Mastering The Recall

How to get your dog to come to you when you call. By Carlie Ford of

Inspired by the so many dog owners I constantly see who are unable to control their dog. Shouting their dog's name across the beach or running 5 laps across the dog park trying to catch it. It's funny watching so many dogs’ have control over a situation when really it's the owners who should be in charge.

In my opinion, there is no punishment for a dog that doesn't come when it's called.

If you punish the dog once you've got it, the chances are it's highly unlikely to want to come to you the next time. What a lot of people don't realise is that you are turning it into a negative experience thus making the dog think that every time it comes to you it gets punished (what dog would be stupid enough to keep coming back). What you should be doing regardless of how long it's taken the dog to come to you is rewarding the dog thus turning it into a positive experience.

Trust me, I've been through it with 2 puppies and I know how easy it is to want to take your anger out on your dogs but by doing this you are putting yourself back a step. Dogs are a natural pack animal and will follow a stable leader so punishment at the incorrect time could be damaging your relationship. Your dog should want to be around you, if it doesn't then there are obviously a few issues that need looking at.

A few very important points to remember -

- There is no need to keep repeating the dog's name and the command - it did hear you the first time.

- Don't begin to yell and shout at your dog - these are the times your dog is thinking "Ignorance is bliss".

- Reward at the right time - make the experience a positive one.

- Always carry rewards - you need an ultimate motivator for your dog.

- You need to put in time and effort to train your dog to your standards - Rome wasn't built in a day.

- Try to understand your dog - you may need to change the way you are trying to teach it.

- Every dog is different - what might have worked for you previously, may not work this time!

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