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Off-Leash Training Tips Please

training tips ai Dogs puppies off leash

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#1 Denise E.

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 12:56 PM

Hi,

I just have a minute to post and Tayamni, who is great on leash - has an almost total disregard for me off leash. She is 15 months old now. At 11 months I finally got her to come part way to me in the dog park - at least she'll change direction and head in my direction. It's a start .....

In the backyard she makes it known it is her decision that she is listening to me. In a large area she thinks ear shot is a good distance and if I haven't called before she's out of range - "Oh well".
She's a very independent thinker and I do marvel when I can watch her eye movements (in the house) and actually see her thinking. I don't know what she is thinking and processing but it is awesome to glimpse this of these AI Dogs!

I was at swim park yesterday and Tayamni loves to 'herd' (at dog park too) and if a dog gets back to an owner with a ball or Frisbee etc. she starts barking and barking to get them moving and this goes on and on if the owner doesn't throw the object their own dog is going to retrieve. Tayamni shadows the retrieving dog.

Yesterday she was sooo fixated I needed help capturing her to go - she wouldn't break away like I can usually get her to do when it's time to go. And to make matters worse a white Akita decided it was going to stay between me and Tayamni so I couldn't grab her if I wanted to unless I tripped over the Akita.

The owner of the labs (5 ys and 9 yrs) had them perfectly trained and they sat calmly and waited through Tayamni's circling and barking and he finally scruffed the back of Tayamni's neck to stop her so I could take her.
I thanked him and told him he had very well behaved dogs and he told me 'training' and that I need to make my dog submissive and mentioned the use of a slip collar - because the dogs respond to the clicking noise.

Tayamni at home and on leash is the most submissive dog without a loss of self-esteem that I have ever seen. She is submissive to all new dogs she meets that are already in the dog park. She listens to me off-leash in a small area but parks are a different atmosphere.

I'm not sure a slip collar would help me - with her OFF leash. (Unless I'm supposed to wear it - LOL)

When we go to the doggie beach I keep her on leash because she would wander past the cones - she doesn't know what they mean. Other beach goers stay away because they don't want to get tangled in the 20' lead. Don't blame them.

Tips, suggestions?

I've never off leash / field trained before. This is the first dog I need to. Any suggestions?


#2 Sherab

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 04:05 PM

Denise, these dogs are different. Don't know what to tell you except maybe roll in butter and liver treats. Waki just sort of decided to be responsible one day. And he mostly is, except when there are really bodacious smells in the woods.

#3 Allison

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:12 PM

 Waki just sort of decided to be responsible one day. .

 

Same here.  One day, they suddenly grow up and become reliable.

 

There is a bunch of training that helps, but there is this line that they cross, and suddenly they are reliable. 

 

Don't give up.  Take some deep breaths.  Keep at it.  Let them know when you are not pleased, and when you are.  Remember that they want to work with you.

 

If something isn't working, try something else.  Lot's of techniques out there.  Find one that is working for you, but if one isn't working, don't be shy about dropping it, and trying something new. 

 

I had to take Coyo out of the dog park for a while.  It was okay, in fact, it was good.  Just him and me, working on our language. It turned out to be the best thing I could have done. 


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#4 oocahtah

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:18 PM

mooka does not do so good on the leash but when we do go for a walk up the road or in the wood he will run head of us and then does a sudden stop and waits for us or comes back when we call 

we bella(my cane corso)she just stays close to us ,when we tell mooka to stay close he does but then after 5 min he has to run way up ahead of us he always come when we call,sorry it is not much help i guess it just depends on the dog,good luck



#5 Denise E.

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:16 AM

Thanks Sherab, Oocatah and Allison!  It helps to hear that there is a pattern even though some of the dogs have a farther comfort zone for roaming.

 

I do think it's something that Tayamni will grow into listening as she gets a little older.  She has been an earshot distance dog since she was a pup (4 months old) and got Keme to take off with her - he had always "behaved" until his half sister showed up!  We thought he would be a good influence on her - joke on us!

