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Old 01-20-2013, 09:38 PM   #11
krandall
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Originally Posted by lucymyhavanese View Post
I am really grateful for your support and I hope maybe Lucy could be like your dog! You and your dog are an amazing team I am most definitely going to take more than 1 of those classes if not 4 or 5 because I really want little Lucy to be reliable recall proof
I think most Havanese can be like Kodi. He's very special to ME, but I've met so many wonderful Havs! It's just a matter of putting in the time and effort. I come from a background of training horses, so I knew ahead of time that to get him to be the dog I wanted him to be would take a lot of work... Not just in classes, but every day. As a for instance, today we worked on:

Dumbell work (he is FINALLY picking it up and HOLDING it!!!)
Drop on Recall
Signals (the dog has to do a moving stand, then from a distance, without words, you have to tell them to down, sit, then recall)
Fronts
Back-up

I didn't spend a big chunk of time training, and I didn't spend a LOT of time on any one thing. But I worked on a little of this and a little of that at odd moments during the day. You've just got to always keep thinking about it.

So take advantage of those odd "free" moments (they always follow us into the bathroom, right? You can work on sit/stays there! and keep on working on little things. You can work on reinforcing your recall even at meal times. you KNOW she's going to come then, so be ready to "click/treat" as soon as she arrives. A 100% success training possibility!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #12
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nope, Tillie isn't really off leash trained... but I am an over paranoid hav mom who doesn't LET her off leash anywhere any way. Just the pure THOUGHT of ANYTHING happening, her taking off for any reason, or a big dog coming over and her FREAKING out and that dog attacking her ... well, I am just not able to take that risk. She is "off leash" in our yard and any friends yards/houses we go to but that's about it. We do work on recall in the house and yard, but that's about it. I know I am in the minority, but honestly, I just do not let her off leash when we are out and about.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:18 AM   #13
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Tammy, not sure you are in the minority in this. I think people need to find what works for them and their dog, and safety and peace of mind are essential. I will never let Atticus off leash the way I have my big dogs even if he has a good recall because I'm too paranoid about other dogs, and all the wild animals that could hurt him. Sounds like Tillie gets out and about,runs in the yard and even goes on bike rides,lucky pup!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:58 AM   #14
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Cey is fairly reliable off-leash - but only when there's no dogs, people, or other interesting things walking by! Haha, even then he is generally reliable, though still not 100%. But we started very young. I think that THE most important thing when training for a reliable off-leash recall is to repeat it over and over, giving a VERY high-quality treat each time - AND THEN LETTING THEM GO BACK AND PLAY. Do this EVERY time you take them out for training for recall. Don't EVER (at least, not until they are much older/more experience/more trained) call them back to you and then restrain them in any way, at least as much as you can help it. From the very start, the recall should be associated 100% with a completely positive thing, and never with a negative (i.e., put on the leash, put back in the car, etc.) thing. If you for instance are at the dog park, make sure the last time you recall them is to maybe put a flexi-leash on them and then let them go play a little bit more, even following them around for a while, so that they absolutely do not associate the recall with any sort of negative experience (and yes, being restrained/taken away from the dog park is, for a dog, a negative experience lol!). When they get more used to associating the recall with a completely positive experience, you can start occasionally calling them to you and then restraining them. But even now, I still generally give a treat of some sort to Cey when he comes when called, even if it's just coming inside from the yard after a pee-break.

