So I've been doing some recall work with Samson on a long line recently. His recall could always use some work and I've had a long line suggested to me a few times so I've decided to try it out. Here I have a video of me doing a few recalls with him, the first two whilst holding the line and the last one whilst it was trailing behind. Any feedback on this would be appreciated, ive never used a line before so I'm going off what ive been told to do with it. I think on the one where the line was trailing behind he got too far ahead, don't know if that's just me. Also I am now not asking for a sit at the end like I did in the video as that's essentially rewarding for the sit not the recall. And I am also asking for a wait once he recalls now so he doesn't just dash off again
Also ive got a bonus video here of some practice heelwork (again I need to reward for just that and not the sit also). I am not holding the line here
I think when he returns I would ask for a sit straight away then reward him. Also I was taught to say sit and wait, I note Samson as you said gets his treat and runs off with it, he maybe should sit and wait then give the release command. Everyone is taught different and its whatever works for you really and if you don't mind him running off with his treat again that's your choice . Great video thou boxerluver30
I don't have any strict rules on what happens after the recall, so long as they come back! I don't ask for a sit or a wait before they're allowed free again, Alfie tends to run off with the treat too.
However to prevent them playing 'keep away' when it's time to go back on lead I don't always offer the treat immediately, sometimes they have to wait a few seconds or I'll grab their collar/harness before letting them go again so that when I do actually want to put them back on lead then it's not a challenge. I do sometimes ask for a sit or something else but not part of the recall training (though they will only get the one treat for the recall & sit)
As for the distance away on the long line, it depends what you're comfortable with, the reliability of the dog and how fast you can run if they decide to bolt
I didn't have sound on when watching he video so not sure what you did to recall..
I trained Alfie to the whistle and if I blow that then he gets an instant high value treat as I want him to really want to come back and not be put off by having to wait for it. I only use the whistle rarely, if I want him back instantly and very quickly. The rest of the time I just call him and it's more casual.
Edit: Just watched again and heard you just call him. That would be the equivalent of Alfie's casual recall and I'd do pretty much the same except the sit (which you said you aren't doing anymore anyway), especially as he was a little slow to respond the first time, so probably didn't realise the reward was for the recall. Looks like you're doing ok to me! I'd probably just practice keeping him close or holding his collar after a recall every now and then.
Also forgot to say I always reward when any of the dogs check in with me of their own accord without me calling (unless they do it too often like Alfie does lol), so they learn that coming back gets them goodies even if I didn't call, and that it's good to stay near me.
I think you are doing fine. Agree with treating the recall but you have already sorted that.
Alfiemummy has lots of good tips there like treating for checking back in. A reminder to me that I really should be treating my girls more. Since Gypsy got this chronic pancreatitis its all gone to pot as I am worried about giving her too much
I also agree with how far the long line gets from you depends on how fast you can run and what you are comfortable with. Also depends on how many distractions are about.
For Phoebe 'come' has become a dead command (I think this is as a result of doing demos and always being the person having to do stop the dog) and so to recall her I now have to shout something else, usually 'whats this'. What I am trying to say is keep come as something that is a good thing
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2017 11:21:56 GMT by caz2golden
Just thought as well, another way to do the collar or harness 'grab' before letting them go again. I usually just pet them around the neck or back while I'm praising them, give them a scratch round the collar etc, rather than making a point to grab and hold. So I'm handling their neck area (and so their collar) without it being obvious, and it's all part of the reward.
I think alfiemummy’s covered everything I would have said, about treating for checking in and holding the collar/harness or stroking around that area so they don’t bolt when they see the lead. You could also recall and clip the lead on, then treat and let him off again, so the lead doesn’t necessarily mean the fun is over and he doesn’t start to anticipate.
I never used a long line for Millie, I was too clueless then to know anything about training really! I used one quite a bit for Rumple though, and trusted him off lead (with Millie, who’s reliable) for the first time a few days ago. I just let him do his own thing, called him and treated as soon as he came back. I agree with what you’re saying about not doing a sit first. My two know the difference between ‘come back here!’ recall and a formal obedience exercise recall. Both will sit for formal automatically but neither bother when we’re walking.
