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6 Tips for Better Recall

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Practice!

Reliable recall can be a difficult behavior to teach a dog, but by following these tips, you can make the process much easier. 

 1. Teach the command “come” with a professional dog trainer who will explain how to use rewards, markers, reinforcement, and timing.  Good training will help you make the association between the word “come” and the behavior of your dog running to you quickly and sitting in front of you clear to your dog.
  2. Continue associating the behavior of the dog coming to you with good things like play, toys, attention, or treats.
 3. Don’t let your dog associate unpleasant events with the word come.   Don’t call your dog to you and then take him away from a pleasant event or give him something he hates like a nail clipping or a bath.  Be creative.  Practice having your dog come to you, rewarding it well, then letting him go back to whatever he was doing.  Above all, never yell at, hit or punish your dog for coming to you no matter how long it took to do it.
 4. Know what motivates your dog.  Think about what type of reward will motivate your dog to leave a play session with another dog to come to you.  Think about what type of activity would motivate your dog to leave a tasty pile of tootsie rolls in the litter box to come to you.
 5.  Don’t chase your dog.  Sometimes running the other way will entice your dog to run to you.  Sometimes just asking your dog to sit, then giving him good verbal feedback will allow you to gain the control you need.
 6.  Get your dog accustomed to your hand on his collar when your dog comes to you – especially before you deliver a treat.  You will be able to gain control over your dog my holding his collar if there is danger.
 
Reliable recall will not only help manage every day events with your dog, but it may one day save your dog’s life.
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Written by dawnhanna

March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

Posted in Dog Training

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