Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

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Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by AdamBurton » 06 Sep 2009, 16:59

Hi everyone,

We are desperate for your ideas on encouraging our gorgeous labradoodle Dougle back on the lead. To give you some background Dougle is a year and a half old and is a huge bundle of fun! When we take him out for a walk off the lead across a field we find that he can come back to us when we offer small treats e.g tiny pieces of sausages- when we do this we are sure to always pet him when he comes back to us and to give him lots of praise.

Great I here you say! But.....when we get anywhere near to the end of the walk OR if Dougle finds anything exciting in the field (dead things to roll in, sticks or any litter) he gets into a 'play' mood where he wont come back to us for the treat or at ALL. This happens often as he is a star at finding exciting things to play with! We have tried being strict and calling him back, we have tried leaving the field (he is still safe in there), we have tried taking all our attention away from him and then calling him to come for the treat....and still he wont come back to us. He will stay close but not allow us to put his lead back on. He can often be super tired out by this stage and also hungry for his dinner which he gets after the walk.

This is getting to be a real problem- for example we have sometimes spent nearly an hour trying to get him back and we feel terrible that when we have tried for so long to get him back we end up tricking him e.g getting a stick he loves and playing with it until he comes over- then we have to grab him in a sneaky way which we know isn't helpful to helping Dougle learn to come when we call him.

We know he needs to run off the lead and can see how much he loves it but this is becoming such a problem that we now wary of letting him off the lead.

ANY advice would be appreciated! Thank you.

Adam, Beth and Dougle

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by mistydog » 06 Sep 2009, 17:32

Did you train him with the on and off the lead trick? He might get a bit wise to it now. Let him off the lead, reward him, put him back on the lead, walk him, let him off the lead. Put him on the lead to come home at different places. Saying that Freddie is exactly the same! I did some great recalls with him today after 'down stays' of 30 seconds, played with him, but he got a scent, went through the hedge, ended up in the farmer's daughters car she was hoovering. She brought him back and couldn't stop laughing. Good luck 'cos I need it as well.

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Rhonk » 06 Sep 2009, 18:12

I remember peeps on here advising me to put the lead on at various parts of a walk so it doesn't always signal the end of a walk and to vary where the lead is put on at the end of a walk - by either varying the route slightly or just stopping at a different point. Bonzo was getting into the habit of doing this but i realised i was putting him back on the lead at the same place every day so no wonder!! i also tried distracting him from the fact that it was the end of the walk (there is only one way out of the park) by playing run and chase to try and fool him - worked at least three times before he got wise to it! Good luck!

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Nicky » 06 Sep 2009, 21:28

have you tried calling him back for a treat, and then letting him go again? our trainer told us to repeat this several times, call, treat then let him play and do this everytime so when it is time to go on the lead he won't be aware when you are going to treat and let him go or put him on the lead.

He has got wise to the fact when you call him, then treat he goes on the lead....

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by AdamBurton » 06 Sep 2009, 22:14

Thanks guys! Yes we always give him a treat and then let him go again- this works so well until he finds something distracting and then no treat is exciting enough! Putting him on the lead at random times seems like a great idea, thank you. Any one else got any gems of wisdom? :D

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by doodledeb » 06 Sep 2009, 23:14

I would go on a totally different walk for a while and do the random calling back and treating and calling back and putting on the lead quite a bit. Hopefully that will confuse the hell outta him and he'll never know when he's going back on!! :lol: :lol:

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Lola » 07 Sep 2009, 12:03

The problem that you will find is that now he knows that he doesnt have to come back when you call him he never will unless he wants to.

So my advice would be take him to a different field and work hard on recalls e.g. let him off, call him then run away, hide ect. When he comes give him a big reward (a bit of ruff and tumble).

Another big mistake people make is trying to bribe with food rewards rather than reward. The correct way to do it is say 'come' 'here' or whatever word you use and when they turn and start come say 'good boy' and get out the reward. The wrong way to do it is 'whats this' 'oh look what ive got' because that just teaches them to come when they want if they want the treat. If they dont then they wont bother.

Another option is teaching the 'leave it' command.

hope this helps,


p.s. Only call him if you know 100% that he will come back. If not you are just make him deaf to the recall.

