Please could i have some advice on improving my 11 month old labs recall and sometimes uncontrollable excitement whenever he sees another dog. I live right next to a very popular dog walking field and woods of which I come across other dog walkers whenever I walk him. If nobody is around he is absolutely fine and a pleasure to walk, but if he sees another dog (doesn't matter how far) he will belt across the field to try and play, if he has no joy he will often come back but if the other dog wants to play also i have no chance! Another factor is other owners giving him treats when he approaches them which I am in the process of letting them know politely not to as it doesn't help my cause at all. When he does play he is sometimes so excited he doesn't know when to stop. The trouble is getting him enough exercise which i find am not able on the lead and keeping him under control. I am told it's his age and he'll grow out of it but it is incredibly frustrating. This is my first post so apologies for the length but any help would be appreciated.
Sounds like Alfie was! I know your pain!
Anyway find somethin he really really likes...Alfie loves leather footballs and those chuck its so i always take them to the park with me, when i have those he practically ignores every other dog in that park as the focus is on the ball. So maybe give that a try.
Another thing is a long line, we used 100ft of rope with a clip on the end, bugger to carry but you can easily step on it and enforce that command.
"bolts across the field"? You should probably keep the pup on a leash.
Try to gradually introduce distractions.
Bring high value treats to make yourself more (and the treats) more interesting than the other dog.
This is probably not what you want to hear, but this is true, I am afraid. VERY normal behaviour for a young Lab and nothing to be concerned about. Most of us have been in your shoes at some point.I am told it's his age and he'll grow out of it but it is incredibly frustrating.
Using a long line is a wonderful tool. I would keep him on the line when you walk and let him drag it. It is not as fun as being off lead, but you will have control, he will still have some freedom and you can reinforce the recall. Calling him after he has bolted won't make any impact on his behaviour, nor will it encourage him to return to you. Every time he bolts and he ignores you, you are reinforcing that the 'COME!' command is optional. Right now, the only way that you can enforce that 'COME!' means 'COME!' is to physically make him come towards you.
We live near an off leash dog park and it's not easy for us either. Especially because we usually go after work when he's full of energy. We bring treats along and it helps to a degree. But, sometimes when he starts playing and running with a group of dogs there's no stopping him.
And I'm generally ok with that. The dog owners there know what they are in for. But it concerns me when a runner or biker is there too.
The extra long lead sounds like a good bet.
JimBob, it was like I had written that myself!! - I was just about to ask for some help with the same problem for my 11 month old bitch Phoebe - she is adorable but absolutely hopeless as soon as she sees another dog - GONE......and I can recall her as much as I like but she won't come back until she's ready or I physically go and get her - from what I've read here it seems the best bet is the long lead - think I'm going to try that - just to clarify - will they grow out of it????
ps: maybe we should just let them distract each other lol!!!