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Recall for intact male

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Amanda101, Apr 6, 2021 at 12:19 PM.

  1. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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    Hello does anyone have any tips regarding training recall to intact male dogs. I was recall training with a whistle using the Total Recall book for my 3 year old Irish terrier who has a high prey drive to chase, which was going very well for the first 4 or 5 months (during this time my 3 year old terrier was on chemical neutering for the first time via Suprelorin) and there was lots of progress with recall. However since the jag has now ceased and he's back to being intact full of testosterone again! I've noticed a definite change in obedience and his recall with whistle has deteriorated and he now often ignores the whistle completely when on walks. Very disappointing after getting quite far into the training program. He used to watch me and pay attention and engage while on walks but now he just keeps his head to the ground most of the time and wanders off (not too far from me) when we're outdoors sniffing and scenting and so when I blow the whistle he usually ignores it, only rarely does he come to me on command now. I am not going back to Suprelorin or neutering as aside from better recall there were more negatives than positives in my experience including some anxiety nervousness and aggression issues whilst on the drug which he hadn't demonstrated before and he's now much clamer, relaxed and confident but it's just that he ignores me and seems to be in a world of his own on walks and not as connected to my voice or whistle, is there any way you could provide some tips to train recall to intact males? Am surprised how being intact again has changed his recall behaviour considerably, maybe I should have waited to start the training after Suprelorin had ceased but I had lots of free time being on furlough and also I didn't think there would be any change to recall obedience afterwards when in reality the change has been very obvious and dramatic almost overnight in a short space of time of the drug wearing off, but let's hope I can restart and get him back to the recall level he was before which was actually pretty good and I was pleased at the success of the progress and how far we'd come. My dog now seems obsessed with sniffing the ground continuously on walks and marking territory and not much else distracts him anymore including my whistle :) thanks
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    If sniffing is so rewarding to him, can you make that part of the reward for recall? I'm thinking something like calling him to you for a fabulous sniffing opportunity.

    There is a book which I haven't read myself but is getting good reviews - Hunting Together by Simone Mueller.
     
  3. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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    Hi Joanne
    Many thanks for your reply and suggestion yes that is something I'd not thought of I'll definitely give that a try!
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I'm not an expert, but you might have to find a cue other than the whistle, as he has now learnt he can ignore it. (Possibly a whistle with a different frequency would work.) I made a point of never - or almost never - using the whistle if I thought he wouldn't come back, which sounds counterintuitive, but I think gets better results in the long term. So you would start using the new whistle when he's right next to you, and/or when he's on lead, and then when there's nothing of any interest whatsoever about, and follow it each time with a REALLY high value treat/game - throw a party! Only do this once or twice a walk, to keep its novelty value. You want him to whip his head round so fast when he hears the cue he nearly cricks his neck - like the instinctive reaction of a war veteran ducking when he hears a bang, but in a happy way!

    Your first job is probably to make yourself more interesting on walks - treats, games, whatever floats his boat - and this might mean keeping him on a long line (attached to harness) so he can't go off and find his own fun. I also found it useful to have some 'soft' recall words that I didn't mind so much if they were ignored - e.g. 'This way now!' or 'Wassis?' - I sometimes get the impression that these can be more effective simply because they don't put pressure on him, or make him wonder if Im going to put him on lead and if I've spotted something he hasn't.

    But then my dog is a bit of a velcro dog so he's been relatively easy (for a sighthound) to teach recall, so feel free to pick and choose any of my ramblings that you think might help.
     
  5. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I kept a stud dog whose recall was immaculate. It isn't your dog's intactness that has blown his recall, but you do need to start from basics again because he has learned he doesn't have to recall when you blow the whistle. Train him on his own, and use a long-line to begin with. Also choose your places, because recall has to be proofed in low-distraction environments (kindergarten stuff) before you move on to highly distracting areas full of wildlife (PhD level). And because he has learned he can refuse to recall to the whistle, I'm afraid you will have to use something else as a cue.

    It's straightforward but not easy. You could do with a professional trainer to help, but avoid anyone who starts spouting pack theory and dominance. This is a training hiccup and you can get past it with the right help.

    Posted same time as JudyN!
     
  6. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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  7. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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    Thanks Judy for your advice
    That's really helpful yes definitely softer words will be good as Here or Cime doesn't seem to work anymore!
     
  8. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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  9. Amanda101

    Amanda101 New Member Registered

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    Thanks very much yes I think I'll go back to the beginning again on the long lead, maybe buy a new sounding whistle too!
     

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