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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some issues getting Lexi to come to me while I'm at the dog park.

Wondering if anyone has some tips.

She will always come to me inside the house, almost immediately.

But when I'm at the dog park she will come to me when she feels like it...

I got her some biscuits and cut them into small pieces for training, I figured that would do the trick, but it doesn't. She is much more animated for these treats then her regular kibble, which is what I used for a while until she didn't seem as interested in them. I don't blame her lol..

When she DOES come to me at the park, I can get her to do the usual sit, lay down, stand, shake paw and she will do it even with many other dogs being near her, with all her focus on me.

What I want is for her to come without having to chase her down or call multiple times.

Should I take a step back and work under less distractions outside or is there a trick to training her to listen to me better under outdoor situations?

Perhaps I am expecting to much from a young pup?
 

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I was struck by a couple of things in your post. First, Lexi is young, and for many of us, even those with adult dogs, the recall is the command we're most uncertain about.

Second, I think you're on the right track when you mention taking a step back and practising in situations with fewer distractions. If I were you, I wouldn't use "come" at the dog park, for now. Use this command only when you are absolutely sure that Lexi will actually come. And when she does, reward, reward, reward. Lots of excited praise and lots of great treats. You want to condition her to come every time she hears the command, and you don't want her to think that blowing you off is even an option.

Once you've praised and given treats, pull out a ball or a tug and play, play, play with her. Don't immediately start practising obedience exercises, as this teaches her that coming to you means doing exercises that are much less fun and exciting than playing with you or other dogs. During training sessions, "come" should be the final exercise -- followed by vigorous play.

If you show Lexi that "come" means fun, you're more likely to have a solid recall when you really need it.
 

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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that's exactly what I do inside. When she comes it's either full of praise, a treat, or to play. And she's amazing at it inside, almost instantaneous (unless she's just woken up).

I have also been working on it during on leash walks, usually when she gets to the end of the leash (it's maybe 12 feet long) I'll stop and ask her to come back, in which I will give her a treat and lots of praise and happy voice for returning. I dont take her rope outside because the leash situation restricts her freedom.

I'm nervous taking her off the leash to train other then the fenced in dog park. I've never had her off the leash unless it was there, and I don't know what I would do if she ran off on me being to curious.

Where else is a good place to play tug with her while off leash and outside? Unfortunately I do not have a back yard.

Or is it fine to play tug while she's on her leash?
 

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Invest in a horse lunge line, it's roughly 30' which will allow your pup feel like she is off leash, but if she doesn't listen, you can gently reel her in and work on recall.

Always use a harness while using the lunge line, and never use it at a dog park.
 

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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thats a good idea. Maybe I can attach it to a peg that I can stick in the ground and just find some random field.
 

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Hmm...

Go play with dogs running about

-OR-

Go play with the human who makes me do things

Doesn't it make sense she would rather not come back to you. A dog will always gravitate to the greater reward. So to get what you desire you have to bring more to the table than the other dogs.Until you are at that point utilize as others mentioned a long line. My dog is almost 2 and I still don't allow him to free run, we always have a minimum of a long line on. He has amazing recall as long as I have something he wants :roflmao:
 

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The lunge lines are great! I have a 25 foot one for Diesel and that's how we work on recall and outside training since I don't have a yard really for him.
 

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Make it EASY at the dog park AND release her to go back to play. IF your dog park allows treats, then I'd use treats and make SURE there are no food aggressive dogs around. If not, try this in other areas on play dates. I'm not a big fan of food at dog parks. I would stand right next to her, name, come, yes give treat OK go play. She really can't fail :) I'd do this 10-12 times over an hour or so. The next time I might get 6" away so she ahs to take 1 step. Repeat. Then 12" away. Repeat. Set her up to succeed, reward her AND let her go back to playing. This is an exercise we always work on in puppy socialiation class and for that reason class is priceless!

We play tug with the leash on leash all the time :)
 

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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Make it EASY at the dog park AND release her to go back to play. IF your dog park allows treats, then I'd use treats and make SURE there are no food aggressive dogs around. If not, try this in other areas on play dates. I'm not a big fan of food at dog parks. I would stand right next to her, name, come, yes give treat OK go play. She really can't fail :) I'd do this 10-12 times over an hour or so. The next time I might get 6" away so she ahs to take 1 step. Repeat. Then 12" away. Repeat. Set her up to succeed, reward her AND let her go back to playing. This is an exercise we always work on in puppy socialiation class and for that reason class is priceless!