She really is a good dog and this Saturday we are testing for the first phase of Therapy Dog certification.  She is almost halfway through CGC training class and will test for that about a month after the TOPS test.

She really shines ON leash for training classes especially when they have been at nursing homes - I know she will be a great Therapy Dog!

 

Allison - I will think outside the box to get her to change her attention from the dogs she zooms in - when she barks too much and irritates the owners.  I tell them, just throw the ball for your dog and she'll shut up.  Doesn't always go over well. :(

Usually I can get her to break away but last weekend the labs were so well trained and ignored her and sat and just waited for their owner for minutes at a time ....  it drove Tayamni nuts and she barked around them and had laser intense focus.  She wouldn't break her attention or circling off.

This is what I DON'T like and need to find a way to curb this.  I think I will bring a bottle with pennies in it - and hope it doesn't irritate other owner's.  That or the compressed air bottle should break her attention and maybe startle all the dogs around .....  :blink:

 

Dog park and swim park are her times to do her own thing - with other dogs - within reason.  (Geez, I sound like my mother - when I was little - LOL - don't tell her ....   :lol: )

 

I have got her to come to the gate when it's time to go home - 90% of the time (using high value treats).

I can also tell her to break (away) if she is grabbing another dogs collar too much - it's one of her wrestling moves.  She breaks away for a few moments at least and sometimes even moves on to something else.

She will listen most of the time to back away from the gate when new dogs are coming in - trying to teach her manners ....

At swim park there is only one gate and it is up a path - I can yell to her to come back and she turns around toward me and gets 15 - 20 feet before something distracts her but at least she is away from the dogs going out the gate.  Otherwise she runs toward me and cuts away past me - her own game she plays.   :P

 

I may try taking her to some lure course events, there is one place that does an oval course and she will stalk the lure instead of running after it  - but it will give her an outlet for that instinct in her.

 

I can't wait until Trieball is brought to south Florida.  I really think this would be a good way for her to vent her instincts and train her to listen.

http://www.dogsdigwa...s/treibball.pdf

 

There are variations of this.  It looks fun!

177496326.jpg  imagesO70UFUMM.jpg  imagesWUVBG9QT.jpg  Treibball-3.jpg

 

 

OTHERWISE I need to find some sheep for Tayamni to herd - or maybe some deer, elk or buffalo!  I could see her working with a few dogs and keeping a herd of large animals together to make it easier for a hunter with a bow and arrow.  She likes to herd the big dogs at the dog parks.   :ph34r:

 

I know she likes the Therapy work but she also has the high energy side and I want her to have a well balanced life.

 

Then again don't we all?!!!!!!!!    :D

 

 

 

 



#6 NyteByker

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 01:55 PM

Hey Denise!  Have you had any luck with Tayamini being off leash since you last posted about this?  Nakoma will only listen to me if there are NO other dogs (or any other forms of life) around...  We run on the beach daily and I can take him off leash... he'll go way ahead of me, but will come back to me when I call him (MOST times... unless he is sniffing something of interest).  However, if I see a dog (or seal) up ahead before he does, I need to put him on the leash... and I'm talking "up ahead" as in at least a half mile away... (Which is easy to see on the beach)... if I don't leash him in time, he will sprint the distance to the next dog, and just completely ignore me and the treats I carry.  I'm afraid that if we're not on the beach, and he does that, he will get run over by a car.  ... Or that the dog he runs up to might not be so friendly...



#7 Denise E.

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:28 PM

Hey Denise!  Have you had any luck with Tayamini being off leash since you last posted about this?  Nakoma will only listen to me if there are NO other dogs (or any other forms of life) around...  We run on the beach daily and I can take him off leash... he'll go way ahead of me, but will come back to me when I call him (MOST times... unless he is sniffing something of interest).  However, if I see a dog (or seal) up ahead before he does, I need to put him on the leash... and I'm talking "up ahead" as in at least a half mile away... (Which is easy to see on the beach)... if I don't leash him in time, he will sprint the distance to the next dog, and just completely ignore me and the treats I carry.  I'm afraid that if we're not on the beach, and he does that, he will get run over by a car.  ... Or that the dog he runs up to might not be so friendly...

