Coming When Called: Don’t Ruin Your Dog’s Recall

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Hey, it’s Tenille here from Dog Matters. Today we’re going to talk about the recall, which is coming when called. Now, there’s many different ways to teach and practice coming when called with your dog, but there’s a few rules to keep it consistent. You can check out more details in another video that I did previously about how to improve your dog’s recall. The point that I want to talk about today is not to ruin your dog’s recall by letting your dog practice not coming when called. The technique that I’m going use in this video is using a long line.

I’ve got Lola here on the end of this long line. I’m going to let her go and explore. There’s some ibis over there that she might want to check out, because she loves to chase birds. It’s really important that if your dog isn’t a hundred percent with their recall, you don’t just risk letting them off the line and see what happen. If I let Lola off the line now, and she went and chased the birds, she’s likely not going to listen to me calling her back. If I have a long line on, I can reel her in and reinforce that coming when called is not optional. You have to do it every single time.

Now, the problem that I sometimes see is people get impatient. We can all be impatient at times, including myself. They just want to let their dog run and have a good time, so they let them off the long line, or off the lead, somewhere where it’s out in the open where they really have no way of getting their dog back if their dog decides not to listen when they call them. Of course, if a tempting distraction comes along or something that’s fun or rewarding to the dog, they choose to ignore the command and run off. They don’t come when called.

But what is also happening is the dog’s getting rewarded for not coming when called, because they’re getting to enjoy something else that they choose to do instead. Every time that happens, you are undoing all of your hard training work that you’ve put in already to teach your dog to come when called. Until your dog is reliable at their recall, don’t let them run free without some measure of control such as the long line.

Come here. Good girl. Yes. Treat.

Also important is that your dog doesn’t associate coming when called with being put on the lead and taken away from fun times. Practice your recall in those fun environments where instead of only calling your dog when you need to put the lead on and go [inaudible 00:02:28], you call them, reward them, and let them go again as part of their reward, but of course, having that way to call them back in if you need to give them a reminder.

Another thing to remember is every successful recall counts, even if you’re just in the backyard or in an area that just seems too easy, even from a really short distance. If you have a recall where you say the command and your dog comes, that’s a success. It’s like one in the bank.

Here. Yeah. Great.

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