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Discussion Starter #1
Let me see if I can describe what I'm asking here. :) We haven't taught "come" yet (we'll get to that soon) but she will come to me if I make a kissey noise or if I call her name. I give her snuggles and tell her what a good girl she is. She does this great 85% of the time. The other 15% is if she's in a playful, goofy mood. She might get close to me and then play-bow or bounce back away from me instead of letting me get close.

How do you handle this? The answer may be as simple as "teach her 'come' " but I didn't know if other people handle this in a different way. I don't want to have to chase her if I need to get the leash on her. She'll be 10 weeks tomorrow so she's still a baby. Any hints until we get recall down pat?

Happily, she's proving to be a quick and patient study :) She has a good attention span and is pretty patient... making training fun for both of us. :)
 

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I turned away for a few moments; once the pup came and let me put a hand on her collar I would say HAHA! and we would play silly games - then another pause for a brief collar hold. Keep Away is a favourite game for many puppies, but not one you want to end up playing in the rain as it is getting dark!
 

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Don't ever chase when you want come. Your pup will think you are playing some sort of variation of tag and think it is funny to get close and then run off. Teach recall using a leash. Use a 6 footer at first and just go as far as you can and call the pup in a very happy voice. Give great rewards and release quickly so they don't think it is boring to come to you. As they get the hang of it you can back away as they come towards you to add some distance. Then you can switch to a long line or flexi leash to add more distance.

You also want the dog to know it has to go to anyone who calls. You can do a puppy recall round robin as follows. Have a few people (at least 3) sit on the floor in different areas of a large room. Take turns randomly calling the pup. If you get a fast come, then give a nice reward and release quickly to get the pup moving in another direction by having someone else call in a random pattern. Up the ante when the pup understands by only rewarding fast arrivals and by spreading out to different rooms to make it harder. We still refresh our recalls (with our 5 year old dogs) by doing this between different rooms and different parts of the yard.
 

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If they try to tease you by coming and stopping just of reach and leaping away, immediately turn your back to them and act like you are uninterested. As soon as they come around within in arms length. Praise and reward. Its how I've taught all my pups to learn a solid "recall". They don't like you to turn your back so they come around to the front, they learn really quickly that its not a game. Also, if your dog ever slips their collar or jumps out of your car unexpectedly, your first natural reaction is to chase after. DONT! you are more likely to chase your dog into traffic then catch them. Instead, instantly call them in a goofy playful tone and run the opposite direction. There is a 99% chance they are going to immediately turn and chase you because you just started a game. By doing this, you just saved your dogs life. As a groomer I have seen dogs slip out of their owners hands several several times. First reaction is I see the owner take off after the dog in a panic because we are in an extremely busy road. I have seen other passerby's try and help and run after the dog, only to make matters worse, but I have saved a few of those dogs by running out and hollering their name to get their attention, act goofy and run away. Doesn't always work for me, because I'm not their owner and they are probably thinking (ahh that's the lady I am running from in the first place, I don't want a bath!!) But I've told owners to do this and it works most of the time, Ive also had owners do it and run back to their car and open the door, which has made the dogs run back and leap in.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great advice! Thank you all! This is definitely something we'll be working on! I love the idea of turning my back to her when she wants to play "chase me!". Thank you for the help. :)
 

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two comments: come should never be used to cut off fun - as in come so i can put the leash on you and take you away from the other dogs at the park.

and then, why not have a actual game called chase or keep away that you initiate (that way you control it)? when you're ready to end the game, you can say take a break or thank you or treat time or something similar to signal no more chasing for the moment. clearly you'd want to use a confined yard for this game, but it could be fun for an active dog. haven't initiated such a game myself, but my female dog used to invite me to chase her (she ran in circles, the way dogs often do) and enjoyed having me chase her a bit till she let me catch her and pick her up and carry her. it was our special game, as she never invited anyone else (or any dog) to play this game with her while she lived with me.
 

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Thanks Patk. If I don't use "come" to end fun, how should I call her to me when I need to do un-fun things?
 

