|Home > Obedience > Recall|
Before you start
You need to appreciate that this is going to be a big and difficult thing for a puppy to do and also for a dog that's never been trained. You won't get perfection all at once and you need to have patience and plenty of treats. If your dog likes squeaky toys then all the better. These are ideal for getting a dog's attention when it is some distance away from you.
Let's do the first lesson
Moving On to the
When your dog is coming to you from a short distance then you can start to practice the recall while he's ambling about in the garden. All you need to do is to wait until the dog has settled down a bit and is facing in your direction if possible. Then squeak the toy to get his attention. If the dog looks up at you then you can call his name and say "Come." Be encouraging and as soon as the dog reaches you touch his collar or get hold of it. At the same time give a titbit and praise "What a good dog." Then let go of the collar and let the dog wander off again. Repeat this a few times and then have a game. You can do this indoors as well from time to time just to reinforce the lesson.
Well done. Your dog is learning to come to you already and he's mastering the third item in our list which is to come to you rather than do something else.
Let's take it further
If you're having trouble getting your
dog to come to you, you can use a lead. Get the dog to face you on
the lead and then run backwards. Call the dog's name "Fido
come," and praise and reward.
Out in the park
Let the dog have a run round on the long lead and let him get all his sniffing done. Once he's settled down a bit call him in to you. Use the long lead if necessary and use the running backwards technique. Give a titbit and praise as soon as he comes to you and don't forget to get hold of the collar.
Sooner or later the time will come when you feel it's safe to let your dog off the lead. A lot of dogs race away when the lead is unclipped but usually they stay within calling distance and will keep an eye on you to make sure you haven't disappeared. You can practice your recalls when your dog has finished the initial race around and has had a good old sniff. If he doesn't come straight away run in the opposite direction and use a high silly voice to get his attention. When he comes back don't grab him and put him on the lead but do catch hold of the collar and give your praise and reward. Let him go again and repeat the recall from time to time.
One thing to remember is that you should NEVER, NEVER scold your dog if he's been tardy in coming to you but has eventually responded to your call. If you are angry with him when he comes to you he'll be even less inclined to come the next time as he'll be expecting to be told off.
If your dog is having a high old time with other dogs or is otherwise engaged then don't try to recall if you think he won't respond. You need to catch the moment when he looks at you or stops what he's doing. You're much more likely to get a recall and you won't have given your dog the idea that it's OK to ignore you.
Good luck with your training. I hope you both have lots of fun.
What to do if your dog has serious problems with the
If you think a behaviourist might help, your vet may be able
to refer you to someone or you can contact the
Association of Pet
Behaviour Counsellors. If you belong to a dog club they may be
able to recommend someone or if you belong to a forum the members there
may know of someone in your area that they can recommend.
Thank you to julesinsky of morguefile for the lovely photo above.
|Home > Obedience > Recall|