Sam and coming back
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Thread: Sam and coming back

  1. #1
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultSam and coming back

    Sam's training has had to go a lot slower than normal because of all the health issues he's had. He's 9 months and was finally fixed last month, that had to be postponed three separate times because of his health.

    He's smart as a whip though. He has sit, shake, lay down (almost all the time). I can tell him to go open his 'bed' (his crate) when it's feeding time. He eats in his crate because he has a problem with sharing, meaning he will gobble up all his food and try to take Happy and Lucky's food. He will run to his crate and sit in front of it waiting for me to come in there with his food bowl, then I'll say "Well Open it up" if it's almost closed and he will grab the gate with his paw and pull it open! So cute!

    I can call him from any where in the house and usually he will come bounding in and normally sit right in front of me. I have a tie out I hook him to in the yard, because he has entered the "I'm going to do what I want when I want" age, and he will run down the hill and onto the sidewalk, ect. When I say its time to come in Happy immediately goes to the door to wait for me, Lucky brings me her stick which I toss up on the deck and she grabs it for her final fetch and waits on the deck for us. Sam bolts across the yard. I will walk to the middle and say "Sam, HEEL!" and snap my fingers, which gets me a "Whatever" look and running in the opposite direction. When I step on his lead so he can't move anymore I'll say "HEEL Sam!" and sometimes he will look at me with the same look, and sometimes he will come and trot up next to me, which I make him sit, say "Good boy Heel!" and will pet him and gives lots of praise then I unhook him and lead him to the steps of our deck and let go, and he always trots up them and waits to go inside. Other times I have to grab the lead after stepping on it and give it a tug to make him come back.

    How can I get him to Heel on command? I'd like to take all of them to the nature area that's only a block or so away where we use to run and play and fetch for hours, but I don't feel comfortable taking Sam until his off leash behavior has gotten a lot better. His leash manners are not where they should be yet, but we're working on that as well. I have a prong collar for both Happy and Lucky, but Sam's neck is still considerably smaller than Lucky's and I didn't start working on a prong with her until she was 18 months.

    Any suggestions would be great!

    Thanks!


    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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  3. #2
    imported_MilesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam and coming back

    Hi there lucky girl! I am not sure if you are asking how to teach heel or a recall. If you are asking about heeling try this:

    1. Teach "watch me". Using a treat, get them to look you in the eye and reward.
    2. Move on to having him sit at heel position and look up at you and reward.
    3. With a leash short enough to keep him in position walk at your left side. I used treats to lure the desired behavior. As he walks in heel position, "good heel" "good heel" and reward. I like to use a clicker. At first, you may only get a step or two. Just be patient and increase distance.

    Incidentally, my dog knows "hee" but he doesn't heel every time we go out. Heeling is hard work for him. When it is time to romp in the woods, it is time to romp in the woods and I just have to get him out there as quickly as I can. I often laugh as my "obedience" dog pulls me into the woods on a hiking day. He definitely knows when it is time to play.

    Good luck!
    <br /><br />Grand River Run Genaration &quot;Miles&quot;&nbsp; CGC RN, RL1, RL2, RA, CW-SR, C-OB1, RL1X, RL3, RE

  4. #3
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam and coming back

    Thanks for the advise!! What exactly is the difference between heel and recall? Basically I say "come" or "heel" when I want my dogs to come to my side. Happy always has me in his line of sight, but he is not necessarily in mine. The moment I say "Happy!" or "Happy come!" or "Happy Heel!" he will come bounding back to me. Lucky will do basically the same thing, even if she is chasing a rabbit or such, Happy has a harder time leaving a critter alone to come back to me.

    I shudder to think what Sam would do if I just gave him off leash freedom!

    I have trained all my dogs my whole life by myself, since I was 8. I just seem to be able to communicate with them on a deeper level than most people if that makes sense.

