SO Rocky's recall has gone down the crapper. I'm planning to start over, most likely with a new word. I will go thru the long process.
Our biggest challenge is the dog park. I need to practice him there (after doing previous steps of course) with a long line. oh and - yes, I will work up to it of course, on line NEAR park (not in park) on line, then off line, then in park when no where is there...but eventually I will come to the point where I need to be in the park with other dogs and people with the long line.
Is this safe? is this something I should not do? It is EXACTLY the place we need lots of practice. And I do not have a yard, or know someone with a yard/field to help. (
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I think using a long line around people is dangerous -- the LL way too easily gets wrapped around peeps' ankles and legs.
Have you used a LL much? I used one for about a year with Puff. While they can definitely be helpful they can also cause injuries and problems if the person is not aware of the possibilities.
Dangers people need to be aware of in their use: One is, be sure to wear gloves because picking up and grabbing a whizzing LL can cause bad rope burns. Another is, if you step on a whizzing LL to stop it, you need to gradually increase pressure: too little and the bitter end runs free and away; too much and it can throw you off your feet. And then there's the snaring and lassoing of people's legs (including yours) already mentioned.
Instead, you might try reinforcing Rocky's earlier training by going back to a NiLiF feeding/training at meal times and possibly coupling that, in those outside the home situations, using high value treats such as hot dog slices sprinkled with garlic powder and nuked in the microwave -- or any other treat for which your Lab has a high craving.
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":
The biggest problem is Rocky gets a BETTER reward when he ignores me. He eats poop. NOTHING is better for him. ( i have gone thru a wide variety of treats over two years with him)
the dog park is where the recall goes to zero. Not so much because of the dogs, but the people (humans) and poop/garbage.
I worry about using a long line (i haven't used it much in that situation) because of all the dangers you mentionned. But how to I train without it?
He already gets NILF - that's just the way the household works.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I'm no expert on it, but it seems to me like this might be a good situation to consider use of an e-collar. If you're comfortable with your training on and off leash in other situations, he might just need a little reminder to listen to you in situations with HIGH distraction.
I'd do a search for the threads on proper e-collar use. I know there are some people on here who use them properly and to great effect.
You may also need to consider two options:
1) Not taking Rocky to the dog park until you're reasonably sure he'll come when called.
2) Not trying to call Rocky to you at all when at the dog park.
I feel like if you take him before he's ready and give him more opportunities to ignore you when you call, then even retraining recall with a new word won't work.
Otis - the most trusting dog on Earth.
I found the long line absolutely essential when I first started working on recall. I was, however, alone and only had to worry about my own legs getting tangled up. Buy a nice pair of leather working gloves and be concious of where the rope is at all times. I'm a very uncoordinated person, but I have never even come close to be injured by using a long line.
I also agree that the e-collar can be very beneficial for this type of situation, but also realize not everyone has an interest in using one. If you are thinking about it, I would suggest visiting a hunting retriever forum (such as www.retrievertraining.net/forums) to find out more information as the pool of experienced e-collar use is much deeper there than it is here.