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by mebradan » 07 Sep 2009, 12:14

HE'S A CLEVER BOY :!: You just have to be more clever :mrgreen: Trouble is not only can they read the tone in your voice but your body language too..............don't give up. My Dood is getting the message but slowly and from past experience they do get better with age..... :P good luck :!:

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by debbierose59 » 07 Sep 2009, 16:49

I have the same problem, Dexter has been a nightmare this weekend at a champinionship horse show in grantham,
he will come back straight away with a leader on, but without he will not give up untill he decides hes had enough. what I do (usually) is to leave his leader on and tie it around his neck so he can have his runaround,
just forgot to do this at 2am fri morning when taking him for his last wees and he took off round all the tents, trailers and horseboxes, with hubby in toe shouting he;ll kill him when he got hold of him
Several people called from tents and duvets I Hope you catch him bloody quickly!!!!!!
needless to say he was grounded to our horse box for the rest of the weekend and took for short walks.

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by annej » 08 Oct 2009, 10:12

Hi, have you tried bringing out a toy on the walk from time to time?
We have had a bit of problem with Otto (8 months) when he sees any dog - off like a rocket. He is also getting a bit over adventurous now and, like yours diving through hedges and out of sight, following scents etc. A bit scary, especially with so many sheep around now.

So we had a private lesson actually aimed at trying to keep his attention when dogs are around.

We were told to use a long lead and when he saw a dog he wanted to greet, to call him back for a treat (sausage!) and then be allowed to play briefly with the dog (assuming ok with owner of course). So he gets both treat and play. That is the theory, not so easy in practice I can tell you, especially when the long lead gets wrapped round everyone!.

But the other point the trainer made which I think may be helpful for you, is to make yourself the most interesting thing on the walk. To do this she suggests taking a special toy which is only taken on walks and playing excitedly with him for only about a minute, then putting toy away; and doing this intermittently through the walk.

Hope this may help you.

Anne & Otto


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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Nicky » 08 Oct 2009, 14:56

Hi this must be a dood thing! :lol:

At the moment I am training my puppy recall and he was good at first, and I did the on off recall finally putting him on the lead and it was going well, but when he sees people or another dog he goes deaf and won't come back! also sometimes I call him and he won;t come especially if he is sniffing, try a whistle that may work....

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Daisy(mini)Doodle » 09 Oct 2009, 09:53

I find hiding works a treat, when hes not looking go behind a tree and call him, panic sets in they are so pleased to find you. If you want to be really nasty hide and dont call they soon realise you are not there and start hunting and sniffing you out. You will soon discover that it is actually quite hard to hide from a doodle. Obviously big treats and fuss when they find you.
Chris & Pauline Daisy & Ziva

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by eileenandmolly » 09 Oct 2009, 22:18

Molly was a nightmare for recall if there was a better distraction than me! AND at the end of a walk!

I spent a few weeks with her on a 30ft long line, recalling her periodically, rewarding her (food IS a real motivator for her :D ), touching her collar (an important conditioner - telling them that touching the collar does not mean that play is over!), then releasing (my command was "go free") The long line means that, if they don't obey the command, you can haul them in!!!I used to haul for a mo, repeat the command, and then reward for achievement!

Molly still has her moments - she now responds to an additional command of "In your own time, then!" But she is infintely better thanshe was!!!

She also recalls well at the end of a walk - I think it may be just an age thing, although her younger sis Saffie also comes to me at the end of a walk. I do recalls and lead-ons throughout walks, so they know that lead-ons are only temporary - OR lead to home and a treat!!!

Oh, if only my doodles were as perfect as I have just described them :lol: :lol:

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by dwood » 12 Oct 2009, 19:14

Just read your letter and felt for you Its a doodle thing as Ive never had this trouble with any other dog I've owned, and have trained four dogs before. We think its because they are so friendly and nosey and love talking to people! Phoebe is almost two and seems to be getting better now. She still hares off if she sees a blob in the distance but will ( almost always) return when I use a whistle and a treat when she obeys. She used to completely ignore us and for along time we kept her on the lead but it was awful as she needs to run off some steam
Much better if people ignore her when she arrives at them and the whistle helps mask your emotion ( of annoyance or anger) which comes across when you call them to you.So I guess time helps.
Dorothy and Maisie

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Re: Help! Dougle won't come back on the lead!

Post by Pauline » 12 Oct 2009, 21:37

The trouble is that doodles are SO intelligent that they suss out what you want and are not easily fooled!!!


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