Recall training tips
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Thread: Recall training tips

  1. #1
    chiefwiggum's Avatar
    chiefwiggum is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRecall training tips

    Hey everyone!
    My little pup has grown so fast. Wrigley is now a little over 4 months old and things are going great. He is a very smart dog and training him has been a breeze. Right now he knows sit, lay down, can give both paws when asked, and speak.

    The only one thing has been a little problematic is recall. I understand that he is still young and learning his name, but I was wondering if any of you experienced pet parents have tips on training dogs for reliable recall.
    So far I have been practicing inside, but the problem is when he knows we have been working on tricks and there are treats involved he comes near me no problem. A few days ago I had him outside on a retractable leash and I would let him go far and then call him with a treat in my hand. It worked on and off, when he didn't respond I would tug on his leash to bring him close.
    Sometimes when he is nose deep in a good smell and I call him he will just give me this look like, "Mama, I'm busy here" and go back to his sniffing :P
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    bearbuddymarie is offline Senior Member
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    I would do what you are doing with a long lead
    and use extra special treats, like liver or hot dog
    pieces or whatever is high value to him.
    It takes lots of practice, its a hard one to learn.
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    Archie is offline Senior Member
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    If he has ignored your recall word, even once, pick a new word. Mine is HERE!

    Started with yelling it at Archie while he sat in front of me. Yelled it over and over for about 30 seconds while feeding him cheese. This went on daily for about a week.

    The next week, starting yelling it in the house when he was not far from me and not distracted. He would come for his cheese.

    The next week, still in the house, maybe a bit more distracted, yell the word, he comes to get his cheese.

    Each week, I increased the distance and/or distractions. I NEVER recalled him without a high value treat to give him, NEVER used the word if I wondered whether or not he would come. To this day, he has never ignored his recall word.

    I think the key is, slowly build up value in the word. Basically, you want them to hear you yell that recall word and think "Sweet! Go to the human and I get the best treat ever!"

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    duckdog11 is offline Junior Member
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    I use a 25 ft. check cord and a "pinch" collar. We work on here for short intervals multiple times a day- they never have the option not to come because you can "check" them with a little tug while commanding "Here" and then reward with treats when they arrive at your side. I keep a check cord on my pups at all times and let them wander the yard. When they have their attention directed elsewhere I will sneakily grab the end of the line and command "Here" this gets them learning that here means here no matter what other things they are in the middle of.

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    chiefwiggum is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the tips everyone!

    I think that I need to get a high value treat. So far I have been using the same treats he has had forever so he might be a little less motivated.
    And adding distance and distractions sounds like it would be good for him. If we're inside he will respond when called, but the second he gets his nose in something outside he is doing his own thing.

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    Dryfo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckdog11 View Post
    I use a 25 ft. check cord and a "pinch" collar. We work on here for short intervals multiple times a day- they never have the option not to come because you can "check" them with a little tug while commanding "Here" and then reward with treats when they arrive at your side. I keep a check cord on my pups at all times and let them wander the yard. When they have their attention directed elsewhere I will sneakily grab the end of the line and command "Here" this gets them learning that here means here no matter what other things they are in the middle of.
    i wouldn't use a prong or pinch collar for this, I would use a harness for the dog's safety and to not associate "here" or "come" to a negative correction

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    Archie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dryfo View Post
    i wouldn't use a prong or pinch collar for this, I would use a harness for the dog's safety and to not associate "here" or "come" to a negative correction
    I agree. I much prefer positive reinforcement for recall training. You want coming to you to be the best thing ever. Better than chasing a squirrel, better than playing with another dog, etc.

    I might consider duckdog's method if the dog used to have a 100% recall and needed a reminder, but it wouldn't be how I would train initially, and hopefully wouldn't ever be needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    I agree. I much prefer positive reinforcement for recall training. You want coming to you to be the best thing ever. Better than chasing a squirrel, better than playing with another dog, etc.

    I might consider duckdog's method if the dog used to have a 100% recall and needed a reminder, but it wouldn't be how I would train initially, and hopefully wouldn't ever be needed.
    That is what I had read before, that you want your dog to associate coming to you with positive things because they will be more likely to want to come to you.

    Thanks again for all the tips everyone! It is going to take a while to teach this one, but I am going to keep at it.
    It is actually kind of funny how I had said in an earlier reply that he is better at it inside when he is not distracted because earlier today I called him from about a foot away to come sniff a treat I hid and he just stared at me like, "Naaaah I'm good" :P Labs have got the funniest personalities.

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    They sure have funny personalities... But boy do we love 'em.

  12. #10
    slackercodemonkey is offline Senior Member
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    The most important thing to remember in teaching a good recall is to communicate to your dog that you are the most exciting rewarding thing in their world. If you can communicate that, recall is a piece a cake!

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