1. Choose a word that you will only use for recalls.
Recall is the command your dog absolutely needs to master! Having a good recall is essential for his safety. Your companion could avoid being hit by a car, sprayed by a skunk, injured by the thorns of a porcupine, run away.
2. Do not overuse this word.
If you use it too often, in any situation, you risk rendering it ineffective. It is for this reason that we do not recommend using the dog’s name for this exercise. Do not use your special word when you think that your dog will not come back. For example, if he plays with other dogs, it can fail because he may not be ready for this level of difficulty in his training. Instead, go get him or use other words to call him.
3. Say the command only once.
When you start training your dog, the chances that he will not come back in the beginning are quite high. It’s tempting to repeat your command a second time, thinking your dog didn’t hear you. Believe us, he heard very well! If you get into the habit of repeating, he will understand that he can afford to wait before doing what you want. Do some environmental management and use a long leash to keep him from practicing the wrong behaviour.
4. Motivate your dog when he comes back at you.
It’s hard for him to stop doing something very interesting to come to you. Playing with other dogs, barking at your neighbors, rolling in mud, exploring, chasing squirrels or a cat… It’s much more fun for him than going to find you. Encourage him as he returns, so he doesn’t run back to the distraction. ‘’ Good boy / Good girl ‘’, ‘’Yes!’’, ‘’Good dog’’, with interesting little noises, pat on the thighs and a big smile on your face. You think that look ‘’crazy’’ in front of all these people? It doesn’t matter because your dog is back. Even if his life was not in danger, all efforts will help if a dangerous situation arises.
5. Always reward your dog when he comes near you.
It’s party time! Hugs, words of congratulation and treats. You are happy that your dog made the decision to put you at the top of his priority list. This is the only command, where we advise to always reward the dog, regardless of his age. You want a strong recall at all times. When you think about it, in a day, we recall our dog much more often than ask him to sit down or to do ‘’pretty’’. This is why it’s important to have very tasty treats and to vary them. Your in luck, we have all this for you!
6. Don’t show him that you have treats.
Unless you want a dog, who examines you, to see if you have anything to give him. You don’t want to beg the dog during the recall. You want him to get used to making the decision to come back on his own. Leave your treats in your training pouch or in your pockets.
We know it’s hard to stay cheerful when your dog doesn’t come right back, but scolding him is counterproductive. Do not be discouraged! A dog acts to receive or avoid something. Become what your dog wants to receive the most in the world!