Dogs are our best friends and protectors. But when your dog ignores your call and acts out in distracting environments, it’s frustrating and dangerous for the people around you. If you’ve tried every recall technique out there and nothing is working, It’s time to contact Momentum K9 Dog Training to train your dog to obey. But, if you still haven’t lost hope in training your dog yourself, here are several recall training methods you can try.
What is Recall?
When a dog learns to come to you when you call, this is known as recall. Teaching recall to a dog is challenging as your dog would much rather explore the world around it. Every time you call your dog, you are telling it to stop its activity and come to you. To build a recall you can rely on, you must teach your dog that being with you is fun and has a reward.
A reliable recall means your dog is 99.9% sure to come to you when you call. A reliable recall is vital if you allow your dog to play without a leash in a dog park or fenced-off yard. Reliable recalls are also crucial in times of emergencies because the dog needs to respond immediately.
Training Your Dog on Recall
Dogs are very playful, and teaching recall is easier if you make it a game. The training should start in an area with minimal distractions, like in your home. Show the dog a treat or a toy, shower it with praise as it comes towards you, then give a high-value reward like a hotdog, piece of chicken, etc.
Repeat this a few times whenever the dog looks and starts moving towards you, then add your preferred cue, such as “here” or “come here. Only add the verbal cue when the dog is coming towards you. Up the stakes slowly by asking the dog to come to you before you show it the treat. Gradually add distance within this minimal distraction environment.
Here are some recall games that you can use to train your dog.
- Catch Me: When your dog is on the leash, grab its attention, then turn and run a few steps. As the dog runs with you, say your verbal cue. After every few steps, stop and reward the dog with a toy or treat. Before you start running, ensure the dog is paying attention.
- Find Me: Build speed once your dog has understood the recall. Call the dog from different rooms, and offer a reward and praise when the dog finds you.
Avoid the common mistake of recalling your dog, and then leashing them. The dog learns to associate the recall cue as a sign to go home or that the fun they were having is over, making the dog less likely to come when you call. An excellent recall method is to recall the dog, praise it for obedience, give a treat and release it back to play.
A Poisoned Cue
If your cue is “Come here,” don’t change it to “Please come here.” This situation is known as a poisoned cue, whose meaning becomes unclear to the dog, so it ignores it. The cue becomes poisoned by overusing it without the dog responding. The best solution in such a case is to change the verbal cue and retrain your dog afresh.
- Avoid repeating yourself: If you have to keep repeating the recall, the dog may be too distracted or need more training.
- Reward constant eye contact: When you notice your dog looking at you, or it has chosen to stay close to you, praise it and give a treat. This tactic teaches your dog that paying attention and staying close by has its reward.
- Don’t punish: Never punish your dog when it comes to you, and consistently praise a recall, no matter how long it takes.
- Always reward: When you are training, reward your dog for associating the recall with something good, like praise or treats.
- Practice the recalls every day: Keep building up the distraction level of the recall over time. Doing it too quickly may confuse the dog and reduce the reliability of the recall.
- Never chase the dog: In an emergency recall, never chase the dog as it might associate it with play and move further away from you. Run away from the dog to make it chase after you instead.
Dogs are always very eager to please and catch on fast. A well-behaved dog that responds to a recall is easy to go out with. If your dog has become ignorant when you call, it’s time to train or retrain it if it’s a poisoned cue.