One of the most frustrating things that could happen when you own a dog is when you call it and he ends up ignoring you.
When this happens, it is important to correct the behavior right away – otherwise, it’s going to get worse. Recall training will be in order so that you can get your dog to be attuned and respond to you automatically.
Correcting Your Dog
Recall training differs from the traditional advice of implementing corrections from the point when you had given the recall.
In the past, dog owners encourage running your dog down (literally), grab a hold of him, and then tell him off – sometimes in a tone that emphasizes force and anger, unfortunately.
This kind of approach presents certain problems. If you do this approach, there is the notion that the consequence of not following your command will have to follow your dog’s unwanted behavior right away. And by right away, we mean mere seconds.
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Behavior modification in this sense will require a dog owner to implement the consequence before the dog is able to leave the environment in which he had ignored you, in the best hope that he won’t forget his wrongdoing.
Catching Up to Your Dog
If you are a fast runner, it is possible that you can catch up to your dog and accurately correct him in the nick of time. However, it is a given that dogs can run so much faster than humans. Only a handful of people will be fast enough to catch up to them.
And usually, by the time an average dog owner catches up to his pet there it is usually enough time for the dog to forget which behavior he showed that needs correcting.
Punishment: A Relationship-Damaging Tactic
Resorting to punishment is a quick way for the owner-pet relationship to go downhill. Sure, you may see a few instant improvements. However, these are only temporary and the overall effect is that punishment will simply damage the entire recall process.
What you want to focus on instead is to create a positive but corrective situation – one in which your dog will be more inclined to be with you when the recall signal is given, instead of running even further away to escape punishment.
The more punishment is administered, the less desire your dog will have to be with you – and this is counterproductive to your goal.
When Your Dog Ignores You
What you can do instead is to take three action steps in order for your dog to truly heed your recall signal: recovery, management, and training.
Step 1: Recover your dog.
In doing so, ensure that your dog will not have any more opportunity to ignore your call yet again. Make enough noise so that his attention is called, and then run away from him as quickly as possible.
You can bet your dog will want to follow you when you do this.
If your dog rushes off to meet with another pooch, it may be harder to get him to follow you. In this case, you will have no choice but to simply go after him and then get him.
Walk up to him quietly and take a hold of his collar right away, turning him to you instantly. When he directs his attention to you, administer a reward.
Step 2: Manage your dog.
To do this, you need to stop calling your dog if time and again you have proven that he will steadfastly ignore you.
If you persist with the recall command in this type of situation, it will then simply be rendered useless. Only give the call when you and your dog are in recall training mode.
When this goal is met, ensure that your dog wears a body harness that has a long line. A body harness is a safer attachment to the line instead of the collar, which can hurt the throat of your dog if he suddenly comes to a stop.
Drag the line along the ground and pick it up when trouble is to be anticipated.
Step 3: Train your dog with rewards.
The recall process is easier and delivers faster results when it is based on rewards. The thing to remember is to raise the difficulty level each time the previous goal is met.
Also, remember to limit all the opportunities for your dog’s self-rewards until it becomes very automatic for him to respond to your recall signal.
Rewards will have to be more generous when the difficulty level of recall training is raised, and then gradually faded when your dog eventually gets the hang of the command until the next difficulty level.
A biscuit might not be enough to impress upon your dog the importance of responding to a recall, so in some cases you might need something tastier to capture his attention!
Don’t worry about having to perpetually walk around with pockets full of tasty treats though; over time, your dog will become competent at responding to the recall command and you will no longer need to bring rewards wherever you go!
Basically, making the entire recall training process successful will necessitate a change in your approach.
You need to acknowledge the problems that come with teaching your dog how to run back to you when you call to it and patiently and consistently apply these training tips that all successful and modern dog trainers also do with each of their dogs.
The reward process is the best way to do it, because it encourages positivity and the emergence of a more compliant behavior in your dog thanks to the use of treats.
Moreover, these techniques can be applied by any dog owner and can be learned by any dog. You do not need to be a trainer to be successful in this at all!
Once you know and faithfully practice these keys to success, you will find that in due time your dog will be able to trot back to you once you give that recall sign he’s absolutely attuned to.
Here’s the next step:
If you’d like something as a reminder when you are recall training your dog, then download the bonus below.
You’ll receive a free step-by-step checklist that shows you the process to ensure your dog comes to you every time you call.
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