27th January 2014, 03:10 PM
Remy the Runner...need some tips!
I have a 6mo. male cav. It is my first time owning this breed & I am totally in love!
Remy is an adorable love bug and he is definintaly "my" dog. He prefers to be with me, sit with me, sleep with me, etc...over other humans in our house (although he loves everyone!).
Here is the problem:
He will not come up to me when I need to take him out for potty or a walk or to kennnel when I need to leave. I spend quite awhile chasing him around the room until I can get him. Now, I'm sure he thinks it is a fun game as he is looking pretty happy while doing it! Meanwhile, I'm worn out from trying to contain him to get his harness/lead on...haha!
Unfortunally, I cannot just open my door and let him out. He does need to be picked up to be taken outside on a lead or into a small kennel area because our 2 acre yard is not fenced in. He only uses his small kennel for potty. I do walk him around on a lead in the yard and beyond for a good 30min. 2x a day.
Things I currently do:
I do say "Remy Come" and he loves coming because he gets a treat...but, he makes sure he stays far enough away so he can grab snack, but, I can't grab him. (I try this with a toy too & same results).
I try sitting calmly and let him come up to me--but, as soon as I reach for him, he runs.
I let him come up to me and just pet/play with him w/o picking him, hoping he will learn that everytime I call him dosen't mean he will be picked up--however, he still won't come up to me when I really need him to.
Is this a common characterisic for this breed? What tips would some of you expirenced cav owners have? Thanks for any suggestions!
27th January 2014, 07:22 PM
I don't have time to reply completely right now, sorry. But, stop letting him take the treat and run. In order to get the treat, he has to let you touch him. Sometimes just touch him and let him go, others actually pick him up. You can also teach him to come touch. Luke comes and touches his nose to my fist. So, he has to make contact with me.
28th January 2014, 12:43 AM
Cavaliers are smart, so smart they can train their owners. It sounds like Remy has taught you a really fun game Here's my advice. You are doing good by offering a treat as a reward however you are giving him the reward BEFORE he actually does the good thing to get it. I think the ACK Puppy Star training program would be wonderful for both you and Remy. Google it...worth every penny and second. Remy just needs to learn a few basic commands, he sounds smart so he should like it. In my opinion he should not be able to get a treat out of your hand without you being able to pick him up.
Fletcher went through a stage where he was getting really mouthy with the family. We were working on soft mouth but my kids didn't have the skills to calm him down so we used squeaky toys to distract him. We worked it out in a matter of no time.
"If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
28th January 2014, 03:49 PM
It's definitely a fun game with Remy. He may very well think that he is getting the treat for running away since he is rewarded for it. Very important that you reward only the behavior you want repeated. So, patience on your part is the name of the game. No treat until he is as close to you as you want him to be.
Another easier way to reinforce the touch command (be consistent with what you call it), is to use it all the time. You can reward at any point during the day --when he comes to sit on your lap, repeat the "command" and reward. In a short amount of time, he will come to associate "touch" with you touching him and getting a treat. He's young and smart, and will catch on quickly.
Good luck and keep us posted.
29th January 2014, 12:49 AM
Thanks all for the help. Actually, I started using the "touch" command yesterday when I read LukesMom response & it seems to be working---need to work at it much more, but, that may work!
You are right, I should not be giving him a treat until he comes to me....ha! you think I should know better...but, he is SO DARN cute! And he is also SO FAST! I'm used to my slow moving 13 year old lab who about knocks me over to have me put his lead on as soon as he sees it in my hand.
But, MomO & joandesan...yes, very smart little pup---has already picked up many commands.
29th January 2014, 01:36 AM
Remy sounds like a real smarty pants! He's going to keep you on your toes!
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29th January 2014, 02:46 AM
sorry, meant to come back and post some more. Here's a video on training to come when called. There's more on the site, but this one is a good place to start.
4th February 2014, 12:01 AM
Thank you for the link Lukesmom...I will be checking into it!
4th February 2014, 11:56 AM
An experienced trainer once gave me very good advice. If your dog doesn't want to come when called, don't stand there repeatedly calling him, because that merely reassures him that you are still around and will still be there when he finally decides to stop chasing a squirrel. Call him clearly once and walk away, preferably out of sight, so that he begins to worry when he can't hear you. If you adapt this for Remy, when you want to put him on lead (leave his harness on in the house) call him once and if he doesn't come properly, walk out of the room. Poor Remy, no game and not even a treat! Then open the door and call him again, just once, and when you have got his lead on make a big fuss of him. You also have an ideal training area in your big yard. Take him out on an extending lead with a pocket full of his very favourite treats and call him to you several times and reward him for coming, then let him run off again. On the whole, dogs are not naturally obedient - you have to make it worth their while in some way, either by verbal praise, a fuss, a game or a decent treat, so that they think the trade-off is worth it. Eventually it becomes an ingrained habit - but both my Cavaliers still get a treat out of my pocket when they come to have their leads put on at the end of a walk.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
5th February 2014, 01:25 PM
Two separate things here: one is recall generally, and the other is finding a good way to lure him when you want to leave.
