Coming When Called

Last week I went to Loker’s second group training class “Courteous Canines” taught by the talented Stacy Greer (who will guest post soon!) of Adventures in Canine Training (http://aictdfw.com). I had a friend record some of the class so that I could share with you all!

Recently I had a request to talk about training a dog to come when called or “recall”. Luckily enough, this is one of the topics we covered in Stacy’s class last week! With Stacy’s permission, I have posted the video below for all to hear and learn from.

When you want a dog to come, you have to make yourself the best object of interest in the environment. You have to be better than everything else around – dogs, birds, squirrels, people, kids, etc. That is why high-pitched, excited voices and delicious treats play such a bit role in that. You wont need to keep it like that forever (although your dog would love it), but you do need to do this for the beginning of training. Have someone hold your dog back on a leash as you show him the treats and walk or jog away a few feet. Your dog should be pulling at the leash trying to follow you (if he isn’t then you haven’y built up enough value for yourself in his eyes and you need better treats or act more exciting.) Then turn and look at your dog and yell his name and the word “come”. When you say his name, your friend should drop the leash and your dog should come barreling towards you! When he gets to you wait for him to sit in front of you and then click and treat! This exercise is so much fun for both you and the dog. When you call your dog something good should always come out of it for the dog. Never call your dog over to punish him.

Keep in mind Loker already knows this command so he knew exactly what to do in this video, however, if you do exactly as Stacy says your dog should do the same thing whether or not he knows the command. I recommend starting in your home or in the backyard where there are the least distractions possible. Gradually, you can do this in more and more distracting areas.