Springer goes awol

by Viki
(Portsmouth)

Hi, we've had our 10 month old springer for 2 months. The first month or so her recall was "ok", however, the last month when walking round the woods, she just gets a scent and goes diving into the forest and gets herself lost :-( she's brilliant at the beach with recall, but due to constantly shredding her tail on gorse down there (she may need to have it docked) we've not been able to take her there and give her a good run. She's getting lots of lead training which is great, and she comes back when called (mostly first time) on her lunge round the lanes, but I can't let her off as I know she'll run. She's not interested in toys or treats when we're out....any ideas?


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Feb 15, 2013
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Liver Bread NEW
by: Anonymous

My springer also went through a patch where his recalls were horrible. The head goes down, a scent is found and its bye bye doggy. What my trainer told me to do was to practice in the yard first. I made homemade liver bread ( i still haven't met a dog who doesn't love this stuff you can google recipes easily online). Then I would call him at home and praise him and treat him as if he was the smartest dog in the world when he came to me (which he is any way but you know). I never had problems with him at home but it helps to start from step one. So then after about a week I took him to a park with my spouse. I took him and my spouse (even a friend or anyone your dog knows and likes) stood about 5 metres away ( not too far) then called the dog with all the happiness he can muster. You keep hold of your pooch untill she's basically digging into the ground she's that desperate to get to the other person and you let go. As soon as she reaches the other person that person grabs her, fusses and treats (the trick is too not let your dog realises she is being 'held'by people). Then you call her while the other person holds her. Do this a couple of times and slowly increase the distance. If this doesn't help you another option (especially if your walking her alone) is too call her (make sure she's on a retractable leash the first few times so she can be far but still in your control) and keep calling her untill she looks at you ( if she's on a long leash don't walk so at some point she'll stop and look to see what's stopping her) then you run in the opposite direction clapping your hands and calling her ( she should think Yay game and chase) then as she comes up to you to run past grab her and praise and play and fuss and treat as if she just won the lottery. I did both things with my dog and his recall is now 99.9 percent. On the off chance he doesn't come I just turn around and walk the opposite direction. So he's even learnt now to alsways be within range of where I can see him and he can see me. A heads up that it takes quite some patience and time unfortunately because you have to persuade her that you are far better and more interesting than anything she could possibly find on the other side of the scent trail. And my dog also refused to believe this at first. Also in the park people will think your crazy when you run yelling and clapping and a few times in the beginning she might not be exactly behind you. So people will probably wonder what your up to, but I've found its well-worth it.

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