Two steps forward …and 3 back!!

10 Jan

I really enjoy training Rudy and Rio and usually we get some pretty good results as their breed, Working Cocker Spaniel, are naturally intelligent and keen to take instruction.

With that in mind we were doing some more recall whistle work and heel off lead etc the other day and all was going extremely well. Both dogs had had their free run to blast off some energy at the start and were enjoying the work. Yes I thought I’ve got this sussed!!! I tried something new but it didn’t quite happen!! I don’t know if it was because I didn’t show them clearly enough what I wanted or if it will start to sink in when we try again?

Basically I asked them both to sit and then tried to make Rio wait while Rudy walked to heel with me. Hmm…Rudy happily came but so did Rio!!! So I sat him again and tried to take just Rudy but again Rio came!! His little face was a picture!! He looked quite upset at being left out!! It was pitiful!! We tried a couple more times then I let him walk with us too and he was so happy his tail wagging frantically from side to side!!!

So back to the drawing board with that one for now but usually when we come back to something they seem to remember the idea and we will probably get on better next time!!! It certainly keeps me fit having to go back and forth so many times but when the penny drops and we achieve something new, the feeling is amazing!!!

Anyway just as we were walking back along the track in the direction of the car and I was cheerfully congratulating myself on the huge improvement Rudy and Rio had shown, a pheasant screeched from miles away. I was not quite quick enough to call the dogs back and quick as a flash both had ducked under the fence and shot off across the field heading for where they thought said pheasant may be!!!

Despite me calling and whistling repeatedly they were both struck stone deaf and carried on regardless!!! There followed a period of about 3/4 minutes when I was just stuck waiting for them to come back, whistling at intervals and getting madder and madder by the minute. Then I started to get slightly concerned as I couldn’t actually see them even in the furthest hedgerow but there was no way for me to get to them so I just had to wait…and wait…and wait!!!

Sorry Mum!!!

Sorry Mum!!!

Eventually I saw Rio coming back across the field but no sign of Rudy. The next minute Rudy appeared from a completely different direction!! Both dogs were shattered and I have no idea how far they had run but suffice to say the walk ended pretty abruptly then!!!

A horrible experience and one which made me realise dogs have their own minds and their own wills and they are not always going to listen to me when their instincts take over!!


5 Responses to “Two steps forward …and 3 back!!”

  1. 2browndawgs January 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    We used to let Thunder and Storm get out of the car and run a bit off lead before we started training. That was not a good idea for them because it was too much freedom in what should have been a structured setting. We cut back on that and their recall and on and off lead heeling improved. Freighter is having the structure from the start and that seems to work better for us. Of course we use e-collar just in case they bolt, but I realize that tool is not something everyone wants to use.

    • Jane Parry January 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Yeah I don’t really know much about the e collar? But as a post script to the above I bravely went back to the same place today and after a while Rudy made a break under the fence and got about 30 feet away but I bellowed and he stopped and came back!!
      Thats really interesting what you said re training from the word go. Maybe I will try that approach too.

  2. Pupplovesme January 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I have lost to many dogs to moving cars….and that’s why I never allow my dachshund out without a leash 🙂 I am afraid for her to have that much freedom as even though they have short legs they are super fast lol

    • Jane Parry January 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Yeah it’s a tough 1!! I probably wouldn’t let mine run free if I didn’t know the area or could see a road as they too are very speedy!!!

  3. Jodi January 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I’ve found that trying to train both at the same time is frustrating. I call one, they both come. 😦 What has been working for me is to have Hubby keep one back, or try to separate them somehow. If you’re working outside by yourself that might be difficult, but perhaps you could come up with a tie out system.

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