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Recall tips? Really Reliable Recall
  • Our shiba's recall is horendous! We have taken him to obience classes where is was fantastic both on and OFF the leash. However outside in the big interesting world nothing works. We have never walked him off the leash out with an enclosed area. We would never chance it.
    Any suggestions to aid this?

    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-09-02 19:03:44
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    You may want to transition him slowly, instead of just practicing in a quiet class room to suddenly a busy area. Dogs do not generalize most of the time, so just cause he's good in classes, doesn't mean he'll be good in the house, backyard, park, etc. If he's doing good in class, start practicing inside the house, if you haven't done so already. Then take him to the backyard, and when his recall is good there, try a quiet park. For each place, start as if he doesn't know recall. Start with him close to you (like 3 ft away) and on leash, and when he comes from there slowly increase the distance.

    Remember though, shibas aren't known for their amazing recall, so try not to get frustrated if his recall isn't as good as the other dogs in class.
    Posts: 1507
    My puppy Penny has great recall. All I have to do is call her name and she comes running over. Inu is more typical Shiba. I can call his name and he will just look at me and go back to what he was doing. But I figured him out. I keep a squeeze toy or ball in my pocket and as soon as he hears the toy or sees the ball he comes running over to me. This works both in the house and at the dog run. And its a good idea not to ever let them offleash in an open area. I am tempted to try it with Penny since she has such good recall and walks close to me when she is offleash in the dogpark. But all it takes is one squirrel and you know the rest.
  • Thanks Calia and Inu Ryuu. His recall at home in the house and ok outside its zero even on the leash. We will persist. MY older shiba, Kobe, is better but he never got better till he was about 7 years old.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    Harpoon gun? :-p

    How are you doing the recall? Kai's recall with "Come" sucks. But if we can get his attention, his recall with "Touch" is phenomenal. Touch is the "always treat with the very best treat" recall. Hand signal is open palm facing him held at nose height. We don't use it very often, mostly once every other day to reinforce it (or get him out of the bedroom when one of us wants to change clothes). It works in the dog park too but the timing is critical (right now). I have to be sure Kai is facing me and within earshot so he'll see both the hand signal and hear the command.
  • bobc33bobc33
    Posts: 287
    Scout has absolutely no recall, even though I did spend a lot of time and her favorite treats trying to teach her.

    Shadow is darn close to 100% recall, with hardly any training at all.

    I would never let either off leash in an open area.
  • emmyemmy
    Posts: 553
    My dog has good recall even without treats. Part of it is just him, I'm sure. But I have focused on always making coming to me positive. If you come you get a treat or a belly rub or at least your head petted. I never say "come here" and then pick him up or do something else he perceives as negative FIRST. Sometimes after the treat, etc. *evil laugh*

    Other thought-- make sure your voice is always positive. My shiba ran off once when someone opened the fence while he was in the yard. I chased him a half mile. Barefoot. In a pencil skirt. ANYWAY...I realized as I was chasing him that I naturally sounded anxious and mad when I called for him. So I tried to sound enthusiastic and even told him how good he was. He eventually turned and just ran to me. Thrilled that we had our little adventure, and tired and ready to go home.

    My advice is to just keep it positive, all the time. The experiences build on themselves, and hopefully you make the most out of whatever recall potential your shiba may have.
  • TengaiTengai
    Posts: 275
    Get a Lab!

    Kidding of course
    As someone else mentioned, make it positive., Always praise. Use a long lead when walking let him roam, call back treat etc, let him go again. Repeat about a million times! It may work may not.I have one who is 100% recallable. The others no where near.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    We were experimenting with Kai's recall today at the dog park. Went sorta like this:
    • We call his name
    • Kai hears and looks at us!
    • We say "Come!"
    • He charges at us at full speed, tail curled and smiling!
    • We start getting happy
    • Kai flies between our legs and attacks the leaf behind us

    Does it count if the dog comes within tackling distance? >.<
  • recall? shibas? prayer works! lol.

    seriously though just stay consistent and positive but don't get fustrated when they buzz the tower. you call, they come, they continue to run past you.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    Harpoon guns are easier and more fun :-p

    Tho Kai's dodging skills are impressive at the dog park. He jukes like an NFL running back, sending chasing dogs to the dirt nose first
  • bobc33bobc33
    Posts: 287
    Well let me take back my above post about Shadow having almost 100% recall as it was just put to the test (accidently) and he failed.

