Recall & Teenage Rebellion Tips - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Question Recall & Teenage Rebellion Tips

Hi hi!
Our Pooch Banjo is now 7 months old and I think he's sliding like a champ into the rebellion phase.
I do know he's jut a pup still but he's never had Great Recall because he's primarily dog motivated - I practice most everyday for 30-60 mins on a long lead at an open park and he's good there but the moment we head to the dog park, nada. If there are no dogs at the dog park he'll come no problem but the moment any dog is there he is a deaf dog. At this stage, it's feeling a little hopeless because of all the time I put in recall training. He basically just runs the other way when I call him and he's also just a "deaf dog" to his name lately. I try and make leaving the dog park not a big deal but its a bit harder to do lately when he doesn't want to even come near.

An important thing to note is our Vizsla doesn't have many of the regular breed characteristics - he's not a cuddler nor is he a huge fan of being touched much and is very independent. He'll go off and do his own thing and is only a Velcro dog in new and unknown situations, he'll be between our legs. If we leave the park to throw our a poop bag he's waiting at the gate for us but otherwise he doesn't care if we exist I feel (our luck, somehow we got an uncuddly vizsla lol).

I guess my question is - what tips and tricks do you have during the teenage phase and how can I be consistant or triumphant if it feels like it's in one ear and out the other. How long does this last for? Can I even strengthen recall during this phase?

Some other fun (bad) behaviours he's started recently:
- He used to be complimented on how good he reads cues from other dogs now he can just because a bit of a menace unless he's REALLY told off. He's in no way aggressive just very persistent about wanting to play. He can definitely hone in on some dogs while not care about others. Daycare report cards switched from good at reading cues to just flat out ignoring.
- He's apparently Sir humpsalot at daycare but not at the park.
- He used to drop other dogs balls when told no questions asked and now he just runs away with it. He's basically just become an instigator all around.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 11:28 AM
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There's a lot here, and in spite of his age, I think the underlying cause is training (or lack of effective, specific training) and expectations, not hormones.

First, Rule One in training is never give a command you cannot enforce. So, knowing that he's a banana at the dog park means that he will also not respond, therefore do not call him back, at least with the "Come" command. I use his name, which is a more reliable attention getter. Otherwise, you inadvertently teach him that it doesn't count in the park.

Second, ditch the long lead. You do not get enough control to manage him and properly correct him when he misbehaves. I always chuckle at the park when I see (usually overanxious) owners with their dogs on literally 100 feet of rope. That, along with those clickers, but that's another post...

So, what you want to do is continue working with him on a shorter lead (6 feet is really fine), in exclusive training sessions where that's all you are doing together, for 1/2 hr a day..shorter, more consistently successful sessions are better than longer one's with frustration....and start to use the word "Come" not only to get his attention and have him return, but also as he is doing it, "Good, boy, good come!". That way, you doubble reinforce the come command, first by having him attend and return, and then as he actually is engaging in the return. At the park, just go for now for fun w/o the expectation of obedience, that will take some time.

As for his temperament, he sounds like a naturally more independent dog, which isn't such a bad thing as they are more self sufficient. Keep that in mind in maintaining consistency and boundaries with him with training. His humping is not sexual, but dominance, which makes sense in the rough and tumble nature of group day care. The problem there is that it's basically law of the jungle, which is antithetical to your training goals, so it might be a good idea to make sure you have a training session after each day there to re establish the more "Civilized"ways you expect him to behave.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 01:23 PM
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I have a different approach than some of the others. I hunt over my dogs, so recall under high distraction is a must.
My puppies run on check cords, until they graduate to ecollars. I don't call them, unless I have a way to get them back to me. It's not always the easiest to keep my mouth shut, but the only way they understand recall is not a request.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I guess maybe thats a problem in itself - I'm not sure what my expectations should be? What AM I to expect at his age? I'v always had older or adopted dogs.

