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Another dog question

Discussion in 'Personal' started by rustybug, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. How many people have a dog that always comes to them as soon as it is called? We let ours off the lead and he often trots (or gallops!) off out of sight. The sight of his departing heels gives me a heart attack and I call him back, but sometimes he doesn't come back for a minute or so. This is enough time for me to get my heart rate up to 200 worrying that he might find his way to the road, or rush up to a vicious dog and get savaged, and praying to please send him back and if he comes back I promise I will never let him off the lead again!
    It's like he is saying, "Yeah, in a minute, I just want to check this out first," I don't think he really wants to get lost.
    Our previous dog was never off the lead because she was bad with other dogs, and we have worked quite hard with training and socialising from puppy stage to make sure that this one (her grandson!) is fine to really have a good run on our walks.
    My husband feels if he is well enough trained to be off the lead at all, he should always come straight back when called, and not ever be in a situation where he is rushing up to another dog 50m ahead out of sight, and until we can get him to stay in our sight or come back immediately when we call him, he should stay on the lead.
    I would love that to be the case, but fear it isn't a reasonable target. He's only 9 months old, was neutered about a month ago.
    What is the situation with other people's dogs?
     
  2. bedingfield

    bedingfield New commenter

    Our 10 month old border collie loves to be off the lead but she only gets the chance after I have checked that the field we are in is totally dog free. Any other dogs and she runs to them to have a play. My dog is friendly but you can never know what the nature of the other dog is.
    She is getting better, and I have found that if I have a throw toy to distract her this really helps to stop her running off. Especially as you can be clever when you are throwing so that she doesn't go too far in front. I also have a special whistle for her and she is learning to that when I whistle she must stop and come to me. All of this hasn't happened overnight. It has taken a lot of practise, patience and the nerve to take a risk and let her go.
    I took her puppy training and have carried this on to the intermediate class. There they show you how to get the dog to come back on a recall among other things. The thing my dog is not good with is walking on the lead without yanking my arm off, but we are now working on that with the trainer at the class.
    I hope things work out for you, as I think there is nothing better than watching a dog have a free run.




     
  3. A dog rushed up to my friend and her 4 year old son, scaring them both, My friend bent over and swung her very heavy, screaming child into her arms and held him as high as she could out of range. The owner tut tutted at her saying the animal ( who had ignored all calls to come back) was totally harmless, my friend miscarried within an hour. If your dog does not come back when called, don't let him off. I love animals, that doesn't mean I want uncontrolled dogs bounding around me. I've had owners, who were unable to call their pets back, assuring me the dog was completly harmless, when he had just got mud and slobber down the clothes I was walking to an interview in. Another time a tiny puppy upturned the supper we had just cooked on a beach fire. Owners blather on about their animals being harmless, oblivious to harm they are doing just by being dogs.
     
  4. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    My dog is terrible off the lead. Her recall is non existent (not for want of trying, I can assure you). I could be standing there waving a t-bone steak and she wouldn't give a stuff. She only gets let off in one place, which is 100% rural, no livestock and no other dog walkers.
    She is also very unpredictable with other dogs. Some she likes, others she hates on sight, for no apparent reason. She has no road sense to speak of (again, not for want of trying etc, etc.). Other than that, she's the perfect dog. [​IMG]
    Your dog sounds like an angel compared to mine, but I'm with your husband on this. He should come straight back when called. If he's this good at 9 months I think he's definitely got it in him to achieve this. Keep working on it!
     
  5. Sorry to hear about your friend losing her baby, that's awful. We always used to roll our eyes at people whose dogs would rush up to our (previous, aggressive) dog, while they called and called in vain - sometimes we had to hold our dog's mouth shut to stop her going for them, and even kick them away if they kepy bouncing all over her risking their own safety and ignoring their owner calling them back.
    Thing is, my boy loves his treats and we always give him a treat and we practise recall almost daily. Just, sometimes he seems to be working towards a higher imperative and I feel he wouldn't come back even for a whole roast chicken! (This is why we had him neutered - he went from perfect unquestioning puppy recall to behaving like a teenaged boy who knows better than the ol' folks and will return when he knows the time is right!)
    So you reckon he will improve? How long for the bigbo11ox hormones to fade out of his system I wonder?
     
