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Recall Training
  • LinkZLLinkZL
    Posts: 38
    Hello Everyone,

    I have trained my dog to do a lot of things at home. But he still have an independent mind, and it is starting to frustrate me...especially with the come command outside. For example: tonight when our neighborhood dog meet up ending, other dogs were leaving the park, my dog followed them pretty much out the park. In the meantime, I was standing in the park with a piece of beef calling him multiple times to come back to me. It's very frustrating, aside from being embarrassing. I felt my dog's behavior was unacceptable, even though he was in safe company.

    I have trained my shiba the come command at home. I say, "Link, come" and I give him a treat pretty much every time or a head rub. I have noticed that he doesn't always follow through on commands sometimes, esp. if the treat is like a store bought treat. Now I make sure I have some meaty treat on me for the come command, and it has worked well for the month until tonight.

    My shiba is now 10 months old. What else can I do to make him have a 100% response rate to my recall command?

    If I can't call him back when I want him to, I fear I won't be able to let him go to the dog meet ups anymore. It will be very sad.

    Please advise.
    Thank you.
  • mlvuemlvue
    Posts: 92
    Well based on the overwhelming number of responses you've gotten, I'm gonna say that there's not much else you can do to get a 100% response rate from your dog. lol.

    I'm going through the same dilemma with Tank. He's gone through obedience classes and completed CGC Training. Most days, he's super at responding to every single command. Some days, I might as well command a stuffed teddy bear.

    Over time, Tank's gotten a lot better. I think the two keys are Consistency on a handler's part and Maturity in the animal. Example, when Tank was 10 mos old and going thru Intermediate Obedience training, neither my hub or I could command Tank to wade through a floor with toys or treats and obey our "Leave it" command. Even when we were holding Tank's favorite treat in our hands. Now that Tank's 13 months, he does it with flying colors.
    Post edited by mlvue at 2010-03-05 19:24:03
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 437
    Recall can take time, and Link is still a puppy. A puppy going through the teenage years. Don't get frusterated over one time of him not listening. Out and about, my dog has a 100% recall. In the house, meh! He knows when I am just calling him to call him and choses if he wants to obey. He weighs what he is doing vs. what I am doing and decides which one is going to be more exciting.

    For now, make sure you set yourself up for success. Leash him before you go to leave to show him that he must go when you do and not when other people do. You never know when some owner will let him out the gate accidentally. If that happens, you will be playing a whole new game "Chase the Dog." Not fun...lol.

    Also, if you call more than once or keep calling your dog has tuned you out. It's not going to happen. It's just like when someone repeatedly says "sit, sit, sit..." Guess what, Fido's not going to sit. All he's going to think is blah blah blah in his head. Instead of continuously calling his name hoping he will listen, walk over and leash him.

    If you set yourself, and Link, up for success it will make you more confident in your abilities to train him and that is key. As you have seen it only takes one time for us owners to get frusterated.

    Good luck, and don't worry you will both get it down!
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Your first mistake is expecting perfect recall, you should never expect a 100% recall with a shiba, in the end you'll only get disappointed. Shibas are well know for ignoring commands, and doing what they want to do than what you want to do. But even with their desire to not listen, there are still ways to get them to do what you want.

    Second, never use your recall word when there is any chance he's not going to listen, you'll only be teaching him to ignore you or that it's no big deal if he doesn't come. At a place such as a dog park or dog meet up, expect the recall rate to be about 10% at most. Also, just because he has great recall at home, don't expect him to know recall outside the house.

    He is still just a puppy, so don't expect him to e perfect with commands yet. Does he run away from you, or just ignores you? You'd be better off just getting him instead of calling him, or finding something that can be a good distraction. Like at the dog park if Tetsu doesn't come, instead of calling him and wave a tennis ball and say "look what I have". He runs right to me, wanting to be the first dog to get at the tennis ball.

    Dogs are not generalists, when teaching a command you must practice in all sorts of environments and situations. If you only practice the sit command in the livingroom, they won't know what to do when you expect them to sit in the kitchen.

    With recall, it's best to start in a boring, distraction free environment such as the livingroom or another quiet room in the house. Say the command and reward when he listens. If he doesn't listen, pretty much act like an idiot and make yourself seem interesting to him. Once he learns recall in the one room, practice in another or even across two rooms. Once he gets the knack of it, start practicing in the back yard. If he is too distracted in the backyard, try practicing recall with him attached to a leash.

