Getting your puppy to come back to you is one of the most difficult things to teach. Why?
Because in the puppy’s world of communication there is no bark or signal for come and stand next to me. It just doesn’t exist.
One dog never signals to another dog to come back to it. It is surprising then that so many dogs learn to go back to their owners when they are called. When we’re training a puppy to ‘recall’ or come back it has to be done very carefully over a long time to ensure that it will work every time.
In this series of posts, we are going to look at recall training and see what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t let your puppy choose
Don’t get into a situation where your puppy can choose between coming to you and chasing something else like the neighbour’s cat, another puppy or a cyclist because it won’t come to you.
For this reason, all recall training should be done on leash. By doing this you will be conditioning your puppy to believe that when you call it to come to you it will have no other choice.
This, however, takes time and perseverance from you.
Where to start
Start in an area of your house or yard where there are no distractions. Put your puppy on leash and let it relax and sniff around. Then call the puppy to you with a very excited voice.
You can use the puppy’s name and a recall command like ‘come’.
It is up to you what word you use but whatever you decide you have to stick to it and not alter or change it.
If your puppy doesn’t come, reel it in and make a fuss of it.
You can use treats but we have found that physical contact is the best reward in this situation.
Also available in this series: