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Old 01-30-2013, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

I had a nerve-wracking experience with Earl last night. He had a reaction to a stranger standing by his car - that had a dog barking inside of it - while we were out for our run around last night. It really shook me up, and the poor guy. I will do my best to try and explain, but please forgive me as I am not the best at conveying thoughts in a way that makes sense to other people.

I take Earl to the schools near my house, where thereís 2 elementary schools and a high school with fields the connect together and a TON of room to run around. We drive there most nights (cause itís been really cold, and I would rather capitalize on running time to tire him out, than waste 20 minutes walking to and from the park. Letís be honest, Iím just lazy sometimes) and park at one of the schools and then do laps of the fields. He runs up ahead, and comes back, and most of the time thereís other dogs around that he loves to play with. We practice his ďcomesĒ the whole time we are out, just out of the blue Iíll ask for it, and praise and treat when he does. He will always stop and look at me when I call him, and after what seems like him deciding, yes, I will go see my lady and get a snack-y snack, he will run full pin and come to screeching halt and sit at my feet. Now Iím going to say heís about 85% on this, not good enough, but gets better every day. Thereís one particular part of the field that is a nightmare. When we hit the end of the field with the lot the car is in, he will go balls-out til he hits the lot, then comes back to me. This is completely unacceptable to me. It is too far away from me, it is a parking lot (Iíve seen other cars come in it maybe 5 times in 6 months but still), it is WAY to close to the road, there are just so many things wrong with the situation. If we are in that field he will always head towards the lot, but comes back when I ask him to. It is only when we are walking from the far field in that direction that he takes off and doesnít tend to listen.

Now, I understand that leashing him when he wants to run is the simple solution to this, until his recall is 100%, and thatís what will be happening after our little adventure last night, but is there anything anyone can suggest in the meantime?

Last night something VERY strange happened. Coming back across to the car (we were leaving, but he didnít know that Ė sounds stupid but he understand when I say we are leaving in 15 minutes or 5 minutes Ė the 5 minute warning gives him the most insane zoomies) he took off and I called him calmly back to me, and it took a moment for me to realize what was happening, when he didnít just go to the edge of the parking lot like usual, then I heard him barking like crazy and took off as fast as I could to catch up to him. I got closer and realized I had never heard him bark like this. It wasnít a ďhey, Ma! Thereís someone at the door/a squirrel outside/youíre not paying enough attention to me/thereís a strange dog over there!Ē it was menacing. Scary even. Because of the snow banks I couldnít see the lot completely til I was in it, where he had a young guy hiding behind his car, standing about 15 feet away with the fur on his back up, in a full out growling/barking fit. The guy was clearly taken aback as he was basically hiding behind his car, but he was calling me asking if the dog was friendly. I assured him that he is VERY friendly with all people and dogs, but he is still very young and I think he was startled seeing someone in the lot, where thereís never anyone. After I calmed down a touch (and caught my breath for running across 2 soccer fields in huge winter boots and jacket) and got earl on his leash and back away from the guy a bit, I noticed there was a dog in his car, also barking his face off. He asked if it would be ok to let his (GORGEOUS 3 Ĺ month old GSD) out for a little play, and I said yes of course. Earl was tentative for a minute or 2 but was soon in full on play bow zoomie mode with this little guy. Everyone relaxed, we stood and talked for half an hour while the puppers played. His girlfriend was there too and Earl barely even glanced at her when she got out of the car.

Here are my questions:

I need help with tricks to get Earlís recall 100% every single time. Keeping him on a leash is not an option most of the time (but yes, he will be leashed in that part of the park for a while now!), as he would never sleep again if he couldnít run. We work on it at home, where of course it is the perfect-o, rock solid, prime example of what every single dog should be like. He is ok at other peopleís houses, at dog parks, in the woods, and everywhere else in this field, just not that one stretch.

Can a dog be protective of their car? LOL He knows which one is ours. He will sit by it if I ask him to ďgo to the carĒ, he loves being in the car and going for car rides. This is one of my stupid theories as to why he reacted the way he did to the guy Ė he may have been too close to our car for Earls comfort (on top of the dog barking in the car and Earl being startled). Earl calmed down very quickly once I got there and told him it was ok, but he did not have any intention of letting up on this guy otherwise (future Schutzhund star?!?!?!?!?) he gets very protective of the back yard when people walk through it (we are in a town house with open space behind it where people are constantly cutting through) but Iíve never seen the raised hairs and such intense barking and growling (Iíve only ever heard play growling)

Earl gets a lot more excited around men. I will admit, for the first 2 months I had him, his interactions were mostly with me and my mum, but he did see men, but they did not interact with him as often or thoroughly. For the past few months my bf has been really involved with him. The bf plays with him all night when heís there, works on his training (and is doing REALLY well!!) and does basically everything with him. I donít know if this reaction has something to do with how excited he gets around men, or if it was just a whole bunch of stuff mashed together, for the perfect storm of a reaction from my puppy. What should I do to work on this, again, besides the obvious of get him around men as often as possible and have them interact with him?

Iím sure Iíll come up with more preposterous reasons to try and explain his unacceptable behaviour. But Iíd like some feedback on why, and more how to stop this from happening again, in particular how to get more control in the ďproblemĒ area of the field where nothing and no one can call his attention back to me. Also in case you were wondering, yes, I am trying for the longest, most repetitive and most poorly conveyed post. (and sorry for all these little asides Ė itís how my scattered little brain works!)
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

Well it could have been a lot worse atleast in the end Earl found a play buddy. Maybe for a while get a super long leash, (thats what i have to do for Kratos for i have very little trust for that boy loose). Nonetheless sometimes the sudden fear in a person mixed with another dog (especially in a car) can cause a slight reaction.


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Old 01-30-2013, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No offense but nothing bothers me more than people with off leash dogs that do not have reliable recalls. I often walk my dog in the park (on leash) and peoples' off-leash dogs approach my dog. I don't want them to. Not everyone wants their dogs to interact with other dogs.

If your dog does not have a reliable recall you NEED to keep it on a leash! How do you know others' dogs are friendly? How do you know they won't attack your unwelcome dog? That is just plain dangerous and an accident waiting to happen!

I hate to be so direct, but both you and your dog are in danger in these situations. Not to mention the innocent bystanders.

PLEASE leash your dog until your recall is reliable.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

Recently we interviewed a new trainer and although she is fairly new to the training world, she is different. Although she is new to the training world, she doesn't tell us what we want to hear. Although she is new and trying to start a new business that we all know is successful by word of mouth for most part, she even told us things we didn't want to hear, could care less hearing, or didn't even pertain to us.

I will even copy and paste an example of the contract we will have to sign:

"Aside from priming the dogs, you and your wife need to be on the same page about expectations and training of the dogs. I accept that one of you is probably the primary caregiver (thatís pretty normal and actually works okay for training as long as the primary caregiver is the person doing the training), but as with children, both ďparentsĒ need to be holding the dogs to very similar standards if we are going to get behavior modification success. Inconsistency here can slow down training progressóand my expertise does NOT include human psychologist or mediator! So I rely on the people in the household to communicate with one another and come to those arrangements that promote the training process and donít sabotage it"

But another thing she said during our phone consultation is something to the effect as this: Calamity is a Doberman, and they were developed to guard. Although they make great pets, they will always guard. Please do not expect her as a trainer to stop that instinct, if we wanted that then we should have gotten a lab (not that a lab can't guard). She went on to say that we need to be in control of her "guarding" and teach her how to do it appropriately.

Simple I know, but it made us think. Just how much of Calamity's behavior was her instinct and us not recognizing it as that. I mean every time she barks in the middle of the night might just be that someone is in the yard.

My point is that maybe since Earl was use to it being mainly you two there and then it wasn't, his immaturity led him to guard you, and he did it with great restraint it sounds like!

(BTW it made us like her more)


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Old 01-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

Hey I am basically going through the same thing with Rowan who is unlivable with if he doesn't run, so I definitely know the feeling. What I have been doing is keeping the 30ft leash I have with me ( not that he'll run on it) and if no one is in the park he can be off leash as soon as someone comes or I see them coming before him, I call him over and will leash him and usually leave due to him having issues playing gentle right now and I worry about the leash tangling up dogs. So I don't really have advice sorry. As for the car thing it's possible Rowan is I think protective of the car, he gets along well with dogs and has even had while he was in his crate my parents dog join him and he didn't care. Same dog in the car and he was growling and barking at her so we don't do that anymore. Not sure if it's protective or what but he won't share the car with other dogs


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Old 01-30-2013, 09:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

This unreliable recall is a new(ish) thing. I do leash him when I see other people and especially other dogs. I only let him off when I know the other dogs. It was late and very dark out, i did not notice the guy until it was too late, or earl would have been on leash. It has been about 2 weeks now that this one part of our walking route is getting the best of us. I do appreciate the bluntness, but I do take all precautions to ensure I do not make a bad name for myself and my dog (my hood is jam packed with labs and retrievers - earl already sticks out like a sore thumb)

I will absolutely be getting a long leash to be used until I know I can trust him, thank you for that advise.


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Old 01-30-2013, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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agree with the others - LEASH. my dogs dont get to sit there and THINK about coming back. i say your name, i dont even have to get out "come" before you should be turning and coming right back.

how you obtain that is a track multiple people decide for themselves. i would seek out a professional trainer you feel comfortable with.

all i know is my dogs dont get options. their life can depend on it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Step 1 is to get focus/engagement. I did this for 2-3 months before starting any serious obedience. My dobe's recall and bond with me improved drastically.

start at 1:45
Why Engagement is Important in Dog Training - YouTube

Michael Ellis: Food Chasing Game - YouTube
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Second what others have said about using a long line and really getting across to your dog that come is not a choice, it's a must-do. Until your dog has a reliable recall, he needs to be on a leash. I know that's not what you want, but he needs a reliable come and not to be cornering strangers in a parking lot more than he needs to run right now. You can tire him out with obedience, sometimes 15 minutes of that tires my dogs out more than a run.

The reason why people are emphasizing leash is that Dobermans don't have the best reputation. If your dog corners someone in the parking lot like that again, and they don't happen to be as nice about it, you could be in for a world of trouble. I'm not busting your chops here, but you need to know that someone can and will phone in a complaint to the cops, which will count against your dog if there's a bite incident. He could also react to someone who doesn't know how to stay calm when a large, barking dog is confronting him- like that GSD's owner did. If someone reacted with fear or tried to run, your dog could escalate it into a bite.

Or the person could do worse than calling cops or AC- like hitting, tasing, macing, or shooting your dog- to get him away from them.

I am a Doberman owner, and I would not tolerate a strange dog cornering me in a parking lot. Dobermans were bred to protect people. This is a large, powerful, protective breed that will step up to protect its owners and can be protective of territory, including cars. Yes, your boy will have to forgo runs until he gets a reliable recall. It could save his life.

I think you got really lucky with this incident in that 1. your dog cornered somene who happened to be a GSD owner and 2. knew how to stay calm and how to react with an aggressive dog barking at him.

Last edited by River; 01-30-2013 at 10:34 PM.. Reason: I can has spelling?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will agree that your dog should be leashed. Yes, you leash him here and there and when you see. The fact is that you cannot control everything around you and there will always be a surprise and you wont know when its coming. I dont know the age of your dog. I live right behind a school and gladly use their fields. I waited till Kyrah was old enough and begged my trainer to teach me to use an e-collar for recall. He didnt want to b/c he said Kyrah was very obedient and had a great recall. I told him I wanted to take her to unfenced areas and let her offleash. He was training me as soon as my collar came in. I carry a taser when I am out with my dogs just for cases such as this.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I do hope the areas you are going to are designated off leash, as a person with a dog aggressive dog who goes to ON leash only areas, it's a serious pet peeve when people come and let their dogs off.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

If I'm not mistaken, in most states your dog only has to "threaten" to cause harm, not actually cause harm to have a complaint filed against it.


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Old 01-31-2013, 12:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Leash the dog *sob* It is the ONLY for sure way to keep him safe, and to keep from annoying others.

That said--some ideas for an emergency recall (Dog slips collar, you drop leash, dog runs out front door and evades your attempts to grab him):
1. Lie down on the ground--he'll come investigate.
2. Bend over and pretend to find something VERY interesting on the ground. Look at in intently--get down on the ground to examine it more closely.
3. Pretend to eat it (or eat something else). Make lots of lip-smacking and chewing noises.
4. Run away from the dog as fast as you can.

These ideas will really only work with a dog who is at least aware of what you are doing, even if he is pretending not to be. But if he is running full blast after something, or is out of sight....you're on your own.

Leash your dog.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, this may not be a popular answer but it is one that worked for me. Though in somewhat different circumstances.

