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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious if anyone could advise me on training the perfect recall...or "come" command. When mine get in a frenzy in the yard (or even just determined to remain sunbathing in the yard) they won't even acknowledge me:foxes15::foxes15::foxes15:
So what type obedience/training methods have you used that are effective for the Chi's:confused:
 

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I am a big recall person, it is so important for safety. I think the key is EVERY TIME you call your dog to you you need to give them a treat. EVERY TIME. Literally, in the house, short distances, EVERY TIME. And don't use your recall word if you are calling them to do something unpleasant, instead go to the dog get them (unless it is an emergency of course). I also start teaching recall on a leash so that they have no choice but to come to you. Also make sure even if it is a struggle to get them that you make it a party when they come to you. If you are mad or frustrated they will not see it as a reward when they finally do come- chihuahuas are very sensitive that way IMO- more so than a lot of other dogs.

Once you have a good recall on leash you can move onto bigger areas and higher distraction environments. The biggest mistake you can make in the beginning is to set them up for failure. Every time you unsuccessfully recall them you are making that command mean less and less to them.
 

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To start with my puppy I would take treats on my walks and randomly I would call "kerri come here" and start running in the other direction (dogs naturally will want to follow you). When she came running after me I would give her a treat. Then I would start just calling her name and stopping, once she got to my feet I would give her a treat. I think that is a good and simple way to start- but there are a lot of little recall games you can play to start with, I am curious to hear other methods. There are about 100 different ways to train a recall.
 

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I have a huge backyard. I started the recall with giving them treats outside randomly, shaking the bag each time. Then I would say, Time to come in, and stand by the gate and shake the bag of treats. Now I stand in the house and shake the package of freeze dried duck or chicken treats and they all come running.
 

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I clap two times and that means "come back to me"; or I call out "Home" and they run
back to the back door. I've had to use that a number of times when wildlife begins to
invade the back yard. I started both of those cues when I first brought Tabitha and
Jerry home. As pups, they followed me like the Pied Piper; so, adding a command or a
signal was secondary at first. Most importantly, be consistent with whatever you are
going to use. Hope your training goes well :)
 

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I cant improve on whats been said - Honey was trained with yummy treats, on a lead first of all, so i would get her in a sit-stay, walk off a little bit, then when she would naturally follow me, i would say Come! So she knew that Come meant to come to me. Progressed with going outside on the lead, then letting her wander off on the lead and saying Come! I treat every time, if for some reason i dont have a treat kicking about she gets a big fuss and a love. I never say Come to get her in the house when shes playing outside or something, for that i use In. I dont let her off the lead when we are out walking anyway, but i feel confident she would come when called.
 

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It's really important that if you give the recall command, and they ignore you, that you go out and get them and reel them into you. Even getting away with it ONCE will usually spoil them on a reliable recall. Then you end up standing out there yelling 'come here! Now! Come here! Come on!" and so forth while the dog just ignores you. So mean what you say and be prepared to back it up. :)

Having said that, the FASTEST and most reliable recall for Brody is to stand out on the deck and yell COOKIES! He will drop whatever he is doing and dash in.
 

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We are going through some intense in-home training.

They have given us these cool little linked chains. They are teaching us (we are the ones paying well to get trained...haha!) just to rattle the chain in one hand, call out to one girl and I swear, all 3 heads look up. For now, we drop the chains and they touch it with their nose and are treated. Eventually, he says we will be at the point that we can rattle the chains in our hand and all heads will pop up. We add the name and those not named will keep doing what they were doing.

He used a great example. He said if we received an email from the the CEO of our corporation, we'd be right on it. Once we opened it and saw that it was just to one division (which was not ours), we could relax and carry on.

Working great already when associated with treats (my piggies are very treat motivated). Hoping it works as well when it is with no treats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THANK YOU to everyone who replied :)
I had a get together with some border collie moms and we were talking about how "intense" the BCs get during agility/flyball/frisbee etc... and how the "perfect recall" was important to get them to refocus on the owner/trainer.
It's funny, I think our Chi's are every bit as "intense" when they are focused on something as my BC. Unfortunately, the training methods need to be a bit different due to their size difference and what "turns the dog on/off".
My biggest challenge is finding a new "turn on" for the Chi's. Right now "loading up" in their "go" crate is the favorite, and I can't use that unless we really are going somewhere! Treat's are okay, but not always convenient and I am picky about what and how much they eat--lol.
DOES ANYONE HAVE A FAVORITE GAME their Chis like to play? This could be used as the new "turn on".
 

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DOES ANYONE HAVE A FAVORITE GAME their Chis like to play? This could be used as the new "turn on".
For Brody, if he's reluctant on coming in from outside, I just squeak a toy and he comes running. It's probably just a matter of trying different things or else training hard for a bomb proof recall which will probably require a personal trainer and one on one for awhile.

