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training 3 yr old lab



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 12th 03, 04:44 PM
alemand
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Default training 3 yr old lab

I have a 3 yr old labrador that was trained as a puppy to stay in the
yard. Then he discovered the canal right near my house and ever since
if he gets loose he runs straight to the canal and swims until I have
to jump in and get him, because he won't come back. What would be the
best training technique to retrain him to stay in yard or is it too
late since he his now 3 yrs old?
  #2  
Old November 13th 03, 05:38 AM
Jo Wolf
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This is NOT going to be easy. This guy is hard-wired to adore being in
the water! grin It is very difficult to completely train out
behaviors that are deeply rooted in the job the breed was specifically
bred to do.

So.... if you want him to ever be able to retrieve from water (thinking
dead ducks here.... or just a bumper) or to enjoy a swim, do NOT use a
method that is aimed at making him fear, or dislike, water.

I suspect that the easiest way to do it is spelled f-e-n-c-e...... It
is the method that I would prefer for my Lab if I had one living that
close to a body of water.....

Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia

  #3  
Old November 13th 03, 12:01 PM
KrisHur
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I second the vote for fence. Even a chicken wire fence backed up with an IF
would do it.

Training will be very difficult b/c ideally you will want to reward him for
listening to you and ignoring his very strong desire to swim. As you know,
for most Labs, swimming is better than any treat you can think of so if you
try the following suggestion use steak, liverwurst or something VERY, VERY
good and very stinky and fairly large portions when rewarding.

When at the door, put him on a 20' long line and plain buckle collar (or
prong--but no slip/choke collars, he's about to correct himself in a very
serious way), hold the other end tightly. Open the door, when he bolts for
the pond call come *just as he is about to hit the end of the line* but not
so close that when slowing down to return to you he hits the end of the
lead. If he ignores you he will hit the end of the line giving himself a
serious correction. Give him a second to orient himself and call come again.
If he ignores you walk out and show him the steak in your pocket. He should
now follow you back into the yard, reward when you get well into the yard.
If you do this once/twice a day for a week he should understand come =
really, really good food. This should get him to obey his come better.

The downside of this training is that he may come to realize that he's free
to do what he wants when there is no leash and/or he thinks swimming is
better than the treat, which is why I did my recall training with an
ecollar. The collar is for proofing only!!! The dog needs to know what come
means before he is corrected for ignoring it. The collar allows you to
correct him, off lead, when he ignores a *known* command. A trainer would be
needed, who's familiar with ecollar training, to set you up with the right
equipment, ascertain the right level of shock for him (it should not be so
high that he jumps or yelps!! Just strong enough to be really annoying) and
show you how and when to use it. This is not a cheap fix. A good ecollar
will cost several hundred dollars, a cheap one may not work well and will
frustrate training.

The downside of ecollar training is that if you only put the collar on him
when training he will know the correction is coming from the collar, it's
important that he wear the collar when out on walks or other times when he's
not going to be corrected so he doesn't become collar-wise. However, he
shouldn't wear the collar for long periods of time, it can rub the skin and
cause a sore.

You can do it. When my lab-girl was about three we moved to the country
where we had the opportunity to go on many hikes. Her desire to greet other
hikers (and their dogs) was better than any treat I could offer her as a
reward for listening to me instead of rushing people to greet them. The
ecollar fixed the problem in a month or two and I haven't needed it since.
Her recall became so good that I can call her off a deer, squirrel, rabbit
(insert any animal here) mid-chase.

--
Kristen and
Kali CDX, CGC, TDIA, TT
www.kristenandkali.com



  #4  
Old November 13th 03, 09:53 PM
Teeny & Allen
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A fence.

"alemand" wrote in message
om...
I have a 3 yr old labrador that was trained as a puppy to stay in the
yard. Then he discovered the canal right near my house and ever since
if he gets loose he runs straight to the canal and swims until I have
to jump in and get him, because he won't come back. What would be the
best training technique to retrain him to stay in yard or is it too
late since he his now 3 yrs old?



 




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