My 2 Terriers were great 85% of the time with regards recall unless of course there was a rabbit or the like in their sights, then it was forget it mum, they are far more interesting than you. Then it translated to cars. Bear in mind I live in the middle of nowhere and to see a car is rare, much less have one driving close by and by close I mean clear over the other side of the valley. But occasionally we did see them and off they would go. Reacting long before I heard, saw or even had a premonition a car was coming.
No amount of recalling stopped them in their goal, to chase the car, driven as they were by folk who simply sped up not slowed down and sometimes would swerve as if to hit them as they ran alongside barking.
Something had to be done. I tried long leashes, yep, that worked, but then it would wouldnt it. It stopped them taking off on the odd occasion a car appeared and all was well. But it didnt teach them anything. The moment they were let off leash and a car came along, off they went. I tried everything I could think of. Treats, whistles, falling down with a scream, (Terriers are not Dobes, they don't particularly give a stuff if you do that) in the end I turned to the dreaded e-collar.
Don't get me wrong, it was not an easy decision. I like many thought them cruel, no what was cruel was letting my Terriers continue to run off to chase cars, because it truly would only be a matter of time before one or both were run over.

After wearing them for a week without them ever being used, the day came when off my Terriers went to chase a car the other side of the valley. I called them, no response, I shouted NO! again no response. I shouted no again and gave them the mildest zap and they stopped in their tracks.
I recalled them and amazingly they came back to me, forgetting about the car. It took maybe a couple more run-offs and zaps before they got the message, 'chase cars and the word NO! will bite you if you ignore mum'.
Did I hurt my dogs. I don't think so, not seeing as I have tried out the collar on myself on the number I used for them and it felt like a sharp pinch, but it did stop them from chasing cars and to this day my Terrier (sadly I lost one to cancer last year) has not taken up his car chasing antics ever again.

Now move to Toby. Being a Dobe he has high prey drive. Ordinarily I would say, 'go for it,' as I have said we live in the middle of nowhere, our walks always done in the more remote areas so meeting up with someone is rare as heck. However, on occasion we do spy a hunter. It is then I need to be sure of Toby's recall. (unleashed and unmuzzled he can be shot by hunters and the like with inpugnity) Anyhow, the first time he didnt listen to me all was well, he didnt get close to the guy due to the steep sided baranq (dry river bed) cutting him off. He was about a year old at the time, his recall had been perfect up to that point. But I couldnt risk it. So on went the e-collar, for a week he wore it without usage, in fact it was close on to 4 weeks, then one day he decided to go tell someone he didnt think they should be on his mountain. I called him, he stopped, I thought brilliant I don't have to use the collar on him, he is listening to me. He turned and looked at me, I called him again, at which point he turned nubbins and went off after his quarry.
So I called him again, shouted NO! at which time he got a small zap. He screeched to a halt, shook his head I called him back. He didnt move, instead he stood there, looking at me, then slowly turned as if to go back to the chase. So I shouted NO! again and at the same time gave him another little zap. (lowest setting). I then called him back to me and made a huge fuss when he came.

Do I use the collars on my dogs now. They wear them, but I havent used them, they are simply back up.

Now before anyone condemns me for what I did, I feel I must stress, in the case of my Terriers (and Boxer who learnt the trick off my boys) the collar was the lesser of 2 evils in my mind. Being run over by a car could/would kill them, being zapped by a collar on a low setting mildly inconvenienced them at best.
As for Toby, being what the locals hereabouts call a 'Dangerous Dog' I have to remember they are liable to shoot first and ask questions later, so to my mind teaching Toby that NO! means NO! needed to be done.
Yes I could have kept him on a leash, and I do, but like most folk I believe he needs to have a run once in a while, I travel vast distances so he can do this safely, but on the off chance someone is lurking about, I need to have instant recall, simple.

By the way, I spent hours reading on how to use these collars and was trained by my trainer friend on their correct usage. To my mind they are a valuable training tool, no different in my hands to a martingale collar, a pinch collar or harness in someone elses.

I know this post will not be popular and I strongly advise you speak with a trainer regards how to reinforce your recall before you go down the route of an e-collar but if they say that such might help you with your boys recall then do not think you are being cruel going for it. You could be saving his life.

Oh one final thing, knowing when to use an e-collar is vital, too late and you can escalate a tense moment such as a stand off into a full on attack, so you need to be sure of what you are doing.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toby'shuman View Post
Okay, this may not be a popular answer but it is one that worked for me. Though in somewhat different circumstances.

