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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering how other people would have handled this? (sorry, long story).

It poured rain all afternoon, so, despite a bone on the porch most of the morning, and a trip to the hardware store this afternoon, Annie was BORED.

The rain and thunder broke at about 6:45, so I grabbed the dog and drove to the dog park. We played hide and go seek in the forested area for maybe 15 min, then the rain picked up, it was getting dark, and the human decided to go home. Expecting Annie to agree, I told her "lets go home" and headed for the gate. She got halfway there, in the middle of the large field, and stopped. Calling, etc, nope, not coming. She responded with a play bow, and a dance around the field.

Oh dear. DUMB human. I've been working on this one, only using it when Annie is already wanting to go home, trying to improve it. I NEVER use come to leave the park. I try and make a habit of not using commands my dog will ignore, in situations where she will be rewarded for ignoring them. I should have grabbed her and put the leash on her, then said "lets go home", rather than giving her the option to refuse, or went and sat in the roofed gazebo and been boring so she'd ask to go home because she was cold and wet and no one was there, but... I didn't think.

Yesterday, we left the park after 10 min (no one else was there), because an aggressive rottie arrived, and skipped our normal after-disappointing-park-trip routine of a running play session in the parking lot, as reward for leaving. The rottie was in the little dog section, bouncing and barking/snarling at us, and Annie actually showed teeth as she barked at it (normally she submissive pees for aggressive dogs, but this one she seems to think is serious). Anyway - she'd had a disappointing park session yesterday, and now I was pulling her out before she was ready AGAIN.

So, I left, closed the door, and came back. Same thing. Left, closed the door, and sat in my car, out of the rain for 2 min. Came back, same thing. Made the idiotic mistake of going in, running in the other direction (she ran with me, then decamped when I headed for the gate.). Went in my car, turned it on, waited 2 min. Tried again, asked for a sit stay, she stayed, until I got wihtin a few feet, then ran off, giving me a play bow and a little circle run.

Picture a progressively wetter, colder, and more miserable human, it was only 11C, my jacket isn't waterproof, and the sun had set by then. My tone was no longer nice, I admit.

I left the inner gate open, so she could get into the middle section. Went in my car, turned it on, waited. She went into the exit area after 5 min, so I came back. She ran out, I called her, she ignored me. Called her in a grumpier tone (Annie!!! Let's go HOME!), she ignored me, I left. Sat in the car a few min, when she didn't reenter the exit area, I drove away 300 ft, turned around, came back. Went in, she danced away, I said nothing and left. Drove away, parked 500 ft down the road (the dog park and a storage unit place are the only things on the road, so I could watch and see the park from where I was parked), turned off the car, and waited 5 min. Got out of the car (she barked at the door slam), and walked silently back. I opened the door. She ran away. I came in, leaned against the fence and said nothing. She barked at me, play bowed and ran, play bowed and ran, etc. If she came towards me, I took one step forward. Ran away, I went back to the fence. It was pretty much pitch black (there are no streetlights on the road). Eventually she came within a foot, I offered her a treat, and grabbed her collar. We then went into the parking lot, did jumpy running play, and walked down the road to my car, and played with her duck when we got home.

Anyway - it took about 25 min to get her in the car, but I'd (stupidly) made an ultimatum I felt I couldn't ignore, and I REALLY didn't want to let her win.

How would you have dealt with this? How should I deal with this in the future? I'm not convinced grumpy and cold me is a good or rational dog trainer :D
 

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I personally use a shock collar for this kind of thing. The dog knows what you are asking her to do and is choosing to do something else. With correct timing and using the lowest level she will respond to, I think it is not unreasonable or even unkind, and you probably would not need to use it more than a very few times. The key here is that she understands what she has to do to avoid being shocked.

If you cannot bring yourself to use a shock collar, my second choice would be to have her drag a long line. 20 to 30 feet is good, with knots tied at intervals so that you can step on it without having it just pull out from under your shoes. Bottom line is you have to have a way to get her to stop playing keep away.

Third choice is to always get the leash on before she keys that you are leaving the park. This avoids your problem, but doesn't teach her anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This stressed ME out! I could totally feel every moment of that story. Silly Annie.

