My springer spaniel won't come back!!!

by Maeve

I have a two year old springer spaniel for the past five months. His previous owner passed away, having half trained him on the gun. I spent the first four months walking him on a flexi lead, calling him to come, which he did whilst on the lead.

His trust build up, and he's a very happy and settled dog. About a month ago, I began letting him off the lead for short distances, again , calling him to come, and he would return However, in the past two weeks, he's COMPLETELY ignoring me when I let him off the lead, or if he gets out in the open.

He is bird and cat crazy and if he sees or gets a scent of either, all manners go out the window, and he may as well have ear muffs on! When I call him to 'come' (the command i've been using since day one) he just keeps going as if he cannot hear me. He eventually will come back wagging his tail as if he did nothing wrong! I'm wondering now is an electric collar my only answer or has anyone any suggestions?

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Apr 12, 2011
He's Coming Back!!!
by: Maeve

Thanks so much for your advice! I ended up getting the dogtra collar, which has a number of settings, a vibrate or electric current. the frequency can be set to the operators choice. I have been using it for about two months now, and my dog is like a different dog!

Combined with the whistle, he is returning to me once i call or whistle him. The first few days, i just had to push the vibrate button, which seemed to break his concentration when he took off after birds etc, and he'd come back to me.

Now i just put the collar on him, and when i whistle or call, he comes back! So he's content that he's getting nice long runs, and I'm happy he'll come back! But thanks again for your suggestions!

A very happy Maeve & Obi!

Apr 12, 2011
Try the whistle.
by: Anonymous


If you think about it your voice is pretty interesting to humans, but, can be pretty dull to a dog. They hear in a different frequency to us and whilst they have excellent hearing, your voice carries differently when you're stressed/excited/angry and when you're a distance from him. Surroundings and wind can also have a massive effect.

We've been training our ESS on a whistle, and, whilst he normally obeys my voice commands, only the whistle will work when he's out in the fields or when he's concentrating on something else (as he often is).

The type of whistle is important, get something without a pea that can carry a solid tone regardless of how you use it. In the UK we use an Acme 211.5, not sure where you are if you have that brand. The key is a consistent tone.

I use a repeating tone (sharp, short blasts, peep-peep-peep-peep-peep) for when I want him to come, a short (peep) when I want him to go fetch and a long quiet tone when I want him to hup.

Hope this helps


Feb 28, 2011
obedient dog
by: lynn

Hi there

have you tried rewards for your dog or clicker training???

What about if he doesn't come back straight away then you tell him off and put him back on his lead for the rest of the walk?

Personally I think he is trying out how far he can get away with things with you. However, we have had 2 girl ESS and one boy and the boy is less likely to come back to the whistle first time but the girls always come back straight away, i think maybe boy are more head-strong.

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