    Sam, has seriously made me wonder if I should take him to some classes. He's at 9 months now and he has some interesting quirks about him..ie tearing up my flooring, jumping up on my table, jumping OVER the vets counter (yes OVER), sleeping on top of his crate in the day time (I don't mind that one so much I think its kind of cute and I swear he has beagle in him somewhere!), we are STILL working on house training >

    There are good things about him too, I don't want it to sound like I'm harping on this horrible puppy or anything! He's a wonderful dog, he just needs more training as I said it's had to go slowly because of his health.
    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam and coming back

    As you see in comparing Sam with Lucky and Happy (or Marley!), Labs differ a great deal in energy, quirks, and temperament -- while there are some typical generalities, there are also Labs that are outliers from the common norm in some traits.

    Since you've been a long time "dog whisperer", I'm not sure that lessons -- unless with someone who's also very much attuned to the peculiarly specific traits of dogs rather than promoting a formula that works most of the time -- will be of much help. Perhaps it might help a lot, because it sounds as if Sam has a bit of "ADHD" or "ADD" and possibly being in a new situation and with new distractions could be beneficial? -- and probably more possibly not.

    I think, in your desire to have a well-trained Lab, possibly you may be overlooking Sam's young age (9 months) which, even in dogs that are more serene, less hyper, less easily distracted, that young age is when sustained focussing and attention is not the usual norm.

    I think you've done a very impressive job of training a dog 9 months old:
    He has sit, shake, lay down (almost all the time). I can tell him to go open his 'bed' (his crate) when it's feeding time. He eats in his crate because he has a problem with sharing, meaning he will gobble up all his food and try to take Happy and Lucky's food. He will run to his crate and sit in front of it waiting for me to come in there with his food bowl, then I'll say "Well Open it up" if it's almost closed and he will grab the gate with his paw and pull it open!
    My suggestion is to use your own considerable skills in training and in trying to understand what seems to work best with Sam. Possibly very short training sessions alternating with freer times for him to have less disciplined play with you? Maybe learning to use clicker training? And searching for other variables that help Sam stay focussed. From what you've said, food is a huge motivator for him, so teaching with treats would almost certainly be something to explore. (BTW, I pre-measured Puff's next meal and then used kibble from that as the treats so as not to overfeed her; picked up that little gem from some local dog trainers.)

    But while Sam is somewhat hyper &/or ADD, IMO, for his being 9 months old, you've done a great job with him.
    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":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam and coming back

    Thanks Bob! It means a lot to hear that I'm doing a good job, because sometimes I'm like "What am I doing wrong with this one!!"

    I've also thought that this pup has ADD because I have ADHD! I think that's why I'm so patient with him when he's going on a tear, because I understand it!

    I think you may be right on my over looking his age. My major focus is his potty training, which I've been trying to work on. I have potty pads for him, because he will NOT go poop outside. Absolutely, completely and totally not going to happen in his mind! I've been trying to peek in and make sure he's going on the little pad like you suggested...but everytime he catches me peeking in on him he immediately stops and leaves the room like "Geez mom, some privacy please!" He will go pee on the pads, but 90% of the time he's not pooping on them. He WILL go pee almost everytime I take him outside though. I always have a treat in my pocket that he is given soon as he finishes peeing, I cheer and whoop and tell him what a good boy he is, which he always wags his tail and dances around, and then I give him another treat for coming inside. I'm seriously thinking of getting one of those grass potty bed things for the room he has claimed as his 'potty' room.

    So should I start going back to the nature walk place with just Happy and Lucky for their romp, and then come back and take Sam for a leash walk there? Happy needs to loose a good 10-15 pounds! He is not fat though! He is merely stocky! I say he is stocky because his weight is well distributed, he just has a little more than he needs right now! Lucky on the other hand, needs to gain about 6-8 pounds! She eats more than Happy does, but she's just all muscle and is more into playing fetch and such. Happy doesn't not see the point in playing fetch. I'm not sure how to get the extra weight back on her. She lost it during that extreme anxiety she developed this summer, and she's gotten a lot better with it, and I don't want to increase her food by a lot because we could over shoot her weight too!!

    Wow this started as a Sam post and I ended with questions for all three!
    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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