Re: Recall (yes again)
This is a post of mine from another board explain all the things i do to teach a reliable re-call (sorry if some of it repetitive, just don't feel like typing it all over again hehe)
If your dog is super tennis ball motivated I would keep a tennis ball me at all times and use that as the reward
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE, This is a BIGGY this is one of those save your dog's life kinda things, Well first off Dont use the word Come more then once by repeating the command we teach the dog that comming is optional or that they can ignore the word.
Also many dogs learn that when we call them the fun is Over (human error) to fix that if you have your dog in a play session or something really great to them like a good smell, call them ONCE if they come praise the heck outta them, then let them go back to their fun and repeat repeat repeat, that way the dog never knows when the fun is going to be over.
I really pay attention to how my dogs respond to the word "come" do they respond 80% of the time? 50%? IF the dog dose not respond to the word "come" 50% of the time or Less Time to start re-training with a fresh new word "Hier and Front" work great it could be a whistle whatever you can re-teach your dog and stay consistent with.
Once you have a new word or "come" whatever word your going to use for re-call, time to build an amazing association with this word, I like to think of it as recall word = dog lottery!!!
First I like to build the new association up with a fun game of HIde and Seek (and wow can this game can really teach your dog) Pretty much start inside with two people one person hidden (best you can) call the dogs name then the recall word, once the dog gets to you BIG reward!! Then the other person hiding somewhere different calls the dogs name then Huge jackpot reward, repeat repeat.
Puppy ping- pong can also build up a great association. With that two people stand maybe 20 feet apart and keep calling the dogs name, recall word, Mark, Praise/reward, release repeat, repeat, repeat. Dogs LOVE these games. Once the association with the re-call word has been met time to set your dog up for some success,and progress into real life situations.
First off I never use my re-call word, unless im 99% sure that my dog will come to me, so I test it first, i do this by calling the dogs name "Rover" If Rover looks at me or gives me any sign of attention and i am 99% SURE that he will come to me ONLY then will I use the re-call word, praise as "Rover" comes to me.
If I were to call Rovers name and I got no response, I wouldn't even bother with my recall word, instead I would try a Bribe word such as "treat, cookie, car ride" in hopes to get my dogs attention back on me, if so repeat above.
If that also fails then I have to enforce it. I believe you shouldn't repeat any commands you can not enforce because,again the dog learns to ignore the word and/or it becomes optional. Therefore during the training process your dog should NEVER be off leash. I like to use a long 20-30 ft line for this Ive also found a Use for those "retractable leash's" I use them for recalls.
If my re-call word hasn't worked, then my bribe word has failed i can easily enforce it with a little tug on the leash or if my dog is in danger i can just reel them back to me.
Also as mentioned above never use your recall word for punishment/ things the dog dosent like nail trims ect.... (human error again)
I mean NEVER Even if you chased your dog through the woods for hours (Which hepponed to me with a foster once Ughh) At some point if you can get your dogs attention even tho your FURIOUS you need to be upbeat and happy, and reward like crazy when they FINALLY come back to you, (this again is very hard for us humans) dogs live in the present, so all they remember is that moment they finally got back to you and it MUST be pleasant, or else there gos your association with your great re-call word you worked so hard for.
DO call your dog when its time for a walk, call them when its time to go to training class, call them when its time to socialize and have some playtime with new dogs.
Another wonderful tip is ALWAYS ALWAYS Reward your dog when you use your re-call word (you can fade out rewards later but for come its too important to not reward)
I Highly recommend Not using the same boring reward over and over and over dogs catch on to this and get bored with that same boring beef treat time after time, SO DOG LOTTO TREAT boy do i mean jackpot use super treats (tiny bits hot dogs, chicken, liver) and most important, SWITCH REWARDS Tug games, fetch game, tons of praise vary this often to keep things fresh.
The reward for respond to a re-call word should be at LEAST ten seconds of either tons of tiny tid bits, a 10-20 sec tug game, fun fetch game, Praise, going for a walk, play time with another dog whatever works best for YOUR dog. The idea behind this is every time the dog hears its recall word they don't know what is going to heppon but.... They better get there butts over to there owner REALLY fast because something really wonderful is about to heppon, because every time they hear that word and they get to their owner the best stuff in the world heppons.
Theese tips can def build up a VERY reliable recall. Another tip when you dog is getting really good at hide and seek take it outside, I did this with my pup Dexter and WOW did it work!!
We would go take a walk down a path (off leash, i was being risky and kinda being a bad dog mom) when my pup got a few too many steps ahead of me I would run and tuck behind a tree really quick i would peek out and the look on my pups face, What an expression!! "oh S*** where did my mama go?) Then I would blast out with my dogs name and his recall word and he would rush over soo exicted,to have found me!!!
By doing this My dog learned very quickly that Humans get lost really easy so they better stick really really close to them. As long as you are doing regular training along with NILIF training this will work Us humans are in charge of EVERYTHING the dog likes food games exercise petting ect... So to Loose that kind of resource really makes them stick close (I would suggest doing this in a fenced backyard or on a long line) I think I hit on everything I may have missed something But Hopefully that will help, the truth is it takes Time practice and consistency. They really should always be on a leash until this gets reliable. In the case of your dog chasing a bunny don't expect a bribe word to work dogs need to be trained with the distraction of prey, in order to be able to sucessed . If all else fails there is always teaching your dog to DROP into a Down position on command anywhere! Also another one that takes tone of time and work but the results are so worth it!! Hope that helps