Saturday, 11 June 2011

Recall - Videos

Here are some videos I took today of me recalling my dogs. These videos illustrate some of the points I made in my epic three-part missive on recall, which you can read here: Part IPart IIPart III.

Few recalls are perfect. What is important, however, is not to give up, but insist that the dogs complete the recall, and come right up to you and get their treat. If they don't do you haven't really added to their conditioning. That is why, in the video below I keep on pestering Eddie to come right to me, even though he has already come near me. His attention is still diverted, and I want him to really connect to me to complete the recall. I actually give his bottom a little tap in the end. 

Conditioning works like a bucket of probability, the more successful repetitions of a command you add to it, the more likely your dog is to come back next time. Unfortunately, this bucket also leaks, so you are unlikely to get to 100%, and if you stop adding to it, it's level goes down. That is why I incorporate several very easy recalls, like the one in the video below where the dogs are likely to listen to me and succeed, in every walk, every day. I'm keeping the bucket topped up.

I also often reward, both with treat and also cuddles and play, the pure fact that my dogs are keeping near me. I want to imprint on them that keeping close to me means good things happen. However, sometimes, especially when you have fast dogs predisposed to chasing like greyhounds, you have to give your dogs a bit of trust. In the video below they have both just rushed off into the woods chasing some real or imaginary prey. I usually give them a while, but very soon start calling them back. It seems like a long time for them to come back, but actually it is less than a minute, which considering I have given them a minute to run, is about right. I try to always call them right back to me if they run out of sight, conditioning them to return to me after every big chase. 

We're joining the wonderful Blog Hop again this Saturday! Thank you to the blog hop hosts Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. If you'd like to participate, please follow the rules and follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste the html code.


Hawk aka BrownDog said...

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Hawk aka BrownDog

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'm so glad you are training! Awesome. May I make a couple of suggestions?

#1 recalls should be taught on leash first, then on a long line, and only practiced off leash once very reliable. The nice thing about having the leash/long line is that you can make the recall happen ASAP. You had to do a lot of begging which I never put myself in a situation to beg. For me, recalls are not optional and they have to respond in 2 seconds. If your dog spends anytime thinking about it, the dog will definitely not choose to recall over anything else remotely interesting. You want for the recall to become very impulsive like a greyhound bolting after a rabbit only they are bolting after you. When I call, my guys bolt to me. Its such an automatic impulsive move now.

#2 I would make what you are saying your "casual" recall since its not very sharp anyway. Then train a new sharper recall on leash where you just say "Come" or "Here". But make your verbal cue very clear rather than chattering at them.

Happy Training!