The Recall (“Sammy, Come!”): Put Golden Rule No.4 in place
Dog off leash:
Training a puppy to come at the park:
We all like it when our dog comes a very first time (recall) but it does not always happen that way, and it does not happen overnight. To develop an amazing recall where you can call your dog off a high-speed chase needs time to work, a powerful bond along with a dog that listens and does that which you say despite the fact that it sometimes would prefer to make a move different. I am proud to state which I had known as my dog off a higher-speed chase when she caught sight of the bunny and screwed. On my little call, she stopped, switched and came right to me. This really is something to strive for with everything; practice makes perfect!
The key to getting a good recall going is pretty simple. Once your puppy is about eight weeks old, then you should be able to make any noise and get his attention!
Ideally set yourself up with minimal distractions, no noises, calm quiet, no people or pets around and definitely inside the house! Of course, you should be already be making the 5 Golden Rules so your puppy will be looking and keen for affection and attention!
- First, you call your dog using a simple “Sammy Come.” I do not precede most commands with my dog’s name, but recall is the one time I do.
- Then if your dog comes the first time you reward him with one of the three forms of reward. Food, affection or toys.
The key is to take it slowly. Moreover, always remember to take it one step at a time.
If your puppy does not come
If your puppy does not come the first time and you are sure that he heard you then simply ignore him. Either turn and walk away or sit back up on the chair and carry on doing whatever you were previously doing.
In 5 minutes time, you will try again but it is important that you ignore Sammy if he comes up to you during this time! Many dogs will ignore you when you call and then come and nudge you for attention 1 minute later! They are playing a game that I call “I’ll call you, don’t call me!” and you would be the one calling the shots, not the other way round. With just a little bit of patience, your dog will realize that if it doesn’t come when you call then it will never get to play ball, never get affection and cuddles and never get its favorite treats! He will work it out really quickly… it’s just a matter of time.
More advanced recall
With time you can start to progress to more distractions and call him back over greater distances. When you get out for the first time, practice, in the same way, using a long line. You must keep control and the long line is a very good way to do that! There is more information in the dog problem section on recall.
- Random rewards mean really random! Your dog should never know what it will get if it comes first time only that it will be good!
- Keep those amazing treats for training purposes
- If your puppy doesn’t come the first time then walk away
- This is simply an extension of Golden Rule No.4 ‘everything should be on your terms’
- Your affection and attention should be valuable to your dog, make them a reward, not a free buffet lunch!
- Practice random recalls, such as when he doesn’t expect it
- Call your dog, reward your dog and then release your dog
- Make it a really good thing to come the first time… it’s treat time!
- If you make the treats random then you can easily wean your dog off them when you are ready
The Four most common mistakes
- Treating your dog like a remote control car and calling him way too many times for no good reason! Of course, he will stop coming!!
- People pat and cuddle the puppy when they haven’t called him! So why should he come when you call?
- People call their puppy 15 times and still give him a reward when he turns up late!
- Forgetting to use the same words, for example, people say “here Sam”, “Sammy boy”, “SAM SAM”, “Samson come”, and expect their puppy to understand all of them!
If you need to encourage your puppy to come then really you can get down on your knees and hold out your hand as if offering a treat to your puppy to get it interested.
Exercises to play
Get everyone in the house to sit around and call your puppy. If he comes the first time then you can give him a reward. If it doesn’t then you ignore him. Very soon you should have your puppy charging around from person to person. This is a great game for high energy dogs to play outside especially with young children. Take some of the puppies food out of its dinner bowl and play it before dinner!
Call your puppy – if he comes the first time, then you can reward.
If he does not simply ignore. This is Golden Rule No.4.