How to Train an Older Dog Recall

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

Training your dog to recall is one of the most important skills your dog should master. It’s critical to teach a young puppy recall as soon as practical, but what about older dogs? Are they able to learn to recall too? Maybe you’ve just adopted an older dog from a rescue or shelter, or perhaps your dog is up in years and needs some refresher training, but regardless of the circumstances, an older dog can learn new tricks. It will just take more effort, time, and commitment.

Recall is vital for all dogs to learn because your dog needs to listen to and focus on you no matter what distractions may abound. For the safety of your dog, yourself, and anyone in your immediate area, you need your pup to come when he’s called the first time. These training methods will put you and your senior canine on the road to a better recall.

Defining Tasks

The challenge with recall is making it more exciting for your pup to come to you when called rather than investigate the rabbit in the next yard over or the dog across the street. While we all want to let our dogs run free, we also don’t want them to run into danger or cause difficulties for other people or pets. Therefore, a proper recall can allow your dog some freedom while he remains responsive and under your control.

Older dogs may take longer to pick up on the recall especially if they were never taught this skill or were taught differently or incorrectly. Patience is essential in this situation, as is consistency. Above all, keep it interesting for your dog, so he doesn’t get bored with you and let his attention wander. Ultimately, you want your dog to return to you on cue because what you offer is better than anything else out there.

Getting Started

Have some high-value treats on hand, preferably ones that you don’t regularly give to your senior dog. That will make the treats seem special and help prevent boredom on your dog’s part. Change those treats up frequently so he doesn’t become accustomed to what reward he will receive. If the dog is not food-driven, consider having a new squeaky toy or ball to use as a reward for recall.

For the best training results, use a long lead line consistently as this allows your dog room to move but you are in control at all times of his movements. Long lines can be dropped on the ground and dragged behind the dog but can quickly be stepped on or picked up by you if necessary. Choose lead lines in bright colors as they are easier to see on the ground outside. Do not use retractable leashes for training.

Start each of the following training methods in a low-distraction environment such as a large room in your house or a fenced-in backyard. Once your older dog masters these levels of recall, you can begin to work in larger spaces on walks or in dogs parks or on trails.

The Happy Recall Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Energize your recall command
Whatever word your choose as a recall command, deliver it with a voice full of happiness, energy, and excitement. When your dog responds by coming to you, reward him with a treat. Do this for a few minutes so he associates coming to you and staying next to you as a pleasure.
Step
2
Run and reward
With your dog by your side, say "Come!" cheerfully, then run for ten to fifteen feet. Stop and reward your dog. Change up the reward between a treat or toy to keep your dog guessing.
Step
3
Practice Steps 1 and 2
Continue to practice the first two steps for at least a week before moving to a larger area.
Step
4
Try longer distance recalls
Using a long lead line, practice Step 2 when your dog is at a farther distance from you. Again, when you stop running be sure to reward your dog enthusiastically.
Step
5
Add some helpers
Once your dog has done well on recall from longer distances, ask some friends or family members to help with the happiness and provide some new distractions to challenge your pup. Then, start the process over from Step 1.
Recommend training method?

The Long Line Game Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Pick a recall command
Choose a command word for the recall and use it only when your dog is running toward you. Avoid using your dog's name as the recall command.
Step
2
Use the long line lead and demand his focus
Hook the long line lead up to your dog, then take the first few minutes to play and engage your dog.
Step
3
Invent some fun games and use the recall command
Be creative and come up with some fun games to keep your dog interested in focusing on you. Toss a toy up in the air when your dog isn't expecting it, or roll some treats on the ground. Then give the recall command.
Step
4
Run and chase
Deviate your direction and run away from your dog while giving the recall command. As soon as your dog catches up to you, reward him.
Step
5
Practice longer ranges and different directions
As your dog improves his recall skills, switch things up on him to keep him on his toes. When he gets to the end of the lead line, switch directions and give him the recall command. He will learn to pay attention to you so he doesn't lose you.
Recommend training method?