 

I think we are at about the same pace - or the pups are!  :wacko:

 

When we are the last ones in the dog park, she will come to the gate when I call ...  if there she is still busy ineffectively trying to herd a dog ...  then I need to go get her, and we play "all around the mulberry bush ..."  unless I can get her not paying attention to me then I can get her collar - and always a good girl for that.

 

Tayamni is fully vaccinated for but still got Kennel cough this winter - from Coffey - who got it at the dog park from a new person and their dog that haven't seen again .... anyway, Coffey was still puppy licking dogs faces and I hear the dog cough and the owners said "oh allergies" and I thought "OH CRAP"  and YEP that was that.

 

So Tayamni hadn't been to the dog park for OVER a month, and now that we are back it will take a little bit for her to get the ignoring (or override) out of her system.  -_- 

 

Tayamni on trails will disappear into the brush if I have her off leash and it takes a few minutes for her to come back.  I don't let her off leash on trails a lot because of the gators down here.

As far as I know she has only met up with an opossum in the back yard.

She did pretty good on a large fenced area of a lake - although I was worried she would swim around the fence.  She would run off but come back when I called her that she was too far from me.

 

:)

 

I don't use it in the dog park, but when sheep herding training they do run with a 20 foot lead trailing behind them so the trainer can get to it if he needs to.  I watched a show the other day and they use it training dogs to herd cows also.

 

:ph34r:  I wonder if this would work for you and Nakoma (not with a waist leash) but Nakoma running trailing a long lead on the beach.  The bungee would be a shock absorber if Nakoma gets to the end of the lead and doesn't stop.  Maybe a longer lead would help transition to full off lead listening?  OR maybe our kids just need time to mature?

 

Let me know if you come up with any workable ideas.

 

I'll let you know when progress occurs over here  :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 



#8 NyteByker

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:43 PM

Thanks, Denise. I will try the long lead idea. Tayamini sounds like she is FULL of personality! Nakoma has really made me understand what Kim meant by saying that we need a "constant" firm (but loving, of course) hand.

#9 vlkea01

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 06:33 AM

AIDADD -- American Indian Dog Attention Deficit Disorder! Too distracted by all the smells, sights, and actions. One of the first things I hope to train my new pup to do when I get him/her is to focus on me. I think once I can master that, other training will be easier. Ha! Wish me luck!



#10 Denise E.

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 09:22 AM

vlkea01,

 

Wishing you the best of luck and that's a good one - focus.  Recall is really important early too - some of the pups seem to forget recall as the become bigger pups.

Maybe its the individual personaly of the dog?????  :ph34r:

 

Ahhh,, then there are those people who I would call - super trainers!!!!!!!  :wub: 

First I thought it was just that they have adult dogs now but they can replicate the great training with new pups!  I bet you have already read some of their posts.  Go back to old posts also if you haven't yet.

 

Either way, it's a marathon.  These dogs are very intelligent but still need to grow and will go through different phases.

 

I LOVE these AI Dogs!!!!!



#11 vlkea01

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 08:24 AM

Denise, You know how those darn teenagers are! I have an old tuning whistle. Maybe that will help with recall, but I do want the pup to learn to come to my voice. What if I don't have the whistle with me? lol :P



#12 Denise E.

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 09:17 AM

Denise, You know how those darn teenagers are! I have an old tuning whistle. Maybe that will help with recall, but I do want the pup to learn to come to my voice. What if I don't have the whistle with me? lol :P


 

I don't whistle well anyway and when its windy down here the dogs are always upwind.  I have found that a clap at least gets their attention, they look, watch my hand command and decide to come or keep having fun.  At least the clap works in the backyard and I'm hoping as they get older the 'listening' will get better.  :)

 

 

I have a darn teenager and a terrible two.  The age spacing was not the best (for training) since Tayamni (the older) was easier at most of the training.  Coffey has reverted her a bit as he has almost no impulse control STILL at 9 months.  He gets so wound up and last week stole part of my supper off the counter.  We are working on stopping that!

