Does your dog glance at you with the equivalent of a canine grin and trot off in the other direction when you call him? Don’t feel too badly, some owners might consider you lucky to have a dog that even acknowledges you with a glance! Unfortunately, it is uncommon to see a dog who bounds towards his owner when he has been called, especially when faced with enticing distractions like other dogs. But fear not, because teaching your dog to come when called is really quite easy.
I’ve compiled my very best recall training knowledge into 5 easy tips. Follow these steps, and your dog will become better at recall – if not near-perfect.
5* Practice using a recall word :
Begin recall training indoors. When your dog is already coming to you, say, “Come!” or your recall word. Be consistent, using the same, single word each time. Treat your dog, even if they’re coming from a foot away.
Practice getting farther and farther away from your dog when you call her. Sometimes, practice “come” with “stay,” but not always. Get your dog really good at coming to you indoors, then start practicing outdoors.
4* Don’t let your dog loose just yet:
Until your dog is very reliable at recall, don’t let her loose in public places, or unenclosed areas. Letting your dog loose too soon is dangerous, and sets her up for failure.
You can get a really long, 30-foot leash to use in wide, open areas to give your dog freedom without losing control. The leash eliminates the possibility of error. If your dog does not come, shorten the leash, and praise her when she comes near.
3* Have smelly pockets :
If you’re practicing recall with your dog, always make sure you have lots of tasty treats. Don’t skimp, dry biscuits or kibble are not exciting enough to reinforce recall. Use meat, hot dogs, eggs, something really yummy.
2* Don’t wear it out:
The more you repeat yourself, the more your dog will learn to tune you out. If you call her ten times before she comes back, she’ll notice that she doesn’t really have to come the first time you call her.
Don’t give her the option to ignore you. Only call her when you think there’s a good chance she’ll come back. Don’t call her if she’s sniffing, or running after a bird. But, do call her if she’s about to dash into the road.
If your dog won’t come, just go get her. Or, wait until she finishes sniffing or running after birds. Just don’t let yourself become a broken record.
1* Keep your tone happy:
Avoid panicking or getting angry when your dog refuses to come to you. This is very easy to detect in your voice, and no dog wants to go near an angry person. Keep calm, and use the same tone every time you call your dog. Call your dog in a way that makes them want to come to you. This is even easier with a recall whistle. A recall whistle never sounds angry, and it always sounds the same. It also makes it easier to call your dog without disturbing other people.