When I was doing competitive obedience, we had to train for an immediate and fast bomb proof recall and it's pretty extreme. But you do end up with a dog that will absolutely listen to everything you say and come immediately when called. It's just deciding if its worth the effort to train for that? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For Brody, if he's reluctant on coming in from outside, I just squeak a toy and he comes running. It's probably just a matter of trying different things or else training hard for a bomb proof recall which will probably require a personal trainer and one on one for awhile.

When I was doing competitive obedience, we had to train for an immediate and fast bomb proof recall and it's pretty extreme. But you do end up with a dog that will absolutely listen to everything you say and come immediately when called. It's just deciding if its worth the effort to train for that? ;)
I love the "bomb proof recall" Tracy! YES, that's what I want and have with my BC (and all my previous shelties---who in all fairness were trained properly and formally, as we competed) but do NOT have yet with the Chi's. This is my new obsession....the perfect Chihuahua recall ;) I think I have one heck of a challenge ahead of me, but am happy to take the time because the results are so rewarding (and possibly lifesaving) as you know.:)
 

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We have a "bomb proof" recall with Kerri- but it was something I was dedicated to and put a lot of time into from the day we got her. Knowing I wanted an agility dog gave me a lot of motivation to get a perfect recall. I can recall that dog off anything- at any time. Our other dog- not so much. I also do agility and rally with him- but he is just not that intense or motivated. He is part beagle so if he smells something good I have to physically pull him away from it. I can say "leave it" and he will not actually pick up roadkill for instance- but he will stay there staring at it until I go pick him up and remove him. Maybe if I had him since he was a puppy- or maybe all dogs are not meant for perfect recall. Luckily he loves agility and stays on point most of the time- but without great recall he is never actually going to win anything at agility or obedience. That's ok though- he still has a good time.

Personally I see a lot of similarities between chis and BCs. I have never owned a BC, but we take classes with them so I am not BC expert but I do interact with a lot of them. First of all they are both very smart dogs who can be a little twitchy (noise phobias, cautious with new people etc...) they also can be very high energy and need to learn where to direct that energy. They also seem to overall be "softer" dogs who can get quite upset with harsher training methods (they are both dogs who I have seen turn into puddles of mush on the floor easily when yelled at for instance). The main advantage I feel I have as a chi owner is that while chis can be intense- they tend to be intensely focused on a person, where the BCs get intensely focused on other things. If anything that gives the chis a leg up on the BCs when it comes to recall.

That's just my 2 cents- I try not to generalize breeds but it is just something I see and I could be way off. Overall I seem to have better luck with the training strategies that work for the BC people than those that work for like the terrier or poodle crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have a "bomb proof" recall with Kerri- but it was something I was dedicated to and put a lot of time into from the day we got her. Knowing I wanted an agility dog gave me a lot of motivation to get a perfect recall. I can recall that dog off anything- at any time. Our other dog- not so much. I also do agility and rally with him- but he is just not that intense or motivated. He is part beagle so if he smells something good I have to physically pull him away from it. I can say "leave it" and he will not actually pick up roadkill for instance- but he will stay there staring at it until I go pick him up and remove him. Maybe if I had him since he was a puppy- or maybe all dogs are not meant for perfect recall. Luckily he loves agility and stays on point most of the time- but without great recall he is never actually going to win anything at agility or obedience. That's ok though- he still has a good time.

Personally I see a lot of similarities between chis and BCs. I have never owned a BC, but we take classes with them so I am not BC expert but I do interact with a lot of them. First of all they are both very smart dogs who can be a little twitchy (noise phobias, cautious with new people etc...) they also can be very high energy and need to learn where to direct that energy. They also seem to overall be "softer" dogs who can get quite upset with harsher training methods (they are both dogs who I have seen turn into puddles of mush on the floor easily when yelled at for instance). The main advantage I feel I have as a chi owner is that while chis can be intense- they tend to be intensely focused on a person, where the BCs get intensely focused on other things. If anything that gives the chis a leg up on the BCs when it comes to recall.

That's just my 2 cents- I try not to generalize breeds but it is just something I see and I could be way off. Overall I seem to have better luck with the training strategies that work for the BC people than those that work for like the terrier or poodle crowd.
Great insight:) That is wonderful that you are doing agility with Kerri. I live where the classes aren't feasible(very expensive) and quite limited.:( But luckily years ago I trained for many a year...now I just have to go back to memory (that in itself is a challenge--lol).
You are correct on the BCs getting intensely focused on things. My Chi's however (well, two in particular) are the same...they prefer the "distractions" over "me" right now. My other 2 are good at focusing on me mostly, but still have tremendous room for the lifesaving recall.
My biggest irk is that it was easier with the shelties and BC due to training with a collar vs a harness. Mine only wear the harness for training or walks. A collar can be left on the dog most of the time if desired. My chi's have never worn a collar due to the trachea issues. What do you use for your classes? If you are up to giving any training advise, I would be happy to PM you my contact info;) OMG, I think I am as obsessive as my BC:laughing4:
 