I work from home so I guess this is where my frustration stems - I do put a LOT of training in. So when you say "effective" I feel like I need a little more direction on that. I'm aware you shouldn't say a command you cannot enforce. While we wouldn't say "Banjo, Come" if he's half way across a field playing with another dog, because thats just laughable, we would say it if he's near us at the park with mixed reviews.

This is where I'm wondering next steps - how do you enforce AT the dog park or should we just excuse ourself from the dog park until later notice when we can have more consistency and directed training to hone his skills? And at what "success rate" would you start introducing recall at the dog park? I'm a little weary if he's just allowed to be a banana (lol) at the park now, he's going to be a banana forever.

As for the long lead - It's only 10 ft, not 50. He's always been corrected to come if he doesn't and we already do basically everything you've suggested. The only takeaway here for me is we could do shorter sessions.

Is there a point in which I should ditch the word "come" and start training with another cue? IMO I definitely think when he was 3-4 months we didn't reinforce and used the word liberally which is where a base for weak recall comes from.

Great suggestions about Daycare, we're actually not a fan of it but he goes once a week so I can get a full day of work in at home. He does come back a little bit more like Tarzan so we should definitely do some post-playcare training.

EDIT: Also we never call him to LEAVE the dog park, ever and we try not to make a big deal about leaving. But it seems to me when we have a good day and do get good recall on him - he remembers leaving over everything else.

Last edited by Bushclass; 06-18-2018 at 01:44 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 03:56 PM
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Our V is about a year and 5 months and still in his rebellious stage for sure. He's the same way, he's very bad on recall in the dog park once he's engaged with a dog. With him it's all about WHEN to try for a recall at the dog park. When he's engaged in play and focused on playing, I don't even try because I know he won't listen. Once he's stopped or looks for me (because I will sometimes walk away to find a ball to throw and he'll look up to see where I'm at), I'll raise the tennis ball and try to get him excited and call his name. It works pretty well, sometimes the dogs start playing again and he'll find that more fun so I just stop. With him it's really about finding that moment when his focus from the other dogs breaks and then use it.

A few months ago tho, I got an ecollar for him for when we go hiking or play out in the back (no fence), just for safety in case he tries to run off after an animal. He's been amazing with it and his recall improved sooo much. He also can play kind of rough at the dog park and gets mouthy (some people don't like it) so it gives me ease that I can call him back with it easily if needed in any high distraction situation. It doesn't replace training and works best just as a way to reinforce what they already know but it's definitely a great tool. I'm not sure about if 7mo is too young for using that tho but may be a good idea down the line.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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This sounds Very much like Banjo's style - needs the reassurance that I'm "around" but is independent for the most part. If I catch his eyes there's at least a CHANCE I'll get a recall in but it's far and few. He's a gentle boy though and having a hard time finding a suited play partner - big dogs are a little too ruff with him and I don't think he's aware of his own size yet (50lbs) with little dogs who he is most accustomed to playing with.

We plan on getting an e-collar down the line as it's how our trainer does her advanced recall sessions but while he's just doing adult obedience it's not in the picture. We'll definitely need it in cottage country. Has he ever chased after anything and ignored the shock or is that even possible?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bushclass View Post
This sounds Very much like Banjo's style - needs the reassurance that I'm "around" but is independent for the most part. If I catch his eyes there's at least a CHANCE I'll get a recall in but it's far and few. He's a gentle boy though and having a hard time finding a suited play partner - big dogs are a little too ruff with him and I don't think he's aware of his own size yet (50lbs) with little dogs who he is most accustomed to playing with.

We plan on getting an e-collar down the line as it's how our trainer does her advanced recall sessions but while he's just doing adult obedience it's not in the picture. We'll definitely need it in cottage country. Has he ever chased after anything and ignored the shock or is that even possible?
I usually have to watch the settings. I have a Garmin sport pro (which I love so far) and his usual setting is a 6 (1 - 10) when there's not much going on. I have to watch it depending on the environment and situation tho, at the dog park I usually go up one. One night when I was letting him out to potty in the back (no fence), I saw a rabbit and thought here's my chance to test this lol. I let him out anticipating a chase, which happened, and had to crank it up to 7 and tap it until he reluctantly turned around and ran back. It did take a few seconds but I think it's because he put the bunny above whatever pinch he was feeling until I upped the level.

