Springer with a criminal record! Recall advice needed.

by Catherine
(Midlands)

We have a rescue Springer bitch, spayed, nearly 5 years old. Her basic training (sit, stay, leave it etc)is good - the problem is recall. We have been to dog training classes with her, and practised off lead recall in the garden and in an enclosed field and out on walks on an extendable lead, and she's good at it then, but once she is off lead on a walk it's as though she just becomes deaf to us calling her. She goes off in a world of her own and completely ignores us. Last time this happened my husband lost sight of her completely and couldn't find her - turned out she'd decided to make her way home, crossed a busy road (!) and was finally caught by kind passers by who took her to the Police Station - she had to be collected from the cells! After this little episode, we just daren't let her off lead, but we would love to be able to do so. We'd rather not walk her on an extendable lead for ever, but we daren't risk losing her. Any advice? We've tried treats (loves them but they don't bring her back), whistle (ignores it) retrieving a ball (ditto).


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Comments for Springer with a criminal record! Recall advice needed.

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Jan 18, 2013
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7 month old - exactly the same problem... NEW
by: Helen

Hi,
We've recent got a 7 month old Springer - we've had her for about 6 weeks now and have exactly the same issues. She's brilliant in the house and has been incredibly easy to train, she will recall in the house or garden to her name or a gundog whistle (we thought we might have more luck with that). She was also owned by a gundog trainer previously, so has previously been well trained. However, off the lead, on a walk, she just runs! She's clearly very happy but usually completely ignores us. She is not interested in treats - though I will try taking some meat out and see if that has the desired effect. At home, however, she will do anything for a treat. On a walk, all she wants to do is play! Again, at home, she will do anything for praise, but on a walk she is not bothered by us at all. Today she disappeared for about 20mins - I was very worried, but she was clearly very happy when she found me!
Any suggestions gratefully received!
Helen

Dec 05, 2012
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Will try anything NEW
by: Vic

My dog is just like the one being discussed. Can do everything asked unless out in an open field - when she really does turn deaf. I will try the de-boned chicken, but in case it helps I have had a modicum of success with the no-bark collar. It sprays a little citronella when she barks, and as she tended to bark when she ran off, she has become a little better behaved. I have been able to let her off in the garden and she comes back (she now associates barking at and running after cyclists, walkers, other dogs, motor-bikes, phesants etc with a little spray under her chin). I don't think it is the perfect solution and I still would not trust her, but she is a LOT better when out and about, and I can stop and talk to other walkers without her straining to move on, barking at the other dog or any of the other hanky-panky she used to get up to.

Dec 05, 2012
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Chicken NEW
by: Anonymous

Our trainer told us to dump a precooked, deboned chicken in front of him the first time he came back. Worked like a miracle ... Only had to do it once, he's been coming back fine now for 5 yrs!

Jun 01, 2012
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I sympathise! NEW
by: Vic

Sorry I can't help - but just thought I would sympathise as mine is the same. She is now seven years old and I am JUST brave enought to let her off the lead SOMETIMES in a field where I know she is unlikely to come to any harm. Inside she will do anything - say 'please' and she will put up her paw for a shake. Say 'bed' and she will jump into it as good as gold - tell her to come and she will be like glue - but let her out..... well, it's as if she is on drugs the way she just turns a deaf ear unless it suits. Once or twice recently she has actually come back when called and I have been so happy - the next time - it's as if she really has not heard - but I know she has as she sometimes looks at me and then turns the other way. We got expelled from gun dog training. I love her very much though and I have just got used the extending lead. By the way, I have praised her even when she didn't come back (when she eventually did) so that doesn't work. I don't get cross though as she is too cute.

Apr 12, 2012
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Appreciated NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your comments and advice. To clarify though, our dog will come back beautifully in the house, usually in the garden, and when she's out on her extendable lead. The problem is when she's off lead - as soon as something distracts her she won't come back at all! We don't get to the point of praising her when she does come back, because she doesn't! Last time I had her off lead I had to ambush her and caught her in a ditch, and the incident with my husband and the police was a whole new level of badness... We just daren't try any more - and I don't want her to spend her whole life being walked on a lead, even an extending one.

Apr 12, 2012
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Recall NEW
by: Cyndy

Don't chase them, as they like to be chased and with 4 legs they are going to win. When they do come to you, prase them like they just did the most wonderful thing in the world, no mater what they were doing 10 seconds before that. And if you offer a treat to come make sure you give it to them or they will learn you are not to be trusted. it is really easy to ruin a recall and sometimes you just have to start over with a different word. My springer comes to "here" as my mom who watches my dogs while i am at work ruined "come".

Mar 11, 2012
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Springer recall NEW
by: Anonymous

I've had and still have Springers for years. With mine (and my daughter's) a hyper, excited 'Wassiss?!!!' (What's this) works without fail. When we give them treats, balls, toys, scraps ... in short anything they like we announce it with an excited 'Wassisss?.... oooooooooo!! ..... wassisss?' tease them just a little with it and make it very exciting before actually handing over the treat! With that kind of excitement attached to treat receiving they just have to hear an excited 'Wassiss?!!' and they come tearing through the house or wherever they are falling over themselves to find out what we've got for them. Do this at home for a while first and then try it in the garden and gradually in larger areas. Hope this helps :-)

Mar 10, 2012
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Thank you NEW
by: Catherine

Thanks for replying. I'm not sure I would dare let our dog off the lead in the dark though - I suspect she would just hare off and then I wouldn't be able to see her! It's not so much teasing, as that she just becomes deaf to all attempts to get her back. We really have worked hard on this, and it's a bit dispiriting that it seems to have been to no avail. I don't want her to spend her life on an extendable lead (although she doesn't seem bothered!) but after her last escapade it is just not worth the risk of letting her off.

Mar 10, 2012
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Recall NEW
by: Anonymous

Ours was a rescue at 12 months old and we lost her off lead for 1.5 hrs one time. We started doing lots more street walking with her close on the lead helped bond with her better and lots of play time after a long walk. We also constantly practised a particular phrase to get her to come at home, on the extendable lead and we use a firm assertive tone off lead so she knows we mean business when we want her back. Loads of praise too :-)

Mar 10, 2012
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dont chase them, become the one being chased NEW
by: megan

When my springers refuse to come back to me i run the opposite way, they are running after me in no time! i know this sounds silly but it works for me!

Mar 08, 2012
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Off lead after dark NEW
by: Anonymous

Our springer likes to tease and stay out of our reach when she is off the lead. We discovered that when I take her out after dark, she likes to stay close, and will come back easier. We have a large yard and live on a small road that isn't busy, so this works well for us. Hope you find something for your dog!

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