I was chatting to Sian this morning about her favourite recall training tips as we prepped for an upcoming workshop.
Getting your dog to WANT to come back to you, and teaching them to come back reliably is a lot harder than most people think.
When I first learned about recall, it was taught as a formal exercise in a training class. I had to stand in a certain way and my dog had to sit in front of me when he came back. Then and only then could I give him a small treat.
But really reliable recalls don’t work like that in the real world.
Not when you’re competing with bunnies, squirrels, other dogs and oh-my-god-is-that-a-dead-duck floating in the river….
Recall is really about three things
(well, almost three things, it's a good starting place at least)
- Relationship (does your dog see you as the gateway to good stuff, do you know what REALLY floats his boat? Or are you offering payment in dry biscuits?)
- Management (so your dog isn’t practicing ignoring you, and learning where the best rabbit sniffs are)
- Training (have you actually taught your dog that coming back to you on a specific word or whistle or signal means all of the best stuff will happen to him?)
And it all starts with having more fun with your dog. We’re going to go into this in lots more detail in our workshop on Sunday, but here’s a quick preview:
“Embrace the crazy eyes. Be confident that you know what makes your dog light up, and use it to your advantage. For Moss, the odd bout of physical play where he can bosh and chase and lick and squiggle. For Timber Cockerpoo, diving into boggy puddles. For Freya, squizzles!”
Sian, WCC trainer
What does it look like when your dog knows you are fun to come back to?
Here’s a video from one of our clients who has been working on this in their private sessions:
Have a wonderful week, and make more time for fun in your life
Morag and the collie girls
PS If you want to learn more about having fun with your dog, and building a better recall at the same time don’t miss out on this half day workshop! Sunday May 14th at 10, hosted by Positively Canine, Baldersby, Noth Yorks
Contact Jo Brook to book firstname.lastname@example.org (only spectator places left but we promise you’ll learn loads and leave with a plan of action)
PPS Can’t make the workshop or want a structured plan to work on with your own dog? We’re launching our Recall programme next month and you will be the first to hear about it!