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Recall Training Help


Guest FlyingFlynn
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Guest FlyingFlynn

Hi there everyone,

This is my first time posting to GT (though I've read a lot of articles since we got our 4yo boy Flynn about two years ago) and I was hoping for some pointers on recall training. Since day one we have done recall work but there is this one dangerous/annoying habitat that Flynn has we haven't managed to break. When my hubby or I call him he comes running at full speed and most of the time flies right past us and keeps on running, especially if he has the room. Sometimes he comes back but usually he gets distracted and forgot we called him so we call him again and he comes running but runs right past again.

This behavior is cause for much anxiety because while we are careful he has gotten out twice (once because he backed out of collar when a carbackfired and once because the latch on our backgate broke). Flynn tried to run past my husband but he was fast enough to grab his tag collar but the time he got out with me I was so afraid to call him and cause him to run that I chased him for nearly a mile while he went on a walk (he never ran but trotted out our walking path and back to our front door).

Sorry for the bit of a tangent to get around to by question but I was hoping someone here had some advise to stop this sprinting behavior.

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In my experience this is a common problem with Greys. I think you need to go back to basics with his recall training. In a small space (indoors if necessary) reinforce your recall with rewards before moving onto a larger enclosed space i.e yard/garden. He needs to be responding to your call and coming straight to you before moving onto the next step.

 

Doing "fly pasts" is very common with Greys and can be great fun, but get the ground work done first.

 

Btw. I am currently doing recall with my latest Grey Johnny, three months ago I didn't think he would ever get it....but even my slightly"dense" boy is learning slowly :lol

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Guest FlyingFlynn

He recalls fine in the house but as soon as we are outside he runs especially if we recall him from a stay. We do reward with treats and as soon as he know we have them he stops running but it takes a treat or two to get him to stop. I don't know if a squawker since I just played some squawker calls for him and he didn't even look up (maybe this is why he only raced a handful of times).

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He recalls fine in the house but as soon as we are outside he runs especially if we recall him from a stay. We do reward with treats and as soon as he know we have them he stops running but it takes a treat or two to get him to stop. I don't know if a squawker since I just played some squawker calls for him and he didn't even look up (maybe this is why he only raced a handful of times).

This is why I said move onto an enclosed area, it takes a while for dogs to generalise recall training to different environments.....if he gets the opportunity to not respond to your recall he will probably continue to do so, especially as you have had him for two years.

 

Please don't take what I have written as criticism, a good recall is hard to train. Flynn clearly loves to run for fun, if you can find somewhere that he can do this safely whilst working on improving his recall then you can all be happy. (My boy Johnny does not appear to love to run just for the joy of it, which is a first for me and makes me a little sad, but I've only had him seven months so maybe that will change....it took him six months to realise he was allowed to sleep on the sofa :lol)

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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You've already got him running to you. That's fantastic. Now you just need to refine it to make sure he understands that a recall isn't just coming to you but also allowing you to catch him. As already suggested, it will help to go back to basics again and do so in a way that helps him understand he must stop & let you put your hands on him. One way to do that is to not reward him until you have your hand on his collar. When you do reward him, make sure you have lots of super, super, super good treats & feed him many of them, one at a time. Do this multiple times a day. For now, don't recall him unless you have rewards for him. And don't recall him unless you already have control of the situation to prevent him from overrunning you.

 

Sometimes it helps to start by just standing 1" in front of him, recalling him, immediately putting your hand on collar and then rewarding like heck. Then move a little farther away & then a little farther. He already knows to come, just not to stick around so he will probably catch on quickly that the parameters have changed. Some dogs may need things to proceed more slowly. Whatever is the case, just try to set things up so he can succeed every time. If he misses a couple times in a row then you may need to back track. Don't take things to a wide open area until you really think he has it. It takes hundreds, sometimes thousands, of repetitions until the dog really gets it to the point it is an automatic reaction.

 

You want coming to you, standing still & letting you take his collar to be the default response. Remember to reward that, not just running to you. Hand on collar before rewarding.

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Does he know how to sit?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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FWIW: I almost never recall from a stay -- tends to create extra excitement. We do most of our recall training as life happens. If the dogs are out in the fenced yard, I'll mosey around, too, and periodically call somebody to come; if s/he doesn't, I go get the dog and we do it again from a distance of @ 6". Then 3'. Then 10'. You get the idea :) . If we're out on leash, I'll periodically take a step or two back and "Come!"

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Get yourself a long line, it's going to be your best friend.

 

In recall training you want to avoid having your dog be unsuccessful. You've got a good start with him coming in your direction when called.

