There is nothing harder to overcome in a dog than a poisoned recall cue.
You know the one- you call the dog to come to you, the dog refuses or dances around, and you get frustrated and angry and start bellowing at the dog to come to you.
We’ve all done it. It’s the primary reason dogs refuse to come to their owners when they are called.
The dog learns over time that your recall command means you are mad and to keep away from you.
Owners don’t intend to poison the cue, but 100% of every dog that comes to us for remediation has learned that the recall command is something to be suspicious of.
So here’s a handful of rules for teaching your dog a reliable recall:
1) Never give your dog a command that you cannot enforce. Your dog cannot refuse if it’s wearing a leash and collar, and you happen to be holding the leash.
2) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS positively reinforce honest effort. If your dog comes to you, praise the dog SINCERELY and offer something of value in return for that effort.
3) Don’t run your dog down if it refuses or is reluctant to come to you. You did that, not the dog. You breached a sacred trust, and you have to earn it back. It starts by not chasing the dog because you planned poorly and are now frustrated and angry.
4) 100% of recalls should be positively reinforced.
5) The recall should be the behavior you practice the most, with the greatest ROI for the dog. If every time you call your dog, you are locking him up, leaving him or any other activity the dog finds de-motivating, you are diminishing the value of the recall.
6) NEVER NEVER NEVER punish your dog for coming to you. I don’t care what the dog did before that, but if you’re not adhering to the short list of things above, that’s a YOU problem, not a dog problem.
Think about it. When you were a kid and you heard your mom shout your first, middle, and last name, you knew you were in for it.
You didn’t want to come to that, why do you think your dog would?
There is really no Ancient Dog Training Secret to training your dog a reliable recall. We do it every day. Want to learn how? Contact us! We are only an email away.