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.