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7 month old lab ignoring whistle

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Susan1958, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Susan1958

    Susan1958 Registered Users

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    My gorgeous 7 month old puppy is an absolute delight and training so far has been so easy. She has always been brilliant on the recall, with a whistle and without, but all of a sudden she does not come back when other dogs are around - not until she feels like it. It's like she has gone deaf (and defiant) :( Has anyone else experienced this? Is it an age thing? I would love some advice as I feel like all my hard work is going down the drain!!!
     
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Susan1958 it sounds to me that you have progressed too quickly to off lead recall in a high distraction setting. Put her back on a long line. Increase the distance between your dog and the distraction. Give high value treats when your dog comes. Only gradually reduce the distance between you and the distraction. All the time stay on line. Then when you go off line increase the distance once again. You want your dog to achieve success before changing one and only one performance criterion at a time.
     
  3. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    Is she neutered/spayed? If not she maybe coming into season,. They do get a lot more interested in other dogs around this age anyway but hormones can make it a bit more interesting. She's not being defiante she is just a teenager. This is a hard age for young dogs just slowing things down and just going back a few steps in training can help. Handling with sympathy and understanding at this age is very important.
     
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  4. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    We tend to see this around this age, when the earlier training actually hasn't been 'great' (even when the owner thinks it has!) - typically the owner has (unknowingly) been in a false-state of security arising from the young puppy's desire to stay close...

    A young puppy will naturally want to stay close to their main attachment figure for safety and to maintain contact. As a dog grows older and goes through adolescence, they no longer have this as an incentive to stay close. If training hasn't been optimal, they will feel much happier to stray off and seek other sources of interest...

    The solution is to keep the puppy on a 10m biothane long-line to prevent them from reaching other dogs after the recall, and to drill that recall over and over and also to make sure the treats are tasty enough. This means: Sardines, paté, gourmet wet dog food etc etc - sloppy wet things that you administer with a plastic toddler spoon.
     
  5. Susan1958

    Susan1958 Registered Users

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    Thank you all for your advice. No she has not come into season yet. I will go back to basics and maybe walk her in the forest where there are no other dogs for distraction and practice recalls again with pate!
     

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