Recall training is necessary if you want your dog to be as well-behaved as possible. In line with this, recall training is also a way to keep your dog safe in situations that he might find himself in danger.
For many dog owners who have yet to get their pets to master recall training, the temptation to just keep them hostage at home might be present – that’s how important recall training is!
Rare is the dog who automatically comes back to you when called, as it is most dogs’ nature to bolt in pursuit of whatever it is that catches their attention. For many dog owners, this is the reason why they have the tendency to watch their gates and doors like a hawk – especially if their dog has already tried to make a run for it in the past!
If your dog is not “naturally gifted” in the coming back to you when called department, you will have to invest a lot of training time, repetition, and rewards in order to give him some semblance of satisfactory recall training.
If you don’t, then the alternatives to your dog getting in trouble when outside are quite dire: keeping him on a very short leash or worse, not allowing him outside at all!
The Two-Part Recall Training Rule
When it comes to recall training, there are two parts that you need to consider. First, you need to remember that treating your dog nicely each time he comes back to you will be of utmost importance. This includes giving him some kind words or a vigorous belly rub – little treats that mean a lot for your pet and will greatly emphasize the good feelings he will get after successfully following through a command.
Second, you will have to establish a line between yourself and the dog – which is about as short as six feet to as long as twenty feet long. This is needed so that you are able to reel him in when you want to and he does not seem to want to come back to you out of his own volition.
This method will still ensure that your dog will be held fully responsible for his own behavior while giving you some semblance of control if the situation calls for it. For this, it is important to exercise repetition so your dog will not find even the smallest opportunity to bolt away from you while you are in the middle of reeling him in.
If you find that your dog is simply standing still when called and refrains from moving, the lack of movement on his part simply means he is not planning on coming back to you. If you have a line, all you need to do is to reel him in. If it is not possible, then you will simply have to go to him and then bring him to the place where you wanted him to come to you first.
If this situation occurs, you will definitely not give him any rewards – but at the same time, there will also be no punishment. After all, while he did not follow your command he also did not do anything bad nor put himself in a problematic situation. On your part, you should just downplay what happened and try recall training again on another opportunity.
Highlight the Desired Behaviors
In recall training, you should definitely prioritize enforcing the behavior which you want to see. You should not repeat commands continuously if the dog does not follow through the first time you said it. This will be a long process – definitely longer than a month for most dogs – but you will surely reap many rewards if you are diligent about it.
Dog recall training may seem like it comes with very simple instructions, which is why a lot of newbie dog owners get frustrated when they encounter a lot of trouble with getting their dogs to come to them.
The usual reason is that they (the dog owners) probably didn’t follow through with the simple instructions each time they asked the dog to come to them. With the absence of consistency comes the absence of learning, and the dog will assume that coming back to you can be optional.
A Negative Lesson
A dog who refuses to follow you during recall training will definitely spark your ire, and this is something that can lead you to do unpleasant things like possibly chase him around the yard or give him a great big telling-to when you finally (and roughly) grab a hold of him.
Getting frustrated at your dog is totally understandable, but you also need to remember that if you act on such an impulse then you will get your training back farther than when you first started. Your dog then learns a negative lesson: that you should be feared and will then look for more ways to put additional distance between the two of you.
Modeling the Right Behavior
In training your dog for recall, you have to remember that your dog is a dog. He is going to act as such. However, he will be able to pick up some behavior for you that will have a big impact on how your relationship will be like.
If you tend to scream or stamp your feet every time you let your dog out at night and does not come back at the intended time, then he will feel bad and further detached from you. But if you show love while still maintaining discipline and firmness, he will grow to trust you more and eventually do as you please.
It’s All About Repetition
Despite all the challenges that accompany recall training, it is something that is worth practicing over and over until your dog gets it right.
Maintaining consistency and striving for repetition are the top of the list of things you should do when practicing recall training, while blowing your top and being very random about when you should practice are at the very top of the shouldn’t do list. Keep at it, and you will definitely find great improvements in getting your dog to come back to you!
Are you frustrated at your dog’s poor response every time you call him? CLICK HERE to watch the FREE Video on how to get him to listen and come every time you call!