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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20221
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a 7 year old rescue collie lab cross who we have had

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I have a 7 year old rescue collie lab cross who we have had since she was around 7 months old. We recently moved and with new walks I seem to have lost control of the dog. She just goes off hunting returning when she wants. In the past she has been good about returning to the whistle and on the whole not gone far.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
Did you have a set route you walked at your old home?
How long since she has had a refresher course in obedience?
Do you always use a whistle or is there another signal you use as well?
Has she had a senior check up at all?
does she have any unusual shedding?
Are you only using treats when she comes back to you when she gets too far away or doesn't respond immediately?
Have you tried anything else?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I did have a set route at the old home (well one or two set routes). At the new walk I am doing different routes. Do you think it would help to have a set one or two again?

She has never had a refresher course just one when we first got her.

I whistle myself or use a dog whistle and call her.

She has just had her booster vaccinations so has been seen by a vet.

I give her treats when she comes back however long I have been calling her.

No I have not tried anything else.


I might pick up your answer tomorrow. I think I will be asleep in 30 mins.




Thanks for the additional information, it is helpful. You have moved and everything is new to her and she feels she needs to investigate everything and all the new places which takes her away from you. Keeping to one or two routes will get her used to those areas and lessen the chance she will be tempted to investigate (go off on her own). Her hearing might also have suffered as she becomes older and the whistle she might have heard fine at one point might not be as clear to her now. What you might consider is a remote trainer and use the tone only function to call her back to you. The come with a tone/shock or tone only function.

You would need to train her to come when she hears the tone. In most cases trainers will let the dog roam a little way off and then call the dog in the traditional manner and if she doesn't obey, do the tone/shock correction. This usually has the dog coming back immediately. However, I find that you can condition the dog to a tone recall by using the normal manner of recall, along with the tone only and rewarding her with praise and a tasty treat like a vienna sausage slice or liver sliver. It usually doesn't take the dog long to associate the tone with the command and obeying by coming with getting a treat. If she is becoming hard of hearing, she may hear the tone better than the whistle especially since it comes from the collar.

I recommend that you start in your own home or enclosed area so she is more likely to obey. Once in a while during the first week of training, try the tone only and if she responds, give her extra treats eventually only using the tone to call her to you.

Of course, the ultimate test will be off leash on the walks, but for now I would keep her on a long lead for the walks unless you are prepared for her to wander. Now you will want to do the same exercise with tasty treats rather than normal store bought treats if you decide to not use a training collar. You will want to continue using your regular method of calling her or perhaps a different whistle or tone to call her. Often changing from a "Come" to a "Here" command often is all that is needed to start the dog obeying again since they "learn" to disregard a specific command. So switching the signal may be helpful as well but you will need to do the exercise in the house or yard to reinforce the recall.

I recommend doing it several times even when you don't want her to come just so you can reward her and let her run again. It teaches them that coming doesn't mean the end of the walk or investigating. You also should use a command to let her know she can run again. I use "GO" and sweep my arm out. The dogs know they can go back to running until I recall them again.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. These are methods I use for training dogs for a long distance recall and for a normal recall and for my own dogs as well. I'm confident you will see improvement using these techniques. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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