Dog Recall Training: How to Train Your Dog to Come
Would you like to know how to train your dog to come? This is one of the most common complaints of many dog owners:
“My dog doesn’t come when I call!”
Training the recall is one of the funniest of all dog-training exercises because we do so much completely wrong! Let me explain.
This is what we want to achieve: When we call our dog “here Bella” we want Bella to come sprinting as fast as she can to us. Now, in order to achieve this we must make “here Bella” the best command in the world. With the best result and rewards at the end! So here are some tips!
Never call your dog if you are thinking of telling her off! You can undo months and months of hard work training your dog to come by telling her off just once. Suddenly coming when you call could be a really bed move!
9 times out of 10 make sure that your dog has a good experience when she comes if you call you. On the 10th recall if you need to put your dog on a leash then do so.
When you call your dog to you think of coming as more of a “check in with me” than a “I am calling you to stop what you are doing”.
Use a long line to keep control of your dog if you are unsure. A long line is a piece of line or rope that can be as long as you like that lies on the ground but you keep within reach!
Dog Recall Training: the Basic Formula
If your dog hates returning to the car then reward your dog back at the car with water and a small feed and things will soon turn around! The basic formula to any good recall training is:
CALL your dog to you, then
REWARD your dog within 2 seconds and then immediately
RELEASE your dog.
In order to make your dog enjoy the experience you should learn the power of using affection and attention by withholding it and only giving it as a reward. This is one of the most powerful tools available to us and yet we get it all so wrong by giving the dog attention whenever they want and wondering why they don’t come when we call them!
All of the steps above are demonstrated live on video as well as how to establish yourself as the pack leader on The Online Dog Trainer. Click here to take a look at their website..
Dogs aren’t actually insubordinate. However, they at first don’t understand precisely what they’re supposed to do. To make this crystal clear, you need to establish the alpha status up front. Be ready to exhibit patience and modest and firm force to produce the behavior wanted. This can be difficult when training the command “come”.
Dog Recall Training: Avoid distractions!
It’s in their nature for dogs to explore their surroundings. They will smell anything and everything, dig, turn things over, and grab little objects. When doing a training session minimize any distractions by arranging to be as far away from other people and voices as possible. It’s a good idea to use an area that is clear of impediments or a room without small articles on the floor.
The moment the dog comes spontaneously towards you, act quickly, and reinforce the command with a hand gesture. If he moves towards you, spontaneously, reinforce “Come” with the hand movement. Make sure that the gesture and/or the word is unique and not one which is used during regular training sessions.
Put the dog in a sitting position facing you. Reinforce the command of ‘stay’ as you move away. Use hand gestures and voice commands. Praise the dog if the behavior is correct. Do not reward the dog for an incorrect or partial response.
This activity should be repeated with you stepping back. If the dog tries to come too quickly, reinforce the command of sit/stay. If the dog does not move at the ‘come’ command, entice him with a treat or a toy.
Using Leash & Collars for Dog Recall Training
For dogs that are slow learners, or a little reluctant, leash and collar training may be needed. Place your dog in the sit/stay position and begin to back up a short distance as you are letting out some excess on the leash. If your dog won’t come to you, give a soft tug that is apparent while executing the voice command along with the hand sign.
For a dog that comes too soon, use a long rope or tether and wrap it around a post or a tree. If the dog tries to come too early tug the lead as you vocalize the “stay” command. If there are no trees available, use a friend to help with the session. The bad part about using an additional person during the session is the dog can become Thrown off about who they should focus on. It’s mostly best if they just focus on one person.
While instructing, consistence and forbearance is crucial. Dogs don’t as a matter of course understand the benefits of ‘come’ or any other commands. Speaking harshly when the dog makes mistakes or is a little reluctant is normally detrimental. Put in place your leader status with tone of voice, body posture and inclination to wait for the dog to comply. Physical discipline or leading is a less helpful method.
Many dog breeds are quite willing to be trained, and respond very positively to quick praise, for proper and correct behavior. If necessary, you have to show that you are the stubborn one waiting for them to ‘come’, instead of your going to them.