If he's close enough to grab a snack, he really should be close enough to easily grab hold of? But actually, what you really want to do is to train him in the 1st place to come to you and then sit and allow you to touch his collar in order to take the snack. This is very easy to do–and is actually the basis for starting recall from a longer distance, which should always be done using a long lead. These are available all over the place–they tend to be 5 or 10 m long, and you can start by training him in the house, and then move to the outdoors.
You need to start from square one. And you need to do this a couple of times a day, and not at a time when you are actually trying to catch him. Because what is happening now is–he isn't being disobedient, he's just been taught that there's a whole game that happens around this issue of being caught–he gets a treat–and then he runs around in you chase after him, which reinforces that this is all a game ! It is a common issue–there is not one of us who has not accidentally reinforced a behavior or activity that we were actually trying to stop, by inadvertently rewarding the behavior.
So what you need to do do now is start with him on a short lead. Have high-value treats in one hand, or a little training pouch that you can buy & makes managing treats much easier. Most dogs will do anything for cubes of cheese (keep them small as they are caloric) or dried liver treats or specially designed training treats. This of course assumes you already have a good sit–when he is facing towards you hold a treat up over his head and gently move it backwards which will force him to sit then praise and give the treat. When he has figured out that he needs to sit and starts doing this automatically, that is when you add the word sit at exactly the time he begins to lower his behind to the ground. You don't start by giving a command in trying to make the dog do something or you end up with the situation that Kate describes–owners just end up calling out the same command over and over again, which only teaches the dog that the command is actually “sit sit sit sit sit sit sit” and never really needs to be paid attention to it cool! A command should never be repeated more than once.
Once you have the sit, then you can begin the recall. So, you have him on a short lead of the type you would use for going for walks. You have your treats in one hand or in the little trainer bag. Call his name cheerfully and show the treat. When he comes over, ask for a sit or better, wait for him to go into one automatically, as most dogs will do for a treat once they have a good sit. in a cheerful voice, tell him good boy several times, reach out to touch his collar and give him the treat. Every single time you want to be able to touch his collar with one hand while you give him the treat with the other so that he associates the action, and touching the collar has to be connected every single time to the recall and the sit. As soon as he begins to get the idea that he is to come over to you when you when you say his name, then start to link the action–as he moves toward to say come or come here–whatever you are going to consistently use as the command. When he comes to you and lets you touch his collar with one hand, then give him lots of praise as you treat him with the other.
Start to use the long lead for this. Initially, because it is so long, you can give him a certain amount of length and then just stand on it–say, about 10 feet of slack. Toss a treat out so that he goes the end of the line and wait for him to have that and then as he snuffles around, you want to give him the recall command, giving it only once. If he doesn't respond to it then start again with just calling his name in luring him to you and then start to reattach the command. Every time, he must sit down and let you touch his collar before he gets the treat. Soon you will have them out at the full length of the recall lead, and then you once you he is absolutely reliable, you can practice with him off the lead in a protected area–say a dog park, or maybe a friends fenced back garden.
At any rate, once you have the recall -- coming to you, sitting and letting you touch the collar, you are not to have any problems having him come to you where you can take his collar, clip on a lead, and either lead him out to potty, or to wherever you will be leaving him if you are going out of the house.
Some dogs, if food is not interesting, or if they are equally attracted to a toy, can have special toy on reserve that he gets to play with, with you, instead of being given the treat. Often this might be a tug toy. It's important that that toy never be available to the dog day in and day out–it is reserved just for training and so has a very special high-value association.
It sounds like perhaps the real starting point though is a good obedience class (rewards only class please -- not one where they jerk the dogs around by the neck and 'correct' ). for dogs that have never done obedience in a group setting, generally have not got great self-control because they've never learned to focus with distractions around them and they've never solidly learned basic commands. Once you have a dog that knows how to focus, and knows basic commands, it's a lot easier to start building up other activities. Plus, a trainer can help you deal with specific issues.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com