Did you try going to the opposite end of the park, as far from the gate as possible, and crouching down? Crouching seems to pique Peggy's interest.
No... because even that would be rewarding the refusal. Annie HATES being left alone in the park, she just stands and stares at me, begging me to come back and play. If I went to the other side of the park, then I'd be rewarding her with more play (she considers even me walking in the park to be play) after I said we were going and she refused :( Also, a crouch is one of our "Come" cues, and I don't want to poison come with her ignoring me or dancing away, or immediately doing a bad thing (leaving) after she comes in the park.

Reraven - I wouldn't ever use a shock collar in the dog park. Not saying I wouldn't ever use one, just that the risk of accidentally activating it while she plays is too high for me. She's a marshmallow dog, with not great bounceback. I don't want to risk a bad reaction or aggression in the high-energy environment of a dog park. There is a dog I know who wears an invisible fence collar, and the owner has forgotten to remove it when they drive out of the yard a few times. The dog now refuses to get in the car unless forced. Plus, I don't trust myself to be fair and reasonable with it. Similar with a long line - i often make her drag a long line when we hike so I can enforce "come" if needed, but in the park, it poses a risk to the other dogs :(.

I'm thinking next time this happens (it's not a frequent thing, but is something we are working on), I'll not go out, I'll just try leaning on the fence silently after one command. The park is no fun if I refuse to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should add - Annie is a very good girl - or tired of being alone in the rain and the dark.

I put her on the porch for her evening pee in the tiny attached ex-penned yard. Opened the door when I heard her bark that she wanted in. Idiotic me, stressed by the preceeding incident,hadn't properly latched the gate, and she was standing in the (unfenced) yard!!!!! I have never, in the last 6 months, not latched the gate properly. I called her in, she came, I closed the gate, and gave her a HUGE piece of ham, then played toys inside. Good girl, Annie. Tomorrow, i'm going to see if I can fix the gate to close more easily because seriously, I can't handle that stress!
 

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I completely understand how you feel so lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way! Phoebe loves the rain and if I let her she will stand in the middle of the yard as it pours on her while I ask her to come in, not what I want at 6am before work. :(

Maybe if you could find a time where the park is empty you could use a long lead and high value treats to work on leaving strictly at first, then allow her to play after the training season for a positive experience?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I completely understand how you feel so lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way! Phoebe loves the rain and if I let her she will stand in the middle of the yard as it pours on her while I ask her to come in, not what I want at 6am before work. :(

Maybe if you could find a time where the park is empty you could use a long lead and high value treats to work on leaving strictly at first, then allow her to play after the training season for a positive experience?
I do do that occasionally - if she comes when I tell her we are going, I will sometimes take her to the car, grab her ball, and bring it and her back into the park. I haven't done that in a few weeks, I should do that again. Annie's definitely long line-wise. She knows to behave when she has one on !
 

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No... because even that would be rewarding the refusal. Annie HATES being left alone in the park, she just stands and stares at me, begging me to come back and play. If I went to the other side of the park, then I'd be rewarding her with more play (she considers even me walking in the park to be play) after I said we were going and she refused :( Also, a crouch is one of our "Come" cues, and I don't want to poison come with her ignoring me or dancing away, or immediately doing a bad thing (leaving) after she comes in the park.
Peggy's got okay recall (albeit largely untested), but we've had a few backyard blips where I see her choose very deliberately not to listen, and it's always because she's obsessing over the rodent holes in our lawn. I can practically hear her shout, "Ugghhhh JUST ONE MORE MINUTE."

I do what you did and just walk away, but that's easy on your own property. I just walk inside and close the door: "Oh well. Be a lonely poodle. I don't care."

Hmmm.

I think I'm not nearly as patient as you, and would have just cut my losses and tried the crouch. Basically anything that would convince her that it's safe to come to me. I'd probably even then play with her a bit more in the park...in the dark...in the rain. Lol. Clearly I'm a sucker. I tend to take responsibility for those refusals (probably more than I should) and then cut my losses.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Luckily the dog park is very safe. No one else around for half a km or so. So it was very annoying, but not a "dangerous" situation. I could just sit in the car and listen to music while watching the clock.