    I took Scout and Shadow to the tennis courts to let them run free in a big space, and invited my fiend with his two boys and American Eskimo puppy to met us there. When they arrived the gate swung open and both Scout and Shadow got out and took off! So now there are three dogs, two adults and two kids running through the large playground. Luckily Scout stopped to sniff something after a few hundred yards and we grabbed her but Shadow kept going. Both" come" and "stay" had no effect as he did neither.

    We were all the way through the field and soon approaching a road and he showed no sign of stopping. Luck was with us again as he stopped just before the road to jump in some bushes to sniff something. My friend was able to grab him and hold him as I caught up with the leash.

    So let me amend, Shadow has great recall in the house and in a fenced in yard, but when truly in an open space forget about it. It ended well but is a reminder to me to always be alert and vigilant.
  • Thanks all for your comments - persistence seems to be the way forward.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    My girlfriend and I finally got some time to train some recall at the dog park today. We went early and had the entire place to ourselves. We got to the point where we could bounce Kai back and forth across the entire dog park from different places (once my girlfriend started using her 'Outside' voice). Kai also seemed to respond better when we crouched down after calling his name. The arms wide sign didn't work too well.

    We practiced for a good 30 mins before another dog showed up. At which point most of the practice went down the flusher :-p He'd come when called... But we'd have to set off the doggie equivalent of a fission bomb to get his attention first. Sacrificed my dignity much today (which the other owner thought was cute) :D

    We also need to work on our reward management. With another dog there as a distraction, we weren't prepared to escalate the reward for coming with a distraction. I'm positive Kai felt the dog was "New!" and the treats we had already given him were "Old" so why pay attention for the same old thing.
  • DjinnDjinn
    Posts: 161
    "We also need to work on our reward management. With another dog there as a distraction, we weren't prepared to escalate the reward for coming with a distraction. I'm positive Kai felt the dog was "New!" and the treats we had already given him were "Old" so why pay attention for the same old thing. "
    I'm wondering about the exact same thing! Hayate will do half a dozen commands flawlessly if a) he knows I have a treat and b) that the treat is better than anything else on offer. But as soon as he knows that he's eaten the last treat or he sees something more exciting he ignores me completely. I don't want to get into an "arms race" of better treats. It's so much more frustrating than it would be if I didn't know that he knows EXACTLY what I want him to do and just CHOOSES not to >.>
  • We worked with our trainer at a local park (not a dog park) this week. We were the only ones there on a weekday morning (initially anyway). Our trainer brought this 30-foot leash and clipped it to Tempe's regular leash. That way we had this big long leash that she trailed around behind her even though she was technically free. Tempe has had a great recall at home and in the yard with city noises around, so this was a chance to try it with lots of distractions. We did all kinds of training in that hour; it really wore her out! Especially to drag the leash around behind her =) She got some good sleep that night.

    Two big things we worked on were the recall and making her aware of us, i.e., she gets concerned when we're walking away and leaving her alone. That exercise was pretty cool. If she started to wander off away from us, we'd start walking slowly away in the opposite direction keeping our bodies turned away from her, but turning our heads back every so often to see if she had noticed we had "left" her. Because of the long leash, we always knew she was still within reach for us to step on that if she took off, but that never happened. The second she noticed we weren't there, we'd all turn around saying good girl and squat down. She'd run over and whichever of us she chose to come to would give her a treat.

    I have a feeling the squatting part got a big response out of Tempe as our trainer has us squat when we have her come, so she's already attuned to that body position. When we practice recall we have a treat in one hand. We whistle and squat with the treat hand next to our legs/close to our body. When she starts running toward whoever whistled at her, we say, "Tempe, come!" and when she gets to our treated hand, she gets to nibble and we tell her how good she is. While she's there, we practice scratching her under her chin near her collar so that she gets used to it.