    One way to teach recall with a leash is to start with a regular 6 foot leash and have him sit in directly front of you, toe to paw. Hold a treat/toy in one hand and the leash in the other, let him know you have the treat and keep your both your hands at your belly area. Say the command and walk backwards a few feet, with the pup following your hands, stop and reward. Slowly work to more steps backwards and starting further away from him (end of the leash) until he comes to you with out issue. Then expand to a 20 foot training leash, and work on expanding the distance from 6ft to 20 ft. Eventually you can work towards being off leash. This is sort of a formal way of training recall.

    Remember, Link is only 10 months old, it takes time for a dog to learn recall, especially an independent dog such as a shiba.
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  • LinkZLLinkZL
    Posts: 38
    I know I should never expect 100% recall from a shiba, because they are independent and stubborn breed. Regardless how many time I remind myself that Link is young and he's a shiba, it doesn't reduce the fear of seeing him far away and see the possibility that he may run away. Link knows the stay command, and I knew why he choose not to listen to my last night...dogs are his #1 distraction. He was probably too excited and didn't want the other dogs to leave. I have called him a couple of time, not move and walked away and waited, then finally walked to where he is and tell him to sit and gave him a treat as I leash him. As a shiba owner, I can't express how fearful the experience is whenever I see Link far away from me and the possibility of him running away.

    Today I saw a familiar shiba who also have good recall run away from his owner. It made my heart sink, dreading the worst as I see the owner struggle to get his shiba to calm down and come to him. It took close to 10 minutes for the shiba to calm down enough to let his owner near him...near enough to grab the collar. It was a scary sight because it happened at an intersection. I would feel horrible if anything bad happen to this shiba because he's Link's friend. This episode only reminds me that regardless how well trained a shiba is, it can not be trusted....

    Do you think a fixed shiba will have a better recall than an unaltered shiba? Link's friend was not altered and the owner think it was because he smells a female in heat. Roaming maybe the problem...but is fixing a shiba going to increase his recall?
  • I saw the title of this post and was instantly interested. RECALL. WOW! The one thing I can't wait for. MoJo is neutered and 13 months old. I enrolled him into a training class that uses positive reinforcement, and I am hoping it helps. I am not expecting 100% recall like I had with my Samoyed, but I am praying (for his own safety) that it works at least 75% of the time. I am scared to death that MoJo will run into a busy street, and it's for this reason I am going to take him to an 8 week class. MoJo is another one that won't let you get close enough to grab his collar. I just bought a martingale collar and the next time I take him out on a long walk, he will wear the collar AND his harness for double protection. He just got out of his harness a couple weeks ago. It scared all of us. Luckily it was 11 pm and not many cars around on the roads. He bolted like a bat out of hell and never looked back! We finally caught up to him when he ran up to a guy just pulling into his driveway. The guy held onto him for us. So, I feel your pain Linkzl
  • starrystarry
    Posts: 187
    To work on outdoor recall, my trainer had me do 6 foot long leash, let my dog get into something really interesting and then I would call him and run away, then lots of praise and treat when he came. It worked really well cause it made him think I was more interesting than anything else in the world. Also, doing the same thing but call him while hiding works well.

    One time at the dog park, I called my dog from very far away and he ran towards a woman who was about my height dressed in similar black clothes. He got near her and sorta looked and smelled at her then started walking away still looking back at her with a face that said I swear that's my owner but she didn't pet me and then he saw me and ran to me. So, sometimes I think they get confused.

    In any case, I found my dog listens more after he turned a year and a half.
    10 months was when he didn't listen at all and I could barely get him to come while in the house. This was also when I took him to a trainer and he learned so much more. So keep working at it and it will improve with time
  • TengaiTengai
    Posts: 275
    The key with teaching recall is to always praise, give something he really loves everytime he comes back, even if he takes the long road to you. Don't raise your voice, don't get angry if he takes a while, just praise and treat when he gets there! I use a flexi lead and while walking I call him back and have them sit in front of me, give a treat and let him go again. Do that over and over. Don't make him think every time I come back we are going home/getting locked up/or doing anything that's not fun.
    They do get better as they get older,but most still are not 100%. I have one girl who I can walk off lead for the most part, under the right circumstances.

    Phil
  • micro322micro322
    Posts: 16
    I have tried everything when it comes to recall. She KNOWS, she doesn't DO. Mostly, I just start walking away and she will follow me. She is never allowed off leash except in an enclosed dog park. At 3 years old, her recall is much better though. I think it just takes time. Shibas are also sensitive to sound, so you may want to try clicker training, I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard it can be quite successful if done correctly.
  • i've been thinking about getting a clicker just to get MoJo's attention at times. I clap, but he turns a deaf ear to that when he wants to. Maybe the clicker will get his attention.
  • If you use a clicker to get a dogs attention then you cannot use it for clicker training.

