog did anything right. So if you don't teach your dog what the whistle means early on in the game and if you don't reinforce it consistently, the whistle is meaningless.

 

Clear, consistent cues and markers are essential to creating a very consistent, reliable behavior.

 

Greyt_dog_lover's method is actually shaping a "come" with the whistle as a cue. It's shaping because you start with a very small, simple behavior (a head turn) and train it into a complex behavior (a long distance come). You can say "Yes!" or click after the dog flips its head towards you, if you prefer. The "Yes!"/click would be the marker, but I find that the whistle is such a distinct cue that many dogs don't even need the marker. Hope that helps! Clicker training often gets unnecessarily confusing, so I just wanted to clarify what it is and what it's good for :)

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Guest mhall

Just want to clarify...

 

The whistle is not synonymous to the clicker in this situation. The clicker is a "bridge", a distinct sound that tells the dog 1) yes, you performed the right behavior at this exact moment 2) you will be receiving a treat. It's useful because it tells the dog *exactly* what she did right and so allows you to shape complex behaviors from seemingly mundane, normal behaviors. It also buys you a little time. Instead of fumbling for treats in your pocket as you hurriedly try to reward at the exact right moment, you get a couple extra seconds of leeway. The clicker is a MARKER. It tells the dog, "YES!". In fact, a verbal "Yes!" works exactly the same way, but the clicker is especially popular because it is so consistent and easy to use.

 

The whistle, however, is the cue itself. It does not "mark" a behavior. The whistle is akin to a verbal cue (i.e. "Sit"). It's telling the dog to do something - not that the dog did anything right. So if you don't teach your dog what the whistle means early on in the game and if you don't reinforce it consistently, the whistle is meaningless.

 

Clear, consistent cues and markers are essential to creating a very consistent, reliable behavior.

 

Greyt_dog_lover's method is actually shaping a "come" with the whistle as a cue. It's shaping because you start with a very small, simple behavior (a head turn) and train it into a complex behavior (a long distance come). You can say "Yes!" or click after the dog flips its head towards you, if you prefer. The "Yes!"/click would be the marker, but I find that the whistle is such a distinct cue that many dogs don't even need the marker. Hope that helps! Clicker training often gets unnecessarily confusing, so I just wanted to clarify what it is and what it's good for :)

 

Thanks for the very thorough explanation. I wasn't very clear in my orginal post - while I think Jasper would benefit from clicker training in general it wasn't my intention to use the clicker as the cue to come. Though he has learned "lie down," "leave it," "wait" and "drop" (inside at least), he seems to take longer to link the command to the action we want from him than our last dog. I figured using a clicker to mark/shape the behavior we want would make training easier and more fun for him. Using a (non-clicker) sound cue to come seemed like it might work better than a verbal command because Jasper is very responsive to sounds outside.

 

I'll try to pick up a whistle in the next few days and we'll start working in the house. I'm happy to report Japser's"leave it"has become pretty reliable on our daily walks. I'll keep you all posted on our progress.

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