    So the brilliance (I think anyway) behind all of this, is that this style of recall is designed to get you your dog back should she run away: the whistle gets the dog's attention and carries well over noisy streets, etc.; your squatted down with your hand in close to your body so that the dog gets really close; and you practice getting at her collar from under her chin.

    We did a lot of practice with treats first (over the last few weeks) and then I've intermittently practiced without. Tempe has had great response every time. We only call our pup Tempe when we use the recall command and when we practice lead training. We never use the recall/her knickname to have her come to us to go inside, get in her kennel/pen, or anything else that wouldn't be perceived as fun. This way she links her knickname and those commands with good, fun things. Maybe the hardest part of using this method of recall (or any) is remembering not to panic if your pup gets away and having the wherewithal to use your training.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    Other dogs are a *huge* distraction for Kai. Just staring at the other dog is a huge reward for him because often the other owner will get close enough to play.

    What I've been working on is using the other dog as a reward for paying attention to me. Difficult to do when it's the random dog encounter on the street. But it's a lot easier when we go to the dog park. We'll stop before entering the dog park and just wait. if he doesn't sit on his own (at least) within a minute, I'll say "Uh oh, try again" and walk him in a quick circle to break his concentration. When he sits, I'll say "Good boy!" so he knows at least that's good. But now I'm waiting for attention. If he doesn't look at me, it's the "uh oh"->circle->sit->"Good boy!"->wait routine. Eventually he looks at me. That's when I click, praise heavily / treat and then release him with "Ok".

    It's slowly sinking in that he has to pay attention before he gets to go into the dog park. If you can find a cooperative random dog owner, you can ask them to hold their dog out of reach while doing the same thing. Most won't do it for the time needed for Kai to look at me. During obedience class there are a lot more cooperative people because they're going thru the same thing and can see the benefits
  • I would like to bring back an old thread instead of starting a new one. I've been working on this from day one. In the house, Neko is on call perfect. Outside, not so much. I wanted to share my experience and encourage others to continue posting tips and tricks that help others with this practice.

    The main issue is the Shiba attitude. Neko will respond to a command every time until he decides that I don't exist. It's like he turns off his ears. I try not to yell, because I don't want to have to. I know repetition is key, but the most difficult thing for me to deal with is the dog that listens all the times he's safe, but not when he's in danger of being lost. Stay calm. Thanks for the feedback!

    here's a video for you...we are standing in a model airplane runway on top of a hill about 1/2 mile from a road. I wasn't too worried about him jetting on me, but if he caught wind of a rabbit, I feel he'd be gone.
  • Instead of starting a new thread, this was the closest I could find to what I need help with and to see if anyone else has the same problem. Ginger is 2 years old today (Happy Birthday Ginger!) and she loves to play in our backyard. We have a fenced in backyard so she knows to sit by the back door when she wants to go and always in the past she would bark once to be let back in. Well within the past week she has forgotten our system! She goes out back, comes to the door when she is ready to come in and barks, but when I open the door she won't budge! I hold the door open for her and she looks inside and kind of whines but won't come in at all. I have tried to throw some treats down to entice her to come in so I don't have to stand there all day with the door open and she is really nervous about taking them, like she thinks I am going to slam the door on her or something! She has no recall at all so calling her name or asking her to come in is like talking to a wall. If I shut the door when she won't come in, she barks right away to signal that she wants to come in and then we do the same thing all over again. The only thing that has worked for her coming in is for me to leave the back door open, run to the front door and ring the doorbell so she will come in barking at the front door, and then I run back to the back door to shut it before she's onto me! Ahh! Has anyone gone through something similar or have any tips on how to get her back in? I hate to tether her when we have a fenced in backyard but I might have to "reel" her in sometime if the doorbell stops working!
  • Ha! I go through this every day! I consider it a good day if I open the door and a dog comes in! (Well, not true. The Akita always comes in). Seriously, this is such a pain in the butt, so I sympathize, but don't have a solution, because both of my Shibas do it too. Sometimes they even scratch on the door, then won't come in, and, yes, sometimes they do this repeatedly.

    Luckily they both aren't usually doing it at the same time!

    I can usually get one or the other in with treats, though I also have times like you're mentioning with Bel when she clearly wants the treat, but won't come in to get it. Very frustrating!

