Our puppy Mattie is almost a year old, and we've had her for just about a month. And she has quite the mind of her own. As long as there is nothing more interesting than us around when we call to her, she will come the first time we holler. but if there is a toy, or a squirrel, birds, or another dog, she acts like she doesn't even hear us.
I don't want to have to resort to using a shock collar, but we've already tried using a whistle, a toy, and treats. is there another option we haven't tried?
She is going to be taken out on the bird hunts next fall, and we really need her to listen for her own safety.
Almost a year old, rebellious teen, and you have only had her a month. And you are looking for good recall outside with distractions, wildlife, and other dogs.
Hmmm! Let me think how to say this politely.
I believe your expectations may be a bit more than can reasonably be achieved in such a short time.
Okay! You need to train. Recall inside must be 100% before you even think about moving outside with those distractions. Never call unless you have the control to pull her to you. Every time she comes, REWARD! PRAISE! TREAT! EVERYTIME SHE DOES IT RIGHT! NEVER WHEN SHE HAS TO BE CORRECTED. over and over and over and over....
When the two of you are ready, go outside. Pick a time when distractions are minimal. ON LEAD. Repeat what was done inside, but he treats have to be better. Smelly, stinky, sausage or something. Something she really likes.
Go to a longer lead, 10-15 feet. Repeat the process. Start to incorporate distractions.
NEVER call her if you do not think she will respond. Encourage success. If you call her when she is distracted, or obvisouly going to ignore you, and you repeat the call. You are teaching her that she does not have to come on the first call. You have to be in control, and aware of the probablility of succes.
Go to a longer lead, 25-50 feet. Repeat the process. See above.
At some point you will feel that you can try it off lead. Okay, wait another week and keep traiining. If you still think you are ready, go for it. First failure, back on lead for several weeks.
This does not happen by magic, nor does it happen quickly. You have to be committed to it, and train EVERYDAY.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
umm..not to be rude but how have you trained her to come when called? like everything else, you have to TRAIN a dog to do something, they do not come fully build with standard training! ESPECIALY a dog you have only had a month.
I agree with the training method described above (long line) and NEVER EVER EVER use the recall command unless you know for 100% sure the dog will return, and if this means you need the long line to reel them in, then that is how it goes.
To use a shock collar you need to first train a dog the command. Even with teh shock collar, you go thru a training process with the long line. Otherwise you could shock the dog causing them to RUN AWAY from you in confusion. Especially if you have not ever worked on recall with the dog (by worked with I mean spent a few months training with success). There is a place and time for shock collars, this is NOT AT ALL that time or that place.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I agree with the two comments above.
Do NOT use a shock collar.
I fear you have NO understanding of how they're intended to be used and you are thinking that you'd use it to zap her if she doesn't come. Kind of like a knuckle rap with the brass edged ruler in school?
There's no quick correct way of training by using an e-collar.
People using shock collars on their dogs without first being properly trained in using them can and usually do seriously cripple their dog's temprament and attitudes.
Have you heard of "collar conditioning"? Do you realize that the dog should wear the collar for a few hours a day for 2 weeks before any stim is used?
Are you aware that the stimulation is NOT used as a punishment?
Your dog will be much safer if you follow a good regieme for training using positive reinforcement. Jean Donaldson's paperback, "Culture Clash", about $12 from www.amazon.com is an excellent resource on how to train dogs.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
OP...please don't be embarrassed by bringing it up, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't share my experience.
I am ashamed to admit this, but against my better judgment, we did try an e-collar with Ted about 4-5 years ago, and even though we read all the instructions and used it properly, I could not stand the idea of it, and I honestly do not feel it did him one iota of good. As frustrated as I was with the dog, I felt...sadistic using it, to be honest. I refuse to sell it either, because I don't want to run the chance that someone else could use it incorrectly.
This is part of the reason I feel he hates to get a new collar on and had initial issues with even being muzzled for the vet. Since then, the relationship has seemingly been repaired, but I so regret what we did to him. We were at wit's end, but it is still one of those decisions that I look back on with great regret.
I decided I did not buy the dog, house train it, make sure it got proper vet care, buy all kinds of things for it, stay up with it when it wasn't well, etc., just to punish it for my lack of patience and knowledge. I announced to my husband that we would no longer be using it; my conscience wouldn't allow it.
Your dog is smarter than what an e-collar requires. It may be an immature lab. From what I've heard puppyhood in a lab lasts 2-3 years. Ted didn't start calming down until he was about 3.5-4 years old.
I also honestly believe in the whole exercise thing that Mr. Milan talks about. A well exercised dog is a better behaved, more cooperative dog.