A Perfect Recall
Having a dog part of the family is one of the best blessing life has to offer, but so often we are not able to include our dogs in activities due to fear of loosing them in a dog fight at the dog park or running over the street in front of a car.
I want to share with you some fun ways to play and train your dog at the same time into a 100% reliable recall.
The first game is hide and seek which dogs and kids love.
Ask the kids to play hide and seek with your dog if you don't have kids you and your partner or friend can do this.
It's easy hide somewhere in the yard or house and call your dog. When he finds you give him a treat and make a big fuss. Then have your friend hide in a different place while doing that you can go and hide in another location. Each time having a treat ready for your dog to eat as he finds you.
Also have some treats in your pocket during the day and call him every now and then. The same rule applies, each time he finds you treat your dog.
Moving on to more distractions.
The trick is that recall starts at home but the challenge is away from home. When you feel your dog does the recall reliable go to a dog park with a long leash attached to your dog. Let your dog run as far as the leash would let him go and after a few seconds call him to you. This could be a better time to use favourite toys as reinforcement as you do not want every dog at the park running your way for treats.
Okay doing this you might find your dog runs towards you and then past you...make sure he sees his reward clearly. If this does not work your dog may struggle to focus his attention on you or his reward.
Correct this by hand feeding your dog for a couple of days. Ask your dog for simple cues like sit or any cue he can reliably give to you. We make the mistake of repeating ourselves. Your dog can hear he just chooses to ignore you. If he doesn't respond to your cue ask him in 30 seconds again if he ignores you again, show him the kibble without repeating yourself. If he does it again all though he should not by now then come back and repeat the cue 30 min later. When he sits say good sit and treat him.
Do this until your dog knows to focus on what you are asking of him. Remember they are not robots and may have a will of their own too.
Try to not let your dog fail. Quite while you are still ahead. If he gets what you are asking of him stop.
Remember to keep your dog in critical distance where you are still able to recall your dog.
Another game you can play is GO TO...
When you call your dog point to your partner and say go to Dad, Mom or whom ever. When he reaches that person treat him.
A game to avoid is chase. Almost all dogs love to chase you or other dogs. The only way to play this game is for your dog to chase you. That is great in helping learn recall, but not the other way around.
Doing these exercises on a weekly basis for 3 months will ensure your dog’s perfect recall allowing you to have fun adventures with your dog.
Later on you would only variably treat your dog until the reinforcement would be your happy face and pat on the head saying good dog.
For a more detailed understanding and day to day training schedule on recall reply to this letter.
Books on 90 Days to a rock solid recall by: Raising Canine is available for only R70.00 including postage and a free Kong stuffers little cookbook to keep your dog busy during the day.