One of the most important things we can teach our dogs is a reliable recall. We practice and practice in our backyard when there are no distractions and it is an easy thing for them to run back to us since they know the territory and have nothing more interesting to distract them. Then, we take them to the soccer field to play Frisbee or the dog park where there are lots of fun things to see and smell, and they might act like they don’t know who we are when we ask them to return unless we have done some serious practice. And, I might add, some dogs are easier to teach reliable recall than others!
In teaching recall, one of the things that is super important is that we always make it fun and rewarding for them to come to us. As puppies, if they don’t come when we call, we must make it a game and run away rather than toward them and act like our closest family member has just come home from Afghanistan when they finally “catch” us. We should NEVER punish a dog for not coming although I have done it in my distant past and paid the consequences of a dog that became a “runner”. Letting them drag a long lightweight “clothesline” when they are not quite dependable gives us the edge. We can just step on the end of the line when they start to dart, and reel them back in with lots of “good boys”.
When working on recall, I try to keep a few of the very best “jackpot” treats in my pocket, ones that aren’t used for the usual sit and down and spin. It has to be something that they can smell from a distance and tastes scrumptious and is only used when what they are asked to do is especially tough. Since I get samples occasionally from chewy.com, I have decided one they have sent me would be excellent to use for training recall or to use a jackpot. Nature’s Variety Instinct Mini treats are freeze dried raw chicken so nothing but meat and natural ingredients as is typical of this company’s products. My dogs go crazy when I get out the box and if I have them in my pocket, they sniff and sniff at my side. I dare say, if I can them to “go out” at all, they will be quick to return if I have these little treats ready to pop in their mouth when they come back to me from a distance.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Minis are available from chewy.com with free shipping over $49. I do not receive any money for my reviews, although I do like to share products that I like and this company gives me the opportunity to receive samples for the reviews.
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