Re: letting off the lead


hi – ok, what has happened is that you have missed that vital time of getting the recall classically conditioned – this is the learning time that stays with the dog for life and if fluently trained – the dog has no choice – like you breaking out in goosebumps if a fork is scratched down a plate.  what you have now is operant learning – the dog has learned that choices can be made so what you have to do is condition (train) the dog that the best choice is to come back – the success will depend on how much success the dog has had being off in terms of ‘a good time’ ie having more rewarding fun than being with you – this is called an extiction burst.

you need to go back to basics – in the house – with treats (and clicker if you use one) sit on the floor to begin with and do loads of recalls – rewarding everytime – when fluent and reliable – extend it to the garden – this is called upping the criteria – then take it off your ground to somehwere small and totally enclosed – a neighbours garden for example then test it on the free running walk – never ever risk a criteria jump unless you got it fluent and reliable in the last place – if it breaks down back up a level.  i would also get it on a visual cue and a whistle cue – 3 blasts of a 2 10 1/2 whistle is the norm.  get the above then going back to criteria 1 – in the house – whistle then normal cue after very fast – it is always new cue old cue when adding a cue for established behaviour.

work as silently as you can – don’t over fuss – and when you go up the criterias increase the treat values – so for me it is cheese in the house, sausage in the garden and livercake or chicken when free running.

hope this makes sense  ;D

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