Teaching a reliable recall is necessary for your dog’s safety. Unless a dog has a reliable recall it will never be able to enjoy off leash play.
A reliable recall can be taught to any dog no matter breed or age. I teach from the outline below over a six week class. Here are the first three exercises to do, and we’ll talk about the rest in a future NADOI Tip.
1. THE NAME GAME:
1. Say your dog’s name, only one time .When your dog looks at you use your verbal marker YES or Clicker and reward with treats, toys, verbal praise. Keep rewarding as long as your dog is looking at you. Stop if your dog looks away.
2. Repeat several times a day.
3. Gradual add distractions. Make sure your reward is better than the distraction.
4. Play often and reward generously until your dog spins on a dime when he hears his name.
2. HIDE AND SEEK
1. Fill your pocket with a really good treat or if it is close to your dog’s dinner take the bowl with you.
2. Have some one hold your dog while you bid him good bye.
3. Hide someplace very easy for your dog to find you.
4. Call your dog only using its name.
5. When the dog finds you feed and praise lavishly.
6. Play the game making it harder and harder both inside the house and in a fenced yard.
Notice we have yet to add a recall word such as COME or HERE.
Once the dog has the NAME GAME and HIDE and SEEK down pat then add your recall word only when the dog is committed and coming toward you and you are 100% sure that the dog will come. Only say your cue one time. Continue to reward lavishly.
3. ON LEASH RECALLS
Put your dog on a long-line or a Flexi. Allow the dog to explore then suddenly say the dog’s name. If you have played the NAME GAME well your dog will turn and look at you. Say YES or CLICK. As the dog starts moving toward you for their treat add your recall cue, COME or HERE saying it only once. Repeat the on leash recall several times during your daily walks.
We will post another article in a week or two with the rest of the tips!
Jeanne Hampl #962