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Categories: Recall and Come

Q. I have a problem with the come command with my dog.
I have a question for you. I have an almost 10 month old GSD from very good working lines in Germany. He has been working towards his HGH and SchH titles and progressing very well. I got him at about 4 1/2months of age and he never made the 16 week bond with an owner but rather was with dogs at that time, he was given back to the breeder due to personal problems not related to the dog, he originally went out at 8 weeks. Well needless to say he was very independent and slightly doggy when I got him. In the past months he has turned out to be an excellent dog and great worker and a real good bond has developed. Well here is my dilemma. When I first got him it took a lot of work to get a good recall. Then for the past 3 months I had not one problem. So this morning I took him out to track and he did an amazing job for his age and level of training, I actually modified some advice you gave me about putting a can of cat food at the end of the track and started to put some of the oil on the scent pad and some of the food well hidden on the track with his hose at the end.

What a difference he keeps his head down and really works for it and is very high in drive about tracking. Well after the track we were playing hose in the back yard and the neighbors dog from 2 houses away comes flying up to our property line just as I through the hose in that direction and starts to bark and run around. Well needless to say after my dog got his toy he thought the dog would make a much better toy and took off after him. They ran into the neighbors yard and up onto the deck. Well the recall finally failed. My pup did not even acknowledge me. I attribute this to a couple of things, his drive at the time of chase, and a lack of respect/ immaturity. So finally my question is, should I put him on a long line again and really work the recall because that is an essential command or does it sound like more of a respect issue where a gretaer bond and pecking order needs to be established?

Dan

A. Your dog sounds normal this has nothing to do with being doggy. In fact its nice to see that he is not fighting.

This is a distraction problem and nothing more than that. It would be a lot to expect any dog to come back from this situation.

I recommend people have a sport recall where they use one command (ie HERE) and another command where you expect the dog to come to you (ie COME). You use COME when the dog is just expected to GET BACK HERE.

I would focus on the COME command and not the recall. If you focus on the recall you will cause problems and a loss of drive.

I would also be inclined to get an electric collar and learn to use it in this situation.
  
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