Teaching your dog to come when called is a must for all dog owners! Below is a guide to get you started on teaching and sustaining a great recall.
1. Find something your dog really likes to use as a reward. I prefer a tug toy, but we can use food or other toys as well.
2. Prepare to practice a ton! Start by simply going a few feet away from your dog and progress to greater distances and more distractions.
3. Always reward your dog for coming to you, even if this means carrying around treats or that special toy with you.
4. Practice restrained recalls, casual in the house recalls and “real-life” situation recalls.
5. Use a long line if necessary to practice in large environments or those without fencing.
The following are “rules” to abide by during and after the process of teaching your dog to come on cue.
1. Never call you dog to do something he finds negative (such as nail trimming or bath time).
2. Never call your dog during the training process when you think it is unlikely he will come.
3. Don’t punish a dog for coming to you later than you wanted or you will send the message that coming to you=punishment.
4. 2 chances for listening. After you have given your dog 2 shots to come to you either go get the dog or try any of the below options;
a. Run: dogs like to chase, so run away and get your dog to chase you.
b. Hide: dogs are inquisitive, if you disappear he may learn to keep a closer tab on you in the future (only do this if it is in an enclosed, safe area).
c. Sit on the ground: many times dogs want to see why you are sitting on the ground and will come over to check it out.
5. Don’t chase your dog unless there is a drag line attached and there is a high probability of you cornering your dog or stepping on the drag line. Most dogs when chased, will run and humans are not faster than dogs.
6. Don’t call your dog and then proceed to do nothing or your dog will learn to ignore you.