  6. Who knows if she might not have lost it anyway, sooner or later, it just upsets me when owners assume their animal is harmless, because they are unaware. It sounds to me like you are a much more responsible owner than many!
     
  7. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Yep, I do. 9 months is still a very puppyish age.
    Keep working on the recall and you'll nail it. If only more owners were as responsible as you!
     
  8. Manashee your dog sounds like mine even down to the road sense! He is perfectly trained, will do anything indoors and anything on a lead but the minute we get outside forget it if he is off lead - his terrier instincts overide everything. He is also unpredictable with other dogs and isn't overly fond of toddlers. Mine stays on the lead at all times but we put him on a pony lunge line in our field so he can run like crazy but not get away! Perfect puppy indoors though xx


     
  9. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    I knew, even before I got to your second sentence, that your dog was a terrier! Mine too. They are little swines when they're off lead.
    I do a similar thing to you with the lunge line (mine's a lengthy climbing rope), so I can let her 'off' to play ball on the green, but can haul her in PDQ if it looks as though she's going to go awol.
    Butter wouldn't melt in the house though:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. I was having a picnic in a public park with friends a week or so ago, when a rather friendly lolloping sausage dog appeared from nowhere with no owner in sight, and proceeded to ransack our picnic and eat everything in sight. We had mainly finished and were laughing too much to care because it was so very random, and eventually a panicking woman appeared out of the undergrowth full of apologies! Fortunately he was a very friendly dog, but we didn't want to pull him away incase he wasn't.
     
  11. MarilynDan

    MarilynDan New commenter

    My daughter's gorgeous four year old Cairn terrier has always come back to her but she also says he was always "terrified" of being lost and she mostly took him into fields (when he was off his lead) where there were few other dogs. She was very strict with him as a puppy and always told him off if he disobeyed - he hated being "shouted at" and still does. He has a great looking guilty expression :).
    It took until he was 18 months before he would always come back to me. He much preferred running to meet other dogs, chasing seagulls and squirrels etc etc so I only trusted him in certain places. He's a very, very friendly little dog and just loves people and other dogs but it wasn't until he was 18 months that he got streetwise and began to recognise that there are certain dogs it might be best to give a wide berth to. He's hilarious in how far he'll go out of his way to avoid some dogs that he's suspicious of. He obviously picks up on signals.
    My daughter expects him to come back to her and unless he gets very distracted he always obeys. He knows he'll be in trouble if he disobeys and she is very consistent!
    We took him to the woods at the weekend (without daughter) and he discovered a rabbit. We called him off and he came back but an hour and a half later he led us back to where he'd seen the rabbit then went off again hunting. Usually he reappears in minutes to check we're still there. This time he didn't so we called and whistled quite a few times. In the end, hubby back tracked and there below us was pooch, completely within hearing range and totally ignoring us looking for his rabbit. The minute he saw hubby he came rushing past him to me with his ears down and his tail between his legs. He obviously knows who is the soft touch!
    Your dog is still very much a puppy. Give him time and be consistent. With luck he'll be as good as our pooch though he may still lapse at times when something really 'distracts' him :)



     
  12. I've had my dog for quite a few years. He'd had a previous (abusive) owner, so we didn't have the chance to train him as a puppy. It's only been in the last few months, after years of training and 'heeling' that I can actually let him off the lead, and that he'll come back. Before, he pulled constantly on the leash, and if he was off the leash and saw a kangaroo or another dog he'd be off! I'm still very careful though. On the beach, if I see another dog coming, I put him straight back on his leash, as he is liable to take off, and no amount of calling will bring him back. He gets on well with most other dogs, but occasionally things can turn nasty quite quickly..... too quickly to work out which dog snapped first! Your puppy is still young, so is much more capable of being trained. Good luck!
     