    Since I haven't found a way to sort it out with my two either, I don't really have suggestions. When one or the other is in this "I won't come in the house" phase, then I do not let them free in the yard (we have a fenced in 1/2 acre, but if a Shiba is refusing to come in, we can't even get our cars out if we have to go somewhere, so we can't just let them stay out, you know?). I had a period of six months when Bel only went out in the yard on the leash (she was also recovering from surgery, but it was also because she wouldn't come in). We do have a little inner fenced in area like a very large kennel area that I will put them in if they won't come in the house, that way I can catch them and bring them in.

    And Ginger will figure out the doorbell. They're smart! I used to be able to catch them by getting them in the car, and I would even add a drive around the block to it as a reward (because they figured out the get-in-the-car means you're going in the house thing really fast), but now Toby won't even get in the car.

    So, I understand! No suggestions, but I do understand!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Nola does this... She will knock on the door and sit in front of it, but as soon as I open it, she runs away. I usually have to physically go out and usher her back in. (And by usher her, I mean go out to her, point at the door, say inside, and follow her in.)

    I have no idea why she does this. But yes, it is annoying. I have been working with her on recall and she has gotten better in the house; however, over the past few weeks our training has taken a back seat to her health issues, so she has not gotten any better outside.

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • @RSieracki

    I suppose Ginger would just run away if you try to grab her collar and put on the leash to bring her in?

    I only had similar experience with my girl Maluko when I first got her. I would call her once or just opened the back door and waited for her to come in. If she did not come in after 30 seconds, I would just close the door and went back to do whatever I was doing. If she whined or scratched the door, I would ignore her. I can still see her from other windows in the house to make sure she is safe. I would only go back to the back door and try again when she was quiet.

    If I really needed her to be in, I would go out to the backyard with the leash and treats in my hand. I would walk around acting like I was not interested in getting her. I would get her closer to me with the treats, but I would not rush to put the leash back on her when she was close. If she took treats, I would praise her. As she got more comfortable getting closer to me, I would again praise and treat. I sometimes would even go back into the house without even trying to get her. I may do this a few times and also tried open the door and wait for her to come in herself. Depending on how much time I had and how she progressed, I would adjust my approach, but eventually, I would put the leash on like it is no big deal and just walk back in the house with her.

    In the mean time, I also worked with her on the "inside" command to go into different rooms, different spaces, into the car etc, so she understands what the command means.

    She only had problems coming inside the house briefly not long after I got her and nowadays, she always wants to come in. Unless she wants to pee and poop, she would usually just wait by the door. Both of my dogs have to sit nicely at the door and wait for my release command before they get in too.

    For recall training, I would check out "Really Reliable Recall" by Leslie Nelson.

    I have always trained my two recall, but started following some of the methods/steps outlined by Ms. Nelson about a month or two ago. My goal is not to walk my dogs off-leashed, but to have a reliable emergency recall when in dire situations to save their lives. It has worked wonders for us and as Ms. Nelson suggested we tried to practice three times a day. I have yet have a real need to use my emergency recall yet, but it has proved to be really helpful with our every day recall too.

    We recently spent a few days with 2 friends and their 4 Shibas at Long Beach, WA and I let both of my dogs ran off-leash on the beach as the beach was pretty deserted. When they first went off-leash, the only thing that was on their mind is to find perfect pee and poop spot and once they get their business done, I can easily get them back with our every day recall. I think the Really Reliable Recall training really helps.

    I do have a short note to outline the Really Reliable Recall methods/principles, so I can quickly refer to it when I first started training and can post them here if anyone is interested, but I would also highly recommend watching the actual DVD itself. It is short and very useful training information for any Shiba owner. Ms Nelson herselves has Afghan Sighhound and even has a special section on some of the more difficult breed (northern breeds, hounds etc).

