John the Wonderful took photos of our recall session in Puppy Class 5 November 2017. Not perfect pics, but so interesting I was driven to blog about them.
Good recalls are straight away, quick and allow you to put the leash on when you’re done.
Brilliant recalls keep him working after you’ve got that leash on so you can walk off under control on a nice loose leash.
Stand is a better position to teach for most dogs.
I’ve done a Recall FAQ at the bottom of the post, don’t miss it!
Grass is your ideal working surface, please don’t work recalls on laminate or other slippery flooring, speed is dangerous for dogs if they can’t put the brakes on when they need to. We use tarp and rubber matting preferring the dogs to finish their recall on the rubber which gives best traction.
Good training doesn’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That was Einstein’s definition of insanity. The fixing and the tweaking is one of the joys of training – we really do love it.
Teddy’s recall is nice and fast, but he left his line. In the trade we say he did a “banana”. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but does lose precious fractions-of-a-second so it’s worth fixing. Fix suggestions:
- Recalling on straight pathways,
- Simply walking back with him in recall position and rewarding as you go,
- Repeating lots of short recalls,
- Running away from him after you’ve called him (run forwards, not backwards, running backwards is really dangerous!)
Sweet, fast recall. Instructor and Team are so proud!
I read somewhere you should always reward your dog when he gets back to you. But I really don’t want to reward him, he takes ages to get back then dances around at my feet, dodging me. It drives me nuts.
The late, great John Fisher pointed out to me many years ago what’s the most likely thing to have happened here. The rule is: don’t punish him when he gets back. We often read this as: always reward him when he gets back. And punish could well just you being mad! They can tell when we’re mad.
So, the real fix is to repair your recall, keep him on leash/long line/flexi and get those recalls Good or Brilliant before you start trusting him loose again. That way you’re never put in the position where you’re angry with him for failing recall because during your fixing he just doesn’t get it wrong.
Do I need to go to a dog training class then?
For all sorts of reasons, support, more to learn, structure. People tell me over and over how their training falls off once they’re not in class any more. There are reasons for not going to class, eg dog not happy there, you think class environment is actually harming your dog, you can’t find a class that’s actually teaching you anything useful… but actually, I don’t think that last one actually holds water. Even if you think you’re not learning a lot, you probably are, even if it’s how not to do it! Stay in school, that’s what I say.
© Jenny Adams 2017
PUBLIC VERSION. Public versions of student questions are summmarised, mostly for confidentiality reasons.
All comments welcome!