The top three client issues are typically that the dog doesn’t come when called reliably, pulls on leash and jumps. Today we will talk about why our recall (come) command fails and how to train it properly.
First thing to remember is that practice makes perfect, provided your practicing the correct way. Good training is always about good judgement calls from the owner. In other words it is up to you to set your dog up for success! When you practice recalls make sure you are not adding a negative into the situation. It’s best to not practice a recall that is always asking the dog to come into the house. That’s a negative to the dog and doesn’t help you develop consistent recalls. You have to practice, (note the word practice), when it’s easier for the dog to perform the task so you develop a pattern of stronger training.
Think of using the recall as a game for your dog. Start with making it fun with treats and lots of praise when there are no distractions. Hide around the corner in the house and call “Buster Come!” in an excited voice. When he finds you ask him to sit and give him a food reward and lots of praise. Practice 10 times in a row if its going well, then stop for a while. Practice the same way in your yard, walks, etc. Practice, practice, practice, it as a game so when you really need that dog to come back in the house, or to you, he’s not even thinking about it it’s just become automatic.
I always offer a treat for coming back to me and my dogs don’t usually think twice about it even with most distractions.
If you train your dog only one command this is the most important one.