 

The funny thing is - he generally stays closer off leash and will come (unless his impulse focus is laser beamed on something else).

 

Sheep herding training is very beneficial for him because the trainer can help him not to be on top of other animals (and will hopefully translate to not be right in other dogs faces barking to play.  Many dogs don't really appreciate that).  I wish I could get to the sheep farm more than every few months ...

 

Tayamni is great on leash and certified as a Therapy Dog at 1 yr 3 months and CGC at 1 yr 4 months.  She still pulls a little when excited but LISTENS and gets back to her place next to me.

Off leash she's like Nakoma, confident-independent to roam farther away and come back when her adventure is over.

 

It will take a lot more sheep herding lessons with her to reap benefits because she thinks first when herding and calculates angles (who sent her to math class????) and is VERY happy doing that to learn any commands right now.

 

 

Ahhh, I digressed off topic a bit - ehhh there is some reflection on off-leash training tips at least!



#13 Brandon_N90

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 02:56 AM

Once you catch his attention, try running backwards. It triggers a response much like the fight or flight. It excites them enough that they usually come running back to you or at least in your direction. It's a goto move with yona

#14 Denise E.

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:28 AM

Tayamni didn't like coming out under the eves of the house because it had just stopped raining.  I was calling her to come and she just stood there wagging her tails and giving me her Mom's "Azteca" smile.

 

So I finally crouched down and called to her and she came a running!

 

I was not going to walk to her!

 

The running backwards will be good to try but if she gets her attention on something else, I have to get her to focus back on me first!



#15 Karen

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 03:33 PM

Hi Denise! You are describing exactly what my dog was like.

 

Like Allison, we gave up the dog park for a while. After a long break we tried again and all of a sudden I was seeing the dog park differently. I don't think the whole scene was a good fit for her; in every other situation she warms up a little slower than most dogs, she likes to take her time. And she had no choice about what dogs she interacted with - the obnoxious, aggressive dogs with terrible owners were always there. It was stressful, which made it even harder for her to come to me, which was a challenge even in no-stress situations.

 

I'm lucky because we are in the country and we had another dog, so she got plenty of exercise and excitement without the park. At home she still wanted to stay out of reach (I had to train her to let me touch her off-leash when we were playing) so I ended up getting a 50 foot long nylon rope and attaching it when we go out. It's not tied to anything, she just drags it around behind her. But mentally it is like magic. She knows she's not restrained but also knows that if she takes off she'll get tangled up in the woods and have to be rescued. And it keeps that switch in head that says "I'm free! I'm my own dog!" in the "off" position.

 

The thing is, without it she'd come in when called 4 times out of five but I always think of that 5th time, when she doesn't listen, as reinforcing the next time she decides to test me. Our current arrangement eliminates all of that. Hopefully you'll do better but I'm happy with things the way they are.


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#16 miz molly

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 06:15 AM

For some reason all three of my AIdogs understand the term "this way."  If I start going in one direction and then change directions, and say "this way" they follow me every time.  Now that's in the privacy of my little farm...outside in the wild world, I need to read them differently.  (I don't do dog parks).  I watch them intently.  They tell me of a wild animals approach before I can see it.  The tone of their bark is different.  Their body language is different.  They tell me about the hawk they hear before I do.  Their noses point to the sky waiting for those lazy circles to appear.  I tell them to "watch" and they do.  For me it is about studying their body language and voice to know what has captured their interest.  Of course there are slip ups, no one is perfect, but it has taught me a lot about these dogs.    Like the Monks of New Skeete say, if there is a problem, take it back to the beginning in a small space and start all over again.  There is a step that the pup has skipped and it is our job to find that step. 

