… then you don’t have a dog”.. this is one of my favorite quotes from Jack Volhard
A dog with a solid recall is a dog that is safer, and a dog that you can trust to come running when you need them to. (Granted, you can tell that we hadn’t practiced in a while when you watch the video. Plus, I had that weird camera stuck to my face, making it a little more difficult.) Oh, and you should know that you won’t hear me say “COME!”. All of our Commands are in Klingon. (makes for fun dinner/dog show conversation)
Here are my top ten ways to ruin your recall.
- Don’t practice. Like anything else learned, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it!
- End on a negative note. If after several “good” recalls, make sure that the last one you do is unsucessful.
- Use your recall command when you need to do something nasty, like ears, toenails, give meds or at bathtime.
- Wait until you are really angry and call your dog. (Would you want to come to you if you had that tone?)
- Never use a cheerful upbeat confident tone. Use a hesitant, questioning voice.
- Make sure that when you call your dog to you, it’s the end of play time, everytime.
- Don’t believe that your dog will come to you. Instead, reinforce your belief that they “never come” when you call by thinking negative thoughts
- Never reward your dog, either verbally or with treats or pets, for coming to you
- Don’t stand up straight. Lean way over, bending at the waist, shoulders forward.
- Nag your dog by using your recall command over and over so they never know which time you really mean it
Ultimately, the key to a good solid recall, is to always be more interesting and exciting than the rest of the world. That may mean that you need to always have a pocket full of cookies. Or that you always have to be cheerful, no matter how annoyed you are. Or that, if you can imagine, you spend time developing a bond with your dog that means he or she will always rather just be with you.