So, I've been working on the recall . . .

So I decided Zest's recall could/should be better when she gave me the slip and ran around the non-fenced portion of our 5 acre lot and then (for the first time) made it all the way to the road so she can check the pee-mail under the mail box. So I made it a priority to do recall work and have been working very hard on this over the last 2 weeks or so. I used Premack principle with the neighbor goats and she was coming back to be before I could even call her. All was going well.

So yesterday, I pulled her out of the dog yard (leaving the other 3 dogs there) and head to the agility yard. We did a little focus work and I release her so I can go inside and grab a toy (I had treats, but we use a toy with agility training too). She flushes a rabbit and gives chase and the rabbit runs towards the fence (wire field fencing). Unforunately (or not) the rabbit misjudged the holes in the fence and bounces off of it and lies there stunned about a foot or two from the fence. Zest says "SCORE!!!" and runs up to the rabbit; I run along the outside of the fence (to do what I have no idea 😕). So I go back towards the gate, Zest grabs the rabbit, the rabbit squeals. I go into the yard and stand at the gate thinking "crap, now what?" 😕 (I'm not real fond of dead animals unless they are pre-packaged and the last time there was a rabbit kill, it involved lots of fleas and then I found out the basenjis are allergic to flea shampoo.) So I call her; I have no idea why I did this. Zest, being the brilliant enterprising dog she is (recall = really, really good treats afterall), trots over to me carrying this 1/2 dead twitching rabbit. I grab her by the scruff (not a correction as we've worked on this being play) and get her to drop the rabbit and proceed to stuff her mouth full of chicken praising her the entire time. If I'd been smart, I'd have premacked the rabbit right then, but I didn't have the fortitude for that (okay, so I'm a weenie).

But I am pretty pleased with our recall work. And our retrieval work.

Good work on the recall. With my last 2 Basenjis I heard too many jack rabbit squeals and stopped taking them out to this huge field for off leash romps. They once nailed 5 in 1 hour. The rabbits didn't try to run until it was too late. They'd be crisscrossing this huge field wide eyed, nose to the ground and deaf.

Thanks. This was a cottontail. I can't imagine her retreiving a jack. She's only about 20 pounds and I think the jacks around here are that big. And I don't think I could have called her off the rabbit, so I did wait to call her until after the chase.

What does premacked mean please ?

Haha. At least you could have kept a piece of fur for coursing! I can just see you there on the other side of the fence looking in!

@thunderbird8588:

What does premacked mean please ?

Never heard that term myself. I found this.

http://www.petsalley.com/newsreinforcement.html

Yes, in short, an organism will do a less desired behavior in order to get to do a more desired behavoir.

http://life.familyeducation.com/dogs/pet-training/47296.html

She came to me (with rabbit in mouth) and I should have allowed her to return to the rabbit as a reward for coming and dropping it. I did reward her with chicken, however a bigger pay off for her would have been to return to her new favorite toy, the dying rabbit. So now, I wonder the next time (if there's a next time) will she be more apt to NOT recall because last time she did recall and all the fun ended.

Houston

Sounds like she is doing great. I have been wanting to work Otis on the recall, but we haven't really had any space to do it, and I haven't had time to have him separated from our other dogs..so if I call him, they all come including him, but I don't think it is because he is wanting to, I think it is because he is following the 2 non b's to me..they are very eager to come when he called, he really couldn't care less..but we will work on it here in the fall. Thanks for the ideas as well as that link..

Bmamma-
Pick up the booklet or DVD called Really Reliable Recall by Leslie Nelson. She has Afghans and so is familiar with training indepentant sighthounds.

The other thing you can do with a pack is to use one word to call everyone. "Dogs, come" and the first one (or two) that get to you gets the treat. Soon you should have everyone running to you as quickly as they can. I haven't done this with recalls, but I have done this a little with sits.

@agilebasenji:

Bmamma-
Pick up the booklet or DVD called Really Reliable Recall by Leslie Nelson. She has Afghans and so is familiar with training indepentant sighthounds.

The other thing you can do with a pack is to use one word to call everyone. "Dogs, come" and the first one (or two) that get to you gets the treat. Soon you should have everyone running to you as quickly as they can. I haven't done this with recalls, but I have done this a little with sits.

I have that DVD myself. There's some really good stuff in it. More geared towards sight hounds.

Premack is also described in the "Offleash Control" book (I think that's the correct title).

I don't think you need to worry about the next time. This was only her first "test" after all and anyway she had a very good reward. You didn't say what you did with the rabbit – I'd have cut off a leg or the tail for future workouts.

Close, "Control Unleashed". And we do a lot of that stuff (actually, I ended up teaching CU classes)

The rabbit - I told hubby to perform a funeral (Otherwise I'd have tossed it into the tall grasses in the easment and left it for nature)

And I do have quite a few assortments of skins - rabbits, fox (i think) a coyote tail and I even have a mink stole that kind of grosses me out (they have eyes and clips in the mouth - ick)

Thanks for the info on Premack

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