Recall when playing

Posted by Dinky
Jan 15, 2011
Hi, We have a one year old Cairn Terrier called Hamish who we got from a rescue kennel 3 months ago. He was house trained but didn't follow any commands such as sit and stay etc. I've never had a dog before so although making a small amount of progress it wasn't until we got the Secrets to Dog Training guides that we noticed Hamish came on leaps and bounds.
He now sits, stays, won't make a bolt for freedom if the front door is left open and will follow and recall when called off the leash. Now his is generally a good dog until he sees another dog and is playing. Then I can call all I like but he will just ignore me. I appreciate he's having a good time and doesn't want it to end but I want him to learn that he has to recall when called. There may be a time when an aggressive dog is lurking and his disobedience could get him hurt.
The other day he was playing with a friendly dog when they both spotted a Staff on a lead. We both tried to call them back but both dogs ignored us and went running over to the Staff. Fortunately the Staff was calm and didn't attack the dogs but it could have ended a lot differently.
Any advice would be appreciated
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 17, 2011
Hey Dinky,

Can you backtrack a bit and keep Hamish on a lead at the park? You can still walk around and socialize, let him say hello to other dogs, but test him by tugging on the lead and saying "come" when he's interacting with another dog on the lead. Make sure he responds EVERY time you ask him to. If not, pull him away from the other dog and get his attention focused on you, then try again. When he turns and listens to you in the presence of another dog, be sure to give him a treat and lots of praise. Once he's making progress with this, try him on a longer lead, or off lead.

When he is off lead, try bringing along something that makes a loud, sudden noise, so that if he still isnt responding to you calling him, you can startle him with it, using it to get his attention turned to you. Then call him back, use treats or a toy or something to get his attention. Crouch down, so you're more on his level, and act really excited about him coming back to you. This usually encourages dogs to come back to whoever is calling him.

You should also look into a puppy social class, so that he can learn to properly interact with other dogs, but still respond to you. Its easier at these classes because the environment isnt so random as a park. I really recommend classes for dogs with any kind of basic socialization worries, they can work wonders Similarly, you can set up a play group with friends and their dogs, have it someones backyard, where you can more easily get Hamish back to you and work more closely with him in a group environment
Posted by Dinky
Jan 17, 2011

Thanks very much for the advice, I'll try what you suggested and let u know how we get on )

Posted by kjd
Feb 7, 2011
On other point, Dinky. When you call your dog to you, treat and let him go back to playing. Don't give him the idea that coming to you is the end of fun. Even after he is good at the recall, when you take him to the park and he is off playing, call him every once in a while, praise him when he gets to you, then tell him to go off and continue playing.