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Controlling puppy off the lead

This is a discussion on Controlling puppy off the lead within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Originally Posted by 105ben I have been trying to call her back to me occasionally for a bit of a fuss, then setting her on ...

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Old 05-11-2014, 06:05 PM
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I have been trying to call her back to me occasionally for a bit of a fuss, then setting her on her way again, to teach what you suggested. I like the idea of attaching the line though, would that be better than going over and picking her up when shes ignoring me?
Yes it would be far better than picking her up. The hazard here with doing the pick up routine is that she will become shy of being picked up (it means the end of fun) or will start to try to run away from you, as Crazy relates about her dog. Puppies can almost always escape a human's grasp and that is not a habit you want to build.

Just be very aware that dragging a line has its physical dangers too, that is getting caught up in something, so don't leave her unattended out there whilst dragging a line.

For older dogs off lead, I'd caution about a tag line in situations where she might run off into the woods after rabbits or chipmunks. A dog can get hung up out in the woods and be unable to return to you.

Right now though, with a young puppy in the garden, a reasonable amount of caution should make this quite a safe tactic for managing her through this period of her growth.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:11 PM
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She already is very good with the recall indoors. Its when she's outside and theres lots of things going on she is less interested in coming to me.

Today I had her favourite toy with a squeaker inside it, and when i squeaked that she came straight back everytime, as she knew it was going to be fun to come back to me. I might try using the squeaker when she is ignoring me and call her at the same time gradually using the squeaker less and less, although im concerned she will get bored of it once she realises she isnt going to get the toy everytime. I let her have a play with it for 5-10 seconds, then put it back in my pocket.

Are there any other drawbacks to using this?
Here is how you can use this.
First give her the cue for coming to you, then squeek the toy. This way the calling cue becomes a predictor of something she really likes, and that will build the behavior. As she learns about this, wait to squeek the toy until she has started coming to you, and then finally wait until she has arrived before rewarding her with the squeek.

If you do it the other way around, squeek then call, her habit will not be reinforced for coming to your call.

I think you would really enjoy this book "
Don't shoot the dog Don't shoot the dog
" as it explains all about how to use this science of animal behavior do train your dog. You already have a good instinct for this stuff and are good at the observations. If you read the book, you would save yourself several years in discovering more principles by happenstance.

Most of us old timers here on DF have read that book. Karen Pryor really is one of our heroines.
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