Recall is one of those number 1 training issues that we get called to help with lots…
If we think about when we use a recall and we are really honest, generally I find that people are:
* Recalling the dog in from the garden – pretty sure the dog would probably far rather have lots of fun in the garden.
* Recall from play – they would probably like to hang about with their mates.
* Recall to have their lead put on – they would probably rather continue their walk without a lead on.
And this is to name only a few…Without careful thought we can quickly teach a dog that to come back can make them loose out.
The first thing we are going to be looking at is where the problem is occurring:
1. Some dogs won’t even acknowledge their recall sound.
2. Some dogs won’t orientate towards the recall sound.
3. Some dogs won’t move towards the recall sound.
4. Some dogs won’t come in close despite responding to the recall sound.
For us we’re not just looking for that full response, but also for the dog to remain with us until told they can leave us…we’ve all seen that ping-pong dog that responds immediately dashes in only to dash away just as fast.
Things we like to think about when it comes to recall:
Criteria, criteria, criteria….What does your recall mean?
*My emergency recall involves body contact, with body contact the dog has to be close to you and they have either done it (and earned a reward or failed – making criteria very black and white).
*I know I’m quite sloppy with my language, for example when I can’t see my dogs I’m likely to call them back…but often once they appear I’m not all that bothered about them coming back all the way… this makes my recall sloppy. I also have a family and kids whose criteria isn’t always ‘on point’. This is the reason I teach two recalls, the first one is my day-to-day recall (my criteria is sometimes a little washy on this), my second recall I call my ’emergency recall’ and it’s criteria is very clear.
Problems that may occur:
We often hear owners say, that their dog is amazing around the home and in the garden, but when it comes to distractions like playing with other dogs or rabbits running across the path it’s like the owner never existed…between the garden and the rabbits there are lots and lots of little steps along the way that make that recall possible and these are often missed. It’s like deciding you’re going to take up running and then entering yourself into the Olympics…put like this it’s laughable, but with dogs we some how expect that they’re able to do it.
If any of this is recognisable or you’d like that bit of extra help to find that perfection just let us know!