    A clicker is to confirm that the dog has done what you asked of him. So for instance, if you called your dog and he did look at you, you would click and treat.

    So if you used to to get his attention, and then later decided to teach him clicker training he would need to un-learn that habit.

    I found with my dogs, that making high pitch squeaking noises is very effective in getting there attention. Clapping seems to have a more startling impact so I don't do that unless they are over rough housing.
  • ohhhhhh I see...makes sense. Thank you Jessica. :) I prefer to use the clicker for training so I guess I'll wait until I start the dog class on March 20th. They gave me a list of things I will need. A clicker is #1 Thanks for you feedback.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    Rezzing powerrrrrs! This weekend gave me the scare of my life, and now I am determined to strengthen Coal's recall. I do the hide and seek, work on long leash in various locations (home, park, street, driveway, dog runs). Easy distractions, he will come. Dogs? No. Zoomies? Definitely no. I always give him praise and treats for my emergency recall. I do the run backwards while calling, squat down, etc.

    I would say that his recall is 40% right now. How can I move up the strength of it for distractions? He really lacks the ability to turn off his excitement once it is on, and he can go from calm to gone in 0.6 seconds. Or at least some way to get him to *look* at me. Once he looks at me, I can generally give him a command and it will usually work.
  • ColtyHanColtyHan
    Posts: 37
    The Couch Wolves website had an article recently about training recall in primitive dogs. That might be something for you to look at. I'd link it, but I'm not sure that is allowed here.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    @ColtyHan I have seen numerous articles linked in other posts, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. I will see if I can find it if you are not comfortable linking it.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    Is it this article? https://www.couchwolves.com/latest-news/2017/10/22/yes-a-primitive-dog-can-reliably-come-when-called
    I haven't read it yet. Just doing some googling lol.

    I'm kinda at a similar point to you, Anjyil. Ozzy knows that when he comes when called, he gets the best treats. He comes pretty reliably at the dog park. But I know he would not come if he were focused on something else, like on the chase with a squirrel or something. He often stops and considers his options when called. And a good amount of time he decides to come. But definitely not 100%. And those are all in pretty controlled environments.

    I also found it kinda helpful to teach a down stay from a distance. I'm not sure if he would ever "down" when overstimulated, but it gives me another option to try haha... he's very good at it when focused on me. :)) and when he's on the run, he is much easier to get to with a stay than with a come.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-10-24 16:22:31
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 368
    i can't even make Zenki come when called in our house/apt.
    Untitled
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 720
    I read the article and it seems pretty good. It relies on teaching recall as a position rather than an action, which is easier for the dogs to understand. It's baby steps, positive training. For most dogs, training books don't talk about this step as it is not technically necessary, but might be for more primitive dogs. I am going to start giving it a try (already have). This week is position work in the front yard--he has the most freedom there right now.

    @Lilikoi A down-stay from a distance is hard...I never thought of really teaching him that, though his stay is pretty damn strong most of the time. I didn't even think to try "stay" during the escapade that happened this weekend.

    @Zenki that would definitely be a first step XD We practice recall in the house quite a bit, though. We always make it a game---run backwards while calling and stuff. Keep at it, you wil get there!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3492
    @Zenki sounds like a typical shiba. How old?

    Definitely no recall in the house = no recall in public
    :-((
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 351
    Laika and Rhyz have close to 100% recall in the house, maybe 50% in the yard, but I use different words and I rarely say "come" when I'm out there because I know they're quite likely to outright ignore it. Instead in the yard I say things like, "Are you ready?" and if they move toward the door I say, "Ok let's go!". They know these two things equate going in the door and getting a treat, rather than coming to ME and getting a treat.

    The wind blew one of our gates open a few days ago though and Laika took off down the street with my hubby in hot pursuit. She wasn't really running from him, she had began following the route we take on most of our walks when we head out the front door, but wasn't coming to him to walk with him either.

    I ran out the front door, caught up to him, knelt down and yelled "Pooper sweetie!" and she turned, ears down, and came at me in full airplane mode. It was beautiful, but also I think she only did it because she was surprised to see me there haha! If I had been the one to follow her out of the yard she probably wouldn't have come to me if I'd knelt down and called her, though if my hubby had come and called she would have ran to him instead. :)


    Both of our dogs have failed every single instance of distraction tests we've done with recall. Laika will succeed if the distraction is food, Rhyzik succeeds if the distraction is other dogs. Flip the two and they fail 100%.

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