Training your dog for recall is the most important command a dog can learn. The ability to listen and react to your voice is important for their safety and well-being.
The two commands, “come” and “stay” are difficult to teach but with practice every dog can learn recall. The command “come” is to recall the dog to your side. Recall is the action you want the dog to do and “come” is the easiest word for the dog to understand.
If you’re in the process of training your dog for recall, these tips will help your dog come every time you call.
1. Use their name
Always use the dog’s name first than say “come” otherwise the dog does not know you are talking to them.
2. Be consistent
After their name, always use the same command “come”. Changing or adding words to the command, like “come here” or “get over here” only confuses the dog.
2. Praise instead of scold
Never verbally scold or punish a dog who doesn’t comes to you, instead just do not reward the unwanted behavior. If the dog successful performs a recall, praise and reward them.
3. Use when feeding
Every time you feed the dog use the command “come”. Do not give the dog the bowl of food until they come and you praise them.
5. Use your training, outside of training
Look for opportunities to use the word “come” in daily life – not just during training sessions. At the dog park or in your home, practice their recall.
6. Get everyone involved
Have other family members of the family use the recall command. It is important to train your dog to listen to the whole family, not just you.
On Leash Tips
1. Stop during a normal walk to work on recall
When you are walking with the dog on a leash next to you, without speaking to the dog start stepping backwards. After a few steps backwards your dog should realize you are doing something different and look at you.
You can even run away from them a little to get their attention, As they turn, say their name and ” come”. Let the dog catch up and praise them or the recall. Continue on your walk as before. Do this often and the dog will learn to watch where you are and come when called.
A good tip is to keep your rewards high-value and unpredictable, this will help your dog stay interested.
2. Graduate to a longer leash
It is important to practice on-leash for a while, until you fill comfortable about your dogs recall abilities. Start using a 20-50 foot line. There will be a lot of slack. Resist the urge to pull your dog towards you. Use the same method of stopping and running backwards. As your dog begins to take notice give the command to come.
If the dog consistently recalls at that distance, you could begin to train off leash.
Training your dog for recall is a tough task as the world is full of distractions. Remain consistent and practice often.