  13. Aaaaaaaaw manashee she is very cute - very butter wouldn't melt - mine is the same looks total innocence until you see him reappear from a grass verge on a standard lead with a pigeon in his mouth!
    Mine is a Jack Russell Parsons cross Patterdale - I blame the Patterdale myself [​IMG]
     
  14. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Thanks, leviosa. I love her little daft face. [​IMG]
    Spookily, she is also half Patterdale, half Plummer terrier. Bred for working, but ended up as a pet.
    Those Patterdales clearly have a lot to answer for!
     
  15. A plea that if your dogs do not come to call immediately to keep them on the lead unless you are isolated in the middle of nowhere.

    Yesterday was out on my pony on the bridle path when this bloke had no control whasoever over his Alsation and kept yelling at the dog like it woudl make any difference when it was clearly ignoring him. Dog ended up walking underneath my pony between its legs and was lucky it didn't get his head kicked in. Fortunately my pony isused to dogs but even so he objected and was kicking out. His response? Oh it was just trying to say hello to your dog ... which was on lead with mmy husband!

    Today was out on bike with youngest son and eldest brought dog along and was jogging. Only to have a terrier off the lead have such a go at ours that my son ended up picking ours up and legging it.

    Just annoys me when people pretend their dogs are fine and they definitely aren't. At least I know mine is a little git on occasions and keep him on the lead.


    T
     
  16. Manashee sorry but I killed myself laughing at the thought of the sausage dog stuffing his face.
     
  17. Thanks for all the replies.
    It's hard to train him to come back no matter what else he might be doing, and get the confidence that he will, unless we have experience of him being off the lead. At his dog training classes he always comes back perfectly, but when he's having a lovely run and off to check out a dog at the end of the field, he doesn't do it as quickly as I would like.
    Seems the norm is to let them off and hope for the best, and usually it's OK, but the dread of him finding a road, or getting lost and/or abducted (he is quite a rare, valuable breed and very handsome - almost always gets comments when we're out - he's also a breed highly appealing to gypsies, if his reception at the last Epsom Derby is anything to go by!) or getting savaged by a vicious dog, means I am always on tenterhooks when he's off the lead.
    But he's a fun-lovin' guy and I want him to enjoy life. I guess I will just keep on as I am, letting him off at certain places, having high blood pressure every time I do, and one day I will realise that he's 100% reliable and I can stop worrying. I can hope, anyway...
     
  18. Ignoring the immediate arrival of the dog-bashing (love the fact you're held personally to blame for everyone's bad experiences with dogs ever - and the miscarriage insinuation was pretty pushing it and actually a blooming awful thing to try to pin on a thread asking for positive suggestions how NOT to have a dog that does this sort of thing... and don't you DARE try the "you can't understand how traumatic that one was" thing with me by the way since I lost three babies in the space of around 6 months last year before you go down that road)... one of mine has a very good recall except in specific situations where I know he's got a tendency to lose the plot - therefore he's not allowed off lead in woodland where there are squirrels and bunnies (squirrels aren't as much of a problem as he'll just end up trying to jump pointlessly at the trunk of the tree for 5 minutes)... rest of the time I know he's very good and it's no problem, so I'll let him off apart from near waterways (just because he'd go for a swim and wet dog pongs like nowt else) or roads. He gets called back if people are walking the other way - but since you don't ever get a thank you and get gobfuls of aggro for daring to own a dog - I'm increasingly disinclined to bother going to those lengths anymore.
    Other one's an ex-racing greyhound only just figuring out her name now (she's grasped the idea of the "come" command very very quickly though - started training classes with her the other week) - so no way for a loooong time to come - odds are she'd be fine, but she does react to things running (as she's been bred to do) and would just go hurtling up to everything asking for a game of chaseys - which isn't appreciated when she tries to get even the cat to chase her. She's also still walked muzzled - not for human safety but because she does still struggle to know that small fluffy white things may well be dogs and not the racing lure - and since people let their dogs bowl up to on-lead ones that don't want to be bothered... someone's got to try to prevent any issues and it's not generally the owner of the bichon frise doing laps around your ankles and trying to hump a greyhound's leg (which is I suppose the very definition of optimism or something). Also get a bunch of delightful comments about how that creature should be put to sleep since it must be aggressive and hysteria when people see the muzzle on her... makes walking a delightful experience requiring an ipod or blood pressure pills.
     

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