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Old 03-15-2011, 09:21 AM
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Need to train my 2 year old retriever

Hi, I am a new member and this is my first post. I have a 2 year old female golden and she is is a very playful and good dog. Great with all kids, no accidents ever in house even when she was a young puppy. In the house she listens to all commands. But when she gets outside in the backyard she doesn't listen to any commands and wont come in until I have to go get her. Also, she recently tries to sneak out the front door behind one of the little kids when they open it, when successful she will not come back, I have to chase her down the block until she tires herself out(which takes awhile). Any suggestions on how I can get her to listen when she is outside and to not run. Thank you for any and all advice!
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:41 AM
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Is your yard fenced in? If it isnt you should keep her on a leash or a tie out and let her play out there for awhile while being supervised. Taking her on a daily long walk will also help. She is still young and very playful. I have a very playful female as well and I try to tire out her mentally as well. I hide treats in her treat balls and it takes her a long time to get at them. Also freeze peanut butter in a kong and give it to her. When you mentally tire her out she may be less likely to try to sneak out. She sounds like a sweet typical young golden. Good luck to you!
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:42 AM
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Obedience classes?

While you're waiting to get into the class, start working her on leash on her commands, first in the house, then in the back yard, then in the front yard, then on the sidewalk, park, in front of the store, on a bus, on a train, in a box, with a fox.... well you get the idea. Training doesn't really count if it's only in the living room of the house, she has to relearn everything in other places too.

For the door issue, get a long leash, about 20 feet or so, and leave that on her in the house (cut off the hand loop so it doesn't get caught on anything, or just set up this exercise). Have the end of the leash in your hand or you can even tie it to something solid in the house, with enough room for her to actually get outside (on leash) if she decides to. You have little kids around, they can help with this. Get some really good treats and have them by the door - dried liver, cheese, hot dogs.... when the door gets opened, you make a big fuss about 'oh let's have a treat!' and get her to come to you for a treat. You can work it up to having her sit and wait for that treat till the door is shut. The idea being you want her to think 'oh when someone comes to the door, I'm going to get some great treats!'.

For the running off thing, there's some great threads on here about recalls. Again it's about retraining (both of you) so it's a different game.

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Old 03-15-2011, 09:47 AM
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I kinda suggest taking her to a "household manners" obedience class (usually obedience 1, but different training clubs have different terms for it).

The reason why I say that is I've found with my own dogs and dealing with something I'm new at that there is a huge difference between taking advice off the internet or a book and using it to train your dog and taking advice that you see demonstrated in a hands on and involved dog class. Case in point - tricks. I bought a book with the idea of teaching my older golden various tricks to keep his brain working. The main thing I found is that since there was no "show and tell" involved as at class, I slacked off the daily training necessary to teach a trick.

For the open front door lunging, keep a collar on your dog in the house. And practice manners when you go outside with her through that front door. My guys are told to wait until I step outside and tell them OK.

And until my guys are trustworthy off leash, the above training is done on leash and is followed through with border training. And I repeat it many times a day.

Border training means you walking your dog along the perimeter of your yard and correcting her (simple no, and sidestepping into the yard with your dog to gain her attention) when she steps over the line and rewarding her when she moves into the yard when told "home".

And you need to take your dog out on long line a LOT in the front yard. Make the front yard a little less exciting with frequent walks around out there with you. That long line needs to be connected to you and you should pull your dog back into the yard if she goes anywhere near the border line.

And bringing your dog back inside from the front yard means that she always without fail gets praise and reward inside the front door.

If your dog goes stray and you bring her back and scold her in your yard and inside the front door, this just teaches her to avoid getting caught because she knows you are mad at her. <- This was the hardest lesson we had to learn with previous dogs during their runaround years.

Letting your dog out loose in the backyard could be on long line until your dog learns that coming when you call her means she gets a reward at the back door or inside the back door every single time.

