Most people think that recall training their dog is about getting ‘Rover’ to run to you when you call … its NOT! Your dog already knows how to do that. Recall is really about persuading your dog to ‘give up’ something’ … something he’s enjoying (eg sniffing the bushes, chasing another dog; squirrel etc) – in order to come back to you. So, how do you persuade Rover to choose you?
Make Recall Compelling
- For some dogs saying ‘good dog’ might work.. sometimes. For most dogs, feint praise isn’t compelling enough for them to give up what they were doing – chasing squirrels or exploring the environment.
- This is especially true if ‘good boy’ is followed by putting on the lead and going home; in behaviour training, consequences are very important.
- So, we need to equate your recall cue with the START of fun for your dog (not the end of it). And here’s a natty little game – “Bowl & Recall” – to help you do just that!
- Chasing is compelling. This recall training game works really well because it tunes into your dog’s chase instinct. And better still, Fido gets to catch (and kill!) the ‘prey’ … because it’s a piece of chicken! Huge thanks to internationally acclaimed Dog Trainer, Kay Laurence for inspiring the game/video.
Get It Right!
This recall game looks easy but to make it effective, you – the human – need to hone your skills!
- Use really good treats – not kibble! Use something your dog LOVES in the early stages of training.
- Note that the game starts and ends with focus – watch Gerry looking at me before I start the Bowling game. And when I finish it.
- When you throw your first piece of food out, keep quiet! Do NOT use your recall cue here; because the first throw is sending your dog AWAY from you.
- However, from your 2nd throw onwards – DO add in your cue (whistle/call etc). I whistle in the video.
- Prepare! Make sure you are ready in position so you can give your dog clear body language cues about what’s happening next.
- Perfect your throwing skills! Make sure you ‘bowl’ the treats at your dog’s eye level. Fido needs to see the treat and find it easily for the game to work effectively
- Practice. Making any behaviour reliable requires LOTS of practise. Anyone at the top of their game has usually put in hours (if not years!) of practise.
Book Recall Training?
If your dog’s recall could do with some fine tuning, book your one to one recall training with Joyful Dogs now! One to one training: better results, faster.