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hello fellow sheppy parents!
I have a 2 year old male shepherd/lab mix named Jack. He has decent manners and has most of the basic commands down. However, we're having issues with his recall. "come" seems to be the one command we are really struggling with. He knows how to but when he's distracted....he comes when he wants to. Has anyone else struggled with recall issues? If so, what is the best way you have found to get your fur baby to come when called? Thanks in advance! Hope you all are staying safe and healthy during these crazy times!

- Jen

also, I attached a picture just because :)
558941
 

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Thanks for the picture. What a great expression.

One thing we do for recall work is make it a game. I do something I was taught called ‘cookie toss recall’. It’s basically say ‘come’ and when the dog comes I toss a treat back between my legs and let him run through my legs, and then jog away, turn and call the dog again. And repeat. It’s great fun for the dog and really makes the word ‘come’ a blast. I attached a training video of the exercise below.

Cookie toss recall video
 

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Your currently recall cue is likely poisoned and you'll need to choose a new recall cue and start fresh. There is a ton of info on teaching a recall. A big thing is do not call your dog if you aren't willing to bet money of them coming. Using a cue when you can't back it up only teaches your dog it is optional and something they can do when they feel like. Find a method you like and follow through.


 

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I’m not a trainer, but my dogs have always had a solid recall. I never tell them to come if I can’t make them come should they chose to ignore me. I do this by keeping a 30 foot line on the dog. I say come. If they come, they get a party. A treat, a ball, affection. Whatever makes them crazy happy. If they don’t come, I use the line to reel them in, and then reward. Important note: they never get in trouble when they come to me no matter what.

One more thing, I teach come in different voices...stressed, angry, happy. They get a party no matter my voice. This is because my voice may be worried, or stresses when I need them to come.
 

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Yes a big party every time they Listen and set them up for success. A lot of practice in low distracting settings with lots of praise and their favorite treat or game to follow. You do not want them to practice blowing you off. In this instance it’s best to get their attention back on you before if they are to heavily focused on a distraction deer etc . Knowing their body language helps. If they pick up a deer scent in the trails off lead and look fully alert in a particular direction for example I will say “leave it” which has been learned first with out heavy distraction this brings their minds back to me. If you find your dog has had to many opportunities to blow you find another recall word and it is important that this recall is used to be set up for success. Long leads can be used at first and depending on your goals ecollar can be used to proof off leash around heavy distractions such as deer etc. depending on your setbacks or goals.
video -max doing a recall with no distractions.
Photo of Max and Luna with swans in the background.
http://instagr.am/p/BSR4Hrlleki/
 

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