    And happy birthday to Ginger! :)
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-24 15:51:57
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Never had it happen with a dog, but we had a cat who would do this.
    She refused to use the dog door and would meow her head off at the front until someone came down to open it for her. Open the door, and she'd just look at you then walk back inside/outside. Second time around she would look at you like "That's right." And walk through the door. I got sick of this and began to boot her in/out and if she tried to get away, she didn't come in or go out and was ignored until a human had to use the door.
  • The thing that makes this all difficult (for me anyway) is that my dogs won't let me get close enough to them to put the leash on if they're in this mode. Nor will they take treats. It almost never used to happen with Toby, who would ALWAYS come for a treat, but now he refuses treats. (Luckily, right now, Bel is coming like a perfect little dog every time I call her--the first time in her life she's ever done this). So it is pretty difficult to deal with.

    and ignoring them? Well, I can, but they're pretty persistent, and can keep up a behavior (scratching, paddling, whining) for HOURS. It's frustrating.

    I'll check out the video though--thanks for that suggestion!
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    Elwood does this too! I always tell my husband that I think that he is testing me to see how many times he can get me to come to the door...

    One thing that works for me is that I'll leave the back door open, go to the kitchen & get something extra yummy & start doing simple obedience work with my Pom. Once Elwood sees Sadie getting attention & treats he will usually run inside. Guess that would only work if you had another animal in the house, though. Elwood won't come in if I just offer him the treat, no matter how yummy it is. He has to see Sadie getting petted & fed while I'm ignoring him. Gotta love these Shibas :)
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • Glad to know I am not the only one who has this problem! Ginger definitely will not let me get close enough to grab her and leash her. She knows what I am up to and then it becomes a big game to her that usually ends up with me chasing her around the yard and her with a big smile on her face. Same thing with treats! She knows I am giving them to her to come in and then she refuses. She definitely keeps me on my toes! What I have been trying is sending her out with her leash attached so when she comes to the door I can grab her leash and usher her in. She did this when she was a puppy too but grew out of it. Guess she's gone back to her old mischievious ways!!

    @sandrat888 I will definitely try the reliable recall. It would be nice to have a dog that actually comes when it's told!
  • Yeah, Bel will usually come in if I'm "training" Oskar. She won't always come in just for a treat, but if she sees I'm giving him commands and hears the clicker, she comes in right away, which is kind of sweet and funny! Actually, it occurs to me that I could totally use this--give her a click when she comes in the house! I kind of do--I call her over, have her target my hand, and treat, but it might be better to just click as she comes in!

    And why I never thought of that, I don't know, but now it's something to try!
  • @shibamistress

    Another idea is to start playing nosework games with either Bel or Toby, get them to know and love the game and reward them coming in by starting the game.

    I do not have problems getting either of my dogs in, but I sometimes will set up nosework games in the area closest to the back door while the dogs are out in the yard. I do this not to entice them in, but because I want them out of the way while I prepare the search.

    Once they see me setting down the boxes, they know what to come and will start whining. They only get to play when they are quiet and of course, it is one dog at a time.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-25 13:29:34
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    I think I'm gonna attempt to use a whistle with Guts. He totally ignores me when we're out, but I think a whistle will get his attention. I'll give him bacon or something every time he comes.
  • @Gatsu

    Getting his attention is just the first step of a successful recall. How's Guts recall inside the house? In your backyard? Most of the time, the dogs hear you cue/command just fine even if they are at a distance, but they choose to come at their own pace or after they check out whatever they think are more interesting than coming to you immediately.
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    He recalls good in the house, and backyard. Once in awhile he'll decide he's gonna ignore us though. He's got out the front door before. We called him back, and he peed and walk back in.

    But if we're at the dog park, or even just a normal park. He never comes. I'll just start giving him a bigger treat for when he comes. For me it's not so much that I really want him to come to me when we're at the dog park. But I just kind of want a safety to fall back on, if he ever gets off the leash or out the front door again.
  • @Gatsu

    If Guts recall is reliable (does he come immediately or do you have to repeatedly call him to get him to come? If he does not come immediately in the house or in the backyard, I will keep training him so he come immediately and if you have to repeat command, it is not optimal either. I only use my command once and that's the goal of all my training. If you repeat commands, it is really nagging and eventually, the command/cue loses its value) in the house and in the backyard and non-existent outside, to start recall training outside slowly, because you really need more than just yummy treats to get him back fast.

