by Le Chameau
A good recall is one of the basic aspects of a dogs training, and in some ways, it is the most important. Your dog should be conditioned to coming back to you when called either verbally or on a whistle no matter what else he is doing or what other distractions there are to take his attention away from you.
The earlier you can get a recall instilled into your dog the better. It can be a good idea to start in the garden. Initially use a lead on the dog so it cannot run off and if the dog is food orientated use a treat to lure it forward whilst using the command “here”. You can give the dog a gentle tug on the lead to encourage it towards you. Once he has the idea you can try it without the lead.
Playing a game of “fetch” is a great way of getting a solid recall into a dog as the dog soon realises that if he brings the ball back to you, he will get to chase it again. To speed up a recall, drop down to your knees and open your arms to encourage the dog to come right into you. Do not forget to reinforce the behaviour by using the “here” command.
Using a recall whistle can be really effective and is quite easy to introduce. Once the dog is into the habit of bringing a ball back to you can gradually replace the “here” command with a few quick repeated pips on a dog training whistle. The dog soon learns by associating the sound of the whistle with coming back to you.
Fran Ardley of Tarncrag Gundogs has developed a reputation as a person who, with a calm and gentle approach, can gain a dog's complete trust every time, making life for all much more enjoyable. With over 10 years’ experience her positive attitude has seen her succeed not only in competition but also in training many different breeds of gundogs. She offers a variety of training courses, including basics, 1:1, group or residential.
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