The better the recall my dog has, the more freedom I can give it.
It is an old truth that most of us know. But truthfully, how good is your recall really?
Are you like us and love giving your dog great freedom and watching it run loose across fields and meadows? We have dogs that are bred to work and they naturally have a great interest in wildlife. It can be a challenging combination .Because a dog is, never, ever be allowed to chase game – if it is not a hunting dog of the type that should do that of course.
Lena’s three dogs have varying degrees of recall. They therefore have completely different everyday walks together with her. In principle, one always walks off leash. One usually walks off leash but never in the middle of residential neighborhoods because he loves to explore people’s gardens and Lena must be very active during that part of the walk to keep him outside them (and she is a bit lazy so she usually keeps him on leash there).The third only walks off leash for short moments when Lena stands completely still in the middle of a meadow.
The latter is a hunting maniac. Lena’s goal is that he should at least be able to walk parts of the walk off leash – without hunting when he shouldn’t – and keeping track of where Lena is. Because for some reason she has dabbled a little with the basic training when he was younger (he is three years now), so she has started over now instead. And it’s really fun! It is fun to step by step make it harder and harder to add distractions, to challenge the dog with more difficult environment and distance. But first you have to lay the foundation that makes it easy for the dog to do the right thing. Then you can make it harder and teach the dog that it should actively ignore things that attract it.
Do you also want to get a better recall on your dog? Check out our online recall course! It comes in two variants:
- Recall according to Retrieving for All Occasions WITH feedback
- Recall according to Retrieving for All Occasions WITHOUT feedback
The course is based in part on our book Retrieving for All Occasions but also contains other exercises.
Finally, here’s a video that contains a small part of an exercise that is part of the course and which is one of the final exercises. We call it the “distraction walk”. On a distraction walk we set up a number of surprises such as a jogger running by, a small “hare” running away (i.e. toy being pulled away) and a meeting another dog. In the video Lena walks with her young dog Quling in an environment where he hasn’t been before. Soon they will meet another dog (Elsa’s dog Ludde who Quling does not know is in the forest too). Before meeting the other dog, Lena gets the chance to reward Quling for spontaneously making contact with her as well. When Ludde pops up, Quling stops and looks at him. Then Lena recalls him. Then she rewards Quling with the best thing he knows – to get run and fetch a dummy which has previously been laid behind them.