another 13 month old GS recall problem

Posted by jillbck1
Feb 9, 2010
Hi Sara and Kjd!
I could not believe my eyes - I opened up KoPets to write about exactly the same problem.
I work from home and Migo has to be in the kitchen and backyard when my patients arrive for their sessions.
he has learnt that this means being 'put away'!
As soon as I call him he comes to the door and stands exactly where he can decide if he is coming in or not! As soon as I take ONE step closer to him he turns and heads back away/outside.
If I turn around and walk away- he comes back to exactly that point and watches. He SO knows what is happening.
As with you Sara, he comes perfectly when I am training him, has his treat and behaves 100%.
But stupid he is not.
Treats, toys anything else- NO Go. He heads away before I can get him .
I had to fo the same with him- namely throw and throw and then try and catch him.
He is training me at this point.
I dont want to keep doing this as he is learning all the time that he can get away with this. I have tried doing what you suggest Kjd, but still, I dont feel Migo and I are making too much progress in this area.
Please help!!

Thanks to you both
Posted by kjd
Feb 10, 2010
Hi, Jillbck1,

My baby brother is a shrink.:eek: He adopted a part pit-bull terrier who is a real sweet heart. My brother takes him to work with him and says he actually helps with some of the patients!

Also, my first shepherd was taught not to come in the living room (dogs are amazing -- this rule used to change back and forth and the dogs never got mixed up!). When we had people who were afraid of dogs, we could always assure them that they were safe in the living room. Now, it was a very large room, probably the size of 3 living rooms in current houses, maybe 4, so people were pretty far away from the dog. But they did feel safe since the dogs never stepped foot on the living room rug.

What I am leading up to, you probably already know: is it possible to train lie in place unless you allow him to get up? Then he could be with you when you saw patients? Obviously, he couldn't be in an examining room, but, if you had an office, maybe he could learn to stay there?

You can see I am on Migo's side. Actually for several reasons. Not just because he would be happier, but, when you block him from people, he may start feeling those people are dangerous and start becoming aggressive towards anyone who enters the house.

LOL. I am not helping with your problem, am I? However, if you could find him a place where he could be with you but the patients could feel safe, both of you would be happier.

I am afraid you are correct: our dogs are much smarter than we are. Who has to get out of a warm bed and go to work? Who gets to sleep in?

Posted by jillbck1
Feb 11, 2010
Hullo Kjd

I have to say I think you may be spot on.
1. I need to keep practicing the recall but
2. I think Migo hates being put away from me.
I dont think I could have in the office as I often make use of hypnosis and this just would not work, but maybe I could let him lie out side my officedoor- instead of putting him in the kitchen.

How did you get your dog to stop at the threshhold of the lounge/sitting room??

I look forward as always to your response.

Posted by kjd
Feb 12, 2010
That's a good question, Jillbck1. We had an English Cocker and a GSD. As far as I can remember, we just told them "No" when they started to come in. There were periods when they were allowed in the living room. They seemed to adjust well to whatever the current rules were. After the cocker was PTS at 17, I put a throw rug on the living room rug at the hall entrance. The GSD was allowed on the throw rug, but couldn't get onto the living room rug. She used to bring a mouthful of kibble from the kitchen, drop it on the rug, and eat in our company.

There were 6 kids and 2 adults. We all imposed the rules and that may be what did it -- consistency across all humans! That is eight against two or, later, eight against one. The dogs didn't have a chance! Often you will find that problems with family dogs occur because different people impose different rules.

As for Migo, he is obviously a smart pup. How is his being put away from you different from a time-out? One thing I'd do is get an extra-special toy that he only gets when you are working. I'd also give him special treats and make sure he knows he is being a very good boy when he does what you want. If he can lie outside your door (on a special mat or bed?), as you suggest, and you give him praise and a treat every time you get near him -- to let the current patient out, the new patient in, and encourage the patients to praise him, Migo may start looking forward to your working.

You want to convince him he is not being punished. If this is the only time he doesn't come when called, I suspect learning he isn't being punished is all he needs. After all, trainers always tell you never to call your dog to you to punish him and, in Migo eyes, I think this is just what you've been doing.

(And don't feel guilty. It took me this long to realize that might be what is going on.)