Training Tip Thursday: Building a Reliable Recall – Tip #1
One of the most, if not the most, important obedience commands that your dog should know is the recall (“come”, “here”, etc). For the next few weeks, I’m going to give weekly training tips on how I work with my dogs on building a reliable recall.
Recall Tip #1: Always reward your dog for coming to you, regardless of why he came and whether or not you asked him to come.
Why? This helps teach your dog two very important things: (1) that good things happen when he comes to you and (2) that checking in with you periodically while he’s off having fun pays off. And as an added bonus, this will teach your dog to keep an eye on you instead of you always being the one to keep an eye on him!
How do I work on this? Even when I’m out in the yard just letting the dogs run around and play, I have a bag of treats in my pocket. Whenever a dog comes up to me, he gets a treat. In this particular exercise, I don’t ask him to come — I just stand and wait until he makes the decision to come up to me. Dogs are opportunists, so they catch on to this game rather quickly [I go to mom = I get a piece of yummy cheese]. And if you dog doesn’t already, he’ll begin to associate you with all good things. 🙂