By the way, I still never let him off-leash in a busy area, let alone if there are cars around. I completely envy the people with dogs who can walk off-leash in situations like that, but I just could never do it with Cey... he is only off-leash in very limited areas where I am fairly certain he won't run into a street and get run over or anything if there's another dog he sees... But I do let him off-leash on the beach, or in the (unfenced) front yard, or occasionally when for instance I take my daughter to soccer practice and I'm letting him out of the car to go run around and there is plenty of grassy space for him to run without too many other distractions around. As I said, he does pretty well - not 100%, but he is reliable enough in those situations that I am confident that he would return to me if need be. (I still usually take at least one or two nibbles of cheese with me however, and mix those up with his more boring treats, and call him to me and give him treats and then let him go, to remind him of the wonderful things he could get from listening to me hahahaha! -In other words, I don't think that the recall training ever really completely ends )
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by heatherk View Post
I think that THE most important thing when training for a reliable off-leash recall is to repeat it over and over, giving a VERY high-quality treat each time - AND THEN LETTING THEM GO BACK AND PLAY. Do this EVERY time you take them out for training for recall. Don't EVER (at least, not until they are much older/more experience/more trained) call them back to you and then restrain them in any way, at least as much as you can help it. From the very start, the recall should be associated 100% with a completely positive thing, and never with a negative (i.e., put on the leash, put back in the car, etc.) thing.
I agree with this EXCEPT, it is very important for them to accept restraint and NOT look at that as a negative experience. Otherwise you can end up with a dog who comes back to you, snatches the cookie and dances just out of reach... in a possibly dangerous situation.

So make sure that when they come back to you, that you do grab the collar. (or even a big hunk of hair on a Hav) Do it gently, but make sure they know that you have them. THEN deliver the treat, tell them they are wonderful and release them (develop a consistent release word too!) to go play again.

Otherwise, this is a great post!
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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I'm with you. We keep the leash on.
That's fine, but it is still VERY important to develop a reliable recall in at least semi-open areas (like a large enclosed field or yard) for emergency use. Leashes fail, dogs panic at loud noises and pull out of collars and harnesses, dogs dash out the door when they see a squirrel, people trip and drop leashes... even when people are being careful, things can go wrong and dogs get loose. A dog with a really reliable recall is MUCH safer.

And in the case of the OP, she wants to do agility with her dog. Even if the trial is held inside a completely enclosed building, (many are) your dog STILL needs to come back to you reliably or you can't work him. There is NO way to do agility (or even competitive obedience above the MOST basic level) if your dog isn't reliable off leash.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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A reliable recall has been great with Oscar (see poop eating post- we call him and he comes, gets a treat and then he forgets about the poop eating). Also, he has learned to be off-leash at my in-laws backyard. He does his business and then comes back to the door. I think we started it by calling him when he finished making (again, so not to poop eat), and now he does it by himself. With that being said, he was a runner when we first got him and bolted out the door 2x. No more- he will walk out the front door if the UPS lady comes or whatever, but I use the "here" command and he comes back. How we taught it? We learned in puppy class for both of us to hide around the house with treats. We did and we would call him "Oscar. here!" He would come and get a treat. Then we practiced it on leash outside (long leash), then with leash on, but not in our hands until we progressed to not needing him on a leash anymore. I think everytime we use the "here" command we give him a treat (or most times), so he always obeys. IT only took a week or 2 to teach it to him.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by krandall View Post
I agree with this EXCEPT, it is very important for them to accept restraint and NOT look at that as a negative experience. Otherwise you can end up with a dog who comes back to you, snatches the cookie and dances just out of reach... in a possibly dangerous situation.

So make sure that when they come back to you, that you do grab the collar. (or even a big hunk of hair on a Hav) Do it gently, but make sure they know that you have them. THEN deliver the treat, tell them they are wonderful and release them (develop a consistent release word too!) to go play again.

Otherwise, this is a great post!
Thanks, yea, good point. I meant more like don't restrain them and then keep them restrained, at least not at first, but I guess I didn't really say that! Thanks for clarifying .
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #19
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This is a good point- ALWAYS reach for them (pet them, grab the collar for a moment) BEFORE you give them the treat. In our case we pick Oscar up, then put him down, then the treat.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #20
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Bumi is, I didn't actually trained him, he is just a very obedient dog and can go off leash ans still stay within reaching distance of me.
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