 

Put the long line on a harness on your dog whenever he goes out in your yard. Call him. If he starts to blow by you, grab onto the trailing long line and stop him as gently as possible, but that's why you should attach it to a harness). Reel him in to you and reward and raise. Release him back to what he was doing. Repeat until he starts to get the idea and stops blowing by you, but instead makes the effort to put on the brakes.

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Guest chickenpotpie

FWIW: I almost never recall from a stay -- tends to create extra excitement. We do most of our recall training as life happens. If the dogs are out in the fenced yard, I'll mosey around, too, and periodically call somebody to come; if s/he doesn't, I go get the dog and we do it again from a distance of @ 6". Then 3'. Then 10'. You get the idea :) . If we're out on leash, I'll periodically take a step or two back and "Come!"

this. Recall training for Lucky is every day and constant. Greyhounds can have a mind of their own.

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So the reason I asked whether your dog sits is because in my classes the start of our recall training is teaching what we call a sit-front. There's basically no motion on the dog's part involved initially. You lure the dog a few steps toward you and into a sit, feed a ton of treats and repeat. Once you have done it a couple of times and are sure the dog will do it, you start using your recall cue. THen you start to add in a a little more movement, still luring the dog you'll jog backwards a few steps then lure the sit. We have people work on this for one week for their homework. The following week we actually have the dogs run to the owner, but we do 2 things to ensure the dog will not only come, but come and sit. First, while I hold the dog, the owner teases the dog with their very best food - "do you want this?! don't these smell good, do you want them"! in a happy singsong voice will waving the treats in front of the dog's nose. Then the owner turns and runs away, turns back and calls the dog. As teh dog is running to them, they're praising but they also have that food out in front of them at nose height. As the dog comes to them, they pull their hands away and up so the dog moves into that sit, then they feed and feed and feed and feed... (like for 15 seconds, one piece at a time a long steady stream of their best treats).

We gradually fade out the teasing and the luring - eventually the owner just walks away, turns and calls the dog and hten waits for the dog to sit (initially they might need to remind them with the verbal cue), but you see how here we get hte behavior of coming to the owner and staying with the owner first, then we work up to larger distances, more distractions. etc.

 

If your grey can't sit, you could do it with the dog standing, or have the dog lie down instead, but basically go back to square one and train properly from the basic steps of calling your dog just a few steps and then rewarding heavily for him staying with you, then work up the distance. I would start over with a brand new cue (I like "here") and remember these basic rules:

 

1. Never use the cue to call the dog away from something fun (unless you're practicing, in which case if you know the dog will come, you can, but then after rewarding, immediately send him back with a "go play" cue. In other words, your recall cue never ends fun. It certainly doesn't get used to call the dog in from the yard so you can put him in the crate to go to work, to call him out of the trash, etc. ;)

2. Only call him when you are certain he will come.

3. Throw a party every single time he responds to the cue - feed 15-20 sec, one treat at a time (not a handful at once), praising enthusiastically the whole time

 

Have fun!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Never train recall without a long line attached to the dog. You NEVER want to be in a position where you say "come" and you cannot physically compel the dog to come to you if he/she doesn't respond.

 

Do it in a fence area. Stand on the end of the line before you call the dog. It's a good idea to wear leather gloves--grab the line as he approaches and use it to stop him. Treats and lovin' when you reel him in!


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I think my lack of preciseness in recall training actually encouraged Barbie to do these 'fly bys' - when I started doing the basics with Mouse on a long lead, the trainer pointed out that I should be holding the treat at my belly button in the centre of my body - that way the dog is aimed right at you and not encouraged to go to the left or right. I was holding the treat to my left and that encouraged her to go past. When you are doing the long line exercises get him to 'sit front' - you will be surprised how quickly it works and you will get a dog who recalls, slows down and sits in front of you. I don't mind if my guys misjudge and make contact, anything but that zoomie past.

 

I have a different word if I want the dog to head back to me but don't expect a recall and sit front..... I say 'this way' and walk away from them or 'over here' if I'm not moving anywhere but they are close to going too far away.... they come with but not in a precise recall way that I expect when I say 'come'

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Guest FlyingFlynn

Thanks everyone for the advise. He sits, lays down, stays, leaves it, rolls over, and waits just fine it just this recall we have trouble with because running gets him so excited. The harness and long line is a great suggestion and when we first started recall training we used it since that is how I trained my parents dog for them, unfortunately it doesn't work for us. Flynn loathes harnesses and even with lots of praise and treats he will only slowly walk in one forget running (which actually may solve our problem since he won't run away if he is wearing one...). If we try to reel him in with one (and I've tried lots of different types and even put those fleece covers you see on horse equipment on the straps) on his freaks out and starts screaming and thrashing. I guess I could try the long line on the collar but if he flies pass I couldn't stop him without injuring him.

