Training your dog is a lifelong process, and one of the most important lessons you can teach them is recall. This article will discuss why it’s important to practice recall training every day and how to go about doing it for best results.
A woman recently came up to me and told me, “My dog is extremely wonderful when I train him at home. And when I visit the club, she’s great on leash.
However, as I let go of the lead, she becomes a whole other animal. When I call her, she races crazily around the field and completely ignores me.”
Has anyone heard that before? Who else do you know who’s experiencing the same thing? No doubt about it, we all do. It’s easier than you think to figure out how to fix this memory lapse.
The owner had done a fantastic job teaching the dog basic commands like sit, down, and stay, as well as some entertaining games like shake, high five, rollover, and beg.
The dog lacked socialization skills due to its primarily at-home training and occasional trips to the dog club.
First, this trainer didn’t do enough to reinforce the lesson in a variety of settings and with distractions. The dog’s self-control and attention span suffered as soon as the training setting changed.
Second, the dog lacked a solid recall that was practiced in the presence of distractions.
The dog eventually learns to completely disregard the instruction because of this. Do not attempt a recall if it is clear that the dog is preoccupied with anything else.
Finally, if the dog had been properly named and had a solid recall, the handler would have been able to give it her whole attention the moment she called its name.
What did we do to fix the dog recall issue?
For the first phase, we reverted to the fundamentals. The dog didn’t already know her name, so we had to teach her. I suggest starting this practice the day you bring the puppy home, and maintaining a regular routine of doing it for the rest of the dog’s life.
Put the dog in a tiny space to begin with, such the bathroom, the laundry room, or a bedroom. For this, you’ll want a clicker and a dish of sweets. It’s fine if the dog goes wandering about the house if you call it. As soon as the dog even looks in your direction, click and treat him with some delicious treats.
Repeat this step in the room until the dog quickly looks at you upon hearing his name. Now you may practice this exercise in the backyard, where you’ll be able to see progress as soon as your dog starts coming when you call his name.
The activity may now be taken to a fenced-in area, where it can be refined until the dog reliably responds to your call. Now you need to hone this technique so that your dog immediately looks in your direction whenever you call his name.
Visit one or more dog obedience lessons and walk the dog around the periphery of the classes. The best thing to do is to quietly call the dog’s name and turn away from the classroom if it appears to be becoming too excited.
When you are able to freely move about with the lead dangling, you will have a powerful tool with which to initiate the recall. To keep the dog on the trail, it’s important to shout its name every few steps. If he looks at you, click and give him something for it.
After you’ve mastered the skill of staying put, we’ll move on to constructing a rock-solid recall. If you sit the dog down, you may give him goodies while walking in circles around this.
The dog should maintain his sitting position. If your dog makes even the slightest movement during the activity, you must begin over.
As the dog’s ability to remain steadily improves, you may increase your distance from him and wait to reward him with goodies until he steps back into you.
Time and distance can be extended independently of one another once you’ve established that you can walk away at least one meter and the dog stays still.
After the dog stays put for a set period of time – say let’s 5 seconds – you should take a few cautious steps back. When the dog loses his sit, it means you’ve gone too far or remained away for too long and need to retrace your steps.
If your dog is staying securely, try varying the time and distance between touches. This way, Fido won’t be able to guess when you’ll be back or how long you’ll be gone.
Get some distance, at least 10 meters and preferably 5 seconds. After waiting 20 seconds, move backwards 5 meters. You should do this for a few sessions.
If the dog finally snaps, you’ve gone too far or too long, so be patient.
With his training, our dog is now responsive to his name, comfortable among other dogs, and has mastered a firm stay.
Once your dog has mastered these basic obedience drills, you may continue on to teaching him how to come when called.
Put the dog in a sit, give the command “remain,” and then walk away, but just as far as the dog’s lead will allow. Facing the dog, calling his name and slapping your thighs will get his attention.
Get the dog to come over and sit in front of you while you hold the leash. Click and reward as soon as the dog sits in front of you after being called.
When your dog comes to you and sits down on command, you can gradually increase the space between you two, but always keep the leash linked in case your pet ever races ahead of you and you need to catch up.
Repeat the previous step of reinforcing the dog coming to you and sitting if the dog goes near you. Gradually increase the distance you’re away from him, be ready to walk back a step or two, and constantly reward him for approaching you.
Eventually, when you’ve gotten your dog through every level of this problem-solving activity in dog obedience training, you may take him to a fenced-in dog park to work on his recalls.
You should remember to wait until the dog calms down before calling him if he is overexcited and disturbed. Do not contact him again if he does not respond to your first call.
Here’s a second piece of advice. Do not rush to put the dog on a leash and leave the park as soon as it comes to you. To unleash your dog’s full potential, attach the lead briefly before unclipping it and releasing it. Repeat this process multiple times until you decide to head home from the park.
This will prevent the dog from deciding he doesn’t want to come in because he thinks all you want to do is clip on the lead and bring him away from where he was having fun.
Throughout your dog’s life, you’ll need to use any or all of the aforementioned dog obedience training activities, so it’s in your best interest to put in plenty of effort at each one.
Dog recall training is an essential part of raising a responsible and obedient pet. Through positive reinforcement, patience and consistency, you can teach your pup to reliably come back to you when called.
While it may take time and practice, the rewards are well worth it when your dog starts responding to his name with enthusiasm. With these tips in mind, get ready to embark on the journey towards successful dog recall training!