writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Total Recall

Total Recall

March 23, 2010
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 5 minutes


Siberian Husky owners, you may want to avert your eyes. Because what you're about to see may give you nightmares and is so horrific it isn't shown on TV. It may raise your blood pressure or even cause heart failure.  What you are about to see is shocking, frightening and down right against the laws of nature. Don't say I didn't warn you for:

Siberian Off-Leash!

"Hey Retardo! Take notes and watch a real athlete. I am Husky. Catch me if you can!"

And it gets worse! It's in an unfenced area!  Dare I show you again?

"Get ready to ruuuummmble!"

And, Gasp! AGAIN!


"Oh the things I can do without my leash!"

Yes, it's true. Loki and Juno and I go walking at the nearby 100+ acre Christmas Tree farm (available to the locals to walk their dogs, on or off-leash) almost every day. But sadly, I am now old and developed a foot pain and for now can't walk fast enough to keep up with a Siberian who needs real exercise. So I've taken up the habit of releasing the leashes for the farm. But never fear. I've put two solid years into training my sibe. And in those two years, trainers have bestowed many accolades on Juno, astonished for her work in obedience. Surely it must come in handy, right?

For the record, Mr. Wild Dingo is not happy about my crazy, logical notions.  I mean, my Siberian knows her name. My Siberian sits and downs when she's told. And most importantly of all, my Siberian, comes when she's called!

"Hey Mom, didn't you just like call Juno like 87 times now? You want me to go bring her back by the neck?"

No Loki, she's coming, see?

"Oh hey mom, ya, um, I was in the middle of tinkling when you called."

Oh, well ok, because our trainers always told us the "tinkle/poo card"  always gets them a free pass. So no laws broken yet.

"Hey Principessa! Don't go so fast. It's always best to stick  next to the food resources."
"Stuff it Big Boy, there's squirrel over there with my name on it."


 "Ah, the sweet smell of freedom! I'll be back!" (Or not.)

Just so we're clear, Internet, it's not like I just walk into the farm and release the evil dynamic duo and tell them to check me later. Before they go anywhere, we practice a few sets of recalls from a short distance to help them remember what the word "come"  means. As you can see below, Juno is on her way back ready to receive her chicken for the effort of returning back to me.

 "Lady, this better be a whole lot better than that bunch of chickadees I had my eye on!"

Internet, I swear, my Siberian has got a wonderful recall. But something must have happened in this case when I called both dogs. Yes, that spot down there is Juno:

Truly, I think I need to get her hearing checked. After all, this was a long way away from me. She never does this at home or on the training field!

And you really can't expect her to come when she's making new friends on the trail:

"Hey shorty. That sweater totally makes you look  like a pansy."

Even Loki sometimes forgets his name when there's a chi-wow-wow around. He's ga-ga for chi's and here prefers to hang out with his new pal and her mom:

"So little lady, that sweater is so becoming on  you. Do you have a date for the prom?"
"Are you some kind of weirdo? Like I just met you. Mom, get rid of this dude, will ya?"

Thank dog for Loki's awesome recall because in a pinch, he and I hide in the trees on her and don't say a word so she panics and comes to find us. Or sometimes we try to trick her and tell her we're leaving without her. That one always gets her to come with us.

"Mom, you know what they say when you cry 'wolf', right?"

Well, that works for me, because she is a descendent of a wolf, right?

And sometimes, she just comes to me because, well, I admit, I don't exactly know why she comes. Probably the chicken.

 "Oh hey mom, what's taking you so long climbing up that steep slope? Can't you see we're starving here?"

But seriously, her recall got us into trouble once with a fella and his very nice off-leash labrador. The lab didn't mind her but the fella just didn't want her around. Loki recalled out out of it, but Juno, thankfully not dog-naughty, just hung around them about 5 feet away from them sniffing the ground "innocently" while forgeting her name as I called it. Once again, Loki saved the day and she eventually came when he and I ran away from her. Sigh. Needless to say, sometimes Juno does not have total recall of the word "come." Either that, or her brain virtually travels to Mars any time I call her at the tree farm.

So let's do the math:

(Loki's 98% recall + Juno's 2% recall) x Juno's strong pack drive = 1 Total Recall

Two dogs for 1 Recall. Hmmm. Is that a bargain or a rip-off?


"Math, schmath. Got any chicken?"

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29 comments on “Total Recall”

  1. That trick about hiding from her is pretty good. You do have to know what pushes our buttons sometimes. Alpha Mom read somewhere that if you were to lose a Shar Pei's leash and she won't come when called you should lie down and pretend to be injured and she'll be compelled to come to you. We all hope it doesn't come to testing that out.

  2. What fun! I learn something new everyday...it IS possible to train a Sibe (!?!) Besides that your pictures are magnificent and I really enjoyed your post.
    It looks like you are all having a lot of fun together...recall or not...fun for EVERYONE is the objective.

  3. I love your math!! LOL! Storm is that way. Sometimes she comes perfectly, other times I have to get fierce. When I tell her to come and she doesn't all I have to do is add the word now (e.g. come NOW!) and she comes. I don't know what gave the word now it's power but it always works. I wish I had somewhere I could let her off leash more but there isn't anywhere around here and Jackal actually makes her worse about coming back. Imagine my Sibe listens better than my hound dog. Ugh. 🙂 Great post!!

