dog recall training

Remove the friction and both dog and owner are happier

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Who’d have thought the owner of a little dog like this wouldn’t be entirely happy with him?

 

Harry is a happy-go-lucky Jack Russell Terrier. His behaviour is pretty normal for a lively young dog.

But his owner finds some of the things he does a source of worry.

 

• She doesn’t know how to cope with him running round the garden barking at birds.

• She is driven mad by his standing six feet away from her ready to bolt when she calls him.

• And she’s fed up with him jumping up to steal food off the table.


So she called me in - to deal with “Harry’s problem behaviour”.

First address the dog's "problem behaviour"

Dog training, new puppy, puppy training, dog recall training | Remove the friction from your dog training and both you and your dog will be happier! | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

It was fairly simple to teach Harry some new things to do in the garden instead of barking at birds. (First stop is always to accompany the dog in the garden.) Having him enjoy running fast to his owner when called was a breeze. And sorting out the food-stealing didn’t take long.

No, I’m not a genius or a miracle-worker! There are some proven (scientifically proven) methods of reaching a dog’s mind that are powerful and quick.

 

What takes time, though, is reaching the dog-owner’s mind.

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And this is where the hard work came in! Working against a culture of “them and us” and “You’ll do it because I say so” is not so easy.

 

Second, address the owner's "problem behaviour"

Harry’s owner had to learn that it takes two to tango. Personal relationships are complex, and it’s never one-sided. 

So in order to change Harry’s behaviour, it was essential for her to change her own.

 

• The first thing to change was her expectations. A dog is a living being, with its own personality. It’s not a stuffed toy who never steps out of line or has an opinion.

• Next was to change her approach from barking out orders like a sergeant-major, and instead working with her dog to get the outcome she desired without conflict.

• She learnt to play interactive games with Harry which always involved choice and impulse control on Harry’s part.

And the hardest thing of all? 

• To switch her from NO to YES.

It would be “Harry NO,” “Harry STOP,” “Get down!”, “Get off!”, ‘HARRY!!”, etc, until Harry sat quietly in front of her, at which point she said … 

nothing! 

So Harry got lots of attention when he was doing something she didn’t like, and absolutely no attention at all when he did something she did like!

 

Once we’d fixed this final piece of the puzzle, life changed dramatically for both of them. 

Harry was able to carry on being a happy-go-lucky young terrier, but at last knew how to please his owner. 

She in her turn, learnt to give him great feedback, to appreciate his individuality, and to enjoy the companionship she craved when she first got her pup.

***********

LATER: Harry’s owner wrote to say, “I do feel a lot of progress has been made over the time you have been visiting us - and even more than that, I feel now that I have the tools to train Harry to be the kind of dog we know he can be.” 

 

Want to get these kind of results for yourself and your dog?

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Five Ways to teach your dog that coming to you is the best thing ever!

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If you want your dog to come when you call, you need to get into his head that arriving with you is the best thing ever! 

Instead of asking your dog to leave an exciting something to come to boring you, change his mindset so that he sees your call as an opportunity to spin on a sixpence and race straight to you like a missile.

20-week-old Rocco races to his owner at high speed!

And here are some NEVERS and some ALWAYS’s to keep you on the straight and narrow

9 Rules for a Perfect Recall

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1. NEVER, EVER, reprimand your dog when he comes to you. If he runs to you and you tell him off, how likely is it that he’ll come next time you call? It doesn’t matter what he did when he was “out there” - coming back to you has to be the best thing he ever did. Be sure he knows that his prompt return always makes you very, very happy!

2. NEVER go on a walk without a stash of really good treats in your pocket. ”Really good” does not include his kibble, cat biscuits, or pocket fluff. Rather - cheese, sausage, hot dog, beefburger … If you did a good turn for someone and they gave you a dry biscuit as a reward, how likely would you be to put your hand up next time they’re looking for a favour? A whole chocolate cake? Now that’s a different matter!

3. NEVER call your dog, and - when he doesn’t respond - say “Ah well, I’ll call him a bit later.” This has been noted, documented, and logged by your dog, and filed under the heading “I only need to come when I’m called sometimes.” This is the absolute last thing we want him to learn! He needs to know that when he hears his name, he comes back - every time.