The Focus on Me Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Get your dog's attention
Practice spending time getting and holding your dog's eye contact. Reward your dog by saying his name and giving him a treat after a few moments of eye contact. Lengthen the time frame and move about the room once the first goal has been mastered.
Step
2
Teach your dog a recall command
Choose your recall command for your dog, such as "Come" or "Here."
Step
3
Deliver the command consistently
Make sure that each time you use your recall command word, you do so in the same way each time.
Step
4
Practice the recall
Give the recall command to your dog, and when he responds correctly, offer him a unique, high-value reward.
Step
5
Introduce distractions
When your dog successfully masters the basis recall training, move him to a larger space with more distractions. Ask a friend to bike or run by your house, throw a ball over your dog's head, or ask a neighbor to let his dog out in his yard. Continue this practice until your dog is focused on you and you alone.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Erin Cain

Published: 04/23/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
winnie
Goldendoodle
5 Years
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
winnie
Goldendoodle
5 Years

comes perfectly when not distracted. when we take her to the dog park if she is bored she comes right away. when she is busy playing she wont. we have tried all sorts of training methods, but shecomes perfectly most of the time.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. Practice the Reel In method at parks, outside the dog park, around friend's well-behaved, off leash dogs, and in other environments around dogs. Do not practice this inside the actual dog park though because having a dog on a leash in a dog park can lead to fights - instead recruit a friend with one or two well behaved dogs and go to your own fenced in area and practice your recall and training around each other's dogs - using the reel in method. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall You can also teach an e-collar come but the Reel In method still needs to be done first. The e-collar is just layered onto previous training around distractions to make the command more reliable form a distance. Good e-collar training is done at a dog's working level - which is the lowest level that a dog will respond to on an e-collar with at least 60 levels. Only use a high quality e-collar like E-collar Technologies mini educator when e-collar training. Most dogs will respond well enough without e-collar training just by using the Reel In method around distractions a bunch. A great come requires hundreds of repetitions so expect to practice this intentionally. For advice on teaching e-collar recalls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=331s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
Labrador Retriever Doberman
7 Years
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Lucy
Labrador Retriever Doberman
7 Years

I adopted Lucy recently. She is very sweet, gentle and obedient in most areas...but she is a runner, and will take off sometimes, if she’s in the right mood...it isn’t always, but she gets a look in her eyes. If you chase her, or even think about it, she will run faster and farther away, and it becomes a game to her. I believe she learned bad habits previously, and I also think someone hit her in her past...she is a high energy dog, and gets a lot of joy from running free- and I think her previous owners did not give her the exercise she needed. I have a feeling that when she escaped, she would get in trouble, and it would create fear in her people, which made Lucy run farther...in the few times she has run off on me, I have found that if I ignore her, or walk in the opposite direction without giving her a lot of energy, it is the most effective way to get her back. I know how much she loves being free and off leash, and I really want to give her that freedom...am I dreaming to think that I can retrain her to come consistently enough that I can safely let her off leash? I forgot to say... when we are at the house, or in the yard, she is very good at coming to me...she will come running on the first whistle for her. It’s just when she’s off leash and distracted and aware of the freedom she has when she has escaped, that she runs like the wind and pays absolutely no attention to her people, like she’s in a complete world of her own.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, Check out the Reel In method to practice come in places outside of your yard closer to distractions - don't give her too much leash at first though because you don't want her to pull you over. As she gets better at responding to you, you will let her venture further away on a long leash before calling her back. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Check out the article linked below for the next steps for getting a dog from basic Come to an off leash Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Getting to an off-leash level starts with teaching a dog the meaning of Come - which she knows, then progresses to practicing on a long leash around distractions (the reel in method), then using the Premack Principle (mentioned in that second article I linked below), and ends with e-collar training. Some dogs can learn Come using just a long leash, lure reward training, and Premack principle. Some dogs need e-collar training to become reliable though. I suspect you fall into that category but she may respond well to the leash and the Premack principle alone. You won't know until you get her training to that point and can see if she is still unreliable. If e-collar training is needed, check out the video linked below for an overview on how it should be done, then look for a trainer who can help you teach that part once you get to that training level - don't skip the leash work or premack principle training - e-collar training just makes those things more consistent; it will not train the dog for you though, the repetitions of leash work and premack principle have to be done still. E-collar come training overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chico
Finnish Spitz
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Chico
Finnish Spitz
2 Years