My 2 Terriers were great 85% of the time with regards recall unless of course there was a rabbit or the like in their sights, then it was forget it mum, they are far more interesting than you. Then it translated to cars. Bear in mind I live in the middle of nowhere and to see a car is rare, much less have one driving close by and by close I mean clear over the other side of the valley. But occasionally we did see them and off they would go. Reacting long before I heard, saw or even had a premonition a car was coming.
No amount of recalling stopped them in their goal, to chase the car, driven as they were by folk who simply sped up not slowed down and sometimes would swerve as if to hit them as they ran alongside barking.
Something had to be done. I tried long leashes, yep, that worked, but then it would wouldnt it. It stopped them taking off on the odd occasion a car appeared and all was well. But it didnt teach them anything. The moment they were let off leash and a car came along, off they went. I tried everything I could think of. Treats, whistles, falling down with a scream, (Terriers are not Dobes, they don't particularly give a stuff if you do that) in the end I turned to the dreaded e-collar.
Don't get me wrong, it was not an easy decision. I like many thought them cruel, no what was cruel was letting my Terriers continue to run off to chase cars, because it truly would only be a matter of time before one or both were run

Oh one final thing, knowing when to use an e-collar is vital, too late and you can escalate a tense moment such as a stand off into a full on attack, so you need to be sure of what you are doing.
There's nothing wrong with properly using an E collar! It's sad you write this thinking you'll be attacked. An E collar is far less cruel that being hit by a car (your other option!) And to the OP it's far less cruel than ending up in court, getting sued, having your dog put down, having someone kick, taze, shoot, the dog...

I'd just add I think a professional trainer should teach the E collar to the OP
if that's the route they decide to take. Either way the dog needs to be under complete control.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I would always have my dog on leash before we got near the parking lot area. Too dangerous otherwise.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

Thank you all for your help. He's 9 months old and completely intolerable if he doesn't get out. I will have to find other options. I will ask my trainer about Ecollars. Is there an age requirement, that might be silly but I don't know if 9 months would be to young. This will be a last resort. I'll try a long leash first.

Yes, where we go dogs are allowed off leash, and the fields are generally full of dogs. Oddly his recall is bang on with other dogs around. It's also 100% when we are are the large, designated dog parks. That will be an option once summer returns (and its not pitch black out come 6pm) but right now I have to do something close by.

We do a lot of training and it Tucker's him out, but if I want to sleep past 5am he has to run. I will just have to find other options for now.

I know how very lucky I am that the guy was a dog owner, and very calm about the whole thing. I spoke with many people after it happened, and posted here for help as a last resort. Though I do live in Canada and people don't just shoot dogs (not a response to you tobyshuman, I understand your situation is very different) I would have to worry about kicks, tasers, and bylaw offenses. Believe me I'm very upset. And I came here to get help figuring out what to do, because I am well aware it is unacceptable behavior from him and certainly from me.


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Old 01-31-2013, 08:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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9 months is a little young for an e collar imho.

I would be very proactive and retrain to eliminate the "dash to curb and back to you" behavior in the one particular area. Start with a new place in that park where you ALWAYS call him to come back to you, reward like mad, put on leash and calmly walk to your car.

It kind of sounds like he has been allowed to get in a frenzy about dashing to the car area. I would be very proactive about a calm walk, getting his attention on you, sitting, changing direction, and then casually stroll to the car to go home. This may mean you have to walk a smaller circuit of the park with him free running but you can use a longline and throw a ball with him attached to you in the area where he is unreliable if he still needs more exercise. He needs to associate going home with sitting/standing calmly for you to clip on his leash.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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There's nothing wrong with properly using an E collar! It's sad you write this thinking you'll be attacked. An E collar is far less cruel that being hit by a car (your other option!) And to the OP it's far less cruel than ending up in court, getting sued, having your dog put down, having someone kick, taze, shoot, the dog...

I'd just add I think a professional trainer should teach the E collar to the OP
if that's the route they decide to take. Either way the dog needs to be under complete control.
No, no, no you misunderstood. I do not fear my dogs are going to attack me. But in a stand off situation if the dog is about to go over the edge a zap may just send him into the fight mode you are hoping to avoid.
The trick if you wish to call it such is to catch the dog before it gets that far.
In this case as the dog is speeding towards the car park and ignoring his humans calls to stop, come back etc then the back up of an electronic reminder (sound or zap) can have the same effect as having the dog on a long leash being stopped as the dog runs on.

