COLUMN: Teaching your dog an important command

The recall is one of the most important commands for your dog to learn.


For it to work your dog has got to know two things – 1. its name and 2. the command ‘come’.


Never let your dog off in an open public area if you think that you will not be able to get him to come back to you.


Start by letting your dog off in the house and call it from different areas and always reward it with much praise or a treat.


There has to be an incentive in it for them as we wouldn’t go to work if we didn’t get paid.


When you are sure that your dog has mastered this, progress to the garden with all the added distraction of different sounds and smells, and do the same as you did in the house going to different parts of the garden calling your dog to you and praising and rewarding it when it comes back.


When you are 100 per cent satisfied that yours will come back, you can now take it to a safe location, preferably without the distraction of other dogs. You will need a long lead and plenty of tasty treats that you know that your dog loves.


Firstly make a mark halfway along the lead and allow the dog to go off (on the long lead) to explore.


When it reaches the halfway mark call your dog back, you will probably have to use your best ‘girlie’ voice and make a big fuss of it and treat it when it returns.


Send the dog out again and again fussing and treating when it comes back gaining his confidence and trust as well as yours.


What you are doing in this exercise is setting the distance that the dog can leave you before coming back to you.


This will then set the ‘safe distance’ that the dog is happy with even when this progresses to ‘off lead’ situations.

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