He's great with it though and he's learned to stay closer because of it on his own. I'm honestly surprised how fast he picked it up and I'm glad he isn't afraid of it. It's a great back up to have for whatever might happen, I'd rather he feel a bit of pinch than get hit by a car chasing something or get hurt chasing something in the woods.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 07:35 PM
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I think that Banjo just needs some more exercising. My Vizsla went through a terrible hyperactive phase at the same age. The best thing I could have ever done was having a tired Vizsla. I took Kallie on bicycle rides, for an hour, we started progressively with two blocks, and now she runs around 30k, she is the best trail buddy! It was so much work to get her tired, but once she was tired, she was the most wonderful pooch ever! Besides, it not only got her tired, but our bond just grew stronger too! she realized that I was her leader and out of a sudden she was going off leash all the time, I played hide and seek and she would go completely crazy looking for me. What I'm trying to say is, in my experience, before trying to train your Vizsla, make sure that he is tired, if my vizsla had a slight of energy left on her, I would never get her attention. Also, I might add that having a super delicious treat when they are tired is enough to spark their attention and train them. I became a ritual where We would go on a fast bike ride for about 45min to an hour, afterwards, a solid 15 minutes of training with delicious treats. It took me a while, now she is 4, but she is so well behaved!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 10:55 PM
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I agree with Alarcon. Our 4 months puppy was terrible with recalls especially at the dog park. He was so distracted by smells and other dogs that he wouldn't pay attention to us at all.
On Monday, we decided to replace our usual treats with poached chicken and since then, he comes back to us every single time and even stops playing with other dogs to get his treat.
I know it is early stages but delicious treats seems to be doing the trick.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 05:57 AM
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Recall has always been the single most important behavior I value in my dog. While I can't always get her back in the first 15 sec of a rabbit chase, I can always get her back shortly thereafter. In absence of that type of intense stimulus she's 100% on recall.

My method is this: 1) cook up several fresh bacon, 2) make sure he sees it, gets a taste and sees you put the rest in your pocket, if he begs let him know it's NOT his until you call him 3). Head outside.... if he takes off after something, give a whistle recall, reward with bacon, 4). Repeat.

Maybe this is cheating but it works perfectly for us. Of course, before you head to the field or off -leash park you need to practice the reinforcement in your yard - I love the whistle training aspect because it is crystal clear to dog what I want as opposed to my voice (shouting).

Using this method it literally took me about 2d to teach her to come to the whistle. And about 1 week to get her where I can call her in closer and then use hand and arm motions to redirect her to a different path or sector when she's still 20-30 yds out.

I think it's their instinct and breeding that makes this type of field direction so natural for them. My dogs a team player and loves following my cues this way (although she does sometimes run off after deer, turkey, rabbits), we mostly have lots of fun with it and it's a big game to her.

I've had trouble with the e-collar in that I (mistakenly) used a shock (instead of vibrate) the first time she ran out of yard and now every time I put it on her she's between my legs and I haven't yet gotten her past that! Unfortunately all it took was once, even though it wasn't a high setting when I activated it she must have jumped 4ft straight up in the air before racing back to me.

With the whistle she can be out of sight or a couple of football fields out and as long as she can HEAR the whistle (and there's no rabbits etc) she comes TEARING back to me. It's loads of fun. She doesn't mind if sometimes I don't have treats but I find that over time her quickness of return can drop off and I reinstitute the reward to retain her attentiveness.

Or if I'm running her on (private) land, like this week while she's in heat, I cannot risk her getting out of sight so I keep bacon on me so I can whistle her in more with short peeps and keep her closer. I'm sure it's against the rules in a hunting competition etc. but man does it work!!! :-)
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