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Does anyone else have a doodle who won't come back inside from the yard because they're obsessed with the squirrel that they've tree'd? I don't know how to fix this one. 

Maggie knows come. We work on it in the house and in class and I'm confident that she understands. But when she's obsessing over the dang squirrel she totally blows me off. I think she thinks it's a fun game. It's really not that fun. My solution is having her wear her leash so I can catch her, but it's not a real solution, and I worry that she'll never be able to be off leash if we don't fix this. 

She will come for a treat (sometimes), but she darts away as soon as she takes it. She plays keep away if I try to walk over and get her. She ignores me if I tell her to come. She won't sit stay or down stay if she knows I want to catch her. I know you can't scold them when they actually do come. And I don't know how to correct her if she doesn't come... I'm stumped. 

Last night I had a dog sitter come stay with them because I went out of town for 28 hours. This morning the dog sitter forgot to put the leash on her and it took her 4 hours to get her back inside. Heaven help us if I forget the leash if I need to go to work. 

Please throw any and all ideas out there. I can call the private trainer to come back out and help us, but I really have no idea where to begin working on this one. Her behavior is so self-rewarding. She's having a fabulous time! I need to be more exciting than the squirrel, and I'm just not. Should I dress up in a squirrel suit??? 

Thank you all so much for helping with my Maggie Adventures. She's such a wonderful girl, but she's really making me work on my dog mom skills!

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I want to note that Maggie is completely safe during her antics. She has a 6 foot privacy fence. I just want her back in the house. 

I have this situation, and not just over squirrels. Over rabbits, rabbit poop, birds, sticks, leaves, anyone doing anything within Jasper's vision (I live on a corner, and the street side fencing is chain link)....you get the idea. I do keep a leash on him when he's in the yard for this reason. I also keep a bag of treats on a shelf just inside the back door and lure him with those. 
I have no better idea than this. Eventually, I hope that he will have a more reliable recall. But this is what I have to do for now.

At least you can still use the excuse that Jasper's just a baby! 2 years, I tell you. You can use that excuse for at least 2 years. What is so strange to me with Maggie is that this is a fairly recent development. She always came back in until what, a month ago? She suddenly decided that she could just do whatever she wanted. I think she's laughing at me. I guess she's still discovering who she is in this world and this family. And I'm glad that she feels comfortable. But a recall would also be a great thing. She did just turn 2 in August. Maybe I can just excuse her by saying she's just a baby for a little longer. She's doing so well. I know exactly how far she's come. I just look at this and wonder why she started doing this now.

Tigger, too will only come in for treats if there are deer, cats, skunks, bear, etc.  I keep special extra smelly tasty treats in a small tin ( like a Christmas cookie tin) and I shake this when he really needs to come.  It is the only thing that really works and he is 10 years old.

Sometimes a turkey sandwich works - if I'm sitting there eating it she will come ask for a bite, but dog treats? She says she's not a d.o.g. Here I was hoping that she would grow out of this! But I love how happy she is. 

I got one of those "play is better than treats" doodle too! 

OK, I don't know for sure if I should admit this one or not, but here goes- 

Its so frustrating, because the squirrels will just tease and taunt Hanna, so I bought one of those giant kids water squirt guns, (the kind you load up with about a liter of water).  Yes, you can imagine where this is going....  Hanna will have a squirrel treed and I load up the water gun and unload on the squirrel until it panics and comes down, where Hanna then chases it out of our yard.  Hanna thinks its a great game, it doesn't hurt the squirrel, and once the squirrel is gone, she comes back inside. And besides, the look on Hanna's face when she looks at me like I'm the coolest doggie mom ever is so worth it !!!

I think you really might be the coolest dog mom ever, lol. 

Hahaha. 

Hey whatever works, right? :)

Squirrels get wet all the time in the rain, no harm done ;)

I think it's funny, but I probably won't be spraying the squirrels. They're my little friends, and though they really are teasing Maggie it's not really their fault. We have a colony (colony? What do you call a group of squirrels?) of squirrels that are almost white. I think they are leucistic. They're not albino, and they're not white white, but they're definitely lighter than the normal gray squirrel. And I've never seen squirrels like them anywhere else than on my street. I like them, I just wish they would pick a different tree. But I love watching them play in the yard. They're silly and cute. No judgment for getting them wet, but I just need to work on Maggie's training so I can call her off of them.

It's actually to my advantage that she chases critters. I'm pretty sure that her foster home would have kept her if she hadn't been obsessed with their cats the same way she's obsessed with the squirrels. But if I had any dreams of bringing home a pocket pet I would need to rethink it. This young lady has some hunting blood in her. 

I'm just gonna look adoringly into this tree and hope a squirrel falls out - Maggie

Stacy, I photographed this ground squirrel when I was at Dana Point in California.  I have never seen them anywhere else.  There were both the normal colored ones and these.  There was an entire colony of them.

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