    I will start with a long line and go when there is less distraction. Don't expect he will just come back in a dog park just because you have yummy treats. There are so many distractions that he finds more interesting than coming back to you. He will eventually come back after he checks out whatever he finds interesting. This is ok in a safe environment, but when it's life and death and you want your dog to come back immediately to you, this is clearly not enough, so start practicing to be ready for such situation.

    You can let him loose in the dog park later, but always reward him when he checks in with you voluntarily. And as he checks in with you more and more and getting closer to you, be sure to grab his collar briefly before you give him the reward, so he is used to you handling his collar (you will need it when you do want to leash him when he comes back under certain situation, so better get him used to this before you need it). Grab his collar, reward and praise him and then send him off to some more play.

    And I will never call my dogs back if I know he is not coming (I want the cue to retain its value).

    Recall is something every dog owner needs to practice to keep the dog safe. When I do call my dogs, I expect them to come back immediately without thinking. It is not easy, and that is why it needs to be practiced every day.

    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-25 14:22:40
    Posts: 1507
    INU got offleash last night ran off but I did not chase him. I tried the lay down trick and he came back but not close enough for me to grab his collar. Instead he ran in a large circle over my neighbors property. I backtracked to where he would come out of the drive way. He sat down and as I approached him he did the circle again. At this point I knew he was playing a game of chase with me. He ran around again and I did not move or call him. He walked over to my neighbor to get petted. At this point while he was being petted i was able to releash him. It occured to me afterwards that this flight of freedom was the same behavior he exhibits when I take him off leash at the dog park. Luckily no cars were coming down the street. Back to the 30 ft leash for retraining recall.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Here is a hint for dogs that have terrible recall...

    Trying using the 'sit' command. Both of my dogs respect that command much more than the 'come' command. They sit and wait patiently for me to come and lavish them with love and praise.

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • HAHA @Sunyata...who has who trained?!?!
  • TheWalrusTheWalrus
    Posts: 101
    I hunt with my dogs, so they have to be okay, or at least reasonably reliable off leash. I've found that training them off leash from day 1 in reasonably controlled environments works.

    First game I usually play with a pup is hide and seek. I use a large enclosed area for this, large enough that the pup doesn't realize it's enclosed. I'll play with the pup, get it worked up, and then wait till he starts running off, or getting excited about something other than me. I'll then hide. It usually doesn't take long till the pup starts looking for me, and of course I try to set it up so it finds me fairly easily at first. A few variations of this usually instills a healthy fear of getting lost or left alone, and pups will stop every so often to see where I'm at and what I'm up to.

    Of course I use come/treat as well, but I've found with the Japanese breeds this can be pretty hit/miss. I'll do come/treat, come/play, come/run, come/hide etc. Basically all sorts of training to instill in any way possible the idea that being close to me is fun and means all sorts of good things, and that being too far away, or not coming back can mean getting lost etc.

    As the pup starts to get older (and faster) I use a long 20m leash quite a bit on walks, and start training in various environments. Training a Nihon Ken to be reliable off leash usually takes a lot of time and effort, and I'm constantly reinforcing the behaviors I want.

    For me, having a dog off leash means I have to be vigilant the entire time they are free. No matter the breed or how well I think they are trained, they are still animals that can get spooked, or just plain interested in something else. I never 100% trust any dog to the point that I can tune out or relax.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    First game I usually play with a pup is hide and seek. [...] A few variations of this usually instills a healthy fear of getting lost or left alone, and pups will stop every so often to see where I'm at and what I'm up to.

    I think this is really interesting. This is how we unintentionally first trained Bowdu to be good off-leash at this local 90-acre, unfenced dog park. The park is basically situated on a peninsula and surrounded by water, so we weren't really worried about him escaping. We would keep walking at a normal pace, but especially in those first few weeks he would get so excited that he would bound over a hill or otherwise get disoriented and fall away from the expected path. We'd spot him in a totally different part of the park, frantically looking about and very obviously searching for us. When he saw us again, he would return extremely quickly and run back with his ears flattened and tail wagging vigorously like he was SO RELIEVED to see us, and we praised him for returning.

    It probably also helped somehow that we had *just* completed an international move and Bowdu was still suffering from a bit of separation anxiety that coincided with our first attempts at walking him off leash.