I definitely take full responsibility , and heaps of "idiot!" onto my head, completely avoidable if i hadnt been cold and impatient. If i had just gone and stood under the gazebo and ignored her instead of asking her to leave? She would have come over in about 5 min and asked to leave, as it was cold and rainy and boring! But instead we got into a battle of stubbornness.

The only thing that kept me from doing as you suggested is knowing next time we would have an even LONGER battle/extinction burst as she learns avoiding me works or potentially wreck the recall next time i have an emergency where i need to call her away from something in the park. Last time she did this, Mom was with us and went back to try to chase/catch her (didnt manage it lol) which is probably why she was so persistent tonight- she got extra fun and a game of tag out of it last time.
 

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What is it about poodles and being chased?? I swear I can trace multiple maddening Peggy behaviours back to the occcasional ill-advised puppy chase. They never forget the thrill!

We now play a game of "tag" on an area rug. She basically spins in circles while we pretend to chase her. It's so ridiculous, I should really get a video.
 

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I think finding a time where the dog park is quiet and bringing the most high value of high value of treats and toys and practicing recall would be a good idea too.

There was this one time I was helping someone take care of a house and they brought their friend's dog who is a Thai Ridgeback (those people don't have him any more, and I miss him😢) and he wanted to keep running around and he even made it into a game! The person I was with kept trying to go after him, but he would play-bow and run away. I stopped in the middle of the driveway and looked unsuspecting, and finally grabbed his collar when he got close. We needed to leave and were in a rush.

Sisko has gotten loose from me many times (again with Poodles, what is up with them wanting to be chased? That's like their favorite game!!) I ran away from him the last time he got loose and he flipped his lid that I took off from him. Try being Poodle silly and run away from her. If you can also make being at the gate into a game, go for it!
 

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I feel for you - and also for Annie! I think you did extremely well to still have the energy and patience for a game in the car park, after such a cold and frustrating session, and Annie must have been bursting with pent up energy after two days of shortened walks.

I love the idea of racing to the gate for a party - perhaps make a regular game of it, with chicken or a game of tug at the gate, and then released back to play. And frequent check ins for a treat or a game help enormously to cut down on games of keep away. But with a sentient, intelligent animal I think sometimes you have to let them make the decision - she needed more exercise, you didn't want to get wet. She was hyped up ready for her usual zooming and playing, and was asked to leave the swings and roundabouts and candyfloss and come home early! It isn't really surprising that she wanted to stay and play - I'd chalk it up to experience, practice recall games regularly, and keep good rainwear in the car.
 

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What a stressful situation (for you) ! I think going away and coming back to the park has to be avoided at all costs, because it is rewarding her. She is getting what she wants, so next time she will do it again, and for even longer.

I would just wait until she gets close to me and put the leash on her. If possible, do something she likes first (so she doesn’t become aware of not coming near you for fear of leaving). But I figure if she comes back to you 10 times where it’s not associated with leaving, then the 1 time you leave won’t be a problem.
 

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I think you're on the right track with leash her and then announce it's time to leave. You probably don't need to do this all of the time, only when you suspect that she will be reluctant to leave, because she's been cooped up or a favorite friend is at the park.

Also, it happens to us all at some point. There were definitely times when I walked to the car (no response), got in (no response), turned the car on (worked at first), and then slowly started moving (and here she comes). Not my proudest moments.

I also try to understand what the dog is saying. I don't take the perspective that the dog is being willfully disobedient, but rather that they have a need that they're trying to meet. I've rarely met a dog who's disagreeable, but I've met many owners who are numb to their dogs' attempts at communication. Maybe that need is exercise, but sometimes that need is to potty. Mia likes a good run or play session before pooping (I call it "Runner's Runs"), and often when she's being particularly stubborn (as I see it), she's actually very clearly communicating her need to potty (or vomit or have diarrhea). Once she has pottied she prances past me into the house, as if proud of her ability to be heard. And if the need is to exercise, a few rounds of hide-and-seek in the house may suffice to take the edge off.
 

