My 21 weeks old choc lab puppy, has been great with her training, however he recall is dreadful she totally refuses to come when called outside and also refuses to take any other command outside. we give her treats as her reward when she will eventually come when asked but ignores us most of the time. inside she is really good. we can't understand what's wrong and more so how to put it right.
i stopped taking her to training classes as she has been very will with a gut infection then when we did take her back she caught kennel cough.
i have just purchased a book for training her from. but like i said recall is the only problem we have with her.
Labs are intelligent and eager to please, and as you seem to be doing well with her in general I wouldn't worry too much about this.
"Come" or the "recall" is notoriously difficult to teach, and if you don't do it correctly from day one it can take a while for your pup to respond.
The key here is to never tell her to "come" if you don't have the means to compel her to do so. She should never have the option to ignore you! Once she's mastered a command, it's also important to practice in all situations and settings, with all sorts of distractions, so that she doesn't associate having to obey with just being at home.
From now on, only practice the recall when you have your pup on a leash, a long training leash or even a 10 - 15 foot rope is fine. When you call her to "come", give her a gentle tug on the leash, and encourage her to come towards you. DOn't just 'reel her in', but make sure she actually does come to you. Then praise and reward her. Practice this several times each session, and at least two sessions per day. Don't call her to come to you in any other situation or unless she's on her leash or training rope and you can enforce the command. If you need her at another time, go and get her. This is because she needs to 'forget' that she ever had the option to NOT come.
Puppies are creatures of habit, and with enough repetition she will start to respond automatically to the recall. Once she does that you can try it in a small area, in a non-distracting environment. Don't rush it or you may undo the good work you will have laid by that point.
I can appreciate that you didn't want her to keep getting sick, but she should be fully vaccinated by now and have immunity to serious illnesses. I would really recommend putting her back in obedience class, because this will help in all areas of training and socialization too.
Hopefully you now have a good book to help you work with her (you can see the one I recommend on my Dog Training Books page too). Just follow the guidelines, practice every day, and enroll her in school and she should be fine.
Best of luck.
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