Samm is a rescue who came home to me last August. We have been working on his recall steadily and for the most part it is very good. On occassion, he sees someone he absolutely has to meet and nothing I do will get his focus back on me, so I have to go get him and put him on his leash. To me this is not acceptable because not everyone is interested in meeting a big black dog, no matter how friendly. What is the best way to work through this? Do I just continue on the recall exercises and hope they sink in, or is there something else I should be doing? His decision to meet someone is so random and unpredictable that I'm not sure that regular recall exercises will work. Like I said, once he switches to this mode, he won't listen to me until I go grab him and put him on his leash. Any tips or learning tools would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance!
couple of thoughts--
1. i would put him on a long-line whenever i was somewhere that he can find strangers, you don't need any lawsuits.
2. always carry excellent 'special for outings' treats--whatever he lusts after. work hard on getting & keeping his attention [with the treats] under lots of distractions, start work at gradually-increasing distances after he becomes rock-solid in the yard or other controlled environment.
3. work hard on a solid reliable 'sit', while the commercials are on, whenever....then use it as an 'alternative behavior' as soon as you see he's thinking about taking off....alternate commands can be successful in 'short-circuiting' a behavior when direct commands might be ignored. if he does 'sit' under sitractions, have a ticker-tape parade!!!
i believe you may always have this problem with him, so buy a lot of rope at home depot, have them everywhere!
I always value the comments of QOTD and find they're always worthwhile.
My situation is different. For a couple years, we used a check cord/long line for our every morning 2 mile walks through a nature preserve. But I found that sometimes my Puff (YF, AKC, field line, 63 lbs., DOB: 8-'01) was out of reach.
So I went to a Dogtra 200 NCP e-collar.
This has 3 modes: a buzzer/vibrator (the Pager function), a "Nick" (a brief shock), and a longer (2 sec.s?) "contiinuous" stimulation.
My Puff wears a Dogtra 200NCP every morning when we go for a 70 minute offleash walk in a nature preserve. There we're likely to meet skunks, deer, feral cats, coyotes, rabbits, bird watchers, other doggers-- some with leashed not friendly dogs, some with unleashed maybe friendly dogs, etc.
My Puff is a serious candidate for a diagnosis of ADD
She's easily distracted by stimuli and I find the buzzer/vibrator EXTREMELY useful.
I may go 2-3 weeks without EVER using the
"Nick", or "Continuous" function -- more often the Pager (buzzer/vibrator) is sufficient to get Puff''s attention.
But we rarely go for our every morning walk without my having to use the Pager function at least 4-6X.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Thanks for the advice everyone. The real trick is going to be to find something that holds his interest more than meeting new people. We can be in a field with a dozen people and he'll ignore them but then, just randomly, he suddenly decides there's one person or dog that he just has to meet. At this point it's as though his brain shuts off to all other stimulus and all I can do is go and get him and put him on his leash. One thing I have been doing is once he does this, he goes back on his short leash for the rest of the outing, effectively losing his freedom, while Kai carries on retreiving. I'm not sure he sees this as punishment though, as he seems quite pleased to even be watching a ball being retreived. :-\
Bob, are e-collars harmful at all? I'm thinking perhaps I may need something just to get his focus back on me. However, I do think I'll continue trying with the verbal commands and implement QOTDs suggestions for a while before resorting to that. Up the desirability of treats for a while and try to distract him with those.