As for waiting before going off again, I reward for the recall, then do a bit of heelwork and then give a release command, ‘go sniff’! Millie doesn’t bolt at all, but Rumple’s still learning!!
I used a long line for a short time during Oscars adolescence period and with a few other dogs. I do occasionally bring it to new places as a precaution but usually end up taking it off within in the first 20 minutes.
Obviously, you'll develop your own technique for using a long line but I always prefer (and recommend) that they are left to drag on the ground and are not held all the time. The idea of a long line is to allow the dog the illusion of freedom but the owner still being in control. A dog will know if you are holding the end of it's lead regardless of if it's 3ft long or 20.
I don't pull on the line to get the dogs attention or to physically pull him towards me, the line is there as an emergency brake. If I call and he does't come, I clap my hands, I jump around, I run away. Usually by the time I get to the last one the dog is racing after me and I haven't had to pick up the line yet. Lots of rewards, lots of praise, lots of fuss because it's fun to be around me and chase after me and pay attention to me.
The long line is a safety net, not a 1st resort if that makes sense.
The long line is there for me to jump on should my dog decide to chase after something that isn't me, prevent him going any further or stop him urgently should I need to.
Once I have the the end of the line in my hand or wedged firmly between my boot and the ground, he cannot go anywhere but around in a circle with me in the center or come back to me and I always make the latter the most appealing option. I don't pull on the line unless I absolutely have to because I don't want the long line to be my only way of communication with my dog if he's 20ft away from me.
The only downside to this is that you do have to keep up with the end of that long line but you'd be amazed at how quickly you'll master sprinting and jumping with amazing accuracy under slippy ground conditions this way .
As for what to do when he does eventually get to you, sitting down is fine but sitting down is boring. What is more fun than sitting down is getting lots of little treats. Generally speaking with dogs getting lots of small rewards is usually better than 1 big one. For starters, he can't walk away with a treat if it's the size of a pea, but if you're using 10 little pea size treats in place of 1 regular dog biscuit then that's 10 extra seconds that he stays with you and 9 extra opportunities that you have to remind him of how good he is (and in turn how good you are to be around). EDIT- these 10 treats are given individually, not all in one handful.
How you deliver all these little treats matters to. Handing it to him is the easiest way, but is it the funnest way? For Oscar, I'll throw a tiny treat into the long grass or I'll chuck it up in the air for him to catch or I'll break into a sprint and run away from him and suddenly we're playing a game of chase. Or I'll combine all 3. Excitement is the key here. And because I have 10 treats to use as a reward for this one recall, he knows that he could be in luck for some more treats if he sticks around. Of course, sometimes he only gets one treat because I've got no more left but that doesn't stop him pestering me for more and keeping a close eye on if my hand is in the treat pocket. I don't have to ask for a wait because he's learned from experience that there could be more treats if he sticks around.
Rewarding for regularly checking in is a must. I reward these the same way that I'd reward a recall. Lots of little small treats because it keeps him with me. Okay, I don't have the same level of excitement and I don't use as many treats but the principle is the same.
Him stopping and waiting on his own accord is also something I reward. Just a small reward here and some acknowledgement that he's waited for me to catch up.
I did watch your videos (but I haven't read other replies) and they're fine but one thing I always stress with recall is excitement and praise and lots of rewards. Yes, you'll look very peculiar to other dog walkers should they see you running away from your dog clapping and jumping like a lunatic but if it works then it works. I'd rather be the clapping lunatic than the "bobby come here, bobby, bobby, bobby, for god sakes bobby come here" owner anyday.
I have most likely forgotten to say some things. If I think of them I'll add them but I think I've covered my main points (if you can actually get any main points out of what turned into an essay )
Some good points guys, thanks. I do need to start dropping the line more, I do have some confidence issues as Samson has run of on me before and I did panic. So this is also helping to increase my confidence as well. I can run pretty well but when I panic I freeze up so I just have visions of Samson running off and standing there like a lemon.
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