Training the recall – part 2

Recall training tips part 2. Boxer dog photo on right.

So you have practiced your recall game at home, and Rover knows the words ‘Rover come’ and that it always results in a positive reward for him, usually a treat. Now remember that it is only a treat that he gets for this exercise. Just a very small amount, we don’t want our dogs having to much fat in their diet.

Its time to head to the park. Remember every time we are at the park always ensure that your dog is in a secure area so if they don’t come when called they are still safe and can’t get to a road or run off.

When we were practicing our recall at home there was no distractions, now there are many distractions. There might be other dogs and people, good smells or just the enjoyment of running around and not coming back to you.

We always want to set our dogs up for success and not failure so this means that while Rover is in the early training part of the recall we need to be patient and call him back to us when there are fewer distractions. For example if he is sniffing around and his nose is onto something really good there is no point practicing the recall at this point. Pick your moment when he is not so distracted. Remember we are still in the teaching stage. We are working towards having recall success every time.

Well, here we are at the park so start by playing your recall game with Rover off leash only if you feel comfortable that he is not going to run off. You can also have a long lead on him at this point so he can have some distance from you and you still have control of him. Have him go back and forth between two people, remember to have a happy tone and say ‘Rover come’. When he comes to you treat and reward.

For this next part of the exercise Rover is back on his lead. This exercise is going to let you know if he has learnt enough to turn and come to you when there are distractions and he is facing away from you.

Have him on the lead and with him walking out in front of you. Every now and then say ‘Rover come’, as he turns to look at you start to run backwards still holding onto the lead and keep praising him with a happy tone. Take about five steps backwards and when he comes with you give him praise and treat. This exercise can also be done when you are out for a walk on the footpath. Every now and then just add a ‘Rover come’ into the walk. Keep practicing this exercise and then we will move onto the next and last part of the exercise. We will be taking Rover to the park and if you are comfortable he can be off the lead with some distractions.