@eeeefarm said in Adolescent howl and behavior changes:
Calling them back when it is not necessary is, to my way of thinking, like crying 'wolf' - and as for having a different call when there is no need for them to return to you. . . that would confuse the heck out of me, let alone the dogs. Just let them be unless instant recall is needed and then use just the tried and trusted call, whistle or shout.
Got to agree to disagree on this one. We live in very different places, and perhaps in the U.K. there are less hazards to be wary of, but I don't like my dog out of my sight or hearing and I don't think it's safe. A "different call" to me would be a "reminder" word that they are ranging further than you like, not hard to teach or apply.
Asking a dog to stay relatively close is not unreasonable and is something that is done with bird dogs all the time. They need to cover the field within reasonable distance or they are useless. Major Bruan explains this quite nicely in his article in training Basenjis for the field. "If he takes off out of gun range give the hand and whistle commands for come, and when he returns , praise him and send him off again with the verbal command "go on". It won't take him long to learn you want him to course back and forth in front of you, and the limit of the distance he may go."
I think both of you are right and both accord with my experience. I did not know or plan this in advance, but I have ended up using several related commands for different situations, and he knows them well now.
When I want him in my vicinity, not at my feet, and he's free to roam nearby.
Use a lot when mountain biking, and sometimes when in our nearby dog park (a fairly large wooded area)
If I can't see him, I call his name or whistle, and he invariably returns. But as noted, it's taken longer for him to return because I've let him go further without reigning him in. I've whistled and called for up to 3-4 minutes. I don't like that, so I'm glad to be encouraged to keep him in eyesight. (Learning the ropes folks!)
When he's close but I'm going a different direction and I want him to follow me.
Use when mountain biking mostly, sometimes when walking wooded area.
When I want him at my feet no matter what he's doing, but I use it when I can see him.
If he doesn't respond to come, I apply the e-collar. That works invariably, but I may have to crank it up if he's distracted by other dogs.
Use it mostly when in the dog park, or other park.
A danger indicator or "don't go there" indicator.
Use when I want him to stop going in the direction he's going (cars, other dogs, people), or stop doing something he's doing that could harm him, like chewing on an electric cord.
As I mentioned, he seems to understand and respond to these commands consistently. It's really the "come" command (instant recall) that's the hardest. But I think, as has been observed, he's at that age when he's challenging the boundaries and, at that time of the year when he's seeking females.
Learning a lot about this breed. Thanks to everyone for their insights! Really lucky you folks take the time to respond. Grateful.