Calling your dog back...

Teaching your dog to return when you call, is fairly simple but it does require continued commitment from you. Like all teaching, you must start with the basics and work up. The simplest, kindest and most effective method is to use praise and reward when they have done you have asked them to do.

It is very important that you don't exercise your dog off the lead until they know to come when you call. Exercise them on a long line of 8 to 10 mtrs. The objective is to make them feel as free as possible but still have control.

Start at home
Start the main teaching at home by keeping some tasty treats in your pocket all the time. At regular intervals call your dog, giving a simple command such as 'COME' give them plenty of overboard praise and reward them with a treat as soon as they arrive.

It is very important that you do not give treats at any other time, in case they don't understand the meaning of a treat as a reward.

Begin by calling at 10 to 15 minute intervals, increase the interval by 10 minutes each day. As the days go by, vary the place and distance that you call them from until you can call from anywhere in the house.

Your first field trip
When they have come to youevery time for 7 days you can move the teaching outside to a long line, but do not give up the indoor training.

Keep exercising them on a long line but call them back and reward them with praise and a treat, as you have been doing in the house. If they show more interest in their surroundings, attract their attention with a gentle tug on the line.

Again, when they have come to youevery time for 21 days you can be fairly confident that they will come whenever you need them to. It should then be safe to let them off the lead permanently.

If at first you don't succeed
If at any stage they fail to return, simply go back and repeat the previous stage. Just like any teacher you must be aware of the progress of your pupil and slow down the schooling to a pace they can cope with.

Once you are satisfied that your dog knows to come back, you can remove some of the rewards. Never remove all of them, you need to keep refreshing their memory, at least twice a week.

Above all, be nice to your dog. No dog will want to return to an owner that shouts at or scolds them.

If you have any questions or comments on any part of our work, please contact us:
Animals in Mind, Penygraig, Cwmann, Lampeter, SA48 8EZ
01570 423891 - Email Us