Walking your dog is a wonderful thing for any owner and their dog.
Teaching Dog Recall is the real treat though and comes when your dog can be safely let off their leash for a well-deserved run about.
How to teach a dog recall is a vital part of their training and in this article,
we will go about explaining the steps you need to take to get the very best results when introducing this skill to your growing training skillset.
It’s great to see your dog running and showing off their athletic prowess. I myself have always owned Greyhounds and to see them running for fun is quite an amazing thing.
The importance of teaching recall to your dog is vital especially when you consider the hazards of letting your dog run free in the event that you can’t get them to come back.
Going back to previous articles and training tips that we have looked at, recall is something that needs to be learned at home, in your garden or yard if you have one but failing that, in a secured enclosed space.
I realize finding an enclosed secure space can be difficult but sometimes you can find a kindly landowner, farmer or someone who has a larger space that you can approach to use.
I have done this in the past and as long as the area is secure and your dog can’t run off and you also make sure you clean up any doggy doos, then this could be an option for your training.
Also, try to make your training sessions free of distractions for your dog. It is really difficult to get your dog to focus if it is a municipal park or an area where there are other dogs, noise or generally thing that can shift your dog’s focus from you.
Introducing Your Dog To Recall
A method I have used in the past is to let your dog get used to the area first of all as dogs are predators they will check out the entire area, looking for weak points and sniffing everywhere and this gets them adjusted well to the new surroundings.
After letting the dog get used to their new surroundings, I then put my dog back on the lead and continue to the next step.
Step One: Getting Your Dog To Stay
I use a long training lead like this one and it is very effective.
Loosen the leash and take a step back and say to your dog firmly STAY. Whilst raising your palm as if to say STOP, repeat the command STAY.
This is a case of persevering with this and if you have done this at home before, especially when you were learning the other training including getting your dog to come to you in the home.
The STAY command really does work and your dog will learn this…..especially when it is combined with the request to come to you that results in a reward, a tidbit.
Tidbits, food rewards are essential in this training as usual as you are trying to imprint the command and reward system for this new stage of their training.
Keep saying STAY and gradually move further back, one step at a time. If your dog starts to move, then you need to go right back to the start and until your dog gets this message.
No rewards if they move, remember, YOU are in charge of this and the rules of this game must lay entirely with you at all times.
Once you have this particularly essential portion of your dog’s training, you can move on to step 2
Step 2:The Recall
When I have done this with my dogs I have always used my long training lead as it still gives me a chance to get at least a fighting chance of getting my dog back if they don’t come back.
It is 20 feet in length, plus my dog still feels like it has a lead on it and I have found that this has calmed them a small amount.
I loosen my grip and virtually release the lead and then tell my dog to STAY……I then reward with a treat.
I move away, one step at a time…..still saying STAY until I am about 10 to 15 feet away.
I then call my dog and they get a treat.
I then repeat but this time gradually getting further away. Keep doing this until you can get about 30 feet away from your dog and again, this takes time and repetition to get this right, but if you do this kind of training it is an incredible way of building trust and that all-important bond.
Getting this right is essential to you enjoying all of your walks together and the fact that after your dog learning, fully understanding and responding to the instruction, you will both be more confident on your daily walks.
This great video shows you a bit more and explains the whole recall process. You can mix and match and find what works for you of course as it is always great to remember that all of our dogs are different, unique and learn at their own pace.
That’s why it is so important to be calm, patient and consistent in our approach to the training.
To keep the training regime rigid is not essential, you don’t have to do this every single day as it can quickly become boring for you and your dog and especially frustrating if you are finding it isn’t working that well at first.
Do this kind of training 3 or 4 times a week for 15 to 30 minutes only. That way it is still fun and enjoyable for you both.
Try to keep a record of your successes too as this will help with getting your training speeds better too.
Try to record what works and what doesn’t and then you will be actually set down a blueprint that can be adjusted slightly for different situations.
It may take a few days to get your dog to get this off to a tee or it may take a few weeks, but your dog WILL get it eventually, I can certainly promise you that.