why is Lily proving harder to train on recalls?

 Yesterday was a nightmare and left me frustrated and angry. 

Lily ran way again. She was walking with my son and her collar broke. She ran like crazy into the neighbors back yard to the camp field . We tried to bring her back for more than 2 hours...she was running from us,chasing the birds , crossing streets...I almost gave up. I had 15 kids helping me, a pocket full of treats, car keys, toys and nothing....even when I stayed alone with her, in that wet field, she stopped , looked at me and nothing... I couldn't sleep this night trying to figure out what I've been doing wrong ,. She is not a baby anymore, she is 12 months!!!! I can understand that she believe that all those kids were playing..but she never, at any point responded to my calls even at home. I can't afford obedience classes right now. Really disappointed with my dog =(

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Comment by Bax & Zigs & Rosie on May 6, 2011 at 4:39pm

That adolescent phase is an awful one. Baxter is almost two now and I can really see a difference in how well he pays attention. A reliable recall is important and those links are really helpful. You may also want to just work with Lily or have your son with her and paly games in which she's rewarded for just paying attention to you using the "watch me" command. Work on it inside the house and when she gets really good, take her outside someone where there are a few distractions and practice some more.


No matter how well trained I think Baxter is, if he's getting a better reward for not listening to me, I essentially have no power. He's so treat oriented that I have to work really hard to wing him off the treats to try to turn him into just a plan old obedient dog.

Comment by Renata M. on April 29, 2011 at 2:19am

next time I will use a sheep costume...the field was wet and my son felt many times. This night Lily and I have a serious   conversation about her bad  behavior yesterday! LOL


Comment by Nicola Porter on April 29, 2011 at 12:15am

So far yelling treats has worked for us, when they come in they get a high value goodie.


Comment by Carolyn and Gracie on April 28, 2011 at 11:57pm
Running away from them makes sense....they're herders and you're a runaway sheep!
Comment by Jane on April 28, 2011 at 10:25pm
Another silly thing that has worked for me is to bend down, scratch at the grass making silly noises and pretend like you found something SUPER interesting. On one occasion when Henry got out it worked really well for me, plus I was already down low enough to grab his collar when he got close lol.
Comment by Renata M. on April 28, 2011 at 9:38pm
I tried to " run away from Miss Lily" but she stopped, looked at me, turned her back and....one bird appeared !! NOooooooo birds, noooooo...go away!!!  She loose her focus with anything that moves or any sound.. Thank you for all advises and tips...
Comment by Melissa and Franklin! on April 28, 2011 at 9:09pm
another thing I just thought of that I used to train my chihuahua who basically had NO recall, was get a whistle and blow the whistle and give a REALLY yummy yummy treat. Do this in your house, in the back yard, etc in controlled situations. That way you are basically making that whistle a signal for the delicious treat that is about to come. Do this several times a day for a few days and then try it outside on a long leash, blow the whistle and give her a treat. Repeat. This worked really well on my chi because she was really treat motivated and a whistle is very loud and hard to "selectively hear". She has a very reliable recall with the whistle, though still rarely answers to her name! :-)
Comment by Melissa and Franklin! on April 28, 2011 at 9:04pm
Like other people have said, resist the urge to try to chase, its just a game to them. Best thing you can do is turn it into a game and run away from her. Make lots of weird silly noises, run in the opposite direction, and you can even flop on the ground and  make funny noises. While you may look like a crazy person, Lily will also think you are a crazy person and come to investigate. Also, many people make a crucial mistake when teaching recall, they call and call and call and when the dog finally comes, they reprimand the dog for running away. From the dogs point of view, you are reprimanding them for COMING. They have already forgotten the hour or two you just spent chasing them. If your dog approaches you, ALWAYS give lots of praise. That way they will associate praise with them coming. Buy a LONG leash, like 15 foot. Take her outside on the leash and work on your recall. Just follow the advice on the links, give lots and lots of praise, and take it slow. She will learn soon enough that coming to you means lots of love and treats
Comment by Beth on April 28, 2011 at 8:44pm

And lots of detailed advice on recall training here:




And John has tried to butter me up again.  :-)    

Comment by Lisa && Yoshi on April 28, 2011 at 8:40pm

I don't have any advice as far as recall training. But if it ever gets to that point again, when Yoshi would run away, chasing NEVER worked. Luring him NEVER worked. What I would do was run AWAY from him. He always starts chasing after me when I run away. I'd either turn around and grab him once he got close enough or my boyfriend would be near enough to grab him while he's chasing me.

Best bet, of course, is to work on the recall training. But until you guys have that down, if she gets loose again, I hope this helps.

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