    Over time, with enough repetition, a lot of our off-leash routine just became ingrained habit. I'm not sure how to explain how or why I trust them to stick close along hiking trails or other "wild" terrain (NOT the streets)... I just do. But the thing is, while my dogs are good off leash, they have not yet attained the ideal of returning *immediately* without thinking. Being good off leash and having excellent recall are two different, though situationally related things to me. I was able to call both dogs off a running rabbit once, much to my shock. I was less successful getting their attention when we ran into three horses on a supposedly horse-free trail last week, for which I'm EXTREMELY grateful that they didn't do anything stupid. They didn't come immediately when I called (Bowpi came eventually), and they would have ignored 'sit' too, but what seemed to work with Bowdu was 'leave it,' which just meant 'don't advance' as I asked the horse riders to move on and NOT stop to chat about my dogs. =)

    Anyway, that was my real-life reminder that recall needs *constant* work and constant reinforcement, though I still hesitate to declare how my work pays off until I'm actually confronted with the unexpected.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2011-10-27 02:21:34
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    I did basically the same thing that TheWalrus described, only I didn't get Conker when he was slower than me and used a long-line first. He is now incredibly reliable off-leash but like Shigeru said, I also don't get lax with Conker. And I only let him off-leash in rural or natural places (hiking trails and such) or in a fenced area like a dog park.

    I am constantly working on his recall, always carry treats and use every opportunity I can to train him to respond to me. Every time we see a new animal I will tell him the name, for example: "Turkey" then will tell him to "Leave It" which I also continue to re-enforce every day. I will repeat that with the new critter when we see or hear one and now all I have to do is say "Horse" or "Squirrel" if he doesn't notice them first and he knows not to chase when he spots it.
    The first time he saw a deer it bounded across the trail right in front of us. He did not chase, though he wanted to so badly he was shaking.

    I also turn recall into a game. Sometimes I will randomly run in the other direction, so he chases, and he "wins" by catching me and getting lots of praise and scratches. Or I call him then hide so he has to come find me. Stuff like that.
  • Recall is something every dog owners and especially Shiba owners should work on.

    Don't take 0% recall or any other results as a fact and that you can't train your dog to come reliably. You definitely can and you should. It just takes some management on your part, consistent training and worthwhile rewards when the dog comes.

    Regardless of where you and your dog are, you can always work together to improve.

    Here are some of the notes I took while watching the Really Reliable Recall DVD I mentioned earlier.

    Management - Plan Ahead to Be Successful
    # Plenty Physical and Mental Exercise
    # Give Them Plenty of Off-Leash Opportunities - Use a Drag Line If You Need To
    # Don’t Call Your Dogs To Do Anything It Does Not Like. Go Get Your Dog
    # Reward Your Dog Anytime It Checks In Without You Asking
    # Don’t Call Your Dog To You If You Know It Will Not Come
    # Games To Play: Puppy In The Middle, Hide and Seek

    Relationship build on Trust and Cooperation
    # Name Game: Don’t Repeat The Name. Conditioned Response for The Dogs To Look At You