I am in no way advocating that someone just go out and buy an e-collar off the internet and put it on their dog and hope for the best.

Knowing when to use and when not to use an e-collar can be a lifesaver as well as help you reinforce the command of NO! no matter how far away your dog is from your position.

No worries OP, this country is warped with regards what folk can do and not do.

With regards the age of a dog before you put an e-collar on it, this is where a good trainer, versed in their usage comes in, they need assess the dog and you for suitability. The manufacturers do not recommend you use them on dogs under 6 months of age and some say 12 months.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your help. He's 9 months old and completely intolerable if he doesn't get out. I will have to find other options. I will ask my trainer about Ecollars. Is there an age requirement, that might be silly but I don't know if 9 months would be to young. This will be a last resort. I'll try a long leash first.

Yes, where we go dogs are allowed off leash, and the fields are generally full of dogs. Oddly his recall is bang on with other dogs around. It's also 100% when we are are the large, designated dog parks. That will be an option once summer returns (and its not pitch black out come 6pm) but right now I have to do something close by.

We do a lot of training and it Tucker's him out, but if I want to sleep past 5am he has to run. I will just have to find other options for now.

I know how very lucky I am that the guy was a dog owner, and very calm about the whole thing. I spoke with many people after it happened, and posted here for help as a last resort. Though I do live in Canada and people don't just shoot dogs (not a response to you tobyshuman, I understand your situation is very different) I would have to worry about kicks, tasers, and bylaw offenses. Believe me I'm very upset. And I came here to get help figuring out what to do, because I am well aware it is unacceptable behavior from him and certainly from me.


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I would use the e-collar as a first resort if you want your dog to get some offleash time. No matter how good my dogs recall is there is always the chance that one thing will get them going. But again I dont remember the appropriate age and thats where your trainer would come in. I use an e-collar and originally bought it for recall training only but lately I have found it very useful in a few different ways.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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No, no, no you misunderstood. I do not fear my dogs are going to attack me...
I think they meant that you seemed concerned you would be attacked by other forum members when you described your use of the E-collar.

Personally, I think E-collars have their applications, although I've never used one.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:37 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I think they meant that you seemed concerned you would be attacked by other forum members when you described your use of the E-collar.

Personally, I think E-collars have their applications, although I've never used one.
Doh!

You are right, I was concerned about this.

In my defence I am high on pain meds at the moment (for a torn back muscle moving a 50+ kilo rock) so for the most part I am not sure which way is up and what way is down.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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No attacking from me - an electronic collar is exactly what I use to proof my dogs recalls - there is no ifs, ands, or buts with the recall - it has saved lives before. I hesitate to EVER take my dogs off leash if they do not ALL have functional collars. In fact, we haven't hiked off leash in months because I have two broken collars!

My dogs are trained - in fact, I would say my dogs are better trained than 99% of dogs out there - Rah had a UD, Berlin has all her novice titles, and the babies are trained through novice and open.

I don't trust them off leash outside EVER, especially not as a group. If I am training in the front of my yard, I have them individually out on collars. My dogs will still be dogs, and I need to know that they will listen no matter what.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Parking lot show down (the tale of crappy recall)

So I finally was able to get to a store and buy a long line today. It's extra cold so we didn't go out for too long tonight but it was awesome!!

Turns out earl is never really more than 50 feet away from me! It hardly hindered his running around, but he did spend more time closer to me tonight. I think he just assumed cause he was on a leash and couldn't go far.

Lesson learned: when you have a puppy who is constantly weaving back and forth in front of you, and it's
Pitch black outside, pay extra attention to where the leash is. The only time he got a good run going I realized about half way that the leash was wrapped around my legs and instead of calling Earl to stop I tried to get it untangled and I've got some fairly serious rope burn on the backs of my thighs. Alas, you win some you lose some.

I'm sooooooo relieved to find something to keep everyone safe and happy while we work on getting the recall 100%!!

Thanks for the input everyone!


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Old 02-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Glad you got a run in and ouch about the rope burn!

To add to the e collar discussion, I do use them on my free running dogs but usually do so when they are about a year or so old. I want to be sure the dog really understands the word here, come or whatever you use. I think 9 months is still puppyish. My 8 month old has great focus and then in the blink of an eye "squirrel" and his brain is gone, to borrow from that movie!
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