One of the best training techniques you can teach your dog is a reliable recall. Not only for safety, but also to let your dog have off lead freedom in the park. Dogs love to run around in fields, the beach or park and it is unfortunate when a dog has to be kept on lead because they won't return to the owner when called.
Here are some handy tips to help you and your dog work towards a perfect recall.......
When training outdoors, for safety, use a long lead while they are learning - 10 or 15ft are good lengths. The lead can be clipped to your dog's collar or harness which enables them to run around while you still have good access to the end of the lead, should you need to stop them running off. Long leads are a great training aid and are useful while your dog is learning recall and there should be no off long lead unless in a safe open space.
Engage lots with your dog and practice recall on every walk. Regularly call you dog back to you, but try not to overdo it. Allow your dog to 'be a dog' in the park. Let them sniff around and and greet other dogs. Calling your dog to you at the point when they are clearly far more interested in something else is setting yourself up for a fail, pick the right moment to recall call them for a higher success rate.
If you want to get your dog's attention, you must appear to be more appealing, interesting and exciting than the other things they are doing. From a dog's view, the following score system may be useful to help you understand their perception of the great outdoors:
Dogs rely on our body language and voice tone for clarity, so it is essential to use a fun, excited voice to catch your dog's attention which will make them want to return. Run backwards away from your dog and use the recall command, as they usually can't resist chasing after you. Waving yours arms around and jumping about will make you irresistible! Crouching down can also help, so you are at your dog's eye level.
Mix and match your treat rewards by using different types such as meat, smelly, crunchy or soft treats so they don't get bored. Remember treats are only a training tool and can be gradually phased these out later and you can begin to offer them just intermittently. Occasionally throw a surprise treat party for your dog by giving several treats at once and make a big deal of it by also offering lots of positive praise! This will definitely endear your dog to recall to you more often.
Practice, practice, practice the recall often (ideally every day) either in your garden or try to find an enclosed area like a tennis court, this is a great place for training as you can let your dog off lead and safely practice your recall without a lead or long lead.
Contact Faith on 07941 640348 for obedience training or behaviour modification.