Again, doing the dog class route will help you learn the tools to teach your dog to come and to wait. And it will also teach you the correct way to reward or correct your dog. <- A while back I walked past a guy who was training his terrior just outside a grocery store. The guy was correcting his dog COMPLETELY WRONG and it was on the tip of my tongue to tell him so. A correction done the wrong way will either make your dog neurotic or more likely will simply reinforce evasive behaviors.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:57 AM
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I agree with all the comments above. Besides, going to training classes is a lot of fun, and you will learn so much you can do with your dog.

I also recommend the long leash to let her out to potty, that way when you say come, you can reel the dog in when you call. Dogs MUST come EVERY time when called it is for their safety, so you are right you need to fix this. When your dog is IN the house, you can reward her with a treat. Do not do that until the dog is in, and the door is shut. As you work with your dog, only treat if the dog comes on it's own, and you do not lure it in. Then sporadically, not all the time, as time progresses.

When you take your dog out to a park or something use the long leash again, and as the dog gets distracted call to you. Same procedure as coming in the house. It helps the dog learn. Use a consistent command each time so the dog learns one word. As it comes to you mark it with a positive tone, of "yes" if the dog veers off in another direction, mark it with a 'no'. Your dog will learn.

Lastly, about running out when your kids go out... long leash on in the house. If you can have your kids help you, have them tell you, put the dog in a sit, you pick up the leash, as the door opens if your dog moves from the sit, give a leash correction (snap) so it learns to stay until released. Then when the door closes, go to the dog, reward (pet, treat, praise) and release. I belong to the theory, sit means sit, until you give another command, your dog should not move. However consistency is key. You can't practice sometimes, it must be always.

Good luck
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:39 AM
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thank you to all of you with replies to my post. She is such a sweet and lovable dog BUT she drives me nuts when I have to run for her down the street. And to the person who asked, my yard is fenced, so I will usually let her run around the yard without a leash until recently. It is just upsetting that doesnt respond to me at all when outside. Completely opposite of when she is inside. I am going to try some of the very good ideas that you all have suggested as well as look into some training classes. i am determined to nip this in the butt. Please keep any suggestions coming in. Thanks again!
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:54 AM
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It's tough making the jump from inside to outside! I'm in the process of doing the same with a 5 month old male (Wakefield). He completed puppy class a couple of weeks ago and is starting his Good Manners class Thursday. His recall is almost perfect in the house. I bought a 50 foot lead which seems to work really well. He can zoom around enough to get tired, and get far away enough to think that he has some freedom. After several sessions, he's beginning to get the picture - he needs to COME even if he's found the best stick in the world. Reward, praise and repetition. We don't have a fenced area so he'll be on a leash for a while.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:18 PM
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get a long tie and work on come with her in your back yard. Let her sniff around and feel like she's not on the line. Then tell her to come. If she doesn't come, guide her back by tightening the line back to you. Treat and make a big deal! Repeat repeat repeat. It will take a lot of these trainings for her to get good at this - just don't use the command unless she is on a line and is forced to come to you in the beginning or you'll lose a lot of steam with that.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:20 PM
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Definitely enroll her in an obedience course, and work on having her behave with distractions, there are so many sights & sounds in the backyard that are more interesting than listening, make it fun, happy, and give her lots of praise/treats when she does listen outside. Shellie hasn't ever bolted out the door, but I've had dogs in the past that did, what worked well is turning around and walking the opposite direction, to them being out front is a game and having you chase them is part of the fun, if you don't chase most of the time they will come right to you.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:55 PM
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It is called conditional learning. Once you start training in other areas, she will start improving. Definitely enroll in a training class (go to more than one). Start doing the long lead as suggested while outside. Don't make the mistake of calling her to come several times before you start reeling her in. This just teaches her she does not need to come until the 9th or 10th time - if even at that. It's pretty much just like kids. They learn really quickly, but you definitely have to be consistent and keep at it.
Good luck!
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