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I've got a 2-year old golden that is wonderful at home, wonderful at the dog park, and... mostly wonderful on walks. When he's leashed he is fine. Even unleashed in my yard if we're playing he's happy and follows commands.

However, if he doesn't want to come inside when we're done playing, or if I let him out to pee and he wants to run around, he'll book it full speed into the neighbor's back yard. He refuses to respond to ANY commands until he's basically done whatever he set out to do: either sniff something, run in the creek, eat the neighbor's cat food he leaves outside, or poop in the shadows where I'll never find it to pick it up.

Beyond being frustrating, it's an awful habit for him to get in to. I need him to respond to something like "sit" or "come" 100% of the time, and I don't want this "freedom to wander" thing to take hold.

However, I know you can't punish a dog when he DOES come, and you can't punish him by chasing him, so I'm at a loss for how to let him know the behavior is bad. I've been considering an E-collar to handle these exact situations, but I don't know much about them and the difference between the $100 ones and the $300 ones.

Any golden vets have advice for dealing with these puppy troubles?
 

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The ecollar worked for me. I used to have trouble getting Bella to come in the house too. Not any more. I still don't use the "come" command for this, but probably could. My command is "peanut butter." She gets a lick off of a popcicle stick when she gets in the house. Even with that, it wasn't always easy to get her in the door. She was too busy running around looking for sticks to swallow. I haven't even had to use the ecollar to get her to come in now, but she knows that I could.


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Spend some time teaching him to recall. Don't let him out without a leash or longline - so that he can't 'book it' into the neighbour's yard across the street or down the road - for his own safety. Recall is built with time and practice and rewarding him for coming (make it worth his while) lots of praise, yummy treats, a party etc. Since he has learned that 'taking off' is rewarding it is going to take some extra time and patience for him to build a solid recall, but it will be worth the effort.
In all fairness to him, before you consider punishing him for running off, take the time to teach him a reliable recall - it could save his life.
 

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Buy a thirty to fifty foot line and let him drag it around. Before you call him, step on the line so he can't go anywhere
 

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I've got a 2-year old golden that is wonderful at home, wonderful at the dog park, and... mostly wonderful on walks. When he's leashed he is fine. Even unleashed in my yard if we're playing he's happy and follows commands.

However, if he doesn't want to come inside when we're done playing, or if I let him out to pee and he wants to run around, he'll book it full speed into the neighbor's back yard. He refuses to respond to ANY commands until he's basically done whatever he set out to do: either sniff something, run in the creek, eat the neighbor's cat food he leaves outside, or poop in the shadows where I'll never find it to pick it up.

Beyond being frustrating, it's an awful habit for him to get in to. I need him to respond to something like "sit" or "come" 100% of the time, and I don't want this "freedom to wander" thing to take hold.

However, I know you can't punish a dog when he DOES come, and you can't punish him by chasing him, so I'm at a loss for how to let him know the behavior is bad. I've been considering an E-collar to handle these exact situations, but I don't know much about them and the difference between the $100 ones and the $300 ones.

Any golden vets have advice for dealing with these puppy troubles?
If you decide to get an ecollar, don't buy the $100 one. I've heard most of those use expensive lithium batteries that drain very fast. IMO, you probably don't need a $300 model either. Check Gun Dog Supply for recommendations. You'll probably end up with the same model I have.

Having said that, I researched extensively how to use the ecollar, and talked to several people I know who use them for their hunting dogs, and have still made some mistakes. Nothing major, but it isn't something to be taken lightly. Fortunately, I have a good dog who bails me out when I screw up. Finding someone who knows how to use them to help you get started wouldn't be a bad idea.


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Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately you have taught your dog that he can choose not to listen to your recall. To be fair to the dog I would put the pup on the long line and retrain the recall using rewards for the dog coming to you. I would follow Charliethree's suggestions.
 

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Right from the start with Roxy now 16 months , if she came in first call there was lots of praise and maybe a tiny treat. If she came second call a pat on the head good girl. Third call a stern pointing finger to her mat. Now 99% she comes first call. The finger has not been used for months.
 

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Right from the start with Roxy now 16 months , if she came in first call there was lots of praise and maybe a tiny treat. If she came second call a pat on the head good girl. Third call a stern pointing finger to her mat. Now 99% she comes first call. The finger has not been used for months.
I have to disagree with that. Never scold your dog, or have them do something they don't like immediately after a recall...even if it takes 20 minutes to rein her in. I would actually jackpot with treats and praise. Make it seem like the best thing they've ever done. In addition, I would suggest giving a small treat and praise every time your dog comes up to you for a while, regardless of whether you gave a command.
 

