Teaching the recall
As much as we would like to believe it, teaching your dog to come or ‘recall’ is not a pre-programmed response. While it is a natural instinct for a baby puppy not to venture too far from the pack, usually we find that as the puppy gets older and more confident, selective deafness tends to set in, and with that the previously reliable recall quickly fades too.
Despite all of that, recall is one of the most important commands to teach a dog to obey. It is particularly important if you ever want to enjoy the pleasures of having a dog roam free on a walk, playing with other dogs or even just enjoy general social behaviour. Whilst not the easiest command to teach our dogs, by setting your pup up for success and keeping each training session simple, teaching recall can be a great bonding exercise and a load of fun!
It’s Disneyland out there!
Imagine taking a child to Disneyland and then while attracted by all the interesting sights and sounds, your try to teach the child something new. You would be unlikely to be successful because of the many distractions that Disneyland would offer. It is much the same when you take your dog to the park where there are all kinds of interesting smells, sounds and sights that catch the dog’s attention. In such a situation trying to get him to concentrate on what you are trying to teach him, is often extremely difficult. For this reason, in order to get the best success with a recall, you should not un-clip their leash until you are confident they will return when called, the area is safe (e.g. a fully enclosed oval) and there are treats on hand to encourage the dog to return.