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Great insight:) That is wonderful that you are doing agility with Kerri. I live where the classes aren't feasible(very expensive) and quite limited.:( But luckily years ago I trained for many a year...now I just have to go back to memory (that in itself is a challenge--lol).
You are correct on the BCs getting intensely focused on things. My Chi's however (well, two in particular) are the same...they prefer the "distractions" over "me" right now. My other 2 are good at focusing on me mostly, but still have tremendous room for the lifesaving recall.
My biggest irk is that it was easier with the shelties and BC due to training with a collar vs a harness. Mine only wear the harness for training or walks. A collar can be left on the dog most of the time if desired. My chi's have never worn a collar due to the trachea issues. What do you use for your classes? If you are up to giving any training advise, I would be happy to PM you my contact info;) OMG, I think I am as obsessive as my BC:laughing4:
My chi wears a collar for ID purposes but I walk on a harness and when we were on leash with agility we used a harness, but now I don't need a leash for training but she still wears a harness. I use it similar to a tab leash- the harness is more like something for me to grab onto or to hold her back with when she is really revved up. We took puppy class wearing a harness and basic obedience but now when we are working on obedience stuff I just put her on a collar. A collar will only cause trachea issues if they pull or if you pull on them, so if your dog is well trained enough not to pull then wearing a collar from time to time is not going to do any harm. Honestly I think it has made me better at training my dog to not be able to rely on a collar and leash. I really have to think about controlling them verbally and with body signals- the leash is just there so they can't escape. I tried to work this way with my other dog- but with the leash there it is just so easy! With my chi I am worried about causing long term damage so I really HAVE to not use to collar for physical corrections or control. It is a new experience and takes a lot of getting used to- but I think my other dog (or at least his neck) has benefited from my change of ways too.

Feel free to PM me anytime! I would say I am sorry you don't have any agility near you- but then I saw where you live. I would give up most luxuries so I could live there! I was born and raised in Miami- I think every Miami girls dream is to live in the keys! Other than the one evacuation route and lack of work doing what I do it is really my dream home.
 

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The information here has been really helpful. I just started training Gemma to "come" and she's doing really well. I give her a piece of food every single time. And I never ask her to come to me when I am going to wipe her face, put her harness on, or do something else unpleasant. She's catching on so fast! Thank you guys for all the advice posted.
 

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Oreo is my only dog that won't respond to me on recall, I am working with her but she is stubborn headed. All three know the word Load up, which is the same as come here.

To get Boo's attention from distraction all I have to say is Mama's Girl, and Honey is leaves! They all know the emergency command. Once I have their attention I will hold my hand out in a stop position and in loud authoritave voice say DOWN, I keep repeating Down, hand out, calmly walking towards them keeping eye contact until I get to them. This is only used for emergencies, a car coming, a dog/animal, or imminent danger and was there very first outside command.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OMG...just when I was seeing much progress with my 2 full timers ( Alvin & Ziggy----Vanessa & Clapton are my hubby's full timers since we are apart except for weekends) the weekend "chi party" as we call it started again. All 4 Chi's were doing quite well....until the owner of the house next door arrived ( they only visit their vaca home a couple times a month) with their bull dog puppy. Let me just say, all hell broke loose...on my side of the fence that is. It was another embarrassing frenzie. It was like a pack of hyenas. The bull puppy was just fine & even found my pack boring & trotted off. Finally my husband & I got them all inside :( WHY WHY WHY must they act this way? Once everyone starts calming down, one of them always gives off that one barking last word that fires them all up again! :foxes15::foxes15::foxes15::foxes15::foxes15:
 

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I am a big recall person, it is so important for safety. I think the key is EVERY TIME you call your dog to you you need to give them a treat. EVERY TIME. Literally, in the house, short distances, EVERY TIME. And don't use your recall word if you are calling them to do something unpleasant, instead go to the dog get them (unless it is an emergency of course). I also start teaching recall on a leash so that they have no choice but to come to you. Also make sure even if it is a struggle to get them that you make it a party when they come to you. If you are mad or frustrated they will not see it as a reward when they finally do come- chihuahuas are very sensitive that way IMO- more so than a lot of other dogs.

Once you have a good recall on leash you can move onto bigger areas and higher distraction environments. The biggest mistake you can make in the beginning is to set them up for failure. Every time you unsuccessfully recall them you are making that command mean less and less to them.
Thank you for this info , I will start with Amberleah lou lou she wont come to me when I cal her. And when she dos she get close for me to get her then runs or backs up from me. GRR!!!
 
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