|Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 8:52am PST |
|If you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider taking Susan Garrett's Recallers course the next time she offers it. I found it very helpful for Cohen.
I don't have my notes from the course on me, but here's a basic rundown from what I remember:
- make everything a game
- if your dog is blowing you off when you say "come" then "come" is useless, start from scratch with a new word
- teaching your dog hand touches and making them fun and highly reinforcing is a big help - a hand touch can become a recall of sorts
- work with your dog on a line
- don't allow your dog more freedom than its earned - can you bet $100 that your dog is going to recall in this situation? If not, don't call.
- toss food and reinforcement, let the dog get it then take off in the opposite directly, calling its name. It becomes a fun chasing game.
- condition the dog's name to mean "come" as well as another cue so when you put them both together you get a really enthusiastic come.
- work on self control around distractions, and at short distances
- use environmental rewards as reinforcement for recalling
- have a friend hold your dog and do some restrained recalls so your dog is excited and squirming to get to you while being held back (you can loop a leash around an object to hold the dog back while you run a few feet then release too)
- work on recalling to you when you're running, stopping, stopping THEN running, etc, to engage your dog's chase drive
Dogs don't recall because:
- the recall word has become poisoned and is associated with a history of loss
- the dog has been granted more freedom than it has earned
- the dog is not accustomed to being granted freedom in small doses and is not equipped with good decision making skills
- the environment is more reinforcing
There's plenty more, but that's about all I can think of right now. Creating a wonderful recall is about more than just having awesome treats in your pocket. It's about building value for interacting with you, and making yourself the gateway to reinforcement for your pup.
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