Sometimes it is a matter of timing between you and the pup.

Needless to say, it's an ongoing learning process on both sides.

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#17 NyteByker

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 01:45 PM

Update on Nakoma's Recall:

 

In April (after the jetty incident) I got Nakoma a long 20ft' leash to use for recalling.  Sometimes I had it tied to my waist hoping he'd feel a tug when he got to the end of it, but really all that would happen is that it would just get too tight around me and either make me fall (3 faceplants in the sand, hahaha) or cut off any airflow (kind of need air when running).  Other times, the leash would get tangled on whatever debris was wash up (driftwood, branches, other interesting things). Whenever he as at the end, I would say either "come here" or "Heel," (both of which he knows), but would just continue to ignore me, anyway. 

 

Other times, I would not have the leash on my waist, and just let it drag as he ran, hoping I'd catch the end of the leash if he decided to run off (That was a stupid thought as tje leash would obviously travel as fast as Nakoma... which is faster than lightning).  And then it was just getting dangerous as he would, again, get tangled in everything.  (Not good to be tangled when there is an ocean nearby).

 

But I wasn't giving up... until...

 

One day my dad, who is 76 and not in the best of health, was walking Nakoma in the streets, and I guess the regular (4 ft') leash didn't clasp on all the way to his harness and came undone in the middle of their walk.  Once Nakoma realized he was loose, he took off.  My dad had to run (which is not good) after him.  Luckily, Nakoma ran into one of his friend's yard, and my dad was able to grab him and take him home.  Now, we all know that scenario could have been much much worse.  We live in an urban-like suburb community with lots and lots of cars and distracted drivers.  

 

Upon learning of this incident, I went ahead and bought a PetSafe Static Shock Collar (a waterproof one) and tested it out the very next day on the beach.  It only took two days before Nakoma pretty much mastered the recall command.  I tried the collar on myself because I wanted to know exactly what I was doing to my pup... it isn't painful.  It's rather an annoying feeling that works well with the element of surprise (Nakoma doesn't expect it).    I haven't had to shock Nakoma in probably about a month!  I still put the collar on him when we go running on the beach because... well... you never know... but no buttons need to be pressed.  It is amazing to see him listen to "come here" after me only saying it once.  

 

The shock collar was the last step I was willing to try before thinking of a trainer.  I'm so glad I didn't need to look for a trainer.   And the fact the he now recalls is the best part of all.   



#18 Rik

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 07:14 PM

Nita got out of the front door today and it only took a few minutes to get her to come back to me. A half hour later she waltzed out the gate with me and I got her to come to me right away. 



#19 Denise E.

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 10:41 AM

We had a collar for my sister's Terri-Doxie.  I've tried them also.  Haven't been able to find the remote.

 

Recall is much better, but Tayamni still knows she can choose to listen or not, and Coffey is just coming into his selective hearing teenage stage.

 

It's a work in progress ....



#20 maria

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 08:57 AM

I use a shock caller when I ride horses or go away from home.... when and where I need a little more control to keep Chhaya safe....I use the lowest setting possible and don't use the shock unless the tone doesn't stop and get her attention.  At home (without the collar) I can now tell her when she sees a "bunny" to sit and wait or watch.  Squirrels are a different matter.  I have to sternly say NO if I don't want her to go after it.  She has come a long way from puppy that's for sure.  6 months to 6 1/2 yrs she has come full circle!  As Miz Molly said "this way" too works well for Chhaya...maybe it makes them think they are still doing a job...and also like she said watching them and their body language and difference in the bark, has taught me to understand her.  We sit on the front porch...her ears are constantly moving along with her eyes and nose.  I never grow tired of watching her and what she does.  These dogs are AMAZING! Everyday I love and appreciate Chhaya more.  I can tell all of you do too!


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

-Ancient Indian Proverb-





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: training, tips, ai Dogs, puppies, off leash

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