  4. Hi Dingo Dogs! I always, 100% of the time come when called! I am a smart dog! Kira just looks as sees if Mom has something more interesting than what she is looking at, so Mom trys to have a handy chicken or two... silly Sibes!
    -Scampi the bright Border Collie

  5. We are with the Herd on this one. Mom says she just can't take the chance. But maybe if you ever decide to take on a national tour offering obedience training exclusively for sibes who live in the northeastern part of Kansas in OP by the names of Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara, we just might be able to earn a total recall too.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  6. Our mom would never take the chance. It only takes one time.
    That doesn't mean she doesn't spend a great deal of time training us - she does. I've been here 13 years now and a day doesn't go by that we don't work on some form of training. Mom and Dad still don't think it's worth the risk, regardless of how well-trained we are.
    Tail wags,

  7. I had no notion of recall whatsoever when I first came to live with the Maman and, being a proud Boston Terrierorist, I strongly objected to the idea at first. However the Maman objected to my objecting, much grumbling ensued, from both of us, and in the end I discovered that resistance, indeed, WAS futile.
    So now I have a pretty good recall ratio, mostly because I know I always get a piece of chicken wiener when I come back when called. Also the Maman has been known to walk away and even hide on me if I don't comply...How cold is that, I ask you! Anyway, we live in the city so I only go off lead at the beach or in the ravine. And I am never off lead in the winter because ONE whiff of cold wind/blizzard up my ass and all bets are out, I will bug out to the closest dug-out.

    ***Note from the Maman: I started training Hubbles on recall as soon as I adopted him, for his safety and my own peace of mind. It took the best part of his first summer with me and quite a lot of chicken wieners (Bostons can be willful, what a shock!) but he now has reliable recall although he doesn't go off lead as often as I would like.
    As for going out in the winter, his average outing time during the cold season is 90 seconds, even all bundled up and wearing his cozy and stylish Juno Belle Jodhpurs(patented)! It's become quite the neighbourhood entertainement, I suspect, to see us whizzing by (word of many meanings, that)at warp speed as soon as the outside temperature dips below 5C. Thats about 40 in american and it does happen around here. A lot. Sigh. Good thing I adopted him in June; I could never have trained him otherwise...

  8. Hey, Juno, now that I have wrestled the keyboard back from the Maman, want to start the "Conveniently Going Deaf When My Nose Kicks Into Gear" Club?
    No brownnosers such as the "Watch Me, I Always Come Back When Called" GS/FMD or the "I am A Golden Retriever And I Don't Know any Better" Big Red Dog ( Yes MacIntosh, that would be you) accepted.

  9. Hey guys, I just lost my lovely supportive comment. Ugh. I was saying I was very happy for Juno to have the opportunity to get off leash time. We do our best to find safe areas for all of us to run free as often as possible, but a sibe? Loki you are so not ignored, but Juno was quite impressive. Loved the post, the photos and the humor.

  10. Total recall? Well, recall's been known to happen around here but not often. Of course, Star walked off the reservation several times, but I think she was just trying to get us to meet the family living a mile down the road. She was clever like that.
    Us? Uh-uh, no way, is Mom going to let us run around untethered. No small dog or squirrel would be safe around Jack, and Moo....well, she has a mind of her own as it is. Mom can't even get her to "come" inside the house!

    ~jack a-roo & moo too

  11. I love DK's math for the Herd!! Made me laugh!

    We do the hide from the bad dog game too. It really helps... We mainly do it when the dog seems to have forgotten that we exist and isn't checking in like he/she should. It's amusing to watch them panic. However, K has totally learned how to find us very fast. She follows the trail with her nose stuck to the ground and then follows our ground scent to our hiding place... bummer, that's one training trick that usually doesn't work with her anymore.

    Makes me think that I should've done SAR with her.

  12. Oh, those pictures are just wonderful to see!! A Sibe running free! Great post!!

    And I have to say, I don't believe TOTAL Recall is 100% for ANY dog, regardless of breed - so what you've achieved is amazing already. I do understand that certain breeds have more tendency to roam but I also think that those who worry about "not taking a chance" and "only need one time" -etc - well, you could apply that attitude to ANY dog couldn't you? There are dozens of Labs & Collis with poor recalls that risk their lives all the time - but people just put that down to poor training, not because of their breed! I don't always believe you should judget everything in terms of a dog's breed - it's like a seeing a man simply in terms of being gay and nothing else - when that is just 1 facet of him and may not explain a lot of his behaviour anyway. So I think a lot of people with these "different" breeds are scared off excessively from doing things...

    I am pretty confident with Honey's recall - I would say 95% but that doesn't mean that I trust her completely and so I hedge my bets - I only let her off in "safe" places. I think that is a better thing to do - what you're doing - because everytime you do and are successful, you are increasing your chances of success next time and building on that - whereas if you NEVER let them off, you never practise and you're almost guaranteed to fail in the recall!

    By the way, we play that hide n seek game too - it's a fantastic way to not only teach recall but to encourage the dog to constantly keep an eye on you and follow your direction, instead of just running off on their own!


  13. You know I'm not sure exactly how much she weighs. I don't have my scale at home right now, but I'll try to find out soon because now I'm curious. 🙂 She does look great though doesn't she?

  14. TO: Juno Belle
    RE: "Conveniently going Deaf when My Nose Goes Into Gears" Club

    Monthly Fee: None, but bring to meeting the most disgusting thing you picked up on your off lead expeditions.
    ***Note from the Maman: Still working on the "Leave It" command here***

    Winter Meetings: To be held before the fireplace (pls, send picture of fireplace) We can proudly swap stories of how we collectively took years off of our parents' lives with our antics, err, daring feats. My personal fav would be when I decided to attack a large tour bus that, I swear, was growling at me, therefore giving the Maman an instataneous full head of grey hair.

    Hubbles P

  15. Aah, the Internet's many technological wonders, such as long distance correction for example...aren't we grateful now!
    "180 acres, oh my! Bet there must be hundreds of squirrels, groudhogs and tour buses hiding in there...What a spectacular show of good training from Loki and Juno" dreamily says the Bougalou Bear

    In unrelated matters ***Note from the Maman: Treviso... I had some really good wine there.

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