He is my first dog. I admit I never gave him proper training. I always go to deercamp, which is about 80 acres with a big lake. I want so badly to take him but he always just runs off and doesnt stay. Hes always been that way since he was a puppy. I've tried letting him of the leash at home but he is gone immediately. I've lost him a few times. I want so badly to take him with me but I'm afraid to loose him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, start working on a reliable Come. Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. The Reel In method is sufficient for most dogs but some dogs do need to be e-collar trained afterward as well to teach reliability around high distractions also, but either way the foundation of Come and practicing the Reel In method on a long leash is needed first. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More Come info: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ E-collar Come info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=331s Another activity you can practice is walking around places like your yard or a field and changing directions frequently without saying anything. Whenever he takes notice (at first because the leash finally tugs, but later just because you moved), then toss a treat at him for looking your way or coming over to you - without calling him; this encourages him to choose to pay attention to where you are and associate your presence with good things on his own, so he will want to be with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Khaleesi
Collie-Poodle
6 Years
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Khaleesi
Collie-Poodle
6 Years

K is 10kg very fit and agile country dog. We have wild deer and when she gets the scent nothing stops her. She chases for 10' and goes about a mile away. She always manages to find us but once she's off. We just bought an ultrasonic whistle. her recall when not aroused is not bad.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mr. Stephen, Check out the videos linked below on teaching an off-leash recall - which starts with a long leash and practicing the PreMack principle - allowing pup to go up something they want to investigate (that's safe to do so, like a treed squirrel or planted treats) only after she has come first - then investigating the interest becomes the reward itself after checking in with you. Come and the PreMack Principle: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall After pup can obey on a long leash, I suggest teaching pup an e-collar come on top of that - the initial long leash training has to be a foundation for that first though, so start there. James Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training also has a lot of great videos on Off-leash training. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoxuNKpmUs390K7x_rvgjcg Basics for e-collar come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=766s Chasing and e-collar come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfKF5Xd_FQ Finally, it may be worth teaching pup to avoid deer period. James Penrith also has a number of videos talking about dealing with livestock chasing. To do this training, there will have to be deer within sight to practice around, so that part may be difficult to replicate. Certainly work on a reliable off-leash recall with the e-collar so that that will be present. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hi Khaleesi's owner here. She is 6 yrs old and has very good recall, is intelligent and well trained (many people say). But this is Prey drive and she has in the past caught the odd pheasant and rabbit. a) I don't understand how such a small dog has the stamina to chase deer for 10-15' b) it's recalling her when the adrenaline kicks in c) she is great at go off in the woods and coming back when whistled

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Flash
Labrador
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Flash
Labrador
1 Year

Have been trying to teach flash recall since he was a pup and it’s never really worked. We can’t let him off when there’s other people about as we will go running off to see them. If he finds something dead in a field he runs off with it and is tricky to get him back. We use a trailing lead when he is off the lead

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Very handsome! Continue working with Flash to teach him his recall. He is letting you know that he is a smart dog who wants to be working all of the time. If he has not taken obedience classes yet, starting him would be very beneficial. He'll learn recall there and will also see other dogs cooperating and may follow suit. He'll listen to you better all around with obedience training under his belt. This guide has excellent recall exercises to try: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall. The Reel in Method may work. For step-by-step with effective tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-come-back. Good luck!

