Our B is a great, smart dog (7 mo now) who is slowly deciding that he actually WANTS to listen to us - at least most of the time. He loves doing his tricks, he's getting better at walking close and not lunging, the chewing on our feet to get our attention is also a lot better over the past few weeks. The only thing we cant seem to get him to do is come. He knows what it means because he's done it a few times over the past few months but he just doesn't seem to feel that its important. Do you have any tips for getting over this hurdle?
If ur B is very food orientated. Associate the word (come) with the food. Make it really yummy food, special food just for that word.
When I got my 2nd B (my first I had from. 9wks, she goes off leash down the beach etc). I was still teaching my 2nd B recall (start off in ur house and u lr yard before even trying anywhere else). I took her to my parent in laws that have a few acres and we let her off. She was doing great but a truck needed to come in and she was way down the back playing with thre other dogs do I used the word "dinner" which they obviously REALLY know cos they were sitting infront of me before I could blink. I don't use this word for recall unless in dire straights. But just shows how associating food with a word can work. This is just my xperience and I'm sure others have many ideas.
I'm currently training my two to come to a basketball whistle for when we are down the beach as I cannot whistle. They go for off leash runs all the time
Don't make it "optional". Nothing worse than issuing a command that is disobeyed repeatedly. It teaches them to ignore it. Practice when he is on leash or on a long line, and reel him in if you must. In the house, if he ignores you go and get him. Praise, praise, praise, when he comes to you…...of his own volition or otherwise. If you must call him when you can't enforce it, use some other term. Maybe just his name, and a pause to see if he will come on his own. With something important like a recall, you don't want to condition an "ignore" response!! (if he is seriously tuning you out at this point, you might even want to change to a different call word. Try clicker training the action, and naming it once he is solid in his response. Don't set him up to fail by calling him when there are distractions......not at first......make it harder as he gets better at it)
My various instructors have insisted on two things for recall. 1. Call the dog, if he doesn't come then go get him. Never keep calling because that just reinforces the ignore reflex. 2. When he does respond feed special treats for 30 seconds. You might have to experiment to find the most special treat just for this.
One thing they learn quickly is that humans ask a dog to come and then make the dog do something the dog doesn't want - go in kennel, get nails clipped, get left in house while humans leave, whatever - and they'd rather not learn this. Teaching effective recall means you work this command even if you don't really want the dog to come for anything special. Just call the dog, treat, then release him to do whatever he wants (play, chase squirrels, etc.). Then call again, treat, and release. This way the dog learns (and my prima donna basenji is proof) that the command is connected to something good and will start coming quickly. My previous basenji would be chasing squirrels and I could call him and he would turn on a dime to return to me - giving up the squirrel chase!
One thing they learn quickly is that humans ask a dog to come and then make the dog do something the dog doesn't want - go in kennel, get nails clipped, get left in house while humans leave, whatever - and they'd rather not learn this. Teaching effective recall means you work this command even if you don't really want the dog to come for anything special. Just call the dog, treat, then release him to do whatever he wants (play, chase squirrels, etc.). Then call again, treat, and release.
Super advice! Works with catching horses, too. If they never know whether it's something they'd rather avoid or if it's a special treat, you get cooperation most of the time. Unfortunately Basenjis are very astute at sussing out when it might be something unpleasant, so keeping them guessing can be a challenge!
When our dogs are puppies, we work with the dog on a 20 foot leash and we stand just far enough where the dog can go to each of us. We each have treat to reward when the dog follows the come command. The leash is used for the dogs safety and also to help the dog know what is expected at least on one end. This is something we do for 15 minutes or less on a daily basis until the dog gets it.
My 2 B's are very different - one usually comes, the youngest always weighs her options.
Food helps. And patience.
What I do now is this: I take a noisy, blue freezer bag with treats with me. When I want them to come I take the bag out: they hear the sound, see the color and usually show that they understand what's next. Sometimes that's enough for them to come. Sometimes I need to call their names, or the name of the treat that they associate with coming.
The other day Lela was too far in front of me, off leash; I stood still, took out the bag (I hold it over my head so they can see it well), made a noise with it, and got her attention. I stood very still for a full minute, but in the end she came. From a distance I must have looked a very silly statue, but it did the trick.