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here's what i've seen others advise: train come with lots of praise, high value treats, a favorite toy, etc., and touch her collar so she is used to the idea that come may and often will include reaching for her. then release her to "go play." the point is that for a dog to be reliable on the come command, come has to be associated with good things. the point of reaching for the collar all the time is that if there is an emergency and you call your dog to come, you may need to grab her by the collar to keep her safe and you have to be certain that that gesture will not spook her.

find another signal for time to go home. maybe "car time" (if she loves the car, that one could work well) with treats in the car, or even just "treat time," with a small treat at the park and another treat given once you arrive at home. i'm sure you can come up with many variants that will work. just don't spoil come so it is associated with what will seem to be a negative to the dog. (hey, i did that to some degree with my male dog. the only thing that saved me is that he loves home better than any other place so if i say let's go home, he is always ready to do that; the negative is when i ask him to come so we can go outside!)
 

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here's what i've seen others advise: train come with lots of praise, high value treats, a favorite toy, etc., and touch her collar so she is used to the idea that come may and often will include reaching for her. then release her to "go play." the point is that for a dog to be reliable on the come command, come has to be associated with good things. the point of reaching for the collar all the time is that if there is an emergency and you call your dog to come, you may need to grab her by the collar to keep her safe and you have to be certain that that gesture will not spook her.

find another signal for time to go home. maybe "car time" (if she loves the car, that one could work well) with treats in the car, or even just "treat time," with a small treat at the park and another treat given once you arrive at home. i'm sure you can come up with many variants that will work. just don't spoil come so it is associated with what will seem to be a negative to the dog. (hey, i did that to some degree with my male dog. the only thing that saved me is that he loves home better than any other place so if i say let's go home, he is always ready to do that; the negative is when i ask him to come so we can go outside!)
Fantastic! I hadn't thought of combining "come" with touching her collar! That's a great tip! I'll definitely use that. I love all these tips! :)
 

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All great advice!! Here's a link to an article that explains the dangers of poisoning the "Come!" cue. A mistake I was halfway to making with Chagall as a pup. Also, when there was something I wanted him to come to me for that I knew he would not enjoy (nail clipping at the top of the list as pup), I would go and get him, rather than call him to me. For us, that worked best.
Beware of the Poisoned Dog Cue - Whole Dog Journal Article
 

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Thought I'd give a little update :)

I started teaching Polly "come" this past week and like most poodles, she got it right away. I am now playing "come" games with her where I'll call her from another room and she has to find me. I have taught her that she only gets the treat when she sits close to me and lets me touch her collar first. She loves that game! I also play it outside but I'll let her go back to playing or sniffing after she gets rewarded for coming to me. I'm not using "Polly, Come!" when I am ending the fun or going inside. I instead use, "Time to go in" but the time spent teaching her come is making her want to go with me more often :) She's paying closer attention to me and wanting to go where I go instead of trying to play with me.

I'm not sure if this has helped or not but I'd thought I'd throw it out there... I've cut back on the amount of time I've spent playing with her. I'm encouraging her to play on her own right now and she does beautifully with it. She ran around batting a ball and tossing her kong to herself for 20 minutes last night while we ate dinner. :) Since we don't have another dog right now, I felt like I had to make up the difference by playing with her all the time but I think she was always expecting a playful game whenever we were near. I'm with her almost all day since I do daycare from home so I don't feel like she's being neglected by the lack of play. I'm just limiting it to mostly fetch type games right now until she gets a little older and can understand the difference between playtime and serious time. Does that make sense?

Either way, she's a doll and my time spent with her is beyond rewarding. :) Today we've gotten permission to visit my mom's quilt group that is meeting in a senor center! Yay! I'm so excited to introduce to more new people and experiences! We get to ride the elevator! :)
 

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You've gotten some really good advice so far. One thing I think is very important and it goes for teaching almost anything is to not use the cue to come at all...at first, not until the dog is already coming to you and quite regularly. Entice, make squeaky noises, squeak a toy, run the other way...get the dog to come to you somehow OR when he's already coming on his own. Reinforce with a high value treat and lots of praise every time at first, holding the collar for a second, then releasing him (with a release word, also for most everything). When your puppy is coming to you most of the time when you have historically been the best thing ever to come to, then start injecting your cue word, (come or let's go, whatever you prefer) but ONLY when he's already coming, not to elicit. Never ever use the cue when your pup is motivated by something in the environment...not for a long time yet. Set him up to succeed. Don't inadvertently punish him by doing something yucky that he doesn't like.

