Recall Can Be Challenging to Train
Teaching your dog to come when you call them (the professionals call this "recall") can be very challenging. The world is full of exciting smells and sounds which can be very distracting to dogs! Redirecting your dog's attention from distractions takes consistency, patience, and dedication. Training your dog to have a reliable recall is extremely important and can even be lifesaving in emergency situations.
Here are a few key tips for getting started with training recall:
To begin, try to use one-word cues only. For example, saying their name then "come" is a great place to start. Avoid yelling or using a harsh voice as this can instill anxiety and fear during the training. Using your happy baby voice, and standing at a short distance from your dog, give the recall cue and reward your dog with a treat when they approach you. Repeat these steps while very slowly increasing the distance between you and your dog.
It's best to start with an environment that is free from distractions. Once your dog has demonstrated their ability to recall, then environments with increased distractions can be practiced in. The best way to do this is to first train your dog's recall in various rooms throughout your home then in a controlled outside environment like your front or back yard. As you begin to slowly increase distractions in your training environment, the value of the treat should increase as well. This exercise is a positive reinforcement training method that allows your dog to connect the reward to the cue.
Consistency and Patience
As with all dog training, consistency and patience are the most important. Training a strong recall requires practicing on a daily basis. It is very important not to become frustrated and to keep the same happy tone of voice, especially when training younger and less experienced dogs. It is also important to avoid repeating the cue multiple times! You want your dog to respond to the cue the first time you say it, not the fifth or sixth time! Give them a few seconds to think things through and figure out what you are asking of them. If they are struggling to connect the dots, take the training back a step to where your dog was last successful.
Baby steps are extremely important when practicing recall training. If your dog fails to respond to recall training or loses interest, never punish them. Instead, simply change up the reward or continue the training another time. Consider working with a professional dog trainer in order to maintain consistency and dedication for your dog's recall training. Training a solid recall can be one of the most difficult to accomplish, but it is never impossible! At Biscuits Doggie Daycare and Pet Resort, recall training is practiced through a variety of services such as day training, puppy preschool, puppy kindergarten and private lessons.