Thursday, 16 June 2011

Rhyme needs a reason :)

Rhyme is now 8 months old and filling out nicely. He is the most gorgeous dog in the world and works hard with his responsibilities relating to this i.e. he has to go and see everybody and dog to give them an opportunity to see him.
Recalls at home at excellent and fully understood by us both but I clearly don't understand that coming back on a walk is not good. Treats and toys in no way measure up to FREEDOM and RUNNING. Devo too had a problem with this I've been told it's a Devongem thing :). Luckily I live near the polo fields at Tidworth. A massive area of flat grass and mostly enclosed with a good view of anything else around so I am gradually helping Rhyme understand that FREEDOM & RUNNING are allowed and coming back is just part of it all.
Today was a good experience. Firstly Rhyme is not allowed off with the others until they've let off steam and he's chosen to eat the treats offered for loose lead walking.This can take a while but he is not allowed off until we get that. He is then allowed off to run and be a dog with the others. Throughout the walk everyone is asked to lie down and given rewards - Rhyme likes this game and finds it easy especially as once everyone has had treats they are all released and race - RUNNING :) :)
When we get near the trees I call him back regularly to give him a stick. I never throw sticks for my dogs but both Devo and Rhyme love to carry them. Once he has his stick I say ok and then he can RUN with the stick. Today we also jumped onto a tree trunk and stopped to pose for a photo. It's his choice to be with us and he happily stayed for the picture above.
So far so good - then in the distance coming towards us I saw somebody with a dog. No problem loads of room so I walked across the field. Rhyme looked then chose us and came back for a reward. Rhyme looked again and once again chose us and the reward. Rhyme looked again and the lady threw something for her dog. Rhyme chose the dog. We chose to run in the opposite direction. As he reached the dog the lady whistled her dog and I called Rhyme - he came running and stayed with us :) :).
A stumbling block is approaching the van as he knows that FREEDOM will be over. I decided to forewarn him of the fact we were "going to the van" to see what would happen. He just ran off in the opposite direction as soon as I had spoken - no hesitation. Perfect understanding of speech -he is so clever. I did what everyone advises not to, laughed. I couldn't help it. He went back to the water trough and led down. I just continued walking towards the dreaded van. When I glanced over my shoulder he sat up and looked at me. I called the other dogs and asked them to lie down. Called him once and he ran and led down very dramatically too, took his reward and happily let me put his lead on and walked beside me back to the van.
So Rhyme needs a reason to come back - not a toy but something to do with no fuss. I've cracked the recall nut - just need to try it with distractions LOL