4. ALWAYS vary your rewards. Sometimes he gets a lump of beefburger when he arrives with you; sometimes he gets 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 tiny bits of cheese posted into his mouth one after the other; sometimes you hurl his toy behind you as he approaches, then race him to the toy; sometimes as he runs towards you you take off at high speed away from him - game on! - dogs all love to chase! What else could you do to excite your particular dog?

Puppy Cai loves this recall game with his young owner

Puppy Cai loves this recall game with his young owner

5. NEVER call him unless you have a 90% chance of him coming. Choose your moment, call him and refer to no.3 above. He doesn’t come? Then if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. Go up to him and call him from one yard away. Success! Big lump of sausage!

How soon should I start training my puppy to recall?

Immediately!

Straight away!

As soon as you get your new puppy or new dog, they should be learning that responding to their name is the best thing ever. Read this post to give you a start

Dogs love running fast. Make sure that running fast towards you is always more rewarding than running fast in the opposite direction.

It takes time and steady application to develop a super recall. But think how proud you’ll be when you can call your dog’s name (once!) and he stops dead, spins round, and hurtles back to you! And think how relieved you’ll be if he had been racing towards a road, or a sabre-toothed tiger (or whatever hazards you have in your neck of the woods).


Want a bit more help with your recall? You’ll love this new course that's now open for enrolment!

Check out my new online Dog Training Course teaching new dog owners to achieve lasting results through six weeks of dog-friendly coaching,

and have a thumping good recall in a matter of weeks!

 

How precious is your dog’s name?

Call your dog - go on, call him now. Did he look up with pleasurable anticipation? Did he come to you? If not, try again - and listen to yourself. Would you come if you were him?

Dogs are simple creatures. They do what works. And they learn fast.

How many times did you have to put your hand on your cooker’s hotplate before you decided it wasn’t a good idea? Just the once, I’d guess!

So if you call your dog and when he arrives you lean over him and say, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU HORRIBLE DOG I’VE TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE,” how likely is it that he’s going to come next time?

9 Rules for a Perfect Recall

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Get your free download and transform your dog's recall straight away!

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I know a boy with learning difficulties called Jonathan. When his mother was happy with him, she’d call “Johnny!”. When there was trouble looming, it would be “JonaTHAN!” Result: this uncomplicated child would only style himself ‘Johnny’. He’d say “I hate ‘Jonathan’”. Out of the mouths of babes and little dogs ...

 

So while we need the patience of a saint not to over-react sometimes in the stress of daily living, there is one thing we can change so that we aren’t blitzing our dog’s recall.

And it’s this:

 

Your dog’s name is precious

 

To his ears it should be the best sound in the world - especially coming from your mouth.

  1. Only use your dog’s name when you can pair it with good things. That means, “Fido!” — “here’s a treat for you”, or “Fido!” — “what a lovely doggiewoggie you are”, or “Fido!” — “let’s put your lead on for a walk”, or “Fido!” -- “here’s your dinner”, or “Fido!” — “grab this toy!” … you get the picture.

  2. When you’re frustrated or short-tempered, you find your new shoes have acquired decorative toothmarks, you need to interrupt barking in a hurry - you DON’T use his name. What do you use instead? Absolutely anything you like. From “Dog!” to “Sausages!”, from “Woowoohoo!” to “&**$^**£*!!”. Whatever you call, don’t call his name.

If, upon sober and honest reflection, you realise that you have been colouring your dog’s perception of his name - and I know how easily this can happen, especially when you’re running a busy family - fear not: you can change it all.

 

 

As I said above, dogs are simple creatures. They do what works. And they learn fast.

Simply ensure that you follow 1) and 2) above. Focus on it religiously for three days and see where you are.

I’d like to hear your results! 

By the way, often all you need to do to prevent your dog doing something you don’t like is to distract him by calling his lovely name. No need to stress yourself out by remonstrating with him. There’s no place for Victorian morality in working with your pet! Get the result you want and move on.

 

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Click here for details

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For lots more tips like this to make life with your dog more fun,
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Your dog’s name is the most precious sound in the world