Would you like to teach your Great Dane to come when you call them? This vital skill is also known as “recall,” and it is something that every dog should learn. Training the basic skill is not difficult, but this is one of those life-long behaviors that you will need to plan to regularly practice to make sure your Great Dane will come when you need it most.
This guide will share three methods to teach your Great Dane to come. You will learn how to teach basic recall skills, how to turn recall training into a fun game, and how to “proof” your dog’s recall so that he will come to you even when he is in a distracting environment.
It is important to keep in mind that no matter how much you train your dog to come when called, there is always the risk she will decide that chasing the neighbor’s cat is more important than whatever reward you might have to offer. For this reason, you should always keep your dog on a leash when around any potentially dangerous conditions, such as busy roads.
When thinking about training your Great Dane to come, think of it as an approach to how to use your recall command, rather than something you will accomplish in a few short training sessions. A strong and reliable recall takes a great deal of practice in a wide variety of environments.
In addition, follow these tips to make sure you are doing your part to reinforce this vital behavior:
In addition to a positive attitude, some high-value rewards, and plenty of energy, make sure you bring a long-line to your recall training sessions with your Great Dane. This can be a leash or just a strong rope that you can use to enforce the recall or make sure he does not make an escape while working in a non-fenced area.
Although using high-value food rewards in early training stages is just fine, make sure that you have some other rewards handy as well to mix things up and keep your dog guessing. When he is not sure what great thing might happen when he comes next, it reinforces his drive to find out. This is all according to plan!
Finally, keep your official recall training sessions short so they stay exciting. However, randomly practice recall throughout the day when you have a high-value reward handy to dispense. In addition, keep the tone positive. Scolding your dog during recall training is counterproductive.