We play tug with the leash on leash all the time :)
when she does come to me at the park I do just that. Give her a treat and praise and tell her to go back to playing, I still make her work for the treat a little though. It's just that she never comes when asked. Just when she feels like it.

I'll start playing tug with her on the leash and definately consider getting that 30' line.

Other than that I suppose I stay patient until she's a little older.

thanks for the help
 

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when she does come to me at the park I do just that. Give her a treat and praise and tell her to go back to playing, I still make her work for the treat a little though. It's just that she never comes when asked. Just when she feels like it.
You need to make it so easy she cannot fail. Each time she fails, you set your training back a few steps. And do not call her to come if you think she might not come. If she has the opportunity to practice the bad behavior, simply go get her, do not call her to come. In order for this method to work, you need to go back an start at step 1, right by her side. There aer many methods :) but again for this one to work, you must set her up to suceed and stat right by her so she cannot fail. You are simply asking too much of her right now.
 

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I still make her work for the treat a little though.
She's already worked for the treat by coming when you called. You're not making the association between coming to you and getting the reward clear. In her mind, she's probably receiving no reward at all for coming, because the reward is for sitting or doing whatever else you've asked of her.

I think you need to go back to square one. In fact, if she's not come when you've called her enough, you may need to even rename the command something new and just start from scratch.
 

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Vader knows that when he hears now - he better get over to me quickly no questions asked. Come is used when he is outside and needs to come in the house. He also know what "get here" means. . . I never realized it, but I use it in agility and rally when he gets too far ahead or behind me when walking to or between exercises.
 

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You can also use a empty tennis court just make sure no one is there and the gate are closed securely, of course if some one comes to play tennis you have to leave. When I was training my Bouvier years ago I used the tennis court then used a big field with a long line on at all times.Good Luck training.
 

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We use the "don't give a command you know they won't do" idea :) set her up for success. Recall is so super important, imo. Its the only command that I give a huge high value treat for 100% of the time. We do swap between toy/food/pets and praise for any other command. With recall, in every situation I've tested it in (on a 30' lead, totally controlled) shes turned on a dime and come running back. I want her to know that if I need her here, right now.. that she'll get something awesome for it. Its a safety thing to me, I guess. I want to know that if she got out and was running for the street- I could get her back ASAP. I'm sure it'll go out the window when we hit the doberteens.. but Callie is only a few weeks behind your Lexi.

I know I'm all over the place, but I just want to touch on the idea that dogs don't generalize well. Come, taught in the house, means come while we're in the house. Come taught at the dog park means come when we're at the dog park. Know what I mean? You need to 'proof' commands in all kinds of places with all kinds of things around them- so that come means get that hiney to me, now no matter where you're at :)
 

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Yeah, I don't use treats at a dog park. For me that was NOT a good idea. I had some in my pocket and a Golden Ret. (young) jumped all over me and KISS did NOT like that at all.:)
 

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I didn't know anyone else used a lunge line. huh. Excellent.

I use them for my horses but its a completley different concept than using them for our Dobermans. Our new adopted dog is coming this afternoon, YAY, and I plan on leading him around on the lunge line for weeks.
My 2 girls can run free when I am out with them( at our farm) but the new lad won't know the boundaries.

As with the OP, my goal is not only to teach him the boundaries, but when I say "here" that means get your ass over here now. If he's not listening, I can reel him. I also believe in LOTS of praise. I prefer affection and "GOOD DOG!!" as a reward instead of food.

I understand your frustrations. My Garthy was full grown and came to me 90% of the time. The rest he would look at me, completly ignore me, and then continue about his business. My fault as I let this continue.

Also, LOVE the suggestion of a tennis court. Brilliant.
 

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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
She's already worked for the treat by coming when you called. You're not making the association between coming to you and getting the reward clear. In her mind, she's probably receiving no reward at all for coming, because the reward is for sitting or doing whatever else you've asked of her.

