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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the winter, I worked on whistle training Charlie. On our daily walks, I let him have some off-leash time and I always made sure to call him a couple of times with the whistle and give him a premium treat. This seemed to work perfectly, even when he was playing with other dogs or absorbed in some hardcore sniffing.

Now, however, he seems to think over whether or not he should respond. Do I want the treat? or do I want to continue what I'm doing? This has definitely gotten worse since our recent vacation and time away from him.

So I've been decreasing his off-leash time and keeping him closer when he is off-leash. Still, he often doesn't come when called. If I have to go and fetch him, I make it clear that I am unhappy and he stays leashed for the rest of our walk.

What next? How can I get and keep his attention? Do I need even better treats? Is it a defiant stage? He is 14 months.

Deb
 

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Wish I had some advice to offer. I too have a doodle that thinks about recall ; breaking eye contact and feigning deafness. And that's in the fenced in back yard. Therefor I have never let her off leash in an unfenced area for fear of her safety. Wish I could though. I'll be anxious to hear what others offer for advice.
 

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Go back to basics. Do not give him the 'come' command off leash!!!!! NO TREATS! Start with 6' leash and work back to 30' leash slowly. It's common for dogs to rebel at certain ages equal to teen rebellion. When he does it right give lots of praise. When he's 99% on leash then take him off lead in an area where you can control him and start at 6' and so on.
 

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max and Peanut lost all OFF Leash priveledges this winter for about 2mos.

around that age they start to wander a tad or feel more secure
I went back to training daily in the house again which does help
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your posts. I think I am on the right track. I'm sure Charlie's digression is at least in part due to our vacation. My 9 year old granddaughter was his main "walker" during that time and she's not quite as commanding as I am ;)

He is definitely restricted. I may give him a little off-leash time IF he stays right by my side. No more wild romps in the park. I'll also work with him in the backyard. He certainly know the drill, though. He's just not willing to concede all control to me right now.

Deb
 
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With Maya I am working with her on a 30 foot leash. I always keep one end in my hand and then call her. If she comes she gets a treat and praise. If she doesn't I pull her towards me and praise but no treat. She use to be really good at come but now at 12 mos we had to go back to the basics
 

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kumo is just too smart for his own good -- he knows the difference between "off leash" and "on the long line". his recall is perfect when he is on the long line, but he knows that it is truly his choice to respond to the recall command when he is off leash. most times, he chooses to come back; but sometimes, it is just more rewarding to chase after a squirrel or run around in circles like a crazy dog than to come back.

we talked with our puppy kindergarden trainer about this issue, when we were going to classes with ursus. one thing she said was it is just dumb to let your dog off leash in areas where there is traffic or some other hazard that could injure or kill your dog if the don't come back -- ANY dog, even the most reliable, can have a moment where it chooses some other rewarding behavior over coming back. she said that training with an e-collar (and professional help) is about the only way to improve off-leash recall with a dog that does it perfectly on-leash, and has figured out that off-leash recall is it's choice. if your dog likes to chase deer, the problem is deer run for long distances, and your dog could get pretty far away before it realizes it is lost. kumo only goes after squirrels which basically run up a tree nearby, so we decided our issue with him is not serious enough to do the e-collar training right now. kumo is really good with the recalls, even at the dog park, so we're just going to keep at it with more traditional methods of reward in off-leash situations.

-em
 

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I agree...back to basics. It's too risky if they don't come immediately. It'll happen in time!
 

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I vote back to basics. It helped Cacao when she thought she would stop listening. So go back to square one.
 

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correct me if i am wrong...but for me, i have found in general that some of the most trying ages:
6mos for sure, 8mos ehh, 10mos get out lots of chew toys, 15mos starting to feel their oats a bit, 18mos no fear, can wander here and there, and 21mos once again test the waters a bit but still good but sense of humor is tested.

I am finding out with my own doodles and others that have them here in rochester and/or people with older doodles, THAT many doodles take more like 3 years to really mature.
And like we never let up on our kids (ok sometimes our spouse too hhahahaa) that our doodles need daily training to maintain and help them thru what i call "stages" of pushing buttons :wink:

so i guess in way a kid takes 18yrs to do what a doodle takes 3years :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You've all offered some great advice. I'm happy to say that Charlie is doing MUCH better. I also want to note that Charlie is never off-leash in high traffic areas or around groups of people that he could pester. I understand than any time he is off-leash there is a risk.

I spent a couple of days keeping him only on his leash and then we started a little off-leash play. I haven't let him stray more than 10 yards from me and he has been 100% with his recall. On quiet blocks he likes explore, sniff and run ahead but then sits patiently at the corner until I keep up. He has NEVER run in the street but I always remind him with the "STOP" command. He sits and waits.

The problem we were having was in our local park. In the past, I could let him run all over the park and was confident that he would come to the whistle call. Now he doesn't have that privilege. He must stay close. Over time I may give him a little more freedom but he'll need to earn it.

And on a funny note, whenever he hears the "COME" command he licks his lips. COME must translate to "I have a yummy treat for you!" :D

Thanks!
Deb
 

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I really think it is an age thing...Dexter went through so many "I don't hear you" stages but his off leash behavior has become so much better. I know others don't like the treats, but we keep them in our pocket and ramdomly during off leash sessions we give him a treat for coming and sitting in front of us. We don't treat everytime, but just here and there to remind him it's very good to come back. He was off leash at the beach last week and listened almost perfectly. He'll be 2 in July.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ugghhh... I am a dope! I just realized what the problem was with the whistle. Normally when I use the "COME" command I also do the hand signal. When I use the whistle, I also do the hand signal. Charlie is evidently completely tuned into the hand signal.

Today at the park, I used the whistle. He stopped and looked at me. As soon as I did the COME signal, he came tearing toward me. I must have been forgetting to signal and he decided I didn't need him. :roll:

Deb
 
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Deb I know the feeling. My trainer says I am the one that needs training not Maya!!! Which in my case is entirely true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hmz819 said:
Deb I know the feeling. My trainer says I am the one that needs training not Maya!!! Which in my case is entirely true.
Evidently, it is true in my case as well! LOL!

Deb
 

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Wow! It sounds like Charlie is actually a very good and obedient pup!!
Coco and for sure Abby would never stop at the curb or corner off leash...They'd start a doodle 500 the second they were free and would be very challenging to get them to come back. Coco used to as a very young pup come when she was called and we could let her off leash about three houses down from ours....She'd love to run back to our house and sit and wait for us....BUT, she has broadened her horizons and I cannot trust her off leash anywhere but in an enclosed area....Abby might come back when called....more certainly with a shake of the treat bag....but, she also could just keep on truckin"...that little waddley truckin
thing she does....I haven't worked with them on the long lead in a long time...need to do that again!
8)
 

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correct me if i am wrong...but for me, i have found in general that some of the most trying ages:
6mos for sure, 8mos ehh, 10mos get out lots of chew toys, 15mos starting to feel their oats a bit, 18mos no fear, can wander here and there, and 21mos once again test the waters a bit but still good but sense of humor is tested.
Shoot!!! :cry: I was so proud how good Marley was doing off leash in the woods. Don't tell me I am not out of the woods with him! I do notice how he will run ahead lately from both myself & Tuesday... hopefully he will keep listening and as always, & follow mom's lead.
Sound's like you are doing great with Charlie!
As far as the 10 month chew toy thing, Annmarie....my "little Angel" Marley whom has never chewed nothing important up, chewed up the corner of a wall last night :evil: I did notice that his knuckle bone is getting pretty small so we went and got hm a new one today!!
 
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