It can be frustrating to call your dog, “Come, Charlie!”, and have your dog ignore you or run in the opposite direction towards another dog. Sometimes it is inconvenient, because it takes you awhile to get your dog back on his leash, and sometimes it is dangerous, because your dog is on the road and is risking getting hurt by a vehicle. As a pet parent, you want your dog to come immediately when he is called, which is called “recall”.
Dogs learn through association and repetition. Pet parents invest large amounts of time and effort teaching their dogs how NOT to come by giving their dogs repeated practice at how to disregard the recall. Then it becomes so frustrating, they give up and don’t take their dog out. A reliable RECALL is taught to dogs by short distances, on leash. Distractions are used to start, with food and praise as reward. Timing and marking correct behavior is crucial. Then food gets phased out, and only praise remains. Through consistent repetition of setting the dog up to succeed at correct behavior, pet parents may now add distance with a follow through option, i.e. long line. Some dogs may require 20 repetitions while others may only need five. Work from low to medium to high distractions to be fair to your dog. Distractions include things like people walking by, other dogs, cats, etc. Distractions are usually the weakest link to a reliable recall. The best practice is 15-20 minutes long. Always ending with success, praise and motivation.
If you would like help with this process, join us at one of our group classes, book a one-on-one lesson, or come to a Recall Clinic held throughout the year.