Once he gets really very reliable, start trying to elicit the recall but in an easy to succeed environment...few distractions so he's apt to earn more reinforcers. The more, the faster he'll learn to be reliable. Always make coming to you the best thing ever. If he ever "blows you off," it's not him blowing you off. It's him (it is he)finding something better in his environment...something more enticing and motivating than what you've been doing. So, go back to where he was succeeding and practice more there and work back up again. When people say "my dog is blowing me off" or "my dog is stubborn," it's really that the dog is under trained, under motivated...something else is more valuable to him than coming to you. It's not that he's immoral or naughty. Dogs don't have our morality or value system and don't think that way. It's just the way dogs work. They do what works...for them, period... selfish little buggers. lol.
 

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That's a great game. I think making all training fun and games is the best way ever for them to learn.
 

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Whatever your dog likes, give her when she comes. Our dogs love balls so i usually bounce a ball for them when they come; if I want them to come in, I throw the ball inside the house and praise them. They LOVE the ball more than anything else in life :)
 

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I like that someone here mentioned practicing grabbing their collar. The Collar Grab Game is one of the primary foundation games from Susan Garrett's Recallers course. You actually practice touching / grabbing the dog's collar and giving them a treat. Grab collar, treat; grab collar, treat. The dog will come to associate a hand swiftly moving to their collar as the precursor to a treat, not a reason to dart away and evade capture.

I totally get the conundrum of not wanting to use the recall to end the fun...but at some point you've got to go home (or just need to get the dog to you quickly), so what do you do? One thing that I do is use repeated recalls and collar grabs that *don't* end the fun. When I'm out playing fetch with Sugarfoot, every time he returns the ball, I collar grab. Sometimes I'll collar grab, put his leash on...and then take it off and continue throwing the ball. Eventually we will reach the time when the leash going on *does* mean we're done, but he doesn't evade the grab because 9 times out of 10 it *hasn't* meant the end of fun, but instead a treat and / or fun continuing.

For that time period when the dog doesn't have a solid recall yet or is just being a pain...one thing to do (if possible in the situation) is to get their attention and run the other way. A lot of dogs' chase instincts kick in and they're happy to run after you, and you might be able to get them close enough to capture them. Sugarfoot went through a very naughty period during which he wasn't allowed loose without his "naughty leash" (a thin but strong bright orange cord about 50 feet long) attached to his collar or harness. Not practical in all situations, but it made me feel safer until he matured and got his recall down pat.

Good luck! You're on the right track!

--Q
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fantastic advice! You all are a treasure trove of experience and help! :) Thanks so much!!!

She's doing so well, really. I used the kissey noise and her name to practice recalls when she first came home. Every time she'd come to me I'd throw a little puppy party and give her lots of love.

We'll continue frequent and positive practice with Come until it's super solid. She's making great progress and I'm find that the only times she's evading me is when she's overtired and needs a nap.
 

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Oh yeah...I forgot to mention grabbing the collar when your dog comes and then releasing him after a treat. Otherwise, they sometimes slack and don't come all the way to you but part way, then dart off again and pretty soon, they really slack and stop coming to you at all. lol. So, yeah...all the way, collar grab, treat, praise, release word and they can go back to what they were doing. But yeah, when it's time to stop the fun, you can just go get the dog, leash him up or if off leash, come along with you in a happy way, then go where you have to go. Or go get the dog when it's time to do nails. I usually, at this stage with my puppies, go get them, but give a treat as I pick them up, before I Dremel, every couple nails, treat, fuss, etc. lol.

And like Quossom said, grabbing the collar and associating it with a great thing (tasty treat) will help condition him to a quick grab of the collar if you need to prevent him from say, rushing out the door if he's in a frenzy about the UPS man or something. Sometimes people grab their dog's collar in a situation like that and their dogs bite their owner in response to the collar being grabbed. It startles them, they redirect their anxiety from the UPS man to the owner and bite by mistake. So, it's a great thing to get them use to a little rough grabbing (gradually increasing the pressure and swiftness)paired with really good things.
 

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It definitely works when you walk away,they hate that! Billy is usually really good over the park and always comes to me to have his lead put on but the other day for some wierd reason he decided to follow a cocker spaniel when I was about to put his lead on,so I said " ok Billy see you later,come on Tia!" And I walked off with Tia. Within 5 seconds Billy was by my side! An even funnier story was when a friend of ours was looking after a dog for someone,he took it over the woods for a walk,let it off it's lead and it ran off. He spent 3 hours trying to catch it and every time he went to grab it it ran off! Eventually he thought "Sod this! I'm going home!" Turned round and walked off, and literally a few seconds later the dog appeared trotting along next to him!
 
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