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I quote this again and again, from PF member Viking Queen: “Poodles smell desperation a mile away.” Zen or businesslike with great treats. Practice check ins with treats at the park. It’s mostly never the end of fun, but sometimes it has to be. Don’t let the games begin. I had many ‘never gonna come’ moments with Buck, some embarrassing, some annoying. Part of my poodle life, mostly my fault:)
 

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I'm thinking next time this happens (it's not a frequent thing, but is something we are working on), I'll not go out, I'll just try leaning on the fence silently after one command. The park is no fun if I refuse to play.
I really think this might be the best option if this sort of situation every pops up again. You've put a lot of effort into a good recall, so by being as boring as possible you're not poisoning that. That said, crouching might have worked too-- maybe crouch, play tug or jump around when she arrives, then send her off and crouch again a minute or two later and leash her this time? I know the worry of messing up the recall you've worked so hard to achieve. Boring is probably best. Is she bothered by you turning your back to her and looking off in the distance? Assuming the area is safe enough that you don't need eyes on her for a few minutes, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mmfst- lol yes. She can DEFINITELY smell desperation from a mile away.

I am pretty lucky with our dog park. Its a small rural town, so unless you go at the 5 pm or 8 am rushes there is a 50% chance no one will be there when you arrive. There is nothing but bush and scrub fields adjacent to it. If i get there at 6, usually 1 or 2 dogs are left. Probably 25% of the time, we are alone the whole visit and do obedience work or play together in the park.

We do frequent check ins at the park. Her favourite game is hide and seek. If she runs ahead and isnt looking at me (unless i am monitoring dog play), i hide in the bushes and go completely still and silent. Usually within 15s, she is looking for me. I love to watch her- she runs past me to the last place she saw me, full speed, nose up. Sometimes she does a full lap of the park. Then she pauses, and usually heads straight towards me. Sometimes she passes me and has to go back, and looks a bit stressed. Sometimes she is within a meter or two before her head comes up and she goes 'oh! There you are!". Once in a blue moon she is frantically searching the wrong area, and i will make a noise, and she hears which direction i am in. I usually do a collar touch, then start moving again.

Liz- good idea on hide and seek indoors! I havent played that for months, but its a good bad weather game.

Pickleweed- good idea on the turning my back to her. That may very well be a clear enough "NOT PLAYING NOW" sign for her enough to come to me...

We went to the park again tonight. It poured rain again when i wanted to go, and was just lightly raining when i finally left. Annies best canine friend was there. I didnt feed her dinner before, so practiced recall with treats a few times (treats are higher value on an empty stomach- treats are usually a waste of time in the park, unless i bring meat, and then i end up with all the dogs swarming me smelling my pockets- except for my own!). She had a good rumble, and was easy to catch to go home. I wasnt brave or foolish enough to try the command tonight!

(Happy dogs, tired in the rain)
470055
 

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I feel for you - and also for Annie! I think you did extremely well to still have the energy and patience for a game in the car park, after such a cold and frustrating session, and Annie must have been bursting with pent up energy after two days of shortened walks.

I love the idea of racing to the gate for a party - perhaps make a regular game of it, with chicken or a game of tug at the gate, and then released back to play. And frequent check ins for a treat or a game help enormously to cut down on games of keep away. But with a sentient, intelligent animal I think sometimes you have to let them make the decision - she needed more exercise, you didn't want to get wet. She was hyped up ready for her usual zooming and playing, and was asked to leave the swings and roundabouts and candyfloss and come home early! It isn't really surprising that she wanted to stay and play - I'd chalk it up to experience, practice recall games regularly, and keep good rainwear in the car.
Somebody told me about "check in" for dog parks. You call "(dog's name) , Check in" . Then a brief Sit/Stay, and big rewards/hugs. Then release the dog to keep playing. Repeat often. This gets the dog in the habit of keeping track of you, and immediately recalling without feeling like fun time is over. Works amazingly well with our Charlie. He also has excellent recall skills because every "Come" means big praise

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