I think you need to go back to square one. In fact, if she's not come when you've called her enough, you may need to even rename the command something new and just start from scratch.
I did not even realize that and I even typed up the scenario...

in the house she gets the treat for coming and I don't make her work more for it....outside I have asked her to come and then asked for more before a treat....I will change that most definately.

She is well aware of what come means so I'm not sure I want to change the command quite yet. Let's see if she becomes more responsive if I ask less of her and treat outside just for coming.

If anything, I know for sure she will come if I say "Hungry" lol
 

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You can't kill the metal
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We use the "don't give a command you know they won't do" idea :) set her up for success. Recall is so super important, imo. Its the only command that I give a huge high value treat for 100% of the time. We do swap between toy/food/pets and praise for any other command. With recall, in every situation I've tested it in (on a 30' lead, totally controlled) shes turned on a dime and come running back. I want her to know that if I need her here, right now.. that she'll get something awesome for it. Its a safety thing to me, I guess. I want to know that if she got out and was running for the street- I could get her back ASAP. I'm sure it'll go out the window when we hit the doberteens.. but Callie is only a few weeks behind your Lexi.

I know I'm all over the place, but I just want to touch on the idea that dogs don't generalize well. Come, taught in the house, means come while we're in the house. Come taught at the dog park means come when we're at the dog park. Know what I mean? You need to 'proof' commands in all kinds of places with all kinds of things around them- so that come means get that hiney to me, now no matter where you're at :)
that's very true. I also swap between treats, praise and toys.

I thought since she knew "come" in the house that she should know "come" outside as well. And it doesn't help that I asked for more on the times that she did come.

big treats immediately on arrival makes a lot of sense and I don't know why I did it right inside but not outside, but the opposite results shows I'm doing it wrong outside.

I will also make sure to "don't give a command you know they won't do" idea.

great tips, much appreciated.
 

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that's very true. I also swap between treats, praise and toys.

I thought since she knew "come" in the house that she should know "come" outside as well. And it doesn't help that I asked for more on the times that she did come.

big treats immediately on arrival makes a lot of sense and I don't know why I did it right inside but not outside, but the opposite results shows I'm doing it wrong outside.

I will also make sure to "don't give a command you know they won't do" idea.

great tips, much appreciated.
I would use a high value treat for recall only.... We bought a huge pack of these 6" pepperoni sticks from pet value.. and I bring one to the park with me every time and break off a piece each time my dog succeeds in coming. thats the only time she gets that treat...

She is still very young so don't expect too much too fast.. She is a puppy and most certainly would rather play with other dogs than come over to her human :). You have to be the most exciting thing in the park which is very difficult among the excitement lol.

The way I get her attention at the park is to call her over once I notice a bit of a break in play or if she turns her head away from the other dog to look around. At that point she is not 100% focused on the other dog so I have a split second to catch her attention. Also if she makes eye contact with me from a distance and I catch it, I enforce it and call her to come and reward. It also works well if you turn and walk away so she will *hopefully* follow lol.. Sometimes it works sometimes not... But I really try not to continuously call her and repeat myself. But anytime she does come to me even if it takes a while... praise and lots of it, and treat!

In my opinion I would reward for coming when called and cut out the other exercises when she reaches you. Still, work off leash maybe after she has burned some energy and excitement. But once she is a bit more reliable and understands the recall, then I would make her sit and down once she comes. You need to get the small behaviours first and then build on them. ;)
 

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I would like to add one thing I do. When I am out with my dogs and they check in...they get a treat. No calling just me walking. They come walking up and looking at me instead of sniffing the ground. I say "good boy/girl" and they get a treat. If they continue to look I tell them "thats it" which that means there is no more. Off they go. Then in a bit they come back and check in. I do it alternating treating, praising and playing.

I will do this sometimes at the house also. If I see them doing something I like such as me saying out the kitchen and a few minutes later they are over there curled up on their bed. I walk over and give them a treat. Kyrah looking out the car window at the motorcycle...treat. Them looking out the window and seeing something and they dont bark...treat! They do learn that just b/c you gave them a treat doesnt mean they are going to continue to get one. They do learn "oh, I got a treat! How awesome!" then they just stay where they were.
 
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