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If Your Dog Only Knows One Command, It Should Be THIS!

shutterstock_156948884This week we’re going to be offering some tips on one of the most important commands your dog will ever learn – the recall! Teaching a recall is so important for so many reasons, but mostly because it might save your dog’s life. Even the best-behaved dog might run into the street trying to chase a squirrel, but a solid recall can really provide some extra relief that your pup will come back to you before he’s hurt. While there are many methods for training the recall, below are some tips that might help you proof it at any point during your training:

#1 – Use A Long Line

This is very important! Until you know your dog will come back to you, always give yourself a way to contain him. A long line can offer the freedom for your pup to run a further distance than your regular 6-foot leash, but offers the ability to still control him. It also helps to use the long line to encourage your dog to come back to you by guiding him.

#2 – Jars Of Treats

This is a fun one! Most of us have shelves, bookcases, counters and more that our dogs can’t reach and probably don’t really notice. I like to use these places to keep little jars of treats. This way, any time I’m at home, I can call the dog to me and give him a tasty snack when he gets to me – from anywhere in the house! This rewards him for coming when called when we aren’t actively training, and assures him that following the recall command leads to good things. Remember not to make a big scene of it in the house, and don’t do it too many times in the same place – or he might catch on. It’s also helpful to keep the treats small, like you would in any other training session. This little exercise will help proof your pup outside of the normal training field where he knows there is more coming.

#3 – Go To Your Dog

Yep, that’s right! Sometimes it’s important for you to go to your dog. The best times are when you have to do something negative, such as giving medication, cleaning out ears, trimming nails, etc. You always want your dog to think that coming to you is a positive experience, every single time. If you start calling your dog to you for something he doesn’t like, he’s going to stop enjoying coming over! So in these cases, it’s best to go to your dog. It won’t make your dog run away from you forever, and it’ll assure him that coming when called is still great fun.

With these tips, you can start working on proofing your recalls and confirming to your dog that coming when called is all sorts of fun, just as we want it to be! So get your treats ready and hang out with your pooch!

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Written by Katie Finlay
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