Actually, this maybe shouldn't be called recall, altho I've not real clear on the difference between recall and retrieve. Maybe I'm working on both at the same time. Here's the objective and the question:
I want Sam to learn that come means return to me. He is not especially food driven, but is prey driven. So I'm using throwing the ball as the reward. And that's where this probably also turns into retrieve, because I want him to return to me with the ball, and not make victory laps around the yard first (which has been what he has been doing in the past)
I put the long line on him. I put him in heel position. I throw the ball. I wait until he gets it, then yell come, bend down, clap, look happy, etc. Sometimes he starts back toward me, sometimes not. Sometimes he comes all the way back, sometimes not. We've only been working with the line for about a week and a half, twice a day for about 15 minutes at a time.
My question is: when he goes out to get the ball the long line winds up about 15-20 feet in front of where I was when I threw the ball. I've been walking out to where it is, so that I can get the end and begin the reeling in if it is one of those times when he didn't return. Is that okay, or am I teaching him that I will come part of the way toward you, instead of you coming all the way back to me? Should I have an EVEN LONGER line? It's over 50 feet as it is.....
I'd get a longer line or throw the ball a shorter distance.
You want an IMMEDIATE connection between your word COME and his action of moving toward you. IF he pauses, hesitates, loses focus, etc. you want to be able to reel him in ASAP. To do that, you need to be holding on to the other end of the longline... for now. Once taught securely, you can probably let go. But I wouldn't be doing that at this point.
If he's too far during his sit, use the longline and a collar correction to get him RIGHT into you. You should be almost toe-to-toe, where you can reach his head without leaning forward very much at all.
I would work the recall separately from the retrieve. A recall is when you leave the dog in a sitting position and walk away (ie to the other side of the ring), turn and face the dog, then call him to front. Eventually you should be able to call the dog from anywhere (even behind you) and have him sit in front. Start the recall work up close (at the end of a 6' leash and gradually increase the distance. Read https://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...ic,1694.0.html and scroll down to the section on teaching recalls.