Contrary to what some people think, the recall skill isn’t something that dogs are just born with.
Many owners are shocked to find that their dogs don’t simply know how to come to them when called and that this is a practice that takes some training and patience while you teach your dog.
However hard it may be though, recall training is an essential skill for your dog to learn and one that can be helpful for both pet and owner.
Training can take some time though, and for that reason, many people put it off, but if you’re able to turn the somewhat mundane training sessions into fun games, surely it would be better for everyone involved?
Thankfully, there are some ways to make this training fun so it feels more like a game than a lesson. Once your dog knows the recall command, they’ll be safer when out in public and it could end up helping you someday as well, so it’s never too late to get started.
Anyone who’s owned a dog before will know how quickly they can get away from you, and this refers to even the well-trained ones.
Dogs can run off for a number of reasons, whether they saw another dog down the street or they just want to frolic freely in the park, and sometimes getting them back to you can seem harder than trying to manage a pack of children.
Recall training is a skill that you can teach your dog so that they know to return to you upon your command.
Most people assume that dogs will naturally return to their owner when they call them to, but it’s actually a lengthy and time-consuming training technique that needs to be mastered before it can be effective.
Once your dog knows the recall command, you’ll be able to find them wherever you go.
Whether it’s at the park or in a crowded area, your dog will instantly recognize your voice from far away and come straight back to you, so it’s can be extremely helpful in many situations.
The recall skill is certainly handy to have, but it can be more than just a neat trick. Dogs have the potential to get in some pretty scary situations and having this command sorted can go so far as to save their lives.
Imagine they are about to run across a busy street or they’re headed towards a larger dog without a lead.
With this command, you’ll get their instant attention and could end up saving them from serious injury, and in some cases even death.
For the owners, there are benefits to learning this command as well, so it’s not just helpful for your dog. Being able to call your dog and have them come can help in emergency situations, if you find yourself lost in the wilderness, or if you need them to alert someone to your whereabouts.
Therefore, it’s one of the most important parts of training, so you want to make the learning process as enjoyable as you can.
There are plenty of fun ways to engage in recall training with your dog, thanks to some clever games that teach this command.
Using the word “come” as your recall prompt, you can try these recall games to make learning enjoyable.
This is incredibly simple and easy to do every day, and as well as showing them the recall command it teaches them about control.
As you prepare your dog’s food, have them sit and stay. When you’re ready, move a few feet away and say “come” so they know it’s time to come and eat.
Just like the game you played as a kid, hide and seek is a great one for dogs as well. Ask your dog to wait in a room of the house and go hide somewhere, easy at first. Call out “come find me” with an emphasis on the prompt “come”. When they get to you, reward them with a treat and then make your hiding spot harder each time.
This game can help establish what you want your dog to do once they’ve returned to you. Most owners like a sitting position in front of them, or perhaps for the dog to touch their hand.
Once you’ve established yours, call your dog with the “come” command and once they’ve sat down you can run a few feet away and start all over again. This is a high energy game and one that requires a little more patience as they learn, but it’s great for teaching control.
The key to any of these games is to keep them high energy and exciting for your pet, offering lots of praise as they make their way towards the goal.
Dogs feed off of our energy so make sure you show them you’re excited, and use high value rewards like tasty treats to make the learning process even more enjoyable.
Teaching the recall command to your dog is about more than just having an obedient pet.
Once they understand this command they’ll be able to return to you no matter the situation, potentially saving their life from danger and even helping you out of serious situations.
Our dogs are amazing creatures capable of learning all kinds of skills, but it takes a patient and kind owner to show them how.
By incorporating some of these recall games into their daily routine you’ll make it fun and pressure free to learn and help them get a grasp on the command a lot sooner.