    # Really Reliable Recall Signal
    - Be Different From Your Every Day Recall
    - Must Carry A Long Distance
    - Must Be Easy To Remember
    # Practice 3 Times A Day When You Are 100% Certain Your Dog Will Come To You
    # Only Say It Once
    # Reinforce Every Step That Dog Takes Toward You - Start With The Turn and Ends With Dog In Your Arm
    # Reinforcement: Find Really Valuable Treat - Meat Mostly. Suggest Hand Feeding Too. Key Is What To Use and How You Deliver Them (Fine-Dining vs. Fast Food Style). Reward For 30 Secs. Act Like He Comes To You In Really Dangerous Situation, He Needs To Be Close To You. Handle His Collar Briefly and Reward Him.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Hir0Hir0
    Posts: 45
    great thread! I think the hardest part for me was knowing when hiro would definitely come back. It is definitely something that took a little bit of practice. The dog park initially was one of the times i really wanted him to come but i had to hold off on using that "special" word because i knew it would just simply not work. I also think that there needs to be a very gradual pace, i work on hiros recall about 3 times a day and even at that pace i add another distraction once every couple weeks. I just feel that if i went any faster it would ruin everything.
  • BuckyBadgerBuckyBadger
    Posts: 603
    Mika has selective recall :(
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Great thread. @TheWalrus had excellent points -- I will be applying that when Sagan comes home.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • esiepielaesiepiela
    Posts: 394
    Zach's recall isn't great...he also has selective recall. In the house he will only "come" if I call and he can't see me. If I am already in view (and don't have a treat) he just looks at me like "What I'm right here...I can see you". He did bolt out of the apartment twice since we had him and the first time I was a mess (well both time actually)...the first time I think I sounded too demanding and it took a while before he decided he would come to me. The second time I did the high pitched...come here...good boy...and I guess he thought I wanted to play so he came inside.
    We are still and probably will be forever working on it. Maybe one day he will get it!
  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
    This really is a great thread with some great advice. Getting it set from the initial puppy stage really seems like a huge factor. With my first shiba, I wasn't very disciplined with my own personal control, and I think he suffered for it. A few times I flew off the handle in aggravation at his nipping behavior, which I think has instilled some degree of distrust of me in him. I've since eliminated this to the best of my ability, but it is definitely harder to get him to come to me than my younger shiba. Though now he's aged a bit more, we are better at it together. He takes direction a bit better too (e.g. "wait" or "in" or "let's go") than my younger shiba.

    With my youngest, her recall is much more reliable. I think I took my trainer's advice (which I got a few weeks too late for my oldest) that you never want to let the puppy think coming to you is a bad thing. So knowing that from the outset, I've made efforts to make my recall building experiences more effectively positive. I mostly use the call/treat method, but I've also incorporated a bit of the come/play & come/praise approach too. That said, it's still a work in progress, but I can happily say we are all progressing together.
    X & I signature smaller
  • konpeitokonpeito
    Posts: 281
    Apollo has selective recall too, though it's surprisingly better than a lot of the dogs we meet at the park. Like @esiepiela's Zach, if he's able to see me he doesn't always come, but he does more than half the time. Especially at the park now that he's familiar with it, he's not so afraid to wander a little farther. As long as he can see me he's okay and doesn't feel the need to be two feet within my presence at all times.

    In less familiar places he has really good recall actually. A couple times he's gotten off the leash and wandered a little, but he's too scared of things to bolt off or go far. So I call his name and he comes close enough for me to leash him again or I start walking one direction and he follows. I think part of it is also the bonding as he's gotten older. He's pretty clingy these days and always wants to be near where I am. His recall inside the house is terrible unless I have food LOL.
    Apollo the Shiba Blog - red male - d.o.b. 10/30/11
    Post edited by konpeito at 2012-06-14 00:21:36
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I wanted to share an unfortunate thing that happened this morning. I had to urgently use my Really Reliable Recall this afternoon with Beebe. Long story short, I live on a busy street and have several sets of barriers and perimeter gates, but as with all management tools, it's inevitable there will be a failure at some point, and that happened today.

    The inner gates around the house entrances had been removed for pressure washing while I was at an agility trial, and so as I entered the external gates on my return trip, doggy grandma opened the house doors and Beebe shoved past her in excitement, while I had yet to close the large perimeter gates around the entire property. In fact I was still in my car, watching as Beebe came racing past me out to the busy street.

    Still in my seatbelt, I opened the door and hollered "Beebe, Beebe here". She turned right around and hopped right up on my lap! Thankfully, I had a cooler full of meatballs, steak and hot dogs left over from the agility trial. Beebe got the biggest payday ever!!! Anyways, the Really Reliable Recall works. I suggest every Shiba owner to practice it.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • DebDeb
    Posts: 286
    Good girl, Beebe! Nice job Lindsay! That's a real holy moley moment. Glad it all worked right.
    Post edited by Deb at 2012-09-02 19:43:34
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Good job Beebe! I'm glad it worked! I plan on getting the dvd to watch soon.

    Saya and Bella's recall are good, but I'd like learn more and work on really reliable one for things like this.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    XD good Job Beebe! Treats don't work on Bootz...but i'm glad she has good recall!
  • Good article on the topic of reliable recall, things to consider when letting a dog off-leash

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