Thanks for the replies! We intend to get training with the collar. Our local pet store is great with that sort of thing. The owners do a lot of one on one and know most of the pets personally. They will see me around town and ask about that new food we put Congo on or if he liked his new toy. They were out of the vibrating collar when I went to check so we'll work with other methods of training until the order comes in.
We were out at a BBQ this evening and Congo did great on recall for the first 90 minutes or so and then got bored and started exploring. Once he did that, he stopped following commands. We've made the decision that when we go to an outdoor country event (many of our friends have large acreages or farms) he gets an hour to an hour and a half (if he's behaving) off leash and then he gets put on a staked line somewhere close to the action but far enough away that he isn't getting into trouble. He's too curious and too fast for us to let him roam.
Once Congo is exploring a new place or tired of doing what we ask, food is not a reward. We've used everything from bacon to steak to dog treats to kibble. Even if he happens to come when we call, he'll ignore the food and look at us with disdain. :p His primary motivation is movement.
We're taking all these suggestions to heart and we'll see how we can tweak them to suit our B's personality. Thanks again for the help. We really appreciate it!
I'm so glad I found this post! My husband had a nasty scare tonight with our 11 month old Congo. He wiggled out of his collar while on a skateboard ride along a fairly busy road and was doing a crazy "demon run" (insane speed in a wide circle with tongue flapping in the breeze) across the road. It took 20 min to catch him with the help of a neighbour. Congo was almost hit 3 times as he crossed the road. Chris was actually already trying to figure out how to tell me that Congo had died. So scary! We've been trying to find a way to break into his mind when he's on a run like that but he gets in a zone and we haven't found a good way to do that. Food and attention aren't attractions to him outside. He comes well in the home but the lure of the open space is more than we can crack. He also tries to treat a recall like a game. If he comes he'll only get within 5 or 6 feet from us and then wait for us to walk closer to him. That approach is then the signal for a game of chase. Great fun! :s
So again, thank you for this post and all these ideas to help us save our crazy dogs life. Tomorrow we're going to invest in a dog whistle, borrow a shock/vibration collar (not spending $75+ if he won't respond) and try to find a 30' drag leash to attach to him.
Thanks guys. Sometimes it's his eyes but normally it's his rims. He's all black so it shows up very dramatically. No pictures have turned out well enough to show it. We've switched him to Blue Buffalo brand food but he still scratches a lot around his face. Not as much as he used to but he still scratches. I'll get him tested as soon as I can get him in.
Soooo now that its summer Congo wants to spend all his time on the yard. I have no problem with this. The problem comes when the crazy pup becomes crazy with his need to be outside and lunging at the birds flying overhead. He's often pawed at the door knob before but today is grabbed it with his teeth and tried to turn it! :o Have any of you had to deal with this and how do you prevent the four-legged Einstein from actually opening the door?
we had the same issue with our Congo until we switched to a better food (we're using Blue right now) and added Dr Maggie Skin and Coat additive. We do about 1/2 tsp for each feeding so 1 tsp/day and it keeps him from scratching. The Dr Maggie is about $14 Canadian/bottle and that lasts about a month.