We worked on recall in the house a lot this weekend. We stashed treats everywhere so we could call him to use randomly and he did well. We went on a long drive to the dog park that has a small separate training area and he did ok without distractions but in the 15acre area he was all over the place though he does listen well to 'leave it' and stay commands even at a distance.

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Are you using really super duper high value treats when you're away from home: freshly cooked chicken, steak, sausages, liver etc? Something that makes him whine because he wants it so much. I think this is absolutely key. In the early days of training mine, I used to cook up something tasty right before leaving home to get the dogs really interested. And when he does come to you be generous with the treats every single time; you've got to pay him enough to make it worth his while.

 

Secondly, when you're in an open area and you've recalled him and he's coming towards you at full speed, have you tried running away from him and/or waving your arms in the air and/or jumping up and down on the spot and/or screeching at the top of your voice and/or throwing a toy around and/or squatting down and making excited noises as if you've found something really interesting on the ground and/or pretended to fall down and lie flat on the ground? Anything, really, to keep his attention on you and make YOU more interesting than anything else going on. The only thing I never did, which I sometimes see advised, is to hide from them, as I didn't want to panic them.

 

I never used a long (or short) line on mine or any form of coercion at any time during training. To my mind, this would defeat the object of making recall the most exciting, fun, enjoyable thing in the world.

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Thanks everyone for the advise. He sits, lays down, stays, leaves it, rolls over, and waits just fine it just this recall we have trouble with because running gets him so excited. The harness and long line is a great suggestion and when we first started recall training we used it since that is how I trained my parents dog for them, unfortunately it doesn't work for us. Flynn loathes harnesses and even with lots of praise and treats he will only slowly walk in one forget running (which actually may solve our problem since he won't run away if he is wearing one...). If we try to reel him in with one (and I've tried lots of different types and even put those fleece covers you see on horse equipment on the straps) on his freaks out and starts screaming and thrashing. I guess I could try the long line on the collar but if he flies pass I couldn't stop him without injuring him.

We worked on recall in the house a lot this weekend. We stashed treats everywhere so we could call him to use randomly and he did well. We went on a long drive to the dog park that has a small separate training area and he did ok without distractions but in the 15acre area he was all over the place though he does listen well to 'leave it' and stay commands even at a distance.

Absolutely no to a long line on a collar. He could end up severely injured or worse. As Hawthorn said, you shouldn't need a long line if you train the recall properly.

 

Again, go back to square one and train the entire recall properly. In my world "here" (or "come" or whatever you use) does not mean come running at me and then fly by. That is NOT a recall. A recall is come to me immediately, as fast as you can, and then stay toe to toe with me until I tell you to go play. Unfortunately you've practiced it the first way over and over and over and over and...you get the idea. You're best bet would be to start fresh with a new cue as I described above, starting with the sit front. But at the very least, please stop calling him when you know he's far enough away that he's going to get overexcited and run past you. Practice calling him only from a distance where he will remain relatively calm and then use your highest value treats to call him in (btw, when I say highest value, I mean highest value people food - roast beef, your steak craps, really stinky cheese, we had someone come in to class wth a tube of liverwurst once and just let the dog feed on that, etc.). You'd be much better off starting off fresh with a new cue though that doesn't have the history of him practicing the incorrect behavior so much.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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when my guys are coming in too hot I also tell them 'whooooa' which is a command that they learned from leash walking when they go to take off when I release them from a sit..... that seems to work but I haven't used it with much precision.

 

the sit front is key and something that I really only just learned :)

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I don't find a sit necessary at all.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Every time I have called Rudy it is for something awesome and fun, like a marrow bone, a tasty treat, a new toy, etc. I try to avoid calling him to me just to call him, and so he has built up such a positive association that he comes running to me with an excited and expectant look on his face. But when we are going out somewhere I still always try to remember to bring his squawker just in case and to use it on occasion along with LOTS of praise and reward. Rudy is very highly treat motivated so it made things pretty easy.

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When a dog is coming at a run I have had success by dropping to one knee and turning sideways with the treat in my hand. I look at the dog and then down at the treat. I didn't learn this anywhere, it just seems instinctive.

 

If your dog escapes out in spacem, once he starts to run he will want to finish his zoomies. Better just to wander after him in those situations and slip a collar on when you catch up. If cars are a danger, well then you have to call and hope. Sounds like a fun dog you have.

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