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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Critter Cafe / Refresher Course Needed
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    Refresher Course Needed

    Connie Lea
    Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:38 pm Groupie
    I hadn't realized how lax I was getting when taking the dogs for a walk. We live in the country with very little traffic on our road. We can't walk in the fields now until they get the crops off. Anyway last night a car came. Molly and Princess were right beside me and Zoey on a leash. I picked Molly up, so no problem there. I had no idea where Kate was - she hadn't been going with us for a walk, but Abby was a quarter of a mile behind us in the middle of the road no less. I yelled and yelled at her to come and she didn't move. I'd like to think she couldn't hear me (yeah right) - more like she completely ignored me. So tonight I was armed with the whistle and treats. It only took two blow of the whistle and dispensing treats for them to come. After that they all stayed pretty close, even Kate.
    mums the word
    Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:13 pm Groupie
    Thank goodness the dogs were ok, I was afraid you were going to say one got hit by the car. I've never walked a dog off leash but my dog wasn't well trained...she had selective hearing disorder passed on from my children. icon_wink.gif
    Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:40 pm
    Forum Host
    Whew Connie, Thanks goodness everyone was OK and the next trip seems to show that their memories are pretty good....even if they do need the "reminders"!
    Connie Lea
    Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:21 pm Groupie
    Forgot to tell you the car turned into a field so didn't come to where we were - also he was going really slow. Mum - I think that selective hearing from children must be where my dogs got it. When I told DD that I gave them treats when they came to me when I blew the whistle, she said - so you mean you bribe them and not just make them mind. She said good thing I'm not raising kids now as they would be so spoiled.
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:54 am
    Forum Host
    Connie, did you show the dogs the treats FIRST - before they came? Then, yeah, you're bribing them. icon_wink.gif Or did you REWARD them after they came? I think the theory is that you want the dog to believe that the coolest, treatiest place on earth is right here next to you - the only way you can do that is to MAKE it that way, right? icon_wink.gif

    You're just taking a few steps back, and, as you said, it's a refresher course. Once they're remembered the deal, you'll back off on the treats, right?

    Jar still gets treats when he's walking beside me like he's SUPPOSED to, and when he sits at corners, keeps his nose out of people's recyle bins, blahblahblah. Not all the time - but enough so it's worth his while, you know? icon_wink.gif
    Connie Lea
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:39 am Groupie
    Kris you are so right. I am rewarding them, not bribing, although I have to admit I did show them the treat the first time I blew the whistle. I also do like you and not give them a treat every time. Mostly for economics 5 X treats adds up. icon_sad.gif I should start making the treats again.
    K9 Owned
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:03 am
    Forum Host
    Connie that must have had your heart in your mouth!

    Just chiming in here about rewarding versus bribing. Kris outlined it but imo I don't much care what it is called when my dog is in the middle of a road. I want them back!

    If the whistle is what you use for a recall start making treats and reward them EVERYTIME they come to the whistle until it's second nature and they wouldn't dream of not coming. ALWAYS keep treats in your pocket for this purpose. You are creating a conditioned response that can save their lives.

    I let Dawson off leash up at the Pioneer Cemetery and throw a ball for him there (it's pretty isolated). EVERY time he gets the ball I call out 'Dawson Come!' and reward him the second he gets to me. I won't have to do that forever but will continue until the recall is as solid as I can possibly get it. Then he will get a random reward thereafter.

    Whistle them for dinner, whistle them for walks, whistle them for every darn thing they want and feel rewarded by. If you do that they will soon be at your side before you get the whistle of of your mouth icon_smile.gif
    Connie Lea
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:16 am Groupie
    K9 they are already super good about coming when I blow the whistle. It was my fault, I just hadn't been taking it along, or any treats. Just got too used to no cars on the road. Won't make that mistake again. And yeah you're right in that my heart about stopped, especially when she was in the middle of the road. Normally Molly and I are the only ones on the side on the road. The rest are in the ditch or slough. Lots of cool smells there.
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:47 am
    Forum Host
    Connie, I wonder if it it might not be a good idea, too, to see if you can pick up a couple of spare whistles - I keep a clicker in the kitchen (for kitty training icon_lol.gif ) and one by the door, next to Jar's leash. Whenever I walk him, I have a fanny pack that I strap on - it's got everything we need - bags, treats, tissues, a copy of my ID, extra bags, lip balm, etc. - the clicker hangs on the same hook with the bag so I don't forget it. It's become second nature to have that with me whenever we walk.

    Even with all of Jar's amazing wonderfulness icon_wink.gif I STILL don't dare let him off leash in public - we've only just started taking the long lead off when we're at the beach, and only when there's NOBODY else around. Someday, maybe, but for now, his recall just isn't 100% (actually, I'd settle for 99 and a half, I guess).

    And yeah, I agree with K9 - if the dog is in danger, entice, bribe, pick him up and carry him if you need to - do whatever you need to do to get him out of harm's way!

    And definitely - make every possible interaction a "training session" - I think it helps the dogs learn to apply their "lessons" in other situations - Jar's developing and awfully good sit-stay -- because his food doesn't get put down for him until he does. icon_biggrin.gif And his "come like your tail's on fire" is starting to shape up, too - it's become part of our morning routine.
    Connie Lea
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:32 am Groupie
    Thanks Kris. I do have a bag I use when I take the dogs for walks in town. Never thought to put a copy of my ID in it and I always take my cell phone. Just found out we are only allowed 3 dogs in Dewey, so will have to make sure I never take more than 3 at a time when we walk. I'm thinking I can take Molly, Abby and Zoey for walks and take Kate for a run on my bike. She loves to run. We will move before I give up my 4th dog. Think I will pick up another whistle, just to have one handy in my bag.
    K9 Owned
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:39 pm
    Forum Host
    Don't some of these rules just suck?
    I lived in Milton the better part of 25 years. There was a 2 dog limit in town and a 3 dog limit for the rural areas. WTH?
    For all but 7 of those 25 years I had 3 dogs in town and like you - I would have moved before re-homing one of my dogs.
    Connie Lea
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:09 pm Groupie
    K9 Owned wrote:
    Don't some of these rules just suck?
    I lived in Milton the better part of 25 years. There was a 2 dog limit in town and a 3 dog limit for the rural areas. WTH?
    For all but 7 of those 25 years I had 3 dogs in town and like you - I would have moved before re-homing one of my dogs.

    Who makes up these rules? I'm hoping there won't be a problem as long as my dogs aren't a nuisance. I didn't know there was a limit in rural areas. Hmm wonder if there is here.
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