How well does your dog come when you call? Not so good? Need some improvement? I’m a firm believer in having fun with your dog while training. So here is the best and most effective way to instill great recall skills. I can sum it up in one phrase: play hide-and-seek!
Playing hide-and-seek with your dog
Now try hiding your face in a pillow and call them over and over and over again. It will drive them crazy in an excited and fun way. Be sure not to take the pillow away from your face until your dog is good and excited. Now try it another way. Call your dog as you are running away from them. Almost like ‘catch me if you can’. If you have an island in your kitchen run around it enticing your dog to chase you. Really work on getting their Adrenalin up as they try their hardest to get to you. Laugh a lot and make it a high energy and interactive game between the two of you.
Once calling your dog inside your house results in immediate arrival take the game outside. Start in your own backyard and play all the same games. Get your dog excited to get to you as soon as possible. Move the game to a park or a friends house. Try it at a dog park. Right in the middle of playing with the other dogs, call your dog as you excitedly run away from them. Running away from a dog will kick in their pray drive and they will want to chase you. When they come to you give them lots of praise then let them go back to playing with their friends.
Important to note that a lot of people only call their dogs at a dog park when it’s time to leave. This only teaches a dog ‘the fun stops when my owner calls me‘. I guarantee if you do this right it will result in the best recall dog you’ve ever had!
*Note. NEVER, EVER make coming to you a discipline. If bad things happen when your dog comes to you they will do one of two things. They will either sheepishly come to you in a scared, slow and timid motion or they will simply disobey your command altogether. For more tips on teaching your dog to ‘Come’ click here.
So try these things and write me back, tell me how it went!
Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition
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