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An e collar could be a good choice. I like sports dog brand and they vary in price depending on distance . They are extremely well made and waterproof. Have about 8 to 16 different levels of stimulation and has a beep only mode/vibration mode. I set mine in lowest setting which is anywhere between 1-3. I tested on my self and the kids b/c they thought it was fun, anyway it's a small zap and doesn't really hurt at that level. It only takes a couple of times before they understand to obey and I'm too the point where I very rarely give a zap or only just push beep button . My oldest golden is obedient but when I first let her out she would bolt to neighbors lanai with two mean pit bulls. And I had another dog that would bolt down drive way. It's a safety issue so this gives dog freedom with still good control. Just make sure it's on lowest setting . The dog should not yelp with stimulation . GUN DOG SUPPLY: Hunting Dog Training Collars & Supplies for Retrievers & Bird Dogs is a website that I found helpful
 

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Bear and I are retraining recall right now. He was great as a puppy but as winter set in, I got lax (lazy!!!) and didn't want to venture out to haul his butt in when he didn't obey. And when I finally got up the steel to go fetch him, he turned it into a "can't catch me" game. Lets face it. He can run circles around me.

Well I found a thread called "rock-solid recall" here on GFR and it said really helped me out. Now I let him out, once he's out of sight (fenced yard) I stuff my pockets with treats of various value. I am outside with him within a minute and as soon as I get out (barring any pottying he is in the midst of doing) I will call his name (which is our look at me) then call come as soon as he gets to me, i lavish on the praise and I feed him treat after treat after treat for 30 seconds. Then I let him go back to playing. I do this 6-10 times before having to call him back inside.

We've been working on this twice a day for ~10-15 mins each (including play time) for a week and I can now call him off mid-chase and when he runs to me, he has the happiest look on his face. I'll look for the link.


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I have to disagree with that. Never scold your dog, or have them do something they don't like immediately after a recall...even if it takes 20 minutes to rein her in. I would actually jackpot with treats and praise. Make it seem like the best thing they've ever done. In addition, I would suggest giving a small treat and praise every time your dog comes up to you for a while, regardless of whether you gave a command.[/quote
I don't scold her ever! I just don't say anything I point to her mat and she goes. Her mat is not punishment it is her spot. She knows I am not pleased with a 3rd call. She stays on her mat until I call her over which is usually within a minute. No treat. And like I stated I have not had to call her more than twice in months.
 

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If you decide to get an ecollar, don't buy the $100 one. I've heard most of those use expensive lithium batteries that drain very fast. IMO, you probably don't need a $300 model either. Check Gun Dog Supply for recommendations. You'll probably end up with the same model I have.

Having said that, I researched extensively how to use the ecollar, and talked to several people I know who use them for their hunting dogs, and have still made some mistakes. Nothing major, but it isn't something to be taken lightly. Fortunately, I have a good dog who bails me out when I screw up. Finding someone who knows how to use them to help you get started wouldn't be a bad idea.


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I could not agree more with this. E collars can be a great training tool but you need to learn how to use it. Just putting it on the dog and pushing the button wont help and could drive the dog farther away from you.

Get the long line (I just buy a rope and tie on a clip for a total investment of $5) and start there. Don't give your dog the ability to blow you off. At the first refusal, start hauling him in as fast as you can. No scolding once you get him back. If part way back he gives up the fight and comes in willingly, then you can praise him. If you have to haul him all the way I would ignore him and put him in the house.

If you do go the e collar route - I really like the Tritronics collars. They are more money but they last and their customer service is good. Get a collar conditioning dvd before you put the collar on the dog.
 
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Have some really tasty treats on hand. Put a long line on her, and if she doesn't listen reel her in. This is what I've been doing with my boy, Diego. After a few minutes I took the leash off him and he came every time. What's helped the most is rewarding him with his favorite toy, a tennis ball. It's so simple and easy, so if it were me I wouldn't bother getting an ecollar.

I've found that if Diego's a little distracted with the environment, running away from him and making high pitched noises gets him more interested in me. He loves to chase too, so that's also another idea for you. Also, have you ever thought about getting a whistle? I'm looking into getting one myself.
 

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I'm with the folks who say to first re-work his recall. You need that no matter what. You've gotten some good suggestions above. Basically, until your dog is completely trustworthy, you have to have a leash or long line on him when he goes out.

This is a good article by a highly respected trainer that might give you some ideas. http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...le-when-allow-dogs-off-leash.html#post1942602
 

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Of course, rework the recall even if you get the ecollar, but why not put up a fence? I will tell you if my neighbor's dog was pooping in my yard, and eating my cat's food, I would be plenty upset about it. There are plenty of stories out there about dogs getting kicked or even shot for entering a neighbor's property.


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