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Buffalo
Goldendoodle
14 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Buffalo
Goldendoodle
14 Months

my dog is not food motivated or play motivated. in fact he is just not motivated at all. he listens great to everything besides recall, as soon as the car or house door opens he bolts. now at just over a year old and hoping to add another dog to the mix shortly, i would really like to solidify his recall. any tips?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! So I am going to give you some tips on teaching recall. It is something you will have to practice to ingrain it into him so he is responsive in those settings. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Uno
Border Terrier/ lhasoapse
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Uno
Border Terrier/ lhasoapse
5 Years

Runs off to play with other dogs. He will come back after a couple of minutes. I also have another dog who is starting to do the same thing

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! So I am going to give you some tips on teaching recall. It is something you will have to practice to ingrain it into him so he is responsive in those settings. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Question
Shelby
mixed husky/alsation (unknown)
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shelby
mixed husky/alsation (unknown)
3 Years

Our rescue dog settled in well and developed great recall. We did a lot of training and it seemed to work. But then she started to get more confident and less keen to come back. She also started to run at other dogs - she is big and looks scary. Now, she will come back in 'easy' environments, but if there is anything interesting, she doesn't hear us at all. We don't feel able to let her off the lead and she is not getting good enough walks. Will we ever be able to train her to come back to us?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on teaching recall. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Luna
beagle cross
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Luna
beagle cross
1 Year

Luna is a rescue dog, I’ve had her since April the 11th. She is particularly bad at recall - I train using treats, toys and positive reinforcement and games like hide and seek and running and tug. When I first got her she had no recall at all, knew very few commands and wouldn’t look at you at all. Now she knows a fair few commands, she looks when told and more in general and I have taught her check ins for walks. Her recall has improved, she knows what it means and she often comes back when you call her. However she firstly has a fascination with birds and she has been improving at ignoring them but not anywhere near where I’d like her to be - she has large range when we let go of the long line, and apart from secure fields, I’m not sure how to practice her recall in larger spaces because on the few occasions I have let go off the long line or dropped it accidentally, sometimes she comes back, but often she goes off on an adventure and then doesn’t want to come back. Usually she doesn’t go far - just to the nearest hedges or bush or overgrowth and spends her time running around in it I assume looking for rabbits and such things. I wouldn’t mind her going in there if I knew she would come back out when called but she doesn’t, it’s over stimulating for her and I don’t know how to train her with that because if I let her go into the bushes with the long line, a lot of the time she gets stuck and tangled and I have to hack and claw my way in through brambles and nettles to rescue her, or if I let her of the long line she probably won’t come back either until she’s ready or at all, and my worry is she will get hit by a car because shes quite car reactive and wants to chase them - this is something we are working on. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on potty training, as well as teaching recall for running away. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Stan
Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla
2 Years
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Question
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Stan
Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla
2 Years

When playing with other dogs, won't come back!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall. You will want to practice these exercises in distracting environments so he learns to come to you despite distractions. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Daisy
Labradoodle
1 Year
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Daisy
Labradoodle
1 Year

Recall training

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall for running away. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Fig
Mixed
9 Months
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Fig
Mixed
9 Months

My dog Fig is a rescue. I got her when she was 6 months old and she's now 9 months.
I've been doing games with her to keep her interested in me. And whilst She is food motivated, it seems she also can not care about the food when needed.
Shes good at learning many things and is gentle on the lead. But walking her has been a struggle to get her following me, even on the lead. She doesn't pull but she does want to be in front. Basically, she doesn't see me as alpha.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Izzy, Sometimes other distractions will trump a food reward for a dog. At this stage I recommend methods that also require calm consistency - and pup is rewarded when they obey but through your persistence and consistency there is always follow through with you. Check out the Turns methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diezel
English Springer Spaniel
26 Months
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Diezel
English Springer Spaniel
26 Months

My dog is a leaf chaser. Pulls to anything that moves. Is nervous of strangers and will howl if a stranger try’s to go near him. He’s the runt of his litter, and hasn’t been trained that much.
He sits, waits and will sometimes lay down. On command.
I want to try and recall train him but I’m afraid to lose him or he not come back.
I have treated him as a baby since I got him.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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