Recall is the fancy term for teaching your dog to come when called.
1. Practice handling the 30 foot leash.
We teach recalls on our 30 foot leashes. That's a lot of leash and a lot of opportunity to get caught in it. Remember your long leash handling technique to allow for accurate timing and control of the leash. Hold one hand flat and let the leash run over it. Whether your dog is going away or coming to you, this hand remains flat. The only time this hand isn't flat is when it closes to keep your dog from going any further. The other hand is the busy hand. As your dog comes back to you, this hand reels the leash between you and your dog in. This helps prevent your dog from stepping on it and gives your dog less radius to run around you.
2. Toss food to help your dog leave you.
We teach realistic recalls. Don't have your dog sitting or laying down waiting to be called. In real life your dogs won't be facing you or waiting for you to call. Toss a treat away to set your dog up in the more genuine scenario- leaving you.
3. Pair your recall word with leash guidance.
Your dogs already know to follow the direction the leash guides them. Now, we'll put a word to it. After your dog has eaten their food, say your word that means "Come back" once. Immediately follow this word with tension in the leash, leading your dog toward you. Back up, act excited, and encourage your dog to follow: all while there is tension in the leash. The tension is in the leash until your dog takes the initiative to close the distance themselves. Be sure to reel in the leash. If your dog stops halfway, we need the leash available to start the tension again.
4. Natural distractions
When your dog is catching on to the pattern of coming back after eating the tossed food, you can move on to natural distractions. Allow your dog to wander off on their own, and follow the same steps for getting them back to you. Again, this is working on making it more realistic.
5. Switch to corrections
Your dogs will respond quicker and quicker to your prompts to come back. When this happens, they're ready to move on to corrections. After asking your dogs to come back, wait for 1 second. No more immediately following the prompt with the leash. If they're coming back within 1 second- perfect, throw them a party when they get to you! If they're not coming back- follow the same steps of corrections as previous exercises.
1. Say "no."
2. Give a quick tug on the leash toward you
3. Remind them again "Come."
6. Build the 3 D's
Yes, there are still 3 D's to be built in recall practice.
Distance- build up how far away your dog can get and still return to you
Duration- let more and more time pass as your dog is engaging with a distraction before calling them back.
Distraction- call your dog away from tougher distractions. For many dogs, being called away from people or from outside to inside is the toughest.