A strong recall might save your dog’s life one day! Build it with positive reinforcement and consistency.
Training a dog requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It's essential to tailor the training to your dog's personality, breed, and individual needs. That’s especially true when training recall.
Tara’s School for Dogs is in Manhattan, NYC. Our city dogs are not allowed off-leash and the only exceptions are in certain areas at certain times of the day. There are still times you need a recall to get your dog back to you fast. Think, dropped leash, running around the enclosed dog park, and building common areas.
Your dog getting free from you is not an if, it’s a when. One way or another it’s bound to happen. To keep them safe Puppy Foundations I starts off by teaching a nose Touch that’s a specific kind of Targeting behavior.
Targeting involves training a dog to interact with a specific object, and recall focuses on training a dog to come back to you when called. Both skills have their own importance in training, and a Touch can be used in an urgent situation as a Recall.
Below are some important rules for Recalling your dog whether using Touch or Recall.
1. Never call your dog for anything they do not like. You know the things your dog finds unpleasant, nail clipping, grooming, etc.. Never call them or say their name and follow it by something they do not like.
2. Never call your dog if you are not sure he will come. All recalls should be successful recalls. Work at your dog’s level to ensure success. The behavior your dog does is the one being practiced and more likely to be repeated.
3. If you call your dog and he doesn’t come, you must make it happen. Don’t practice unsuccessful recalls. Run over to him and put a treat in front of his nose, backing up as you get his attention, so he follows you.
4. Never repeat the command. This is a hard one because it’s built into us humans to repeat things. Resist – Resist – Resist. (joke) Repeating any verbal cues only teaches your dog to tune out the verbal cue. Call once and, if necessary, use rule 3. Make the recall happen so that you are not practicing failed recalls.
5. Use fabulous rewards to get fabulous recalls. Remember, your dog is voluntarily returning on recall. Make it worth their while so they always remember, oh yeah that is going to be better than this. Use extra yummy treats or interaction with a toy they love!