Training Thursday: Four Easy Ways To Destroy Your Dog’s Recall

It really is easy to destroy your dog’s recall. Of course, it’s not something that you’ll be doing consciously, but if you take a moment to think back over the last few days you’ll probably realise you’ve done at least one of these things:

 

  • If you call your dog, using your tried & tested recall sound, then they take longer than usual to come back to you so you’re grumpy with them.
  • Call your dog when they’ve spotted a squirrel and keep calling even though they’re still running and bouncing around the bottom of the tree.
  • Call your dog into a room, then shut the door and go out without them.
  • Keep calling your dog over… and over… and over… and over again.

What has your dog learned from each of these scenarios?

  • Nothing good happens when they come back to you (at best).
  • I’m willing to bet they’re so excited by their near miss with the squirrel, they haven’t registered that you are calling. If they have, they’re having way too much fun to care. Especially if last time you called them, number one happened!
  • That recall sound means they’re going to be shut in a room. That’s rubbish, so next time they hear that recall sound, they know not to come to you.
  • If the recall sound doesn’t mean anything to your dog, then repeating it isn’t going to help either of you.

People who’ve worked with us know that we don’t use the dog’s name for recall. We encourage people to have a recall sound that is practiced day in day out, is built up against distractions and is reinforced with great treats, games and interaction. That recall sound is the START of an awesome time for our dogs, it doesn’t signal the end of their fun.

You can find our recall guide here.

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