Calling your dog and having it respond and come back to you is very important – not just for normal days, but most especially in life-threatening situations. This is why recall training your puppy – even at this young age – is very important.
It also gives the added benefit of knowing that your dog will stay safe even when unleashed especially in a public place and outdoors.
Practice Makes Perfect
Training your puppy to come back to you can only be perfected if it becomes a habit and turning it into a habit will require lots and lots of practice. You and your puppy will have to do it numerous times until they no longer think twice when you give the recall before it comes back to you.
Consistency and patience in countless occasions are important to make it happen. In addition, you should always celebrate and affirm it when they obey.
Non-Response: Why It Happens
When your puppy doesn’t respond to your recall command, it only means they find something else more interesting. This is why it is important for you to have something that they will prefer over anything else in the environment, otherwise they will end up ignoring you.
Creating Ideal Conditions for Recall Success
Creating the best condition for success starts at the earliest possible training age. As a pup, its world is small so curiosity has not yet been fully aroused. However, it may also show a lack of interest. Don’t let this discourage you, and you should always look for even the smallest of improvements.
More importantly, refrain from scolding your puppy when it comes back to you because it will form a negative perception of the recall command and thus make it less inclined to follow.
Make a Training Schedule – and Stick to It
It is important to have a training plan for your puppy – one that you can follow to the letter. Make sure your training plan is done every day, indicates who else is involved, which treats to give, and what else is needed for the training.
Training should primarily be fun, which is more a priority over educating your pup. The training plan should also be dynamic to keep up with your puppy’s quick development. To do this, you may have to change things up every month or so, which will also make it more interesting for your pup.
Treats as Positive Reinforcement
Doggie treats and games are great options for positive reinforcement. For food treats, save the most delectable ones for training and always show your dog that you have it prior to starting. But because not all dogs are motivated by food, make sure you have other motivators on hand for times when your dog can benefit from a treat but is not exactly hungry.
Toys, clickers, and even a nice belly rub will also do. For non-food treats, only let the dog have it for a short while so they will maintain their interest and desire for it in the next training sessions.
Discipline Through Positive Training
If your puppy refuses to follow, never scold nor hit it. Simply send the message of disapproval by bringing your dog straight to its crate. Other methods may work with your dog, but the important thing is to maintain a sense of calm. Never lose your cool, lest you lose the positive developments and have your puppy establish negative associations with recall training.
If you puppy doesn’t come back after you call it, simply go up to it and get it. This is to avoid having your dog conclude that it’s okay to not go to you when called.
Catching Your Dog’s Attention
Use cues – both audio and visual – during recall training. Make your voice loud, whistle, wave your arms around when you are calling your dog. This helps him pay better attention to you, especially when you are far away.
Other methods include banging on a wall, making a loud noise, or doing all sorts of stuff to make the puppy curious about you. After getting your pup, start over again but this time make the distance between the two of you shorter.
When your puppy starts obeying more often, you can add a few distractions. Make the distractions manageable, such as transitioning from your back yard to your front yard which is slightly bigger. You can even play chase to get your puppy’s attention, as this game is very natural and fun for it.
After distractions, add distance gradually. If a park might be overwhelming to a dog, make sure you keep him on a leash. The time you choose to go to the park should be one wherein there are only a few dogs so as not to make it too distracting for him. Again, this has to do with setting up your dog for the best chances of success.
How to Make Recall Stronger
If you want your puppy to have a strong recall, introduce your other commands while training it. Doing so affords you more control over your training environment. Practice you stay and down commands at the same time. Evaluate your dog’s responses and adjust your program to make it better.
See what other tools you can incorporate into your training to make it more fun or to get better response. Above all, make sure you always repeat often to really drive home the point of your program.
Consistency in training cannot be emphasized enough, as this is a strong indicator for success. Remember that there are no shortcuts to training, but if you keep at it you will surely find time spent with your pup as a more enjoyable one later in the future.
Recall training your puppy is an integral part of its overall development, and this should be done in the earliest possible time. Make it as fun as possible, and up the appeal ante with treats and positive reinforcement. Keep your cool and always be firm, but never to a point where your dog begins to view it negatively.
With a dynamic training program, your dog should be the best position to achieve success in recall training!
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!