How to train your dog to INSTANTLY come when called

 Hello everyone! This article is on proofing the  recall.

Now once you’ve gone through the basics of proofing a recall most people will work on  teaching their dog to come even though there’s the  distraction of food, toys, other dogs and people  and for some of those dogs those might be the most  extreme distractions for them.

However a lot of  times uh people will think that if they worked on multiple things or the games that they’ve been  taught by trainers then their dog should have a reliable recall because they worked so hard on it. 

But it’s really important to understand your dog  and what certain things really arouse them,  make them very excited and also what things  scare your dog a lot. So those two things  factor into why a dog might not come back.  

Other reasons a dog might not come back could do  with the level of stress they’re under or illness, so those you need to take into account.

But it’s  really important to know what excites your dog and what scares your dog because those are going to be  the times when your dog probably won’t come back  to you.

So if you have this really reliable dog  and they’re terrified of fireworks, if your dog is off leash and there’s fireworks or maybe it’s  a car backfiring and your dog runs away from you  when they’re scared then your dog is not going to  have a reliable recall and they will run away most likely if there is a loud noise so instead of  trying to proof the recall with loud noises the solution is to take away or reduce the dog’s fear, reduce the dog’s fears of what they’re scared of  so that is the first step to then working on the  recall.

And conversely if something makes your dog overexcited instead of just trying to proof  the recall with a really exciting thing, you can  actually inadvertently ruin your recall if the  dog really wants whatever that is unless you’re using the premack principle whereby coming back  to you the dog then gets access to whatever it is.  

But one great way besides playing games like the  premack principle, but one great way is reducing  the dog’s arousal around the things that make  them really excited. So if they are excited by prey in the environment animals moving around,  if they’re excited by cars, skateboards,  

the first step would be can they relax on a mat  when something very minimal happens.

So you break the steps of training up into small successful  approximations that are easy for the dog.  For example the dog could settle on a mat while  you just have a skateboard near.

Them and then  move it two inches and then progress to where your  dog can just relax while you skateboard around and  then progress to where someone else skateboards  around while they relax and then if you can get  a dog to relax around a skateboard they’re going  to come to you easily when you call them because  you’ve worked on that arousal for whatever it was.

ot of people think oh i really need to work  on my recall but in fact it’s more about really  reinforcing your dog for being calm and relaxed when different things happen in the environment.  So one way to do that is simply taking your dog  out and about in public if your dog’s excited  about a park and you can work on settle on a mat.  

That’s going to greatly improve your dog’s  recall if you can get a dog that’s calm at the park where if you were going there before and  your dog was so excited when they get to the park  they’re not going to come back to you because  there’s all this stuff they want to do.  For certain situations being at a distance  from whatever it is makes a recall easier  for a dog.

So one thing you can do is utilize  a leash and a harness attached to your dog or a fence that the dog can see through and then have  the distraction at a distance behind the fence  or have the distraction at a distance from  your dog on leash and what you’re going to do is simply ask your dog to look at you  or turn to you or even come to you on the and harness when the distraction is at a distance. 

So one way of doing that is seeing if the dog  might offer and if the dog doesn’t you can  create more distance from the distraction  or you can use a treat on your dog’s nose to  lure them away to create more distance and see if  your dog is able to look at you when you ask for  their attention or come to you when you back up.  

Another thing you can do if you have an extreme case where something’s way in the distance and  your dog is still excited is you can go behind  a barrier.

So perhaps a parked car, your dog is  fixated on someone holding a ball in the distance  because they think they’re going to throw it  and the dog is very sensitized and excited by  thinking they’re going to herd or chase the ball,  so the person standing neutrally with the ball,  the dog can’t look away even though the person’s  as far away as possible, so you could get your  dog behind the car ask your dog to look at you  or come to you from behind the car and then they  can go out and look at the person at a distance  from a distance.

So you’re giving them access to  looking at the person for coming back to you and  then that would be one way of starting to proof  the recall with a distraction. Another thing  you can do is have the person standing with  the ball in the field and your dog is close  by.

This might actually be easier for your  dog than adding distance depending on your  dog. Some dogs are actually easier to work with  when they’re really close to whatever it is, say  for example meeting a dog they can be called away  and then return to meeting a dog but if they see a  dog far in the distance it’s extremely exciting  for them based on the learning and genetics,Like for example some border collies things  moving small things moving in the distance can make them herdy but when it’s right up in their  face they’re not excited.

Or the opposite so the  same scenario a person holding a ball you could  have the dog as long as the dog isn’t aggressive or you don’t think the dog is going to hurt the  person, you know they’re just going to most likely Sniff the ball or find it uninteresting because  it’s not being thrown, the person standing with  the ball you let your dog go over and see that the  person is not moving and not going to throw the  ball, when the dog is near them and then just wait  and at some point you might be able to recall your  dog away from that person.

You can also use toys  in order to get this behavior so you might have  a similar ball to the person and when your dog  comes back to you you throw that ball and then you  release your dog back to seeing that person who’s  just standing there holding a ball.

Now it might  take some time for this training to work but if  you’re working on something specific and the dog  is stuck and they just can’t seem to, i would say  after three or five repetitions at the same level  of criteria, if the dog can’t look back at you  it’s too hard and you have to figure out a way  to change the picture or you’re going to get stuck  with that picture of the dog feeling conflicted  about the recall.

You really want to build it in  small approximations where the dog is like yes i can do this it’s easy and then you build on  that and generalize to any situation where your dog is like yeah i can do that.

I hope you  found these tips helpful for your training.