We have a 92 pound Rhodesian ridgeback named Kinte. Rhodesian ridgebacks are strong muscular dogs. They originated in Rhodesia, Africa to hunt lions. Rhodisia is now Zimbawe. Kinte has received a lot of dog training. He started dog training class when he was a puppy and I have continued to train him. Kinte is a sweet dog and like most ridgebacks, he needs a lot of exercise. I take him to open space areas where he can be off leash. We will be out for two to three hours. When we’re out in the hills, his come command is not performed at the highest level. In the house, he comes. in the backyard, he comes. But once he’s outside in wide open space off leash, it’s another story.
When we hike, Kinte is, of course, faster than me. He may be 100-200 yards in front of me. Last Saturday when we were out walking, I saw horses in the distance. I blew my whistle for Kinte to come. He turns and looks at me. “Good Dog!” But he just stood there (200 feet away). I knew what he was thinking “What?” I raised my hand like I was trained in class and said “Come.” Again, I knew what he was thinking, “Horses are more interesting than that piece of hot dog.” So I had to turn around and walk the other way. Then he comes because his job is to guard and protect! Sometimes turning and walking away doesn’t work. I’ve had to hide and yell, “KInte Koo Koo.” Then he comes running and I know what he’s thinking, “Guard and Protect! Guard and Protect!” I am 61 years old. I am too old for these shenanigans. So I called a dog trainer and told her my problem. She asked, had I practiced the come command with Kinte on a thirty foot lead in the park? When he’s distracted tell him to come. If he doesn’t pull on his leash. Off to the park we went. I put him on the 30 foot lead. He immediately knew something was up. He kept his eyes on me. Fortunately, a man came with his dog. Kinte became interested in the other dog. Good. “Kinte, come.” Kinte came and I gave him a treat. We have gone to the park several times to practice. Each time he knows, it’s treat time and he only has to come thirty feet to get a treat. I’ll keep practicing. He’s two and half years old. I can always call the trainer and asked for more advice.
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