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Training Tuesday - Tips to Create a Solid Recall

For today's Training Tuesday article, we look at the all-important recall behavior for our dogs.

Does your dog have a good recall? Or do you find yourself sometimes chasing after him or her when you need them to come when called? Trainer Amber Pickren, CPDT-KA, provides helpful tips on the Zuke's blog on making your dog's recall consistent and solid.

Pickren relates that the recall is a difficult cue for most dogs to learn perfectly, because the environment is a powerful distraction, filled with sights, sounds, smells and squirrels to compete with your dog's attention. Effective training and reinforcement is the answer!

You first want to start in an area that has little to no distractions for your dog - an example could be your back yard, which your dog is familiar with, or an inside area like a training facility ring. You also want to start the dog set up for success and giving them too much too soon is a recipe for failure, so make sure you are in an area that gives your dog the best chances for focusing on you.

Using a 15-20 foot long line attached to your dog, call your dog's name while slowing moving away at a jogging pace. You want your dog to chase you as dogs will do with each other during play. 

Once your dog reaches you, immediately ask them to go into heel position, and reward them with a high value treat (such as Zuke's!). You can also reinforce them with a treat for behaviors such as sitting, or giving you eye contact, because you want to reinforce to the dog that halting all play and focusing on you is a great thing.

Repeat the process and increase your speed and how far away you move from the dog in small increments. You will want to do this over multiple sessions and always remember to work at your dog's comfort level and learning speed. Keep your training sessions short - approximately 15-20 minutes - and engage your dog with play as much as you can to increase their focus on